When my dad passed away, I was accused of making everything “all about me”. When one of my closest friends fell pregnant and I got upset (because she was pregnant and I wasn’t), I was again accused of making everything about me. My son is possibly starting school in the new year, and while of course I want to make sure he is ready both emotionally and educationally, I’m just as worried about how ready I am. Today my BFF finds out if she’s having a boy or a girl, and I am still making everything all about me!
I think it’s normal. I think it’s inherent. I think it’s human. The key is in how you express it.
Of course my dad’s death was all about me. For me. I was mourning the relationship I had lost, the relationship my son had lost and would never truly experience. I was grieving for the massive gap that was left in my life. As were we all. It didn’t mean we thought we were grieving more or harder than anyone else, but losing someone makes us automatically takes stock of what we have lost.
As for my friend getting pregnant, of course I was happy for her. THRILLED for her! They were told they’d never have children, yet they’d managed to conceive twice without really trying! My grief was over my inability to conceive. Which yes, makes it all about me. But I didn’t throw a tantrum and cause a scene. I quietly mourned on the inside, thinking about what I was missing out on. Then cried to someone else. It is not my friend’s responsibility to bear the burden of my self-misery.
I’m not ready for my son to go to school. I’m not ready for him to be grown up, have homework, be taken off campus for swimming lessons or excursions. I’m not ready for him to be away from me 5 days a week, even though he’s already in kindy 4 days a week. I’m not ready to admit we’re through the baby/toddler stage of parenting and have a school-aged child in our home. But I need to put all that aside and do what is best for him. His starting school is not about me.
Lastly, I’ve managed to make my friend finding out the sex of her unborn bub today all about me because again, it’s an experience I am not having any time in the near future. It’s another reminder of what I wanted and don’t have. Another reminder that everyone around me is getting what I want. She wants a girl. I just want a baby. But it’s not about me. Why shouldn’t she be allowed to want a girl? She has a boy, she has a close relationship with her mum and her sister, it’s normal to want a girl. And when trying to conceive hasn’t been an issue, that’s one thing you don’t have to think about or worry about.
I don’t say this because I’m proud of my feelings. I’m not trying to justify them. I’m not trying to say it’s ok to feel like this. I don’t write this because I want people to tell me it’s normal. Maybe this is not normal. Not inherent. Not human. Maybe I’m just a spoiled selfish cow. Maybe this is why I’m not getting what I want, because I am too busy being miserable in everyone else happiness that I don’t deserve my own. Maybe it’s not enough to be happy for them, I need to be happy with them. Because really, if you can be happy for others, and happy with what you have, then it is always enough. It is always exactly what you need.