I got bored of life-blogging my mental health crisis so I had to step away for a while. I think I'm starting to feel a little better. Not great, not happy, but not depressed anymore. Still anxious, which validates the psychiatrist's statement that low doses of SSRI are great for depression but don't touch the anxiety very well. The tr@zadone does help me sleep a little better, without too much of a hang-over effect. I feel groggy, yes, but you know what else makes me feel groggy? Yup, not sleeping.
My MIL is here, its day 10/22. Its going OK. Some routine annoyances, generally related to her over-indulging the kids with treats and screen time. But I think we've hit some kind of breakthrough in our relationship, which is freaking me out a bit and will take a while to process.
See, I've hated her for years. Sincerely hated her. And for good reason---she's done some awful shit in the past. I've completely demonized her to the point where even thinking about her was causing me major anxiety, not to mention gearing up for her visits and enduring them. It was always an antagonistic relationship, and while I was civil, I was never warm and I never tried to have an actual relationship with her.
Right before she came this time, G told me she'd been having some issues with panic attacks, mostly due to financial worries (no details, but we are going to need to help her out). She is considering selling the house, is looking aggressively for jobs (she's been out of work for a couple of years, but has been steadily job-hunting, its just hard for a 60+-year old to find a job), and is also the primary care-giver for her mother, who has moderate dementia. The day she came, I was sitting with her in the living room and she opened up to me about all this.
Maybe it was because I feeling so fragile myself (this was still during the SSRI-initiation horror phase) but I really felt for her. I've always "felt bad" for her---I felt pity on this poor, pathetic, hateful old lady who seemed like she would never be happy. This time, though, I actually felt empathy and compassion. I used to think "well, she should have planned better, she should've saved more when she was working, its her own fault she is terrible with money and now WE have to deal with it?" But I'm realizing that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that she "should've" done this and "could've" done that. She did what she did and she did what she could; it wasn't like she had a high-paying professional career, she got whatever admin type jobs she could with her high school degree, and she saved what she could and then spent down the savings when she couldn't find work because the bills keep coming.
I don't even know who I am anymore! She annoys me on a daily basis, don't get me wrong; we are very different and she's got some f-ed up ways of thinking about things and the superstition and religion drives me batty. But...I don't hate her. I've been helping her cook, and going on outings with her on the weekend with the kids and talking to her. I'm not like "opening up" to her or anything, I am VERY private, even with my family (which is one reason I have this space, because if I don't get it out I will burst!) But we talk a bit about the kids, and about cooking and gardening and Hillary Clinton (she's a fan).
I'm sure there is still a lot of conflict in our future, I don't see that every going away, but its sort of weirdly nice to not have to expend my energy on hating her. I hope it lasts.