Christmas Eve was my grandfather's annual Christmas present-unwrapping, done the day before because it's usually most convenient for all involved and it lets my step-grandmother cook a really good meal on Christmas itself without having it overshadowed by the materialism of the previous night. My cousin Jeremy started to whine about not having enough presents and having the fewest (his pile was larger than he was- also note that numerically, I had the fewest, and somehow this failed to particularly upset me), but my mother shut that down quite quickly and I appreciated that greatly. ("Adam said that one year, and what I told him was that if he said that again, then next year, we'd be having Christmas at a homeless shelter so he can see what it's really like to not have enough. And I meant it, too." Shut him up right quickly, although Aunt Karen- not the (deceased) Aunt Vicki who is his mother- was visibly shocked by my mother's tone) It was still a bad situation for me; lots of people in a little tiny room we couldn't get through because of the chairs and presents strewn about, not to mention having to avoid stepping on the (blind) family dog. It doesn't help that two of the guests were rather impressively loud. Loud noise, chaos, being trapped (can't get out with the room that much of a mess), too many people to deal with- all together made it a very draining task for me to avoid breaking down. There are times when Asperger's syndrome is remarkably inconvenient; that's the exact set of stimuli I fundamentally can't deal with.
Trying to handle all that and recover from it is why I've been out of action the last several days; I've been retreating to the comfort of homework assignments and textbooks, the fastest way for me to recover.
It's about to get worse. In around an hour, it'll be the annual family Christmas trip to Indiana, for the even worse environment of my mother's side of the family- all of them without fail having enough hearing loss to shout all the time, all of them bible-humpers, all of them aggressive about wanting to know (and control) details of my personal life that are none of their business- I get to look forward to several days of having to endure this. The most frustrating part is how I inevitably get interrogated about why I don't have a girlfriend. If it keeps escalating at the rate it does, an irate "because I'm gay" is going to be forthcoming, despite it being around half inaccurate. (I'm bisexual, for the probably very few of you not already aware.) It'll shut them up. It'll also probably get me kicked out, which would be temporarily inconvenient but possibly beneficial in the long run.
It doesn't help that my cousin Tyler's behavioural problems have gotten significantly worse to a point where everybody is best advised to avoid him, and from the details, myself included. He needs professional help and his parents don't care enough to give it.
So this could be an interesting few days. At least the motel has wireless Internet and my PDA can connect just fine, so I should be around enough to rant and reply to comments on LJ as appropriate, without the problem of no way to hide a laptop screen in a motel I've had before...
Ugh. These trips to Indiana get worse every year, and for a wide variety of reasons I don't feel like trying to explain in a limited time-period this one is expected to continue the pattern. Is it any wonder I have little enthusiasm for Christmas because it means enduring this rubbish?