I don’t recall much of life before children, only that I was miserable and treated myself poorly because that is all I knew …that I was undeserving and unworthy of comfort, connection, peace, joy. Those things remained foreign, inaccessible–reserved for the worthy.
Now, I get that people who treat themselves poorly are unlikely to treat others well. They have not yet learned about self-love, wholesome connection, unconditional acceptance or nurturing. When we know better, we do better. Thinking of those who suffered as a result of my not knowing, is deeply painful, but no longer shameful. What feels equally intense(verging on painful) is considering those who could see my brokenness and all of the dangerously sharp edges, and- who elected to extend to me comfort and safety. I will pay THAT forward, to another broken journeyman who has not yet learned to love themselves or to believe in and count on love, the verb(not the feeling).
It is as if the pieces and parts of me made for loving, nurturing, connecting were returned to me on the day of my older son’s birth. ALSO, beautiful and less beautiful truths became truer, more seeable- once I became a proper WE.
Pregnancy was awful for me. Swore I wouldn’t do it again. But our little guy needed and deserved to belong to someone other than US (two broken parents in their 40s unable to fix a shitty marriage). So we chose to do it again. Two more times. The worst, most physically miserable 9 months of my life, I was willing to relive—for my son. While there is no amount of money that would have tempted me to consider another pregnancy, I would do it in a second to benefit my already born children. Each day of pregnancy, I said, out loud, I cannot do this. Fukkit. I cannot take another day. I expressed unapologetic relief when my second pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I recognized the miscarriage was happening the moment the overwhelming nausea stopped. It was mid visit with my mother and sister– for some family counseling, in which they enlisted the support of their therapist to help us all agree how correct they were, so we could be a family. Loss of the pregnancy was not the most traumatic part of that trip….at all.
So, silver lining, cuz I am naturally positive: If not for that miscarriage, we would not have our second son, but someone entirely different. He completed US, entered this world with a voice as big as his heart. He is our model for fun, generosity, and justice. And, I remain hopeful that each of our precious boys may grow up believing strongly in their senses of belonging, worthiness of connection and love–actually, believing in all people’s worthiness. Because nobody matters more than they do. And no body matters less. Ever.
I sure love my people a lot, but I do not always love them well. Parenting myself, right along side my children with as much to learn as unlearn. I am a work in progress.
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