Now that the holidays are over, time to start writing again. The holidays are depressing for me. My family stopped celebrating the holidays by the time I was 13 years old.

Now, I have children and a husband. Holidays are important to his side of the family and they are important for our daughters. They are a hellish torment for me. I have no interest in them. I would rather be taking an algebra test instead of dealing with holiday celebrations. Or go to the dentist instead. (The dentist gives me nightmares.)

The hassle of putting up a tree with all the decorations. The added mess, the extra time cleaning. Having to rearrange furniture to make room for a tree. The horror and stress of shopping. Feeling obligated to buy gifts when my children already have so much. The overwhelming expense of the holidays. Add driving for hours in icy road conditions and dealing with a fear of crashing during the worst time of year. Can I skip the holidays?

Maybe they have no meaning to me because that is what I was taught. “Just another damn day of the year.” This is my families motto regarding any holiday or birthday. They mean nothing.

This year was the worst it has been for me in memory. We waited until the last minute to put up the tree and took it down the day after Christmas. This has never happened before and my girls are still upset about it. It stung them. Finances meant there was very little under the tree. This also upset them. They wondered if they had done something wrong or if Santa was upset with them. How does a parent explain this to a child?

Due to weather conditions, we stayed home at the last minute. The highway was shut down because of weather related accidents. This meant we had no company, no other family and no real Christmas dinner. We had leftovers. This is the definition of “Parent Epic Fail” during the holidays. Since Christmas day, my girls have been emotional and clingy. They need constant attention.

As for me, I have been crying for the past two weeks. My phone makes me jump. A knock at the door makes me tremble. I want solitude. I want to disappear until this season is over with. My mind is sinking in a sludge of negative feelings and emotions that make me hate myself. I have lost my appetite, I cannot sleep and I have zero energy. If I could, I would crawl into a dark hole and stay there until January.