I’ve been thinking about writing this post since I saw this comment of ThanksgivingMom’s early this month, but Cynthia’s comment on my post yesterday has pushed me to actually do it. So here goes: I don’t think I love Cricket with full-blown mom love. I take it for granted that I don’t love him as much as his adoptive moms do, and I’m sure that I’ll love futurekid more than Cricket. I think I *did* love Cricket with that deep and authentic mother love for a couple of months, but it didn’t seem like I could do that and retain my sanity, so I stopped. I think it was the right decision at the time—I was completely melting down, and since I couldn’t get the kid back, I made the other survivable change—but there are some things that bother me about it, and I am going to make a list.
It sets me apart from other birth and first parents whom I like. ThanksgivingMom said (in that comment I linked) “That feeling (that we ALL have as Moms) that we love our kid more than anyone else – because it’s hard to fathom it being POSSIBLE to love more than we do.” I felt guilty reading that, because that’s not my experience—and while I don’t mind being unique, feeling less love isn’t the way I’d choose to stand out.
It’s going to impact Cricket. How could it not? I take for granted that he won’t love me like a mother, which will somehow make it all okay, but my therapist keeps poking that assumption and making me worry. I understand that my current level of love (now I sound like a robot =/) could change—if he loved me tons, I could then begin to love him the way I’m supposed to—but on some level I don’t want to, because then it’s back to the old problem of “My child is gone from me and my heart is broken.” Not that loving him less makes him less gone.
I’ve only performed this brain maneuver once before, and it was to forget some really bad things; remembering them was making it hard for me to be stable, so I stopped. I really don’t want the birth of my son and the love that I felt for him then to be in that category.
My therapist doesn’t believe me. Oh, she hasn’t outright called me a liar, but if you’ve had any therapy, well—you know that face they make, the one that says “You can of course lie to me, and even to yourself, but deep down inside blah blah blah.” It’s not quite smug. So if what I’m saying is actually unbelievable to her, that suggests to me that it’s pretty bad.
It’s already impacting Cricket. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m really reserved with him on visits; Mr. Book gets down on the floor and plays with him, and I sit in a chair and watch. That emotional holding back leads me to physically hold back—although I’m hoping that I can remain self-aware enough to force myself past this at the next visit. Will definitely post the results of this experiment.