One of the things that drives me crazy is having family members whose interactions with me haven’t evolved from the time I was 13 years old. That was 25 years ago. I think I’ve grown just a little in that time.
And one way in which I’ve grown is that I’m fairly self-aware. I know my own mind and I know what I can handle emotionally and for my stress level. So if I say, for example, that I know I couldn’t handle the stress of being a foster parent while dealing with IVF cycling, you can really trust that I’m saying it because I know myself. If you press it and act as if you know better and keep insisting that I should just take a few days to think about it, you’re not only not helping me, but you’re harming our relationship. I’ll be less likely to discuss my feelings with you in the future and much more likely to shut down when you try to start talking about anything meaningful to me.
I know there are people out there who aren’t self-aware and don’t know their own strengths and/or limitations, but I’m not one of them. I spend plenty of time inside my own head and inside my own heart, examining my feelings and understanding myself. Do I have a perfect understanding? Of course not. Few people do, I imagine. But when it comes to this infertility stuff and things related to children and knowing what I can and can’t handle? Yeah, I’d say I have a pretty good handle on that. That’s not to say that what I can or can’t handle won’t change over time – 5 years ago, I said I’d never try IVF, for example – but those changes take place over years, not after a few days thought.
One thing that should make it apparent to people that Kim-at-38 and Kim-at-13 have little in common is that Kim-at-13 would have thrown a fit when confronted with someone telling her, in kinder words, that she didn’t know her own mind. Kim-at-38 resisted for a few minutes and then gave up. Instead of turning it into an argument, I just said, “Fine. I’ll think about it for a few days.”
I’ve written about this before, about how my family interacts with me expecting me to behave as I did when I was a kid. I just don’t get how they don’t see that my behavior has changed while their expectations have remained the same.
That link, by the way, may be a little intense reading. It’s not really the same as this one, but it’s kind of about the same topic, in a not about the same topic kind of way.
This rambling, all over the place, completely incoherent post brought to you by the letter F.