We did Thanksgiving a little differently this year.
I decided I didn't want to battle other people's perfumes this time, so I asked my mom if we could have dinner the day after thanksgiving. I was afraid I would cause hurt feelings, or that they would have plans and would feel put out that I was being difficult. The initial conversation was emotional, but not because my mom thought I was being a pain. She kept automatically defending people who don't think about how their actions affect my migraines. She was right, of course, most people aren't intentionally triggering my migraines, and aren't aware of how their scented products, car stereo, or bright, blinky holiday pin affect me neurologically. While my mom is sympathetic to my pain, she asked me to forgive them their transgressions, cut them some slack.
I snapped a little.
It's been five and a half years since these migraines started, and every member of my family has been well aware that I'm sick, and that I have triggers. They've had five solid years of holidays with me in hats and sunglasses, five years of me being scent sensitive (scentsitive?), and five years of me wearing earplugs and running from anything noisy. When are they going to start caring enough to change their behavior a modicum? If you love someone, don't you want them to avoid pain? I'm not sure why I'm expected to constantly forgive other people their continued carelessness, and they aren't expected to change their behavior at all. I'm tired of pretending these people care about me, they obviously don't, and that makes me care less and less about them.
My poor mom was not prepared for this rant, and I made her cry. I apologized for my timing, she was at work and would have to go back in somewhat tear-stained, but I couldn't apologize for my meaning. I'm sick of it.
So, we did a separate thanksgiving on friday, we drove down early and spent the day with just my immediate family, ate leftovers for dinner. It was wonderful.
I'm hoping christmas will be similarly simple. Avoiding family might just be my new holiday tradition.