As I am here alone at Christmas, I think of Christmas past. Seventeen years ago I miscarried my son Toep. I held him in my hand for a moment, not bigger than my palm. His face, hands and feet were already developed, he had the tiniest fingers and toes.
I buried him in the front garden and planted a tree on top. As the grief washed over me, wave after wave, his father was cold and heartless. My cries annoyed him. My sorrow angered him. I ended up running away from him, with our son, fearing for my life. He died last year.
Now my son only has me, and my other daughter, his half-sister. And I grieve alone. I look back and I realise I have always ever been alone.
Just like that Christmas Star. It is enveloping me, like a comforting blanket. But it is time to get out there, and face my fears and demons.
So my goal for 2021 is that I make new friends and truly connect. I need to show my real me, but also set boundaries and protect myself. Because I don’t want to be alone at Christmas or any other day. I want to live outside the cage I built and truly enjoy life. And I want to share it with someone.
But only with someone I can trust and who is interested in me, someone who actually cares.
So for all of you out there, cherish the people who love you, and love them back. But most of all love yourself. At the end of the day, the person you have to live with every second of the day, is yourself, so you better get to love that person most.
If you are like me, treated badly all your life and you can’t trust your own parents, you have to trust and rely on yourself. What has happened to you is not your fault. It doesn’t define you. It doesn’t mean you are worthless. On the contrary, you are precious.
If you can’t think of any reason why you should live, make time to discover your talent, your joy, your reason. Dig into yourself and discover the gem inside. There is one. But it all has to start with self love. Find the little spark of love inside and shield, feed and care for it. It’ll grow bigger, the care becomes easier. And you’ll suddenly find yourself enjoying something intensely. You are then on your way.
That is my Christmas pledge to myself and my message to you. Life can get better, just work on it one tiny step at the time.
Merry Christmas everyone.
In loving memory of Toep, rest in peace.