Monday, March 24, 2008

Shamed Into Isolation

I remember after a year of being married I was talking to a gal who had been married 6 months. All of the sudden, we started sharing all of these ridiculous scenarios in our home lives and the bumps we'd faced being newly married. I mentioned that 6 months into my marriage, I realized that sleeping on the couch wasn't having its intended effect and was only hurting me. Her mouth dropped wide open as she said, "You did that, too???" And I think, for the first time, I realized that people are really suffering from the same things that everyone else is. 1 Peter 5:9 says "...because you know that your fellow believers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings." Now, I'm sure the author was referring to more intense sufferings than, oh say, not putting the receipts on the desk because your husband has asked you to multiple times and you will not be talked to and reminded of things like a child! But, I digress. I'm sure Peter was referring to harder trials than that.

Paul and I had dinner with some friends of ours and they asked how we liked being parents. I was unable to suppress how I was really adapting to parenthood, which has been a rocky adjustment at best. I mentioned my postpartum depression and how it's been difficult for me. It's been a very angry depression (insert sympathy for Paul here). The gal of this couple we ate with talked about her bouts of postpartum depression and a massive amount of freedom overcame me as I verbally vomited all over her as she completely empathized with my feelings of inadequacy and guilt. And the shame that I've felt that I'm not the superwoman that I thought I was. I should be able to be the perfect wife, mother and employee. Why is this so hard? Why don't I want to stay home with my kid? Why do I have the desire to fall asleep at 9pm when I used to be able to stay up and watch Conan? Why do I resent that my life has changed? What kind of mother am I for feeling that way? This can't be normal.

And I found out tonight that it is normal. Isn't that the way it always is? We hide our fears, desires, thoughts, etc. out of some sense of shame that nobody could possibly be thinking/feeling/wanting the same things we think/feel/want. But, if I can just get out of my head and my shame I will find comfort in the fact that I am, for example, not the only wife who sleeps lies awake all night on the couch in a vain effort to punish my husband which only ends up hurting me cause my husband is sound asleep, snoring like a little kitten while I anguish on the couch, and I'm left sleep-deprived with a crick in my neck and a sore back. Again, I digress.

So, in this struggle that I'm still very much in, I will endeavor to get out of my head and share the heartaches I've felt in my becoming a mom with those women whom God has placed in my life to be that sounding board. I will make an effort to get out my isolated cocoon of shame and understand that I cannot be the only one feeling these emotions I feel. However, I will keep a few things to myself, because there are those things that I'm sure could have me committed and/or arrested.

5 comments:

The Hosh said...

I don't have a lot to comment. thank you for this post. God is bringing you through all of this Mama T! thanks for blessing all of us with your honesty.

Josh Mickelson said...

my old pastor used to say "most of us are like the rest of us". I think that is so true. We all go through tough times, and usually the majority of your peers can relate to the circumstance on some level. good stuff!

JudifFree.com said...

I know it's hard for you to share this, but it will help so many woman to know the truth and not be ashamed. Love you!

That Girl Kate said...

Thank you for this post!!! I am amazed at your honesty and vulnerability, Teresa. You are so genuine and it challenges me to be more real and honest with others about my own struggles and the things that I think are "too shameful" to share. I know that so many will read this post and find comfort in knowing that they are not alone, but it is not always easy being the first one.

Tiffany said...

No marriage is perfect, and no parent is perfect. I think (and this is a reminder for myself as well) we need to give ourselves permission not to be perfect all the time. I think we, as woman, feel the need to be everything to everybody, but this is impossible! Remember that I am always here for you if you ever need to talk, vent or even to whine. You are never alone!