Alone at Christmas. Did I choose to spend Christmas Day by myself?

Sunday, 16th December 2018


Alone at Christmas. Did I choose to be alone on Christmas Day?

I am gregarious. An extrovert. I have lots of friends. Socialising is no problem for me. I went for a walk on my own today and enjoyed conversations with at least four people.

Have chosen to be one my own at Christmas? Many of my friends and members of my family have invited me to enjoy Christmas day with them.

Why did I refuse?

My mother encouraged me to enter the convent when I was fourteen, I spent thirty-three years there. I was too old to conceive aged forty-seven. I am not a mother and of course, not a grandmother.

While I was in the convent I grew apart from my parents. I lost contact with my two brothers. They have both died. My sisters were born while I was there. We were not permitted to visit our families. Our correspondence was read. We grew apart.

A few years after I left the nuns I developed breast cancer. However, I was one of the fortunate patients diagnosed early.

After five years medication I was delighted with my recovery. I wanted to celebrate by going on holiday. But, I did not know how to book. I was afraid of going on my own. I turned to a friend who had also left the convent for advice. She had recently returned from having visited a community of the male counterpart of the same Religious order.

The priest who awaited me in at Catania airport, Sicily, began his sexual innuendoes as soon as he met me. When we arrived in Taormina, this developed into attempted rape.

After returning to England neither priests, nuns, bishops or even the cardinal wanted to acknowledge my report of this abuse. So I turned to writing my autobiography. I was delighted when ‘Dropping The Habit’ was published. However, the nuns were annoyed. Angered.

I explained. They said that they understood. But the sexual abuse frightened me from forming male relationships.

The present situation is that my sisters live different lives to mine,

The Sisters/nuns, seem to prefer that I did not appear at convent events. Recently they enquired the reason that I attended the funeral of a nun with whom I had lived with in Community. One of the nuns was appalled to learn that I have since published two novels based on my convent life and alluding to a romanic outcome.

Friends have intimated that they are not really interested in books. They say that they dislike so many references to religion. Would this be the case if these novels won one of the prestigious literary awards?

So why am I alone at Christmas ?

1 My sister and her son have invited me to join son’s family. They live too far away. Were I to travel by train the over-stay accommodation is limited. 

2 When I have accepted invitations to friends, the feeling of not belong to my family is accentuated.
Because I belong to neither my natural family nor the religious family that I spent half my life with, I will spend another Christmas Day in my own home.

Did I choose to do so?



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