A Pattern of Tiny Squirrels

Okay. It’s taken me awhile to work out how exactly to say this, but I think there’s an important ingredient in the adoption that I haven’t talked about: Ruth very much needs to control her environment. I have tendencies of the same sort, but hers are much more comprehensive than mine; she wants consensus, and (unconsciously, I think) she wants the consensus to be her idea. So for example, if the four of us want to go out to dinner, it is important to her not only that we go to the place she prefers but that we all agree that we this is the best decision for the group. I think she’s coming from a not-bad place in this; she thinks that her preferences are the best preferences, and she wants us all to want the same things together. So while she and Nora like some different music, it is important to Ruth that they both only listen to music that they both like. I have seen Nora influence the consensus by suggesting something, having that suggestion rejected, and then waiting until Ruth comes back to that suggestion some time later. Of course, in an adoption relationship, she effectively has complete control of the situation.

I think I have an especially hard time dealing with this quality both because I have my own desire to control my environment, if a more moderated one, and because I haven’t felt this helpless in a relationship since I was a little kid with an abusive mom. This is the only relationship since my childhood that I’ve felt like I absolutely couldn’t walk away from, no matter what happens. Stranger still, this time I’m tied to someone who doesn’t love me. Of course, she is also not abusive or unstable, and that is valuable. But I feel so helpless, and knowing that I can control my own actions doesn’t feel like a very good consolation prize. I said to my husband over the weekend that “I used to be so indignant about the birthparents who walk away after a few years.  Judgmental and naïve turns out to be a lousy combination.”

That conversation with my mom in which she told me that I need to have a baby was actually overall a good conversation; she told me that she thinks I’ll be a good mom, and she told me that she’s sorry that Mr. Book and I are in this situation. I think she might think that I’m already pregnant and hiding it—it’s still possible that I’m pregnant, I guess, but it’s unlikely. I can’t quite put the possibility out of my mind: every surge of nausea, I’m unsure of whether to attribute it to the drugs or the unlikely theoretical pregnancy; if I crave a food, I wonder whether I’m just in the mood for jelly beans or whether it’s the UTP; I’ve been so tired, which could be depression, stress…or the UTP. I’m assuming that I’m not pregnant, but I won’t drink coffee or alcohol. =/ For whatever reason, it’s more intense this months than some others. At least I’ve managed to avoid tormenting Mr. Book with it. Since we’re planning to start trying in September, I’ll probably stop taking the pill over the summer. I know it can take up to a year to stop affecting your fertility. I guess I’m rambling now. I’ve got babies and timing on my mind, I guess; I guess that’s true almost all the time. Oh, and the last bit of Christmas-purchased baby stuff is coming today. I got a squirrel blanket. =)

I did get an email from Ruth over the weekend; she tells me that Cricket has started walking (!!), but didn’t mention a visit or pictures. I think she’s punishing me for pushing that boundary—not consciously, maybe, but nevertheless. I’m not sure what to do about that aside from wait it out.

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3 thoughts on “A Pattern of Tiny Squirrels

  1. That does sound really frustrating. I am also an environmental controller so I understand the impulse and also how important that control can be. Perhaps raising a child will help her to lighten up;I know that it had that effect on me. I was pretty rigorous about controlling my environment before I had kids. By necessity, with 4 kids, I have to let a lot of it go.

    Being naive and judgmental isn’t the best combo, but I’m sure it’s one we’ve all experienced. Some things just do touch our judging nerves, that are hard to not be naive about until we are in them.

  2. We had a visit with Caroline, Saskia’s first/birth/mom over the weekend. We’ve had a bunch & we realized again that while it’s nice when she brings her family members, she is more relaxed without them & we can focus on her better. This coming weekend, we’re having her dad/stepmom/half brother & nephew.

    Each visit, I realize again that we’re all in relatively uncharted territory & that the thing most on our sides is time.

    So little template, so much emotion, so much gratitude, just so much import on relationships that would not be–or be so intensely entwined–save for a very small person. With luck, fate morphs into kismet. And we feel ourselves, improbably perhaps, family.

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