Left Unspoken

Sometime in the early months of Little Man’s life I stumbled across one of Fowl Language Comics parenting gems. I felt like I was literally dying just to keep this tiny human alive, and I loved him, desperately, but he was usually unhappy with me and saved his adoration for when Daddy was around. Since I was failing miserably at parenting his brothers and Daddy travels a lot, I had put all my hopes for [whatever human connection I thought would heal me] into this little person who saw me as nothing more than a food source. I texted the comic to my husband who thought it mildly amusing. I wanted to scream at him through the screen. Don’t you see? I’m dying here and he hates me. [Everyone hates me.] Why can’t he love me?

I didn’t actually scream, of course, that would have awoken the cries once more. Besides, this isn’t my first rodeo. I know that the thoughts I have in the year following childbirth can veer far from reality. I know what it is to think these are not normal thoughts but accepting the abnormality doesn’t change the thoughts. It just allows me to give them space but also give them boundaries. This isn’t permanent but right now I am totally alone.

I keep them to myself. Sharing them would be like taking a Picasso to a NeoClassical exhibit or preparing a 12-tone Schoenberg for a Mozart concert. Besides, I don’t know how to make space for my crazy in other people’s lives. Frankly I don’t even know how to make space for my normal in other people’s lives.

But we are supposed to talk about these things to end the stigma or whatever. So here I am. I won’t link this anywhere, I will never bring it up in conversation even though when I’m feeling off I secretly, desperately want someone to notice and to care for me. Acknowledgement is a powerful balm. And if the two of you who actually read this dusty old blog ever text or email or otherwise ask me about it I will probably minimize it and change the subject because that’s what I do. But after everything we go through to grow and birth another person, and then try to keep that human alive while neglecting everything that keeps you alive, it’s understandable that we often don’t have normal thoughts. And that’s okay. We need space for that, we’ve been through a lot. And someday we will come out the other side more compassionate toward each other, and we will have discovered along the way that our little ones do love us after all.
(The problem is that we don’t all make it through and while my abnormal thoughts have never taken me there, I can see how it can happen and my heart breaks for those who have visited the dark place, and for their loved ones left behind.)

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2 Responses to Left Unspoken

  1. Lisa Busch says:

    Did you have ine those talks on Mother’s Day? We had one. I really like this family, but the husband told us all about his perfect mother and wife. Sigh

    Wow. That comic says it succinctly, and your words give it added depth. I wish I were better at putting thoughts (feelings, actually) to words. While my experiences as a mom may not mirror yours exactly, I want you to know that I get it. I also know that it is hard to know how, when, and with whom to talk, especially when feelings fluctuate. I pray that when you need it, you will feel inside what you know in your brain.

    I think of our Savior, who gave his body for so many ungrateful people, some who are ignorant of the sacrifice, while others, (including myself, sometimes) are just plain ungrateful.

    Some day, your children will recognize and be humbled by who you are-an imperfect, extremely hardworking, intelligent, and loving mother. Until then, reach up and out when you need to.

    I love you, and miss you.

    • Zen Mama says:

      Oh I hate those talks! They are on par with flat out being told by men how to be better women. No thanks.
      No, fortunately, if we had one of those I was in the nursing room and missed it. The only talk I remember was given by a mother who I really admire and it left me feeing inspired and uplifting.

      Thanks for you, dear Lisa.

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