Well, it happened, as I knew it would. Although he often seemed ok with The Dude, many other times E was giving signs that this new relationship was not ok with him. I was waiting for the blow-up, and last night it came. It was a doozy. Lasting for almost an hour, it included screaming, swearing, stomping, slamming and shoving. E was literally foaming at the mouth. So much came out in his rants, that I doubt he even realized: his fear of being displaced by The Dude and by his kids, his previous experience with bmom’s relationship with bdad, his still-unresolved feelings of hurt caused by his bio family’s reaction to his decision to be adopted. I suppose starting a relationship at the beginning of a three week period with no therapy was poor timing, but it also made me realize that we need to figure out how to talk to each other, before everything explodes. He kept saying everything was fine until I “made” him talk about it. Clearly he still believes that if we just ignore our feelings/problems/conflicts, they will not exist. However, I admit that I also need to be more proactive about giving him that space to talk, asking questions, and really listening and responding (rather than reacting) to what he says, and not take his moods and attitudes personally.
If The Dude and I didn’t have kids, we probably would be living together already. We are moving that quickly with our feelings for each other. His kids are awesome and for the most part seem fine with us, but I need to remember that my son has different needs, and as much as I’m wanting to spend lots of time with my new love and rush full-steam ahead, E needs things to move much more slowly. And I need to educate The Dude on how parenting a child from foster care is different from biological.
Sigh. This is not going to be an easy road, but I’m desperately hoping that in the future we’ll look back and barely remember these early, tumultuous days. One can dream, right?