As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been struggling with nightmares a lot lately. I've also been totally plagued by panic and loss about not having a child of my own. I am about to turn forty and with the surgeries and other cancer treatments am not even sure if it is possible for me to carry a child to term. But I want - no, NEED - to at least try before it is too late. This is one of the struggles I have with my partner, who already has a child from a previous marriage.
I play a very active role in his five-year-old daughter's life and love her very much. But this does not change my desire to have another child with my partner as well. Last night I had an intense dream that was packed with symbols. I remembered it all very clearly this morning but had to rush off to work before I could write it down. Now I only remember some details, so I want to get them down before they, too, fade.
In the dream, I was at my stepdaughter's school for a visit. I arrived at the school and hung my hat in the closet there. The closet was very full and disorganized and I felt anxious leaving my hat there, but my stepdaughter was pulling at my arm wanting to show me around. She kept calling me "mom" (which she does not do in real life - she calls me by my first name). Hearing her call me that was bittersweet - it was nice to hear her call me that so warmly, but sad because it wasn't true (her birth mom is very much in her life, and the center of her universe - I am merely a bonus adult with no real say in any parenting issues).
When I suddenly realized it was time for me to go, I opened the closet to look for my hat, but it had been sort of swallowed up by the mess in the closet. I rummaged through in a panic looking for it, all the while my stepdaughter tugging at me, but to no avail. I think this is where I was when the alarm went off.
What I think this dream was about was me having to "shelve" the role of motherhood for myself (symbolized as one of the hats that I wanted to wear in life), thinking that I would get the chance to do it later. I put it aside to care for this other child, who I also love, but with the promise that my time to truly participate in parenthood would also come. Now I feel like time has slipped away and my opportunity is gone. I feel cheated and panicked and so full of LOSS.
This is enough of a priority that I am trying to think of ways to fulfill my true dream of having a child on my own - or at least trying to. I have looked into artificial insemination. Interestingly, when I tell my partner this, his response is that "he is not sure if he would be able to be involved in a relationship with a kid that was not his." This BLEW ME AWAY. I was completely shocked that he is unable to see that this is EXACTLY what he has been asking me to do for four years. It makes it so very clear to me how little he appreciates - or even recognizes - the enormous effort and sacrifices I make for him and his daughter every day. I am sad, sad, sad. No wonder I keep having nightmares...