Ahh, I lay in bed smiling, thinking Christmas is right around the corner. I’ve started all sorts of lists of what to buy my new family, what they needs, how impressive my 1st Christmas will be with them!!! To the credit of Raj, money has NEVER been an issue in my marriage and actually it’s just never been an issue for me EVER! Thank you universe 🙂 I make my list and show Raj to get his approval and off we go and start collecting all sorts of presents. In my mind this was going to make them love me. I was going to buy them whatever it was needed, craved or ever wanted in the name of Christmas and they will hug me and say, “Venya we were so wrong about you. We are so happy that you have married our son on blind faith, from this day forward you are a treasure to us.”
After weeks of shopping and wrapping up beautiful presents, judgement day has come. Everything looked perfect, the tree, decorations, presents but most of all I’m giving credit to my own excitement. At the very moment an outsider could never have guessed that I was a girl who had been beaten, belittle and abused by this family. Forgiveness and getting over things has been a strong suit of mine.
All I wanted for Christmas was a family who would give me a chance to be a part of them, to be happy and most of all to grow with them as a young woman.
Christmas morning arrives; I’m running around with so much excitement like a 10 year old child, I was 20 at the time. As quickly as possible, waking up Raj and Sunny, putting tea on for mom and dad and starting breakfast so we could go straight to opening the presents. I was so excited!!! My first Christmas with my husband of 6 months and my new family! Nothing can go wrong, right? I have my camera on the table for all the cheesy pictures and chocolates to go as we would laze around talking opening presents. We would have a great day, talking and being grateful for each other and all that we have.
Raj and Sunny were easy to get into the mood, slowly but surely they both make their way to the living room.
My father in law was muttering that in their house this is the first Christmas and it is a waste of money, not necessary, for white people, no meaning to us etc. In all fairness to him, he thinks ALL holidays are a waste of money. He would rather just a have a meal, some drinks, and some laughs. But he was being a good sport and coming out of his room and doing what I asked of him, sit on the couch and just smile, your surrounded by your growing family.
Dearest mother in law has to make the grand entrance as usual and sits herself on the couch next to dad. I like an excited puppy, start handing out presents to all of them hoping to see happy reactions from them. They slowly start opening presents and I intently watch them.
As I watch them, in my head I’m saying a prayer, please let them like their presents, they hate me enough, don’t give them more of a reason too do so…
One buy one everyone opens their presents, no one is as happy as I thought they would be. I’m thoroughly disappointed by their reactions. In fact my mother in law was very rude about the lack of value of her presents. That didn’t even make sense because for each person we had a huge limit!!! My heart of course breaks. I had put so much thought and time into their presents and they were being very mean to me. Is there nothing that mom and dad actually liked??? How could I be so off? What was it going to take to make them happy? According to them my personality sucked, my physical self was awful and I wasn’t a great homemaker. Now I didn’t know how to buy worthy presents for them? Why did I suck so much????
Later in the afternoon I approached Raj about my disappointment about Christmas morning. I let him know how crushed I was with their reactions, especially since I had put so much time and effort into my endless lists. In my mind I had a home run with his family. They were supposed to love the thought I had put into them. I continued to ask him, “Why don’t they like any of the presents?” In turn, he got mad at me. His reason was that I didn’t try hard enough, I could have picked more thoughtful gifts, why I didn’t spend more on them? I of course, fought back and let him know that I really really tried to make them happy and make Christmas special. He was very unsupportive of my complaining basically undermining my thoughts and feelings. His solution was, you could have tried harder and given it more heart to each person. He goes on to let me know, there was no cap on the spending so why was I being so cheap? I could have given them more but I’ve made my bed and I have to lay in it.
Being 20, naïve, young and optimistic I thought this was going to be the best Christmas ever and I wanted answers to why it didn’t turn out how I had anticipated it. He knew his family were being difficult, he also acknowledged we did spend a lot of money unnecessarily. He also said his mom can be greedy most times and continually unhappy with people.
He was frustrated with me for asking him why and with them for being assholes to me. He did what he knew best, he became abusive. His Christmas gift to me was unwrapped and unravelled.
He started yelling at me and then he slapped me across the face. He was in a rage as to why I was so difficult and why can’t I fit in with his family. Being abused was not on my Christmas wish list!!!
This was not the Merry Christmas I thought it would be. 20 and newly married to this man and his family, I didn’t want another Christmas in this family. I didn’t want Christmas in general ever again where presents are going to determine if I’m worthy or not.