You say selfish, I say self-preservation

As a wife and mother, it has been ingrained in me to put the needs of everyone else first. Sometimes it just isn’t possible. Every once in while, you have to put yourself first.

For the past 2 years I have pulled up my boot straps and done the “right thing”. I have faked my way through the holidays and tried to make things “normal” for the sake of the family.

Not this year. I don’t have that level of fake within me this year. I simply cannot “holiday”. I refuse to feel like I am letting people down or failing in anyway. You can call me selfish but I am claiming my right to self-preservation.

I know it is hard for the others also, but this year it is so hard for me that it is impossible. I am exhausted from the fake and I just need to be real.

Real is facing the fact that holidays mean nothing to me now. I have lost too much to feel the need to celebrate. You can come at me with your condescending tone and tell me that I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to celebrate. That’s your opinion, but I will not let that stop me from doing what I need to do for me.

You can say that I am a quitter, a wallower, a failure or whatever. I don’t care. Walk a mile in my shoes, then tell me how to feel. You can say I am being unfair, unreasonable, and unkind. I don’t care. Walk a mile in my shoes, then tell me how to act. You can say I have given in to a pity party, allowed my grief to take over, and become a bitter person. I don’t care. Walk a mile in my shoes, then tell me how to do it better.

Actually, don’t walk a mile in my shoes. I would not wish this on anyone. I am okay not being understood, I would not want you to be where I have been just so you could understand. 

Yes, you can say I am selfish. I know this is self-preservation. I know I am doing what I have to do to survive. I will not force myself to put up a tree, look at wrapping paper, nor read a card. Think what you will, I know my truth. The ugly truth that I will never be the same again and it is okay to do what I need to do to survive.


4 responses to “You say selfish, I say self-preservation

  1. Yes yes yes yes yes – oh, Melissa – you are so right.

    You are right and everyone who wants you to pretend is wrong.

    They want you to make *them* feel better about what can never ever ever feel better.

    You can’t escape reality. They refuse to admit reality.

    Zachary Zachary Zachary no wonder your mother can’t pretend

    No one should ask her to

    There is no pretending in this Hell.

    I’m so sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melissa, anyone who says selfish just can’t possibly understand. You have to do what is right for you at the time. This is not something that there is a plan or a schedule for and everyone travels this horrendous journey in their own way at their own pace. I sometimes feel that people think it’s all in the past now and life should be getting back to normal but 3 years on I have been having some of my lowest days, apart from the immediate aftermath.
    Like you I wouldn’t wish this on anyone but I do sometimes wish others could understand the never ending effects we live with.
    Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

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