October 30, 2007
Warm Halloween Memories
I just got done making Andes Mint Cookies for my dad. Andes are his favorite candy, so I thought he'd especially like these. He does so much for us and it's a small way to say thanks. They look pretty good, don't they?
Oh, and I must tell you I love, love, LOVE the show Reaper on the CW. It's on Tuesday at 9pm. It's funny and charming and well, I love it! Thank you.
Anyway, tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the last time I saw my in-laws. I didn't realize it at the time, but that night would turn out to be the nail in our dysfunctional family coffin. (Wow! I even managed a Halloween-themed joke there. I'm good.)
Last year at this time I was suffering from severe Post-Partum Depression (I was later diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as well) and I felt worn out mentally and physically. I felt mostly dead inside, like my life was over. I was ordered to see a therapist by my OBGYN to help with my depression. My therapist asked me to bring Katie to that night's session. It's unbelievable to me now how stressful it was just to get her ready and put her in her car seat. I wanted to cry. It was the first time I ever went anywhere with her by myself. My therapist revealed later that was exactly why she asked me to bring the baby out: so I would have to get over the hurdle while she was there to help me.
I finally came home around 7:30 pm starving, tired, my broken body aching to lie down. I was greeted by Dan informing me that his parents had called and insisted on coming up to see the baby. I remember crying and trying to explain how tired I was, but he didn't want to tell them no. So I left, running off to Target like I was fleeing to Canada during the war. I hated to leave without the baby, but I told him I just COULD NOT be home when they came.
I was walking around Target--truly alone for the first time in more than nine months--and I started panicking about being away from Katie. Then a flood of resentment washed over me and I got angry.
It dawned on me that I shouldn't have had to leave my own home. I should have been able to say no (my therapist even said so) just because. I can't honestly say my brain was working in the fine genius form it is today, but I decided to go home and ignore anyone at my house. (My house is conveniently laid out so that you could avoid the living room by going through the kitchen, through the dining room, and into a small hallway that leads to my bedroom. Perhaps an angry antisocial woman designed it.)
I remember giggling to myself when I considered my plan. I drove home actually excited because I had a plan. My clouded brain didn't even calculate what the outcome would be because at that moment I didn't care how anyone else felt. So I went home, hung my coat in the closet near the front door and ignored Dan's father when he made some I'll-try-to-say-something-to-you-even-though-you-suck comment about taking my parking space in our driveway. I walked into the kitchen and dropped off my bags. Halfway there! Then I breezed through the dining room and into my bedroom, shutting the door behind me. I suddenly realized that I could possibly be in for a boring evening if they chose to stay for any extended period of time.
"C'mon, let's go!" the father said loudly. Had he gotten the message?
"But we just got here!" the mother whined. She obviously missed it.
Dan's parents and brother got up and left, but not without his mother yelling back to me: "Gooooooodnight, Kelly!" I would be in prison right now if I had a suitable weapon. (A book does NOT make a suitable weapon. My brain wasn't all that foggy.)
Sure, it was wrong of me! But that was the only time in nine years I ever ignored them. They never knew about the Post Partum. I didn't want them to know. They were ashamed that I had to have a
C-Section so much so that they didn't tell anyone, so how could they handle anything? Our therapist now says it's a good thing because they wouldn't have understood and it would have made it worse. I should get an honorary psych degree.
I called Dan's mother a week later to apologize, but it wasn't accepted.
Halloween suddenly became my favorite holiday.