something hurts. and it's not menstrual cramps... although those hurt too. nope, it's worse than those. something hurts and it's not a part of my body but it is inside of me. it comes from me, but it's not of me.
have you guessed it yet?
no, it's not constipation, but good try.
|well, not you... me... but probably not me either. |
just keep reading.
A week ago or so (honestly, I don't remember... something like that) Devon challenged me by calling me on something that is true about me (this happens semi-often. it's part of the appeal). I'm pretty sure I've written about it here before and I'm pretty sure I even told her about this truth before she got to observe it in action.
I'm really good at talking about feelings... so good, that my willingness and ability to talk about them in depth can be confused for vulnerability... I'm certain people are fooled into believing that I'm being vulnerable when I'm not. I'm not trying to deceive them, often I've fooled myself into believing I'm being vulnerable when I'm not. My feelings vocabulary and comfort level on the topic means I have to push even further than one would expect to truly engage with a feeling in the present. And unless that feeling is on the joy spectrum... that vulnerability usually involves tears--and tears usually invite snot into the picture, and well... that's one of the reasons I avoid it.
Anyway, I was called on it (gently-ish) and after a moment of feeling defensive was able to recommit myself to presence and vulnerability. So the other day when we were in bed (I know, awkward...) when I felt sadness start to come up I let it. The hot, fat, salty, alligator tears started rolling and when thoughts like "I don't think I'm the right person for this job (motherhood) and I don't want to do it (motherhood) anymore" came up the sobs soon followed. So, I cried and got snot faced in front of her... and then it was out.
Notice I said "out" and not "over" or "gone." That was on purpose.
I have been honest about these feelings before, and have let a little bit of this "out" through words before, but we're past uncorking here... the cat is out of the bag. the... i wish I knew more "out" parables... I don't.
What's finally out... and what's newly clear... is not that I have struggled to enjoy motherhood over the last five years--I think we knew that... it's that I am ashamed.
I am ashamed and it runs deep. I have cried about it for hours this week alone and feel like I could go for years more without so much as skimming an inch of the depth of this well of shame.
Remember when I discovered and fell in love with Brene Brown? I do. That was an awesome day (yes, I usually discover and fall in love with people on the same day. I am a quick study). I would love to work with her. I would even choose to live in Texas (and we aren't even talking about Austin people) to be able to do it (of course, I can't choose to live in Texas because I have a kid who I am responsible for keeping within a 30 mile radius of a agreed upon location with my former husband... dammit). I love her so much I chose to read her book (about shame) on a date with myself... and I loved it.
But I never finished the book... turns out, it's only fun to read about shame when you're not experiencing it. So, I'm going to go back and get my shame education... painful as it may be... but first here's my shame, out in the open, for everyone to see and not judge (I mean, you can judge it... I'm just assuming that you probably won't and that reality will be part of my healing. So if you judge it, that's on you man). I'm doing this on the assumption that that thing will happen when you tell someone abotu some terrible thing someone did to you and realize as it comes out of your mouth that it really isn't that big of a deal:
Being my kid's mom is hard. It was hard with an unwilling partner. It was hard with a partner who was willing for a short while. It's hard without a partner. This child has needs that I cannot meet. I don't know if I have what it takes to be the parent he needs me to be, and because of that... I don't want to do it a lot of the time. The sense of obligation and the immensity of the responsibility I have for his wellbeing is suffocating and paralyzing and sometimes it feels like it's killing me... and even though I don't actually consider it as an option (obviously) all I want to do is run far, far away from it. It hurts to be his mom. I want the pain to stop. ...and, because I love him, I feel really shitty about that.
Shame spoken. Bring on the healing.