Sometimes the confusion and pain make it difficult to describe an interaction and the resulting emotional turbulence.
It all started with my Dad, who gave me his Unsolicited Opinion right outta the blue, in the middle of a non-related discussion.
Dad: I think raising children is best left for young people.
Jill: Are you referring to our adoption? Tons of people my age have kids. It's done all of the time.
Dad: Not really.
Jill: Yes, really.
Dad: Having children is a wonderful thing, but it requires a lot of hard work for a very long time. You may not be up to it.
Jill: Dad, this is part of the reason why we moved here. So I wouldn't have to work and we could adopt. I already knew that I couldn't and wouldn't work full time plus have kids.
Dad: I think you should hold off.
Silly me. I let it go at that.
What I didn't say to him was, "You know, people who can't hold a frickin' job for more than a year shouldn't have kids either. People who abandon their children for 6 months with no explanation have no right to be parents. People who fight with their spouses all of the time, threaten to kill them and never sleep in the same room should never, ever have kids. People who are willing to tell their child that they never believed that they were the biological parent and would they please take a DNA test are too narcissistic to ever have kids."
Instead, I talked to my sister about it, because I was highly offended that my father had the nerve to sit in judgment of my ability to parent after all that he had done.
Jill: I can't believe he said all of that. I didn't ask him for his opinion, and I have no idea where he got the idea that I should hear his thoughts.
Denise: He probably got it from me. I've had severe reservations about you having kids. You're better now, but you would have been an awful mother. You should never have kids.
Jill: You're telling me that compared to all of the people in this world who abuse their kids, abuse drugs and alcohol and live in belligerent environments...you're telling me that I wouldn't be a better parent than that?
Denise: I don't think that you should have children, I think that you'd be an awful, awful parent.
Jill: You know, I called to talk to you about how Dad's comments deeply hurt and offended me, and now what you're saying is even worse.
Denise: I know. But I'm just giving you my opinion.
Jill: I didn't ask for it and frankly, I would never say these things to you or anybody else.
We hung up the phone and I dragged my butt around the house for another hour until I finally gave up and went to bed. Throughout my entire life, my family has criticized every plan that I have intended to tackle. I have never, ever been supported in anything that I have done. Even before she passed away, my mother constantly said, "Why do you want to go to Russia? Bleh. Can't you just have your own baby?"
Sigh. "No mom, we can't. We've tried. We're going to Russia."
Now this. I suppose my sister is still reacting to something that happened when I was down south helping clean up my parent's house. I was walking outside and closing the door when I heard my nephew scream loudly. I immediately stopped and ran inside. He had placed his fingers into the open slot between the door frame and the open door, and they were being squeezed as I closed the door. He was crying and in pain and I started crying too, because I had hurt him, albeit unknowingly. My sister told me at the time that I was incapable of having children if I got upset about squishing fingers in a doorway.
It hurts me when I hurt things...so this apparently makes me incapable of being a good mother.
I talked with Husband about all of this before I went to bed. I asked him if his family ever gave him this kind of input on any aspect of his life.
Husband: No, they pretty much support me in anything that I want to do.
Jill: Did your parents ever have words with your brother, who's an alcoholic and meth addict with 3 kids?
Husband: No, they know that he's an adult and he makes his own decisions.
Husband: Listen honey. Your family has never supported you in anything. I've seen it the whole time we've been married. You're the Prove Them Wrong Girl. They have extremely low expectations of what you can do, but you have proven them wrong in everything that you have taken on. You're going to be an awesome mom, and I can't wait to have kids with you.
Jill: But I'm tired of this. I'm tired of them thinking that they can say anything to me and that I'll just take it. I'm tired of them telling me all that I can't do. I'm tired being the Prove Them Wrong Girl. This is just one more really hurtful thing inflicted on me by them, and I'm sick and tired of being the target. I would never, ever say these things to anyone. And yet they feel that they can say this stuff to me all.of.the.time. No matter what I do, no matter how well I do anything, I'm still Incapable. I'm sick of this family.
Husband: Don't let them get to you. I'm with you all of the way. We'll do this together and it's going to be great.
So right now, despite having had 11 hours of sleep last night, I'm fatigued and weary. Forty-two fucking years of this crap. From a bunch of people who weren't all that successful in their own lives.
Thank you, God for my husband.