It's one of my most favorite pieces I ever wrote. That said, nothing but nothing has changed. I hate New Year's Eve more than anything. More than Brussels Sprouts. More than having a mammogram. I'd rather have a root canal than celebrate it.
Nothing but nothing in my book is as bad as New Year's.
Let's put this on a psychiatrist's couch and figure out why I hate this holiday so much.
Oh it's easy. First of all I was conceived sometime between New Years Eve and New Years Day. I would love to say my conception was like Tristian Shandy's but, it was a 12 year old girl in the back of a VW Bug. Do I hate my birth mother? Not really. She gave me life when she could have easily chose to not do it, and she gave me up for adoption when she could have kept me. By giving me up for adoption, despite 7-8 months in the system in an abusive foster home, I got the Best parents in the world to adopt me.
What scares me is what I learned about my birth mother. Now, when I was adopted, the state of New York had the records sealed. To this day, I do not know her name, or anything about her other than she too had blonde hair and blue eyes. And that she was 12. I wish I knew my nationality, where my ancestors came from. All I was told it was either France and/or Ireland.
All I have seen are the notes the social worker took on her, her parents and her siblings.
Like Oedipus, I should have never investigate my past. Like Oedipus said,
Burst out what will, I seek to know my birth, Low though it be, and she perhaps is shamed (For, like a woman, she is proud of heart) At thoughts of my low birth; but I, who count Myself the child of Fortune, fear no shame. My mother she, and she has prospered me. And so the months that span my life have made me Both high and low; but whatsoe’er I be, Such as I am I am, and needs must on To fathom all the secret of my birth.
Well, we all know what happened to Oedipus. What happened to Susan is this- she learned that the people who make up her biological family, assorted aunts, uncles and grandparents and cousins didn't fare well. Two of her grandparents suicided. Several aunts and uncles also were listed as suicides. Two relatives, were lobotomized in the mid 1950's and early 60's.
The rest of the lot were labeled, "high strung", "hebephrenic schizophrenia", and "alcoholic". Only my birth mother, due to her age, escaped any labels.
For those who know my back story, I had a meeting planned with the adoption agency, located in Manhattan, on September 11, 2001, to look at these records. I got a call at work on September 10, from the woman I was supposed to meet. Something came up, can we reschedule for September 17? It's one of those serendipitous events that if I had been in the city, that day, I would have been right there to see the Towers fall.
I didn't see the towers fall, but I saw my life crumble. How do you feel when you see that a majority of your biological family died by their own hand? That almost everyone suffered from alcoholism? And to top it off, there were two, count em. two lobotomies given. If mental illness turns out to be hereditary, I could be the poster child for it.
Flowers know to bend with the wind and the rain. Those who don't break. I didn't bend. It took a year to break, but I broke- and wound up in the hospital for 30 days and getting ECT. It's all here in my blog, nothing new. The ECT ruined my life, destroyed my brain, wiped out memories and knocked my IQ down at least 25 points.
This is all fine, but I digress. New Years Eve. You turn on the TV, you see Dick Clark, older than an old thing that is quite old, and the people in Times Square. Couples. The few times I have gone to a local diner for a meal, it's all couples. The singles sit at the counter, eyeing the couples, and feeling like misfit's from Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks" painting. Loneliness personified.
Some people don't mind being alone. Most of the time, I don't mind being alone either. But throw in seeing couples and let;s face it, "Happy couples are all alike", with apologies to Tolstoy. The loneliness cuts through you this day like a knife, it's more than sex. I have a little toy in my night table, it's a single girl's best friend. It's the desire to have someone to hold you, to cuddle, to hold a hand. To feel their breath on your cheek. To make you feel alive.
Instead you feel dead, hollow, almost destroyed. Drinking your way until you pass out would be lovely, but I can't give up my sobriety. It's the time where I wish I had a gun, anything to stop the psychological pain and angst. I've always had neighbors in every apartment I've lived in, and I can hear them. It's sad. You can block it out by turning on the stereo, but overall, it makes you feel like you are in an old "Twilight Zone" episode where you are the last person on this Earth.
I've tried to improve this situation. I've done volunteer work on two New Years Eves in the past 5 years. It was nice, but the rub is I was always home by 9pm. So it's that cursed midnight Times Square ball dropping that is the bane of my existence.
So here it is December 30, and I am panicking. I have a few movies I've rented from Redbox. I bought popcorn. My Snuggie and bunny slippers are clean. It's no escaping, it's tomorrow night and I am screwed.
The only thing going this year is maybe the Mayans were right. Maybe the world will end next year, and I will never have to go through this by myself.
Don't get me wrong. I am happy for those with partners. I'm just saying, the pure definition of loneliness, is New Years Eve. I wish there was a wish that no one would be alone on this day. That everyone would have someone. That this horrible feeling would never be felt again.It's one of the most horrible feelings in the world.
I hope 2012 is a better year for everyone.