Wow. Thanks for all the comments on my last post. I didn’t deserve all those but I appreciated them. I am much obliged.
So, on to my favorite subject. It’s actually funny that I’ve been writing about this almost exclusively since I “came back” since I’ve hardly thought about it at all for the past two weeks. Maybe this place does make me think about this stuff more. Or maybe it just makes me take my random scattered thoughts and try to make sense of them, or at least try to tackle them in a thoughtful way. Who knows? Certainly not me.
Anyway, so I noticed something the other day, when I was thinking about family building, which is rather frequently (surprise, surprise!). When it’s just me, alone with my thoughts, I feel not-so-bad about the whole family building situation. I mean, I want another child very much, and there is a part of me that feels angry and frustrated that it’s not happening how I want it to, but deep down I do believe that things will work out, whether that looks like having another biological child, or adopting a child or ending up with only one. There is definitely a way that I want it to go, but I do feel pretty confident that in the end I’ll be okay, even if I can’t see how that is possible right now.
I will admit, this is a very different place than I was when I was trying for my first child. Back then, I didn’t think there was anyway to experience happiness in my life without achieving the final result I so desperately sought. I don’t know if it’s because I got that thing I so desperately wanted, or that I learned a lot about myself on the journey to that thing, or maybe a combination of both sprinkled with a few bits of this, that and the other, but I do believe now, that in the end, I will find a way to accept and even celebrate the path my life has in store.
That is how I feel when I’m alone in my car or on a walk or in the shower or wherever I might be thinking these solitary thoughts.
But then what happens is I see a picture on Facebook of our friends’ son gazing adoringly at his newborn brother, or I see another friend on gchat who I know is due with her second next month or I see a tweet about how great breastfeeding is going this time around or I read a blog post about how in 30 weeks a new breastfeeding relationship will begin or I freeze when my friends call, wondering if they’re about to break the news that their second child on the way, or I avoid my cousins’ phone call because I can’t remember how far along she is but she must be in the 2nd trimester by now and I get all freaked out and panicky and angry and despondent, all at once. There is something about seeing other people having what I want that sends me into a tailspin, and I can’t figure out what it is.
It’s not jealousy, or at least it’s not just that. I’m sure jealously plays a role, but this feeling is so visceral, it literally socks me in the chest, taking the breath out of me. And I’m very happy for all these people and their new additions, but there is something about knowing that they already have, or are going to have, what I am trying so hard to get, that immediately makes me lose sight of that peace I feel when I’m alone, when I’m not considering their stories, but just my own.
What is it about the comparison that leaves me reeling? I can’t figure it out. Of course I recognize the twinges of “it’s not fair” and “why them and not me?” and “what am I doing wrong?” and “it must be nice” and “seriously, what the fuck is wrong with us?” and “I wish I could have that so bad” but honestly, none of those feelings on their own (or even wailing together in a despondent pity symphony), can explain just how upset I feel. Especially when the emotions I experience when I’m not comparing my life to theirs feel relatively accepting, even serene.
I honestly don’t know what else to say about this. I was hoping it would hit me while I was typing but it’s not. I’m at as much of a loss now as I was when I started this post. If anyone has any ideas I’d love to hear them. I just want to get this feeling under control so I don’t have to hide from all the people in my life who are having second babies, because there are A LOT of them, and if I push them all away there won’t be anyone left.
So my lovely blog readers, I’m splayed out on the couch. Head-doctor me. (And no, there won’t be a check in the mail.)