Getting through my healing

I wrote an open letter to my MIL last night on Medium. I happen to know she reads there because she liked one of my articles so I wanted to get the chance to finally tell the whole truth about what really happened to J.

I don’t know if there will be any fallout (in particular, if I’ll still be welcome to attend my nephew’s wedding in California next year.) I’m sure he and his fiancée would be fine with it but I’m not sure about my SIL. It depends on how she reacts to my article. Since the last one I wrote about J’s abuse said it made her feel exposed and that she wanted to run away or get drunk (and she’s a lifelong non-drinker) I think she knows that I’m telling the truth and it makes her feel very uncomfortable.

She’s in a very difficult situation and I know it. I genuinely feel badly for her. Because if she really acknowledges the truth about how horribly J was abused, she’s going to have no choice but to do something about her mother. She’s been trying to play along to keep the peace with her and I think I’m forcing her hand. Not intentionally of course (because that would be manipulative) but because she does have a very strong conscience and she knows that what happened to him wasn’t remotely acceptable.

I decided that I had to write it anyway, consequences be damned. And I have no idea what’s going to happen next.

But I instantly felt better and made major progress in my healing process, so I can tell that keeping all that bottled up inside was actually very significantly interfering with my ability to heal.

Last night, I had my first dream since J died that he was in to a significant degree. He was showing up whenever and wherever I felt unsafe and trying to protect me. (He used to do such things in real life too, especially in the last years of his life when he became Mr. Wonderful.)

When I woke up, I still had a glow hangover in which I still felt safe and warm and loved and protected. But as soon as it wore off, I realized it wasn’t real and I burst into tears. I used to have that and now it’s gone. I’m actually really feeling now how much I’ve lost, which is absolutely devastating.

I don’t usually cry easily at all, especially about what I’ve been through with his death. But overall it was a very good and necessary thing in terms of my healing. I think that I have a lot more crying to do. That’s probably going to be a lot of what I do in Year 2 of widowhood, which is coming up soon.

I’ve gotten lots of compliments at Medium about my positivity and exceptional self-awareness and how good I would be as a therapist. I know I have to do it and I hope I’m ready by next fall. I just have to avoid giving into my fears, which are mostly about money. My money is going way too quickly, mostly because of my rent increase and very high utilities.

On a completely unrelated note, I’m going to see Cat tomorrow for the first time in two weeks. It should be a lot of fun.

I also kinda suspect that she might be falling in love with me despite her intentions not to but I doubt she’d admit it. She’s so guarded with her emotions. But unlike J, she’s in therapy and working on herself. (She always tells me to do daily affirmations and so does my mom. LOL) She messaged me several times while she was at an event where she was giving a presentation for her class tonight. Her group actually won the whole event, which had a top prize of $500 dollars. I wasn’t surprised that they won but I was very proud of her. She’s very good at what she does.

She only called me and her son with the good news. I think that probably says something (but I could be wrong.) She also said that she’s been looking forward to seeing me all week. She’s taking me out to dinner and a show.

She’s getting me a great gift for Christmas: a trip to go with her to a spa where you get a massage and a full body scrub and just total pampering. It’s hella expensive and I could never afford to go on my own. But she wants to share that experience with me. She feels like I deserve it.

In return, because she knows about how dire my money situation is now, all she wants from me is to make her some soap, which I’ll gladly do.

It’s funny because she is not at all who I expected to have this kind of a relationship with but it’s exactly what I need. I think it quite literally has kept me alive this year, when I didn’t know if I would make it otherwise.

She’s “good people” and I’m so grateful to know her. We even talk on the phone almost every day now, which is a huge deal because I normally avoid my phone completely. I usually despise talking on the phone. But not to her for some reason.

I’m so incredibly grateful for her. I think J sent her to me and approves and that’s amazing.

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