Ghosts of Christmas’ Past

I actually have a moment to write! It’s a post holiday miracle! Lol. 

We had a very nice, although extremely hectic holiday season this year. Four different Christmas celebrations in the span of three days; after its all said and done to be perfectly honest I’m pretty much Christmas-ed out. Usually I enjoy the lingering holiday spirit until the new year, but this year? Nope. We’re packing up Christmas this afternoon. Although that’s mostly because we have so much baby furniture scattered across the house we really don’t have room for the tree and other decor. 

In the midst of the holiday shuffle, I pulled up a few of my favorite Christmas carols which started a journey down musical memory lane. I started going through a lot of the music I enjoyed back in my youth. Some of it I can’t stand now, and laughed at myself for ever finding it pleasing to the ear. Most of it I still currently enjoy, although mostly sporadically with the Littles listening. 

One thing lead to another and being the week of Christmas I was reminded of a holiday season quite a few years ago where I spent the majority of my time looking for a specific CD with my boyfriend at the time. He eventually found what he was looking for, and I found the latest release by one of my all time favorite bands. We purchased each, and basically kept them in the CD players until the end of the holidays. 

Looking back on it, as I listened through my favorite tracks from the CD I purchased that day it struck me to look up the lyrics. It’s an industrial band so while listening to the tracks themselves you can’t exactly pick out all the words. A lot of them you can, but even then sometimes the songs don’t exactly flow as traditional poetry does, or things get distorted or lost. When the album was released, the lyrics hadn’t been published. I enjoyed it regardless, but the words were basically up to my imagination. 

As I looked them up the other day, the irony hit me like a ton of bricks. Especially this line here: 

In dark, dishonest times

The strangest things unwind

And undermine an undecided fate

See, what I didn’t know was while my boyfriend had returned from out of town job training to spend the holidays with me, he’d met someone else and was trying to figure out how to end our relationship. Or if he even wanted to. 

My second favorite song on the album repeats this chorus:

Death feels like a butterfly

Can’t escape the scarred lie

Real relationships must die

Underneath a scarred lie

Yeah… And the cherry on top of all the irony here: my boyfriend was so intent on finding the album he purchased for one particular song that he wanted to share with me, which conveyed his feelings regarding our relationship. The things he couldn’t quite figure out how to put in his own words, and I’m over here parading around songs about dishonesty and relationships ending, completely unaware of the circumstances or even of the complete lyrics of my favorite songs.

I had to laugh. I really did. Especially considering the fact that after listening through my CD one or twice, and really paying attention to the lyrics more than I had been my favorite tracks upset my boyfriend. He’d never been a fan of the band itself, but he actually made a point to say he didn’t want to hear it anymore. Which upset me, because I didn’t notice the lyrics and I thought it was rather insensitive of him to be so curt after we’d spent so much time looking for his album and listened to nothing else when riding around in his car. Oops.

Plus, I worked for one of my boyfriend’s good friends. While he was away I started hanging out with a guy coworker as friends and business partners since we were on the same management team, but rumors evolved. It was never like that, I always remained 110% loyal to my boyfriend. Yet, thinking he was being a good friend, my boss took it upon himself to call my boyfriend and tell him about the rumors anyway. 

Also, since we had planned on starting a family fairly soon after my boyfriend returned depending on his work assignment… Or okay, so we talked about it, which I took as a plan, but maybe it was just talk from my boyfriend’s perspective. That happened a lot with him. Always talking about the future, but rarely making actual plans. 

Either way, I was under the impression that we were planning on starting a family, so lamenting my previous struggles with a friend she suggested I start taking prenatal vitamins to enhance my chances of carrying a pregnancy to term. 

Let’s review: 

1) Boyfriend has been gone for over a month.

2) Rumors of me being unfaithful.

3) Boyfriend finds my prenatals on the counter, after hearing rumors from one of his most trusted friends and being gone for over a month, and returning to our method of birth control an additional two months before that.

4) Horrible miscommunication via interpretation of various songs we shared with each other.

Good God, I would have broken up with me too. Especially considering everything else we’d already been through, and all of his other insecurities. You know, really looking at it from this perspective even the insanity that was our break up makes sense.

After he ended the relationship, I was devastated. He got mad, and I could never understand really why he was angry with me for being hurt and talking about how much I loved him. Now… I get it and I kind of feel bad realizing just how much miscommunication happened there at the end. I was so busy being hurt I didn’t really pay attention to how difficult it was/had been for him. He wasn’t particularly forth coming with how he felt, but I could have been a little more understanding. If I had been paying attention. 

It doesn’t really matter. We wouldn’t have lasted forever, even if there hadn’t been an ironic song fiasco. There was just too much that happened in too short a period of time and we are resoundingly better off apart, away from all of that baggage. We really are. It’s just taken me a lot longer to unpack.

On a positive note, the CD he purchased during our last few weeks together ended up being the thing that kickstarted my recovery. I picked up my own copy the Christmas after our breakup, but I couldn’t listen to it so it got shuffled into my CD binder and lost until Hubs and I moved into our current house. I opened a box and found my CDs most of which I hadn’t listened to in years, but decided to put them on my computer and add to my library. None of them were in the cases, and a lot of them weren’t clearly labeled. I popped the Christmas CD into my computer and when it began I almost took it out, but for some reason I decided not to.

That was the first time I REALLY listened to the album, and I cried catching all of the subtle hints I’d missed when my boyfriend was trying to convey his feelings. That’s when I started digging through my journals and my repressed memories started to bubble to the surface. Which in turn lead to my writing, which lead to my therapy, and here we are two years later in remission. 

The strangest things unwind.

And undermine an undecided fate.

There were so many other little things I noticed and picked up about our relationship, but the really important things seemed to have flown right over my head. When he tried to talk to me things were as clear as mud, but when he tried to hide from me I could see through him like glass. Or, maybe it was his chameleon nature taking over… He became what he thought I wanted to see, but when he showed me his true self I missed it. Who knows? 

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