My mother in law sent me an email on Friday asking how Thursday went and how I was doing. I replied to her email with as much honesty as I could, without revealing too much. I told her I was sad and it was hard, but I got through it. Her reply to that email was a few questions. She wanted to know why I'm so sad and was wondering if I still feel my mom around. I didn't reply to her email until today. I was trying to find a way to reply without her thinking I was crazy and calling up Husband and telling him to take the children and run. Once I realized there was no way around it, I came clean with her. I told her everything that's been going on for the past 3 years.
Not many people know exactly what I've been going through. That's my fault. I didn't let anyone in. I pretended I was fine, especially around others, so I wouldn't have to deal with it. The time of pretending is coming to a close. I took the first step today and let someone in.
I told her I am finally feeling the loss. I told her the ugly parts of the past 3 years. I told her the real reason we left their house Christmas morning last year. It wasn't because it had snowed a few inches and we were worried about the roads. It wasn't because the children were bored and waited to go home. It was because, the night before Husband and I went on a walk and I cried the whole time because I was so sad. It was because I was fighting to stay present that morning while everyone opened up their gifts. It was because it was not easy to put a smile on my face as we sat down to eat because all I really wanted to do was curl into a ball and cry in a dark room somewhere. I also, told her that the 2 weeks after that I didn't do much but eat cookies and lay in bed or sit on the couch. I also, told her that Husband and I almost didn't make it. Not because of the depression, but because he was hurt by my hiding things from him and I was hurt because my mom is dead.
She was worried about the children. She was worried that I'm carrying this around with me and it's affecting them. I assured her that; neither of the children know what is going on. They, of course know I get sad. Especially on certain days, but they don't know the extent of the sadness. The 2 week period, I was lucky enough to have a lot of support and the children were kept busy. Of course, Nae isn't dumb. She knew what was going on to an extent, but generally I do my best to keep them out of the loop, so to speak. I'm learning to slowly let them in, as well. They deserve to know why I'm sad. Especially Nae. She wants to remember my mom just as much as I do.
I was brutally honest with her. I told her about the panic attacks I've had. I told her how the pain hurts my heart, physically. I just told her everything. It wasn't a pretty story, but it had to be done. Part of me wishes I hadn't done it. Not because I feel like she doesn't understand, but because it's so personal. I feel so raw, at times and to allow others to see that part of me also, is scary.
She took it well and I'm happy to report that she didn't call anyone and I'm not locked in a padded room *yet*. She actually understands what I'm going through, her father passed away 2 weeks before my mom did and she hasn't had much time to grieve. She takes care of her mother and that is a time consuming job for her.
As of right now, I'm glad I did it. It's a small step, but it's a step none the less. Hopefully with this revelation, will come some understanding of why we haven't left the house much the past 3 years. It might also explain why I've been so "sick" lately. I'm just hoping that when we do see her again, she won't treat me in a way that will make me want to kick my own ass for doing this. I can't see myself having a cup of coffee and re-hashing all of this with her, but one never knows.
I'm learning as I go. I'm taking the steps that feel right as they come. I know that if I take a misstep, someone will be there to catch me. Maybe one day, that someone will be me.