I haven't written much lately because I'm in a really bad place emotionally right now, worse than I've been in a long, long time. Why? Well, Christmas pretty much destroyed me this year. It wasn't all the kids around or thinking about all the Christmases during which we've said maybe next year. What wrecked me is the conversation DH and I had on Christmas night. What wrecked me is that DH has decided that he's not sure he's ready to be a dad and he wants to slow things down.
Here are his reasons:
His family: DH has some major family issues. He has no contact with his biological father, his mother, stepfather, or his half-sister. Their treatment of him has been horrible for many years and on many levels, so his decision to have no contact is completely justified. However, though he would never admit it, I think DH feels like there's something wrong with him to have had people close to him treat him so badly. How does this affect his thinking about parenthood? I believe it makes DH feel that he's not good enough to be a parent, worthy enough to be a parent. He's also worried that he's going to screw up like his parents did.
Us: We've been arguing quite a bit lately. I think it's because of the stress of the holidays. He's feeling the lack of family. I'm feeling the lack of a child. DH has always been supportive, but his attitude is that we can't dwell on what we don't have. He doesn't get the whole IF grief thing. He thinks I'm too negative. He asked, "Do we want to have a child because we love each other or because everyone else has one?" Of course, I want to have a child because I love him and want to parent with him, but the fact that everyone else has a child is painful to me. And the holidays, with the daily onslaught of cute kid photo Christmas cards, shopping for other people's kids, and fun-filled kid-centered events, make it all the more painful. We've been picking at each other over little things. In less stressful times, we do argue from time to time, mostly about housework, but I think we're pretty typical. However, DH is concerned that we're going to become like his parents and that our child will grow up like he did with constant arguing. I think once the holidays pass, things will get back to normal, which isn't perfect but is good.
Me: Apparently, DH is worried that he's going to get squeezed out once we have a child. He thinks he won't have any say in how our child is raised and that he'll just be there to pay the bills. This one really pisses me off to be honest. At the same time that DH says he's worried about this, he's encouraging me to read books like The Connected Child and Parenting the Hurt Child and to "just tell him about it," rather than actually reading them himself. The thing is that I've always thought that DH will be very involved dad. I feel like he is a great complement to me. I'm a worrier. He's pretty easygoing. I've watched him interact with my nieces and he's such a natural. I don't know what to think about his view that I'm going to take over. I'm trying to tell myself that is has more to do with his own insecurities than with a negative image of me.
DH didn't say that we should stop the adoption process entirely. He said that he wants to talk to a counselor while the process is going on, before we get a placement. He definitely doesn't want to rush things (no efficient follow-up calls, no harassing our social worker to finish the homestudy, no searching through photolistings). He has followed through and does have an appointment with a counselor this week.
As you can imagine, what I heard during this conversation is that the adoption isn't going to happen. I heard that voice again, the one that's been quiet lately, the one that says "nothing ever works out for you, how could you think it was actually going to happen this time, you should have known better than to actually believe you'd have a happy ending." I know it's an overreaction, but nevertheless it's what I feel. Recently, I was starting to view the future with excitement. I was going to work on our kid room this week while I was on vacation. My friends, family, and coworkers have been enthusiastically asking questions about our timeline. I was actually feeling expectant. Imagine that, me--expectant. Now I don't know what to think, what to feel. All I know is that I'm hurting. . .a lot. And it sucks.