I've been going through a period of having absolutely nothing to say to the world. I have posted nothing on any of my three blogs, nothing on Facebook. I haven't returned calls or emails. I can't even stand to make small talk on the playground (an activity that is required ALL THE FUCKING TIME now that Mia is in kindergarten). I've been grumpy and sad and uninspired. I think my great curse in life is this expectation that it's supposed to be fun. Life is about survival, and fun happens occasionally, but I am greedy and want it all the time. I end up resenting everything. What is the point of existence if all I get to do is work and dishes and childcare? What is the point of it all?
I think two big factors are contributing to my grumpiness.
The first is so boring that I hate to even mention it. But my back hurts. A lot. All the time. It hurts to bend over and to lift things and to type and to stand and to do chores and to do every single thing that Mia requires of me. I'm realizing that I am a person with chronic back pain, which I occasionally beat back with physical therapy, only to have it return in a different form. This makes me sad. I don't want pain to be a part of my everyday life.
The second is also completely out of my control. My elderly mother-in-law has gone into a downward spiral, and my husband is dealing with it on his own. We've been through a hospital stay, a nursing home stay, a legal guardianship proceeding, and a move to the "memory care" unit of an assisted living facility. Still ahead is clearing out her apartment. She has taken up a lot of his time, and virtually all of his emotional energy during the past two months. I have always had an extremely troubled relationship with my mother-in-law, which makes it very difficult for me to be a help to Mr. SOC now. He is in an absolutely wrenching situation, watching his mother descend suddenly into dementia and being responsible for every aspect of her life, having to make incredibly difficult decisions without being sure what's best, balancing hope for her recovery against practical realities. I should feel only empathy and compassion for him. Instead, I find myself resenting every moment that her care is stealing from our marriage and our family — and despairing at the thought of countless more months or years of caring for her stretched out ahead of us.
It's not fair, I shout to the heavens. No one answers.