Holiday Triggers


“So what do you want me to bring?”  She asks.  I picture her sitting at the kitchen counter or pacing around the dining room.  I picture her yelling.

Stay present, I plead with myself. I notice the soft suede coach against my hand.

“Uh…Let me look at Sam’s list.”  I mumble, not sounding quite adult as I walk across the cool linoleum kitchen floor.  Glancing down at the yellow legal pad with Sam’s small neat handwriting, I feel like I am being sucked into the yellow paper.  My mind blanks out for a few minutes.  Come on.  Focus.  Get it together.  I continue to plead with my mind.

“I will just tell you what I can make.”  She interrupts my battling mind.

“Oh…uh…okay,” I mumble, trying to add a happier tone to my voice.  It is not working.  She rattles off her list, her voice cutting through my mind like a knife.

“My big ole salad that you like.  Mash potatoes.  Mac and cheese.”  Enough, my mind shouts.  Her voice seems far away, like she is talking through a pillow.  I say ok to everything she says, but actually hear little of what she is saying.

“Call me around 9 tomorrow.”  This part of the conversation sticks in my mind.  She has said it many times.

As I try to get through the evening I feel catatonic.  Sam drives through the early evening Indiana darkness and I stare blankly, numbly through the dirty windows.  I feel angry like I want to pick a fight.  I hate fighting.  Sam is too quiet.  Is he mad at me?  We eat a hushed dinner and drive back home through the bitter biting cold.

All I want to do is lay down.  I lay on the bed wearing all my clothes, including my coat, hat, and scarf.  Dealing with my mom is too big of a trigger.

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