Friday, December 30, 2011

I Truly Hate New Year's Eve

Nothing has changed in the ten years since I wrote this blog's most popular post, why I hate New Year's Eve. 

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. 


Spanner said...

You may feel alone but you're not. I look for your posts all the time, I've got your emails. Hope you've had a good day when I've had a good day and hope you've had a better day than me when I've had a stinker.
Lets break the mold this year and go into the next thinking and feeling something different.

Onwards and upwards :-) xxx

Anonymous said...

Some people just take a sedative in the early evening to peacefully sleep through it. Kind of like a turbulent plane ride (smile).

We love you. You validate us all.

Matthew said...

i empathize with the author.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this...I feel the same way about NYE. I'm liking the sedative idea from the other reader. Glad some other folks are in the same boat and I'm not completely alone.

Clarice said...

I hate Christmas and NYE I dont know what it is, maybe from childhood when Mum was stressed and complained about in laws to when parents seperated then Mum even more depressed at this time. And any long term break up usually occurs around December for me and this year on boxing day my abusive fiance who keeps going to change offended everyone on a bender and I had enough and moved out and am now moving from pillar to post me and my dog moving back to my old room in house share I left 2 years ago to set up new home which I have had to leave.

last year was no better drunken fight with ex and passed out by midnight horrible night

Im going with the sedative too and writing out some goals and aims for next year. Be positive :)

Mark p.s.2 said...

Once the day passes will you feel better?

Anonymous said...

Its even worse when you are married and your spouse insists on ignoring the holiday and just going to bed extra early when he knows Id love to do something special. He only gets mad if i bring it up. This is the 27th year. Ive never felt so lonely.

Anonymous said...

I hear you LOUD AND CLEAR. What's even worse is that we now live in the world of social networking, texting, facebooking, emailing, tweeting, it's virtually impossible to shut out the constant banter about NYE plans, usually from happy couples who just can't wait to use every possible social networking channel to announce how fabulous their lives are but to make sure we all know every last painful detail of each holiday, anniversary, birth of a baby, you name while I can be happy for these's a painful reminder at how lonely this time of year can be for many, many, many people.

I also find it ironic that those same people who choose to constantly shout their joy from the rooftop through every POSSIBLE social networking channel forget that they too were once alone and given how long life is they could again one day end up ALONE. Brag once, brag twice, brag three times, three times is a charm. Then STOP. Bragging is A) Obnoxious B) We do NOT give a shit about ever last thought that flitters through your head C) The incessant bragging and posting makes us think you are spending more time on the internet talking about how fabulous your life is rather than being out in the world and living it D) It's narcissistic E) It's bad karma which may just come back to bite you in the ass when you least expect it.

Last year, I met my wonderful husband at the ripe old age of 34. I also took my facebook page down because I know how easy it is to want to shout your joy (or rather post and tweet and blog and whatever else about your newfound love, life etc.) and I refuse to be an obnoxious, smug, braggart and give into the temptation. In other words, I have empathy, I see no point in sharing every last detail about my life with everyone, even close friends.

That is all. Vent over.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this... you're not alone in the way you feel about this awful night. Every year I feel heartbroken.

-A Nighthawk.

Unknown said...

Pretty much what Spanner said, I look for your posts as well, and on FB. I hate NYE as well, and yesterday my 17 year old son surprised me by confessing that he hates NYE! I think there's a lot of pressure on people to think they "should" be out partying and having a fantastic time on NYE, I just can't wait for it to be over and done with every year!

Elaine said...

I hated New Year's Eve for many years. Then...I moved to Japan. And New Year's in Japan is like Christmas in the States -- family time. If you don't have family you can wander around with friends, hearing the temple bells ring at midnight. Yes, some young people do celebrate as couples. But mainly it's for families. My view of it has completely changed as a result. Would this work in the US? Probably not, since the context is different. But having a different frame for the day really changes what it is. Maybe it's possible to make up your own for coming years?

Noch Noch said...

wow. powerful post. I'm sorry to hear of yourfamily background, but I"m thankful you are alive and writing this. It speaks to me
Partners or not, I think many of us are lonely inside too.
take care for 2012

Christina said...

Enforced or expected joviality impacts us all differently. I identify a bit with your history and I too wonder if this is the reason I struggle with occasions such as Christmas, New Year's Eve and especially birthdays. Even when people have kindly made my birthdays so special I simply don't know what to do with it. These days New Year for me is about surrounding myself with simple, special things. Chatting to people I enjoy online, a bottle of wine I love, my fave food, being thankful for what I have and allowing myself to be proud of how I've turned out despite a sad start and genetics loaded against me. THANK YOU for this post. As I look up into the night sky here in the Middle East tonight as 2013 strides in I will embrace you.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog as I googled "i fucking hate New Year's Eve". I know this was written years ago, but it is exactly how I feel. It helps to know that I am not alone. It's lonely being single on a couples night. It's even lonelier when the guy you want to love you most of all avoids you and is out with someone else. I have no one to talk to as they do not understand the despair and pain I feel. Hoping 2014 is better.

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