Tuesday, April 07, 2009
And life goes on.
Jack, my first husband, died 7 years ago April 20. This spring has been difficult as the weather is so reminiscent of the spring he was in chemotherapy. And, probably also because I am back in Michigan.
I feel I have stagnated in processing grief and I think I know why, I just don't know how to proceed. I will explain and would love to have insight from others, please!
Jack and I were high school sweethearts. We married right after I graduated from practical nursing school. When we had been married for five years, we had our first child, Sam. An incredible human being. A few weeks after his birth, my in-laws separated and eventually divorced. Through this time, my MIL leaned on Jack, and his sisters, for emotional support. As it should be. I had no problem with that at all. As time went on, she relied on Jack increasingly, often as one would a significant other. When we'd been married 11 years, we had another son, Ben who is a blend of our bests. I wasn't thrilled with Mary emotionally dependant on Jack but I wasn't going to make it an issue. When it did become an issue with me was when she would begin making comments to me about something Jack had said to her or something that was happening within our family. As if she were a third person in the marriage. Uh-huh. I tried to explain this to Jack, he said the problem was between me and his mom, he wasn't getting into that, I'd have to resolve it. I tried. Boy, I tried. The resentment got so bad, there was a period of time I could not be around her. She just didn't get it and kept intruding, in every way possible. I have tons of examples, but keeping points isn't the issue.
My issue is: I'm still so very angry. At both of them. Hindsight tells me what a load of horsecrap Jack gave me on resolving the issue. For whatever reason, he was unable to set boundaries with his mother. I suffered for it. I feel betrayed by it, by all this took from our marriage and my relationship with Jack as well as the rest of the family. It continues to take from me, once again I am unable to be in the same room with her. I miss my family! She is now 83 and her memory isn't what it once was. She has to take notes, sometimes, to get through a conversational phone call.
How do I get past this? On the one hand, I think about telling her how I feel. But, I'm not sure that is the best thing to do. Do I continue just trying to tough it out? This year, I am more angry than I have been previously. (I think that is because I just missed a baby shower for a niece because I flat out couldn't go - emotionally)
Sunday April 12, 2009~~~~~~~~CHAPTER TWO~~~~~~~~Easter 8:30 a.m.
Here is what I know:
The last several years, I thought I had been able to move beyond all of this. I honestly thought I had forgiven Mary for all of the hurt, not forgotten, but forgiven. I was wrong.
Prior to this post, I had written two letters to Mary and one to Jack. Within a few days I tore them al up as the emotions evolve and what was written was no longer current. In no way does this situation consume me or own me. The emotion that is the constant throughout all of it, and there are many, is the anger. I now think when I posted this request for insight, I was actually asking for 'permission' to take this face to face with Mary. I believe this remains on my mind for a couple reasons; the first being I thought I had resolved this issue by writing, praying and sharing the situation with others. And it came back to haunt me. The only thing I hadn't done is talk to Mary about it. The second reason is: why am I offering her more protection than I offer myself? I haven't talked to her about this because I don't want to hurt her. I don't want to hurt her, but not at my own expense. I am going to write a letter to Jack and to Mary, give it a day or two and make a decision. I will post again on this.