I am angry today. And the thing is I’m not sure if I have a right to be or if I’m just channeling my stress into this one outlet. I hate feeling angry because I inevitably always feel like I have to apologize for my anger. And a lot of times I genuinely do. I have a really bad habit of lashing out at the wrong people when I’m hurting. I need to parse out what I should actually be sorry for (being a jerk to people who don’t deserve it) and what I need to stop apologizing for (having a mental illness, not being perfect). My husband has really been helping me out with that. No, he’s not perfect; we get angry with each other, say unfair things. But after we’ve had time to cool down, we compromise, we work together. We really do make a great team. It’s hard to imagine with what we’ve gone thru with my PPD that it could get any worse. Well I mean things could always get worse but this really cemented that we’re in this together for the long haul.
So I get a text message from one of my SILs. This isn’t the crazy cross fitter SIL or the supermom SIL, this SIL is a SAHM with a 7 yo and a 3 yo. We used to be really close with her and my BIL. The BIL was best man for my husband and she was a bridesmaid. Over the years we drifted apart. A lot of it had to do with fact that they are 10 years older than us, started their family, and were just in different life phases at the time. They became very active in their church, started doing things almost exclusively with “church people”, and then it seemed like we only ever heard from them when they needed to borrow money from us. I became pretty resentful but have mostly kept it to myself. After we had the peep I kind of expected to hear from them more often. After all, we were now a part of their special club. But no. Occasionally she’d text my husband to tell him we just have to get together some time, throw out some dates that work, and then back out last minute. I get it, we aren’t a priority.
Well I get this text out of the blue from her, saying she’d been thinking about me a lot lately, inviting me to go out and get coffee, and “talk with another woman.” So I’m pretty sure supermom SIL told her about my PPD. I don’t know why I’m upset. I never asked her to keep this in confidence. I guess I felt comfortable sharing with her because she told me has gone through it. As far as I know Christian SIL (CSIL) has always been the type to say things like “I’m so glad I got to be a SAHM with my second kid. I just felt like I was missing out so much going to work every day.” Look I only judge because she quit her job with insurance after the 2nd was born, they needed to borrow money pretty often when her husband’s sales job was in a slow spot (they don’t budget), and then had the nerve to bitch about people wanting handouts from the government. I don’t do hypocrisy. I just don’t. It’s just been easier to become acquaintances who see each other a few times a year at family gatherings. I just think your politics say so much about who you are as a person and maybe that’s wrong of me. But this is the same BIL who sat me down when I was a teenager to ask me if I really understood what abortion was because I had a pro-choice bumper sticker on my car. I find that condensation infuriating. Look buddy, sure you’ve got some years on me, but I’m loads smarter than you give women credit for. The same guy who had the nerve to talk about how sad it was that young gays were committing suicide when he supports bigots that say hateful things about gays. Of course children are going to internalize that. So fuck off you are only concerned with playing the part of the “good Christian man”.
My husband shared with me that he thinks she’s going to try to convince me to join their church. She told him there are lots of young couples I could get advice/support from. “God has worked miracles in my life. He could for you.” I hate this shit. I grew up Christian, I’ve dealt with feeling like a black sheep, outcast because I support gay rights and am pro-choice and think you don’t need organized religion to be “saved”. They are part of a small church that we’ve gone to several times for things related to their kids. I’ve hung out with the ladies at my CSIL’s baby shower. I felt under a microscope, especially when the first questions are if I have a church and if I’m looking for one. Nope and no.
I haven’t responded to her yet. I don’t know what to say. No I don’t want to get coffee with you because I really don’t think you have anything to offer me in the way of advice or support? I mean I get that, that’s pretty rude of me but I also can’t help feeling like she is only reaching out because it was pointed out to her that I was struggling and now she needs to soothe her guilty conscious for not seeing if I was doing okay myself earlier. But I don’t know if that’s entirely fair. I likely wouldn’t have been honest with her if she straight out asked. But I’d like to think I would have enjoyed getting together with her and the kids when I was off on maternity leave.
tl;dr – I’m irritated and I don’t know if I have the right to be. But I’m sick of minimizing my feelings in order to keep the peace.