Friday, March 18, 2011

Sticks and Stones...

There's a post floating around in the interwebz that has elicited a very strong response from hundreds of people. Summed up, this mom thinks she might love her son a little more than her daughter. At first thought, it seems so wrong, right? And why would any mom voice those thoughts in a public place? From the comments that flood her post, most readers reacted as though she said she dreamed about her daughter dying so as to leave her with just her son. She surely must be a despicable person.

But if you read this post I wrote almost 2 weeks ago, you probably know I have have a little different take on it. Because I've been there. And I'd like to think I'm not a despicable person.

Have you read her post? Have you read mine? Go, read them. Then come back.


Ok now.

Why on Earth would anyone cast stones at this woman? How is it not totally evident that she was sharing a part of her life that rendered her vulnerable? The difference in our two posts is she is in a different place in the grieving process right now. She probably doesn't even know it. Where I have all but completed it, she is just beginning. It took me a good week of scared-as-crap-writing to get what I did out and hit the 'publish' button. I was ashamed to admit my attachment issues. Still a little so, as I can't bring myself to share my post on my personal facebook wall where my family would read it(they don't read my blog ;0).

Yes, she probably would benefit from some counselling. So would I. So would just about everyone. It saddens me that people are so quick to judge and be harsh when someone is obviously struggling. Of course being on the internet, the cruelty is 100x worse. Because you're not saying it to their face. There's no consequence, no guilty conscience. And that lovely 'Share' button on facebook just adds fuel to her stake.

Did she put it out there to garner other's opinions, perspectives, etc? Maybe. Obviously if you put something on the net that's what's going to happen regardless. Will her daughter be destroyed if she ever reads what her mother wrote? I doubt it. Who here thinks their mother was perfect? Or maybe I should ask, who figured out (probably in their 20's) their mother wasn't perfect, but human and did the best she could? I did. So will this little girl. So will my daughter.

As for me, I wrote what I did not because I wanted other people's opinions. I needed other mothers' support. Writing it out was something I knew I had to do to aide in my healing process. And attempting to help others avoid what I experienced is also part of my healing process.

We need to speak out about these things. About being informed in labor and birth options, attachment issues, breastfeeding hurdles, postpartum depression, etc. Anything a mother might grapple with as she is learning how to be a mom. We need to be supportive! No one should feel ashamed for struggling or sharing their struggles. I know she and I are not the only two people out there that experienced attachment issues. If you have, speak out. And even if you haven't, if you can't relate to this particular situation, I know everyone can relate to doing the best you can as a parent/wife/daughter/sister and feeling you fell short. It is not a pleasant feeling, is it? I bet you beat yourself up enough without having others kick you while you're down.

So when you see her link float by on facebook with stones being flung, say something. As gently as possible. Maybe just a little reminder that we all have our various struggles and need support. Not one of us is perfect. We're all just doing our best- and can do even better when given love and support.

The honorary duty of a human being
is to love.

~ Maya Angelou ~


Krysta said...

Let he who is without blame cast the first stone.

stacythemagnificentmommy said...

exactly, dear!!!

Karlily said...

From the creators of babble:

Funny how the message these two are spreading (taboo #1) is battered down by all the commenters wanting to silence that subject.

Rachel said...

I love this. I was directed to the other lady's post, read it, and skimmed the comments (because they were making me boil in rage!) but happened to see the link to your similar story that you posted in a comment there- so I came here and read your story.

My story is extremely similar. I had undiagnosed, untreated PPD and breastfeeding issues with my first (a daughter) and then an easy time with my second (a son). I feel at times like I favor my son, and I feel guilty about that at times.

The pictures and what you said about them in your other post- about looking at them and not being able to actually remember those times- that really hit home with me. Exactly the same. I see her in the pictures but I have no idea what it was like. It's almost like I'm looking at pictures of someone else's life. Then I see pictures of my son and my memory soars, I recall every second of his babyhood.

Does that make me a bad mother to my daughter? NO. It means I had unresolved issues.

I love that you advocate knowledge. That is the biggest thing and I agree with you. That old cliche- "if I knew then what I know now"- it's so TRUE. And you are totally right- we need to speak out about these kinds of things so that other mothers KNOW that they are not freaks for going through this, and they are not ashamed to ask for help.

Anyway- sorry for the massively long comment but I just had to say, I really appreciate what you've written here. And your blog is awesome. :)

stacythemagnificentmommy said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Rachel! It helps me a lot to hear your story. Just to know I'm not alone in this experience (or crazy)- although I would gladly be the only one if it meant no one else going through it! I'm sorry you had similar struggles and hope you reach/have reached that same self-forgiveness I'm (still) working on. I hope every mom out there coming to terms emotions like these are able to let go of that mom guilt. It's so toxic!
Keep speaking up and we'll eventually silence those that would like to pretend this never happens!

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