The great thing about you guys is even when no one else seems to get it, you do. It was interesting yesterday when J told me she wanted to write because I had wanted to write that post and couldn’t. Each time I thought about it, I felt sick. The past few days I have been bursting into tears unexpectedly quite often, but the incident at my parents’ house was the most surprising. I’m usually the strong, stoic person in the family. I am the one that everyone can lean on, the one who lets comments and situations roll off her shoulders, so suddenly bursting into tears in front of everyone and running out of the room was pretty out of the norm for me. In fact, I was fairly embarrassed that I had such an outburst, but there was no controlling it. Being called a non-parent in a room full of parents was my tipping point.
I should let you know that my step-dad is not really a monster. He is a man who can say insensitive things because he doesn’t think about them, but had he known how much being called nonparents would hurt us, had he thought about it, he wouldn’t have said it. He apologized multiple times. He does love us, and he’s looking forward to us having kids; he simply is one of those people who blurts things out without thinking. When I was a teenager, this was a bone of contention between us because I was such a sensitive girl. He’s a complicated and often compassionate guy who helped me recover from the abuse of my mom’s second husband and the neglect of my own father (her first husband). (As you can see, I’ve always had bad luck with men; no wonder I find more comfort with women.) Anyway, my step-dad is not a bad man; he’s just a man, and many men, in my experience, lack the verbal hygiene that we women have. They don’t take the care that we women often do to spare people’s feelings. However, this is not any excuse for what he said. What he said hurt like hell. It sucked.
My mom, on the other hand, was so sweet to us. She came and hugged both of us. She cried and told us she hurt for us, that it wasn’t fair that we didn’t have a baby yet. She told us that we’re going to be amazing moms and that we will have our family. And then she said the funniest thing through her tears: “I would grow a baby on a tree for you if I could.” I’m not sure what that means, but it sure was sweet. My mom knows we’re hurting beyond belief; she knows we want more than anything to be moms, and I know she feels helpless amidst all of this because she can’t do anything about it (hence the baby tree comment).
I think when it comes down to it, none of my family members in that room on that day could really understand how we felt. Each one of them had their families with quite a bit of ease and swiftness. My mom got pregnant with me shortly after she was married when she was only 21; my step-dad and his first wife had their child pretty quickly after they got married; my sister got pregnant by “accident.” None of them knows that ache that comes with not having a child, and as a result, I think it’s inevitable that insensitive remarks will slip out of their mouths from time to time because they can’t even comprehend what this must be like for us. That doesn’t make it any easier when they do say these things, but it does help us prepare.
Today, I’m feeling a little better. My period started yesterday and with it came the release of the crazies (poor J). We went to see Mama Mia and ate a lot of popcorn and candy. The movie was fun, but Pierce Brosnan is perhaps the worst singer in the world. We came home and finished watching Season 2 of Big Love. Sometimes sitting in front of screens all day and eating unhealthy snacks is the best way to endure the period crazies.