It’s only a week away; Christmas. The festive countdown has brought nostalgia and memories, both good and bad. It has me looking back on things and really measuring how far I have come.
Our Christmas tree is up in the living room now. It looks old and weary; a little worn but still magical. It’s hard to believe that that tree is as old as my daughter. It sits in a different spot to where it was last year, because we have new sofas now, so it didn’t fit where it used to. Now it lives on top of the little side table, standing super tall over our living space. It has no lights this year either, but it’s still very shiny.
The Christmas tree is not the only thing that has changed since last Christmas. Last year we only just managed to have Christmas, after moving house in a rush at the end of November, our heads still spinning from the revelation of abuse. Last year I was stressed to tears every day. I was scared and drained and desperate. My daughter was confused and concerned, and still under the watchful eye of the Local Authority.
This year our house is warm and properly furnished. I am no longer ruined by thoughts of what X did. I am strong and confident and healthy, and I feel happy when I think about that difference. This year my daughter is bright and bubbly and excited. Our family will be around us and our friends will drop in, but the social worker will not. This year I can look back and see just how much better things are. Once again I remember how I felt like I would never be able to piece our lives back together. It still hurts when I think back to that time in our lives, but there is evidence all around me that we have, in fact, moved on.
I look forward to doing the same next year, and perhaps every year. Christmas time seems like a good time to reflect on our progress, and enjoy feeling proud and grateful, and happy.