Therapist B says all the wrong things. I can't get pregnant again soon. I can't date. I can't have sex. I have to be on birth control (um?). I can wait to meet a man. I can wait to have another baby. I have to get a job first and foremost. I have to attack my demons. I just want a baby!!!!!
I saw a local psychiatrist (Therapist C) last week for a new Prozac prescription. About 30 minutes into the session I considered asking her for another doctor so that she and I could be friends. I sensed that she spoke not just from clinical experience, but from personal experience, when she reassured me that I had time to meet someone and plan a family. I asked if she had a loss and she nodded, but did not elaborate. She wondered why I wanted an unplanned pregnancy; why I wanted that in the first place, and why I still wouldn't mind its working out that way. I knew where she was going, and it wasn't pretty: no one would ever want to plan a baby with me. I'm not good enough for a man to want a family with me.
I thought I'd slayed those low self-esteem dragons years ago. Okay, I hoped. Maybe it's just self-preservation, but I think it's not just low self-esteem. I think I don't want to have to choose. I want something to just happen to me. Clearly I suck at choosing. At choosing men anyway. I am not so confident in other decision-making areas of my life. I feel like I have so many choices, too many choices, that I am paralyzed into choosing nothing. What do I want to be when I grow up? Well, gee, I'm 34, shouldn't I know this by now? Where do I want to live? I really love it in Colorado, it really suits my lifestyle, the weather is great, I need to be outside...New York is so awesome, I love the culture, the food, the people...I want to live abroad for a time...my hometown isn't so bad after all, and I have friends here...I've always thought Portland would be a cool place to live. I mean, enough!
So I think there is a part of me that just doesn't want to deal with all these choices. In the same way that I could be happy living in a wide variety of places--I lived in a 10,000 person tourist town for two years, then spent more than three years living in NYC with 10,000 people on my midtown block--I could be happy with a variety of men. Just somebody hand him to me already, I'll make it work! The problem is I seem to prefer to make it work with men who will abuse me. Not physically. Not in the obvious after-school-special kind of way (at least, that relationship did not last long). But emotionally. Subtly. A cool withdrawal here, a mild punishment there...and soon you're wondering "what's wrong with me?"
In case you were wondering, AFF is still extremely attentive. He's pretty awesome. I'm worried I will do something to shove him away. I'm also legitimately concerned that it's just too soon. I realize I met him one week after I left SS. It's really true that I never missed SS. I missed Blue, and leaving SS drove it home that my baby was dead. But I never missed his dad. I missed the opportunity to try again. I missed the love and support that I needed. I needed SS, and he wasn't there. I guess I need AFF too. He is attentive and loving and supportive. He kisses my blue star tattoo. He looks at me knowingly when someone in the room starts talking about babies. He cries when he imagines what it might be like to lose his son. He is truly the antidote. But then I wonder: is he good enough just like all the other guys were good enough, because I just want to meet somebody already? Is it possible that the first guy I date after my baby dies will be the guy I want to be with for the rest of my life?
Therapist B would probably say no. But I hate her.