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Gross.

In the last twenty-four hours, the most exciting thing I’ve done is brush my teeth. I haven’t left the house in three days. I haven’t showered in two.

For Christmas, my whole family got the stomach flu. My sister’s in-laws got it, gave it to my niece, who brought it with her to our house (full of me, my siblings, their spouses, their kids, and my parents), resulting in all of us laying around the living room, watching Gilmore Girls until our brains rotted. Not fun, but very funny.

I spent all of last night sleeping on and off, periodically hurling into an ice cream bucket, and begging God to make it stop, which it did around 6:00 A.M. While the rest of the world was going skiing and taking advantage of after-Christmas sales, my house was basically quarantined. No one came over, no one went out, and no one bathed.

This my holiday report.

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The strangest thing has happened.

This weekend was horrible. Friday night I was indisposed. Saturday I moped around in my pajamas, crying periodically, until my sister popped in with some showtunes and boardgames and cheered me up slightly. That night, I went and stayed at her house, where my two-year-old nephew and I took pictures of ourselves until he fell asleep, and my sister introduced me to Jane Austen’s Persuasion and The Island. (Ewan McGregor is my one true love, P.S.)

All of this, while at least making me feel happy temporarily, did nothing to rescue me from the torment of my thought process. I replayed scenes in my head from the last two and a half months, and my insides writhed over and over again, until I was so sick that I had to put down my pizza and ignore Jeff Dunham’s ventriloquist act.

My sister produced a cure to my self pity spiral: a form of therapy that you (and even I) may think is just hokey, but that actually works. Apparently my aunt does this for a living.

 There are several parts to it. What she did for my sister was two parts: one generational and one psychological. Supposedly, several generations back, a woman in our family was raped, and her feelings in the aftermath of that incident have been passed down and inherited by my sister. Also, she has always had a low self-esteem, and my aunt discovered the reasons to this (which are too personal to put here; you’ll understand, I hope), and then fixed both the generational and the psychological. Since speaking with her, my sister has lost weight and has learned to love herself. It’s noticeable, the change in her.

 We called my aunt. My sister explained what had happened to me, and then passed the phone over. My aunt explained: “Your body is wired kind of like a house. It works well when everything is wired correctly, but if the wiring is off and something goes backwards, everything is messed up. You have two main “wirings” in you. The front one”—and she used the term, but I can’t quite remember the name of it–“makes you feel like you’re going to cry at any moment if it’s backwards. The back one makes you depressed if it’s off. Which do you think is off?”

I told her it was the front one, and then she proceeded to instruct me on what to do: tap on specified pressure points (by the eye, the chin, the collar bone, and so forth) and repeat what she says. “I forgive him for what he did to me,” “I forgive myself for falling for it,” and “This has been a learning experience,” were all phrases she used.

I didn’t think it would really work at first. We only spent about 5 or 10 minutes on the phone. I felt almost the same as I did before, and didn’t think I’d improved much, until I noticed the lack of internal writhing going on. Watching a Jane Austen romance without crying is impossible to do when you’ve just had your heart ripped out and donated to Fear Factor, but I did it. I even went to sleep without thinking of a few more ways I’d like to see that Someone die. Today I didn’t shed a single tear, and socialized more than usual at the obligatory Christmas party I attended.

Life is good.

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