Do you dream often? Do your dreams generally make sense, or are they like something out of a David Lynch film? Are you aware you’re having a dream, or does it feel real?
I’m a fairly active dreamer. Always have been. Then add certain prescription drugs to that, and it’s like watching a sci-fi version of my life in some alternate dimension. Some are scary, some are funny, and some just make me say ‘what the fuck?’. More often than not, I’m aware when I’m dreaming. It’s like I can differentiate between what I know to be real, and how my mind interprets reality while I’m asleep.
I had a doozie of an uncomfortable dream this morning that touched on something that’s always in the back of my mind. I’ve discussed my thoughts on having children, and my uncertainties given my health situation. So what if I weren’t sick? Would I have the same opinion? Apparently, yes.
In my dream, I was perfectly healthy (which happens only in dreams). It was relatively normal in that I was hanging out with some people I knew, until I discovered that I had been knocked up. With frickin’ twins. Ewwwww. When I found out, my reaction was similar to if I had been told I had cancer. I mean, kids are sort of like cancer, right? My life was over. I was sad, angry, and felt betrayed. No where was there a hint of happiness or excitement about the discovery. It was all bitching, whining, depression, and an intense feeling of helplessness. The thing that really struck me is that I only talked about these feelings with friends, but was afraid to tell my husband.
Sure, it was only a dream, but it gave me the unique perspective about how I might feel about this sticky topic if chronic illness were a non-issue. I know plenty of people who knew for certain they wanted children before they had them, and I know just as many that it happened as an accident. The latter group had the same reaction as I did in my dream, but their lives have changed for the better.
Our plans had generally been if it happens, it happens. We were by no means trying, because we took preventative measures, but it can still happen. As I get older, the window of opportunity grows smaller and has forced us to visit the possibility of actually trying if I find myself in better health in the near future.
After waking, I went into critical thinking mode. My life feels complete, for the most part. By not having children, I don’t feel I’d missing out on anything. This leads me to believe the potential of regret that I’ve talked about is highly unlikely. So now I need to go back to not wanting to tell my husband how I felt in the dream. I also don’t want to tell him in real life how I feel about it, after having thought about it more.
I know he still wants kids, and I’d be responsible for denying him of this. When our marriage was on the rocks, that topic was a point of contention. He couldn’t see himself without a family, and I couldn’t see myself with one. It was agreed that after we “fixed” the relationship, we’d come back to it and I kept an open mind. Unfortunately, I got sicker, so we never took the opportunity to really discuss it in depth again after that. If this is still a make or break issue, then it could result in the end of my marriage. There are some things that can’t be fixed, and this is one of them. It’s all about compromise, but is this a fair one to ask him to make? There are no do-overs. It’s already like he’s living with someone 50 years older than he is.
There are no easy answers. I know I’d be up a shit creek if we were to separate, but looking at either side, we’re as equally selfish in some of our reasons to stay or leave. Even knowing we’re in a decent place right now, the thought of a single idea making or breaking us is unsettling. I suppose the only way to figure it out is to talk about it openly and honestly. That scares the shit out of me.