Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Can We Get Our Sanity Back?

Lyn isn't kidding when she says she's a pessimist. I like to think of her as an "extreme pessimist." Throw any situation at her and she can tell you how it is going to go horribly wrong. Leading up to our wedding, we used to play a game called "Everything is Wrecked." To play, your partner names two completely unrelated things, like "fish" and "ice cream." Then you have the challenge of describing how the two elements combine to wreck the wedding. Lyn used to be absolutely amazing at the game.

I just asked Lyn why fish and ice cream means that we won't have a second baby. Lyn says, "I've been eating a lot of fish because of your new diet thing. Also I've been eating a lot of dairy my whole life and I refuse to pay extra for the organic milk. So if I actually manage to get pregnant, despite all of the hormones in the dairy that have surely made me infertile, then the kid is going to shrivel up and die because of the mercury in the fish." So you can see that Lyn's still got it after all these years.

Living with an extreme pessimist isn't easy. Living with an extreme pessimist who is trying to get pregnant is nearly impossible. Sunday night I got really mad because Lyn spent the evening freaking out about a variety of things. I tried to be nice and helpful several times (and once I even managed to be nice in a nice way rather than in a snarky way). But end the end neither of us could behave well enough, so we went to bed mad, which I hate to do (it's really hard to fall asleep if you are mad).

I wish that Lyn didn't get so self-absorbed and angry at the world when the TTC isn't working so well. But I understand why she does. It really sucks and that's not Lyn's fault. So maybe I wish she just kept everything inside so that I don't have to see it because it's pretty damned unpleasant. But that doesn't seem quite right (not to mention the fact that it would never work -- Lyn is pretty much an open book). So maybe I really wish that if she's not going to talk to other people about about the shittiness of TTC, she'd at least pour some of her nasty stuff out to the blogosphere rather than getting it all over me. OK, there's an idea I can live with.

Just to be fair, you should know that I'm an obnoxious optimist that likes to ignore problems until they go away. As mentioned above, Lyn is a pessimist, and when she encounters problems, she prefers to protest loudly while carrying a sign that says "The End is Near." This is just about the only difference between us, but it's a big one. Sometimes it works in our favor. I spout off a lot of crackpot ideas about the next great thing we're going to do, Lyn finds 75 reasons the next great thing is in the toilet, and then together we find a way to fix all the problems and actually get something done. We get a lot of things done this way that never would happen otherwise, either because I completely forget to think about anything practical or because Lyn couldn't get started because she's sure it'll never work. So it works for us a lot of the time.

Other times it works like it did Sunday. Lyn starts to gnash her teeth and roll her eyes about how she won't be able to do an insemination appointment tomorrow and, oh yeah, she's not going to ovulate anyway. I respond by ignoring the real problems and saying some variation of "It will all work out, honey." Lyn responds by blowing everything up in a desperate attempt to get me to acknowledge there's really a problem because she feels like I've left her alone in the crazy world of TTC. I repeat my same theme of "It will all work out," but through teeth that are clenching tighter and tighter.

Tonight, as I write this post, Lyn claims that things might go better if I don't, in her words, "just roll over and try to keep me happy." In particular, I think she'd be much happier if she wasn't the only one noticing and worrying about all the problems. That's fair.

So maybe we have a little bit of a truce. I'll try to acknowledge and investigate possible problems, making use of some of my natural optimism to keep us moving forward. We're a team here after all. Lyn, for her part, will try to put some of at that negativity out there for you legions of lovely readers instead of me (lucky you), and maybe be a little bit nicer.

[P.S. It's Tuesday morning now that I'm actually posting this. Things are much more cheerful around our house, but we are still waiting for those pee sticks to give us some love. CD 21 and counting.]


Lo said...

Hmmm....sounds not unlike me and my partner....I'm you, Gail. :-)

word to your mother(s) said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. Our family dynamic is very similar. My girlfriend is very much the optimist, while I am a spot-on pessimist. We are wired very differently in that regard, while we are utterly similar on most other meaningful aspects of our lives. In some respect, I think it provides a significant amount of balance to our household.

However, lately I have been working on not using this as a crutch. I'm trying to not be negative about things for which I don't have any control or influence. It's simply too exhausting. Instead, I've been focusing on the options and decisions I can make to move my life and relationship in a positive direction. Those are the things for which I have ownership. It also makes me worry less and not focus on the negative stuff.