To the family who doesn’t understand my holiday struggles.

Hello! The joyous time of winter is upon us again.  This is, as you know, a time filled with family, food, and excitement.  I am sure you have spent months looking forward to this so, seeing me not at all enjoying myself is probably frustrating or even angering to you.  I have never had the words to tell you this, or the courage to, but I do enjoy your holiday celebrations.  Your tree is lovely, and I am sure you spent forever on the ham.  But no, I wont eat any of it and no, telling me I can’t have desert if I don’t eat it isn’t going to cause me to consume it.

Holidays are hard for me.  Well, let me change that.  Winter in general is difficult for me because winter, with it’s snow and ice and storms, is all just fuel for anxiety.  Holidays, though, are especially difficult.  Imagine being locked in a room full of screaming people so tight around you you can not not be being touched by at least a few every second of the day.  For hours.  In a nutshell, that is how it feels for me to be in a room with all of you.  And no, no, and no this is not anything against you.  I am sure you try to keep the cousins quiet but, five year olds are not exactly the picture of good behavior.  Add to the above picture complete panic.  What if someone talks to me and I dont know what to say.  What if I drop something.  What if I break something.  What if I don’t like the food.  What if I have to (again) listen to a conversation about churches.  What if What if What if.  It is EXHAUSTING, family.  And the most difficult part of it is my social fears are usually quite probable and happen. So, please, stop trying to force me into the social norms I do not fit in.  Because I can’t fit.  Because it hurts to try and cram myself into these boxes to make you happy.



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