I prefer my funny posts, the ones peppered with humorous statements, where I imagine all twelve of you chuckling audibly whilst silently thinking, “Michelle is really witty and oh so hysterical.” Yes, I much prefer those over these. These where I imagine you think, “I’ve mentally committed myself to reading this blog and keeping up with Michelle’s awful wedding ideas so I feel as though it would be cheating if I didn’t read to the end but I really don’t want to keep reading. I haven’t laughed once.” That’s how it happens, isn’t it?
I just had a momentary lapse where I thought I was at a cute new coffee shop made to feel just like one’s own living room; inviting and comfortable and littered with dog hair. (I’ve always been pretty good at grammar and yet the semi colon has continuously alluded me. Did I use that one correctly?) Anyways, I thought about ordering an iced coffee and quickly remembered Max is the only one in the house and Max doesn’t have thumbs. So I would have to prepare said coffee myself. And really, that just sounds like a lot of work.
I caved. I added humor. You’re welcome. Diving right in here…so there’s this feeling I’ve had for a while that I don’t think I’ve done a great job of explaining. I’m not sure why this is important to me. It’s probably the depression talking. Or the need for people to ask me how I’m doing. Either way, I find it necessary that the people who are interested in this wedding and everything surrounding it, understand why I’m such a whiny bitch all the time. I haven’t written in a month so you don’t really get to experience it but I promise it’s mostly true. “Mostly” because I don’t actually think I’m a bitch. I just think I have more “moments” than the average human. Also I went home for memorial day weekend, so as you can probably imagine, that stirred up some unwanted feelings.
My life sort of centers around wedding planning right now. This is a sentiment that we as a society seem to readily understand and accept. I know because I haven’t had a conversation since the engagement that doesn’t somehow involve the big day. It sounds like I’m complaining but I promise I’m not. Hell, im writing a blog. I clearly love talking about it. So it’s a bit jarring when I spend a weekend with a room full of people I haven’t seen in almost 6 months and not a single person asks about the wedding. Or even my fiancée for that matter. I’m not dying to talk about it with them, I’m just dying for them to care enough to ask questions. God that sounds dramatic. But entirely true. Feign interest, even that would suffice! I recognize that I could lead the conversation in a direction I prefer, in fact that was my goal this weekend, to show off my ring that no one has bothered to ask about. But I chickened out. Ultimately, I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or start any fights. Because any of that could be used against me come October. The situation is already not in my favor though. My Grandad, who celebrated his 90th birthday this past weekend, was recently diagnosed with cancer. And often, when you’re 90 and you have such an aggressive disease, there’s not much you can do. So now my mother takes care of him when she’s not at work, in addition to my brother, his children, and one of my uncles. (There’s a whole lot I can talk about there but that’s a story for another day. Or year.) So you can probably imagine that after this weekend, I don’t have high hopes that my mother will be in attendance. And with everything that’s going on, it would be awfully hard for my dad to up and leave everything on her. I recognize that all of this sounds incredibly pessimistic but I am honestly just trying to be realistic. And not get my hopes up unnecessarily.
All of this leads into the part that I don’t think I have explained well, why it means so much that my parents (or mom) don’t come. Beyond the obvious fact that I have dreamt about this since I was twelve, and the sadness that comes along with the realization and acceptance that my mom and I will not be planning everything together excitedly, there is the aftermath. If you still have parents (or parent) that play an important role in your life, imagine for a moment that they do not like your significant other, for whatever reason, be it religion, race, sexual orientation, sheer personality… Despite how happy that person makes you. Despite how well they take care of you. Despite the fact that they put all of your needs and wants before their own. Imagine that your biggest support system, the people who have been behind you the longest, some of (and possibly the only, depending where you are in your life) the people who love you unconditionally, essentially do not support your future. How do you continue relationships with those people? What happens after the wedding, on holidays, birthdays, family vacations? What happens when you have kids who want to meet grandma and grandpa? How do you explain the shortcomings of an adult to a child? And how do you accept choosing one family over the other? Because that’s what I’m doing essentially, isn’t it? I will forever love and appreciate my parents, and I want nothing but happiness for them, but honestly speaking, it seems incredibly difficult to have the parent/child relationship we’ve always had, when the biggest part of my life is something they want nothing to do with. There will always be an elephant in the room. Even if they learn to come to terms with this, there will always be, deep down, the resentment that they didn’t show up when I needed them most. Reading it, it sounds harsh. But I also think it sounds human. Becoming a parent comes with certain expectations and standards. I will happily be the first to admit I know nothing about parenting, as I have no children of my own. But I do know what it means to be a child and to be an adult child. We still expect that our parents put aside their own differences for the sake and happiness of the child. Maybe one day I’ll come to see that this is easier said than done. I do, however, have insight that many do not. And that is to be an adopted child.
In the past few years I have started basic research (read: Google searches) on the psychology and mentality of an adopted kid. I was told by a friend of mine that as a child she used to attend twin conventions, and another who attended premie conventions. Certainly there must be a similar support group for adopted children, right? Every support group I have ever found is for the parent. I can only speak for myself on this, I can’t even speak for a friend because I’ve never been friends with anyone else who is adopted, but we need extra. I think as a parent it doesn’t really matter how hard you love in the beginning, there will always be an ingrained feeling of not being enough. (Still love your kids extra hard anyways though, I hear that’s good). We will doubt. And we will take all forms of rejection too personally, it comes with the territory. When I was younger, I used to think my questions would go away as I got older. I have found that my questions have simply morphed into something new. Where I would once ask, “Why didn’t she want me?” I now ask, “Would she have still taken me if she knew I was gay?” “Was one more too much?” has now turned into, “Am I enough?” My focus has shifted away from the circumstances of my adoption and towards my current position in life. This is getting heavy, I know. But maybe one of you is thinking about adopting, or already has, and you’ll take all of this to heart. It doesn’t matter if you’re kid is 5 or 25, if you give them a reason they’ll start questioning their place in life. Steph and I have plans to adopt one day, and I know I never want my children to have thoughts like mine, even for a second.
So really the point of all of this, otherwise known in Internet lingo as TL;DR, is that while I am planning for what’s supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life, I am simultaneously having a crisis of faith in my family. And as the days pass and October gets closer and closer, I find that the good days are harder and harder to come by. It’s so easy to get bogged down by the uncertainty of the future. Ok. I need to be done with this post now. It’s getting way too existential for my comfort.
Until next time, little lime.
This week’s song.