As I mentioned in my previous blog I was never going to keep my life changing news to myself for very long. Day by day we told different members of the family, friends and work colleagues.
I mainly confided in people closest to me to seek some help, I couldn’t be totally honest with my partner, she knew I was scared and a baby was the last thing I wanted but I could never reveal how desperate I was, I had to support her, reassure her that I wasn’t about to make a bolt for the nearest exit.
So, I turned, to my nearest and dearest for some support of my own. I don’t think I will ever really understand the response I got as I explained the situation we were in.
Now before you think I am being too harsh, I do understand that for many people this is a natural reaction and from the people on the fringe of my social circle it would be totally acceptable and expected, what else could they say?
But I am talking about the people closest to me, people I trust to tell everything, people I have confided in and who have discussed my aversion to parenting and all things baby in great length and detail. These people were jumping around, hugging me, telling me how great it was and saying I will make a great dad! You should also know that when I told them there was nothing in my body language that suggested this was good news, no signs on my face that would suggest I had changed my entire life policy and planned this!
So why the congratulations? Purely a rhetorical question as I really don’t have the answer to this day. All I know was that I instantly lost some of my identity, I felt that every word I had said to these people had been in vain and that the people I had thought knew me the most actually didn’t really know me at all.
There was an exception. My own Mum, who I had told the very next day between sobs, she had refused to show her own excitement until she knew I was dealing with this and I will always be grateful to her for that. She was excited about her grandchild but this was outweighed by her worry for her oldest son. Once I had my head straight I made sure that she was involved in every aspect of the pregnancy, she came with us to buy the pram, we turned to her for advice on what to do and buy and she beamed through every action and conversation that we had about our new future. I can only hope that I made up to her that she had to stifle that initial elation if only in a small way.
She was the only one and that’s why the isolation started for me, I didn’t feel like I could speak to the people closest to me as they clearly felt this was the best news ever!
I don’t write this blog claiming to have the answers, if I did, it would all have been so much easier, it just helps me seeing the words written down, but If someone asks me what I would do differently if I had this time again? I would keep it to myself. I would sort things out in my own head before I told anyone. Because, believe me, hearing congratulations only made it worse for me.