We arrived Friday, full of anxiety for me. My in-laws did well by addressing my needs immediately. As soon as we sat down, they said they wanted to talk about me and how I've been doing. I really appreciated that and we spent some time talking about how difficult it's all been for me especially recently.
I told them how my counselor has had me focus on our 3 miscarriage losses and how that grief has been hard. I told them how isolating infertility can be. I told them how I've had a hard time not being acknowledged. I shared with them that it can be hard for me to feel others' joys particularly when my pain isn't also being recognized.
I may have been more forceful than I needed to be, but I got most of it out. They explained how they have been praying for me but just haven't been sure what else to do. They also said how much they love me and support me. They gave me hugs and then prayed for me, which really helped. Their prayer included giving me strength for the weekend.
We then went to my sister-in-law's graduation from grad school. Surprisingly, her mother was extremely sensitive to me. I think K had talked with her mom about our struggles and my difficulties with my MIL, so this woman seemed to empathize with me and I so much appreciated that.
Baby Shower Day for SIL and BIL. I was actually pretty fine that day and was looking forward to sharing the joy of that day. I made sure to make myself busy and took my SIL's camera to take pictures all day including during present opening. That helped a lot.
The only hard part was feeling like once again, my pain wasn't really acknowledged. My father-in-law prayed before lunch and said "this day couldn't be any more perfect" and I thought 'yes, it can...'
I just think that B's family just tends to 'see the bright side of things' and doesn't realize that by 'ignoring' the not so bright side, it can make things worse for some...
The dreaded M's Day. I did not do well this day. This was a day I wanted to ignore altogether but knew that I couldn't with my in-laws... I had decided that I would skip church to go for a run but saw my in-laws before and managed to say "Happy Mother's Day" to my MIL and she, not thinking, replied back "you too, I mean, Happy Mother's Day to your mother..." It was very awkward and made me even more sad.
About 1/2 mile into my run, I broke down crying. I made myself keep running though which was good.
When I got back, I had a voicemail from my brother saying he was thinking of me today because he knew today would be hard. Wow. That meant so much.
But that made me break down again.
When I went to join B with everyone for lunch, I couldn't stop crying so he recommended that maybe I didn't go... which was good advice. I couldn't handle Mother's Day. I just really couldn't. And I didn't want to go. I just couldn't be social.
I went into a cute nearby town instead and the first shop I went into, the owner says "what brings you browsing today?" and I couldn't think of anything better to say other than the truth "honestly, I'm trying to ignore Mother's Day". Ha.
I had to join B's family after lunch before we actually left and that was hard because I just couldn't chit-chat and we had to sit there for 20-30 mins talking before we left. At least my MIL understood that the day was hard for me and said it was probably a good idea that I didn't go to church. She also said that she had hoped that the weekend hadn't been too bad for me.
So, take-aways from the trip:
- I'm glad we had our chance on Friday to let me share how I've really been feeling. B says he probably did his family a disservice by not really talking about it with them.
- I was pleasantly surprised by my sister-in-law's mother and her sensitivity.
- I'm glad my sister-in-law and I had a good conversation before I came and appreciate her.
- I wonder if I'll ever have a meaningful conversation with my BIL; he's just so private.
- I'm still not sure I'd do it all over again. It was extremely emotionally draining and I think in the future, if I'm really not feeling like I can be around others, especially family, I may need to just bow out of events. I've considered that for Thanksgivings and Christmases, etc. but thinking that I need to just be there and show up, but you know, I don't think I do.
- I really wish my family (his and mine) were somehow better able to support me. Maybe it's taking this long to finally be able to. Having my brother call on Sunday and my mom understand that I couldn't all her on Sunday really helped. And who knows, maybe this weekend will help with B's family's understanding...