Some of these might be more trivial than others but I'm trying to support myself and validate my own experience. I've always been very sensitive and a lot of this is shit I had been bottling up all year that came out at Christmas when I was unable to escape my family. So here goes.
  1. When I tried playing darts and put holes in the wall at my mom's cousin's house.
    My uncle took me downstairs to "practice" because everyone else in the family plays together on the regular. I once got seriously bawled out by another uncle for wearing shoes (indoor dress party shoes) indoors in that house despite it not being his house AND other people wearing shoes that night. All I could think was he could come downstairs at any time and lay into me for putting holes in the wall of this house that isn't his but that he obviously feels strongly about.
  2. The more I cried, the worse I got, the more holes ended up in the wall, the more I cried.
  3. When my cousin came down to join us and tried to encourage me by recounting anecdotes of awful dart shots she had made in the company of everyone but me.
  4. When I had to stop playing and she and my uncle continued throwing darts and talking about the good times from last summer.
    None of which I was present for.
  5. When I remembered that in the car on the way over, I had been musing about how everytime we have gone over there I've somehow ended up crying.
    I had laughed and thought "That's so not going to happen today - I feel great!"
  6. When I was told by another party goer "see you at new year's" and it was the first I had heard about anything going on at new year's.
    Based on recent experience, I just assumed she had mentioned it to me by accident and that I wasn't invited. In the resulting awkwardness, I was then invited. I was always supposed to be invited, it's just that no one had bothered to mention it to me.
  7. The next day, when it was only supposed to be the seven core members of my family and my mom's cousin, his mom and his daughter showed up.
    My relief at finally getting to have "our family Christmas" was immediately flipped on its head and I felt invaded by the very 3 people who seem to be increasingly taking my parents' and my place in our own family. It turned out they had been invited, but no one had told us.
  8. When I remembered we were estranged from these people for years because the great-aunt hated my grandmother so much (and my grandfather for marrying her) that she told my grandfather as he was dying that he would not be allowed into the family burial plot.
    Official forgiveness happened at some point? I guess? But I was not consulted? My grandmother was a hell of a woman and I have no idea why anyone would want to shun her.
  9. When the 3 new guests complained about how spicy the appetizers we brought were.
    Maybe if we had known a 93 year-old woman was coming we would have selected something different.
  10. When the salad my cousin was tasked with bringing contained cranberries.
    Even though they're the one food I can't eat. I'm not allergic, but they give me instant migraine-like symptoms and have since I was a little kid. Actually, lingonberries do this to me as well, but all I have to do to avoid those is not drink the fountain juice at IKEA.
  11. When my mom's cousin couldn't stop ranting about how tasty the cranberry salad was, and didn't have any of the Kath-safe salad I brought.
  12. When we gave my aunt the present she had specifically asked for and I mentioned that I had taken a page from her book this year and specifically requested something myself that was the exact dollar amount for the exchange.
    My cousin's daughter asked if I'd gotten it and I said "Not yet!", confident it was coming and so stupidly proud of myself for knowing what I wanted. Nope, none of the 3 family members (same ones who were copied on my aunt's request and came through with flying colors) got it for me. I got on Amazon and placed an order for it myself right then and there.
  13. Knowing I looked like a goddamn fool having been so happily looking forward to the gift no one bothered to get me.
  14. When I ate half of the piece of cake I was given before my uncle admitted the cherries in it were actually cherry-flavored dried cranberries. Even though he was present when I noticed the salad had cranberries and could have mentioned something then.
    And twenty minutes later, right on schedule, the queasiness, weird floaty feeling, difficulty of speaking, vision problems and light sensitivity started.
  15. When I wasn't sure which was worse: my uncle not remembering the one food I can't eat, or him figuring I'm just faking and trying to slip them past me.
  16. When I felt like a fool for crying in front of everyone. Over fucking berries.
    So I cried more. Of course.
  17. When everyone wanted to play darts and forced me to play, then there wasn't enough room for ten people around the dartboard in my uncle's living room.
    So I had to stand by myself in the kitchen until it was my turn.
  18. When I fixed my location issues by standing up against the wall next to the person shooting and we played 4 games of 1001 like this when everyone else had a goddamn chair.
    There were only 9 chairs in the entire home. After 4 games my uncle brought a footstool out for me, so that was nice?
  19. When I could barely see the board and yet got inexplicably better at darts.
    And people tried to encourage me by discussing times they had hung out playing darts without me.
  20. In the car on my way back to my parents' house, trying to defend my hurt feelings to them but secretly suspecting I'm crazy or an idiot or both.