Monday, November 2, 2009

I am stunned and saddened because something that I wrote on this site, weeks ago, made a good friend feel judged, hurt, and angry.
Oh, how hard it can be to negotiate this delicate territory, and how hard it is to feel deeply ashamed.

How is it that something so private has become so public? That in my time (almost 2 years!) of writing this blog, I think I have revealed its existence to only several people yet somehow people I never imagined have found it and read it.

This blog has served as a forum of release for me-- to talk about myself honestly, from the roots of my babylost motherhood, where I am constantly trying to balance the normalcy of my life as the mother of two young living children with the absolutely earth-shattering beginning of my motherhood. I hate to say I don't consider the feelings of others when I vent the things that strike me as difficult about the everyday. But sometimes, it appears, I do not.

If you are babylost, and have living children, you know this feeling: you have good friends, and you love them and trust them and you talk to them like therapy and let them surround you with themselves. But somehow there are still moments where you are sitting on the other side of a glass wall, and you are not like them. Even if you could find the words to say, it would not mean anything, and would set you apart or ostracise you.

Or, worse---
Make them feel as if you were judging them, when really you are just looking at the entire world through the glasses of someone with a child in the grave. I can't judge someone who has never lost a child, because they do not have the same critical evidence upon which to make their decisions. I can make my own decisions, and I can say with great certainty that I would never make a decision that someone else has made because of my own life experience, but since that person has a different life experience, that does not mean that I think less of that person for having made her own choice. We all weigh the evidence we have to make our decisions. It's all we can do.

And, as I have said over a thousand times before, is there not always that streak of envy -- envy of the innocent-- that runs through anything that could be perceived as judgment? Where really what I want to do is just live the life of the carefree? Where really, when it comes down to the truth of it, there is NOWHERE I'd rather give birth than in my own bedroom, but I can't do it because of what I've lost? (This just pulling the most obvious example out of the air, but there are dozens more where that one came from).

I feel like sticking my head in the sand, like re-reading the entire blog from start to finish to pull out and delete anything that somebody might think of as judging. I do not think of myself as the judging type, and it makes me cry to know that I have been perceived that way.

Jealous, yes. Definite in my own choices, yes. But I fear for myself as a person if I am judging.


Courtney Cloud said...

Please keep writing. Your blog has helped so many people. I know exactly what you mean by feeling at times so completely different from everyone around us. I am jealous of the "carefree" lives that many of my friends have. Please do not feel like you are judging anyone. Just know that people can't understand this horrible situation unless they have lived through it. Thank you for your honesty. Praying for you tonight.

Jen said...

Carol, please, please, don't start yanking down posts and editing... I am so sorry you are hurting and that your friend feels judged, but it is so important, I think, for you and all of your readers to know that you are free to write whatever you need to write here, without scrutinizing every word for possible offense. You are a mindful, kind, thoughtful person, Carol, and someone who has endured staggering trauma and anguish-- I would hope that your friend would realize this and weigh your words accordingly. (((hugs))) I have been thinking of you a lot lately, every day, hoping and praying for you, and I'm so sorry that you have to go through this additional emotional upset right at this time.

kris said...

Sending love your way. I am one of those people from your past who "stumbled upon" your blog when looking for your Mothering article for a friend. And as I said in a comment that apparently got eaten last week, your story and your writing ensures that I will love my own children (someday) more fiercely. You guarantee that I will never truly be one of those completely carefree moms. That is your gift, and Charlotte's, to me.

Holding hope firmly with 2 hands.

Taking Heart said...

Sometimes even the ones we love and adore the most cannot handle our very inner thoughts and emotions. Even those who have stayed with us on the long and winding road when others strayed off of the path because it was too painful for them to bear. Someimes the path narrows so much that we must squeeze through it alone, and let them catch up. Your friend will catch up. You do not have to walk this alone. And your story, your pain... your love for a little baby... inspires others to have courage to press on as well... to forge ahead on the beaten and broken path.

I think your story is beautiful, and I pray you continue to tell it... because I know for a fact that there would be mothers lost without it... without you.

Hope's Mama said...

Carol, I've had similar issues. I have many real life friends reading my blog (they found it, I never showed them) and it has been hard, as it was never intended for them. I know I've hurt people (unintentionally) and I know they have felt judged, but the situation is what it is. My feelings are just that - my feelings and where possible, I try to be as honest as I can. Not everyone is going to like my feelings, but I can't really change them.
Like others, I would be shattered if you did any self-editing or took any posts down. Of all the blogs I read, yours is one of the only ones I re-visit to read old posts. As it all rings so true with me. I don't think you'll ever realise just how much you've helped me (and countless others) and just how much I've been able to relate to each and every word you have written. And, not only that, you provide a beacon of hope for my future. You show me how beautiful life could really become in the weeks, months and years ahead.
This is another one of Charlotte's gifts. Sweet, sweet Charlotte. I thank your girl for this.

angie said...

I have had very similar issues, particularly with non-babyloss friends who decide to read my blog. It is hard to explain that it isn't about you, or about judging. Still, it makes me feel awful to unintentionally hurt someone. I can only say that your words help, you can see that from the above comments. Interestingly, I was in therapy talking about someone judging me. And the therapist kept saying, but why? Why do you see this as a judgment? And it eventually boiled down to my own shame. My own shame at not keeping my girl alive in me. Maybe your friend is just feeling shamed that she wasn't as sensitive as she should have been. I don't know if that helps to see what she is going through, but just know that maybe it isn't your judgment but her self-judging perception. But hoping you don't censor, because you aren't judgmental or unkind, from my perspective as a reader. XO

Charlotte's Mama said...

Thank you, and I'd like to add that my friend was very sensitive and careful in the way that she presented her feelings to me, and in some ways I actually believe that she was absolutely RIGHT in feeling upset that I posted about what I posted about in a public way. So I don't feel wrong about being more careful about what I write about, only concerned that others might re-read other things I've written and see them as judgemental. I do want to be free about what I say, but I also need to recognize that this IS a public forum, and I have to be more careful (at least) about how I word things if I am going to rehash conversations here. Sound good?

charmedgirl said...

i HATE, HATE that you had to justify your writing like this. you are so NOT judgemental. isn't this why we have our spaces, our measley blogs? to say what we can't say to others? to say here what would never be understood by them? to let out that we are OK but NEVER OK? to say we aren't crazy, we're pretty good, but NOT EVER REALLY...but that's ok? DON'T WE DESERVE THIS TINY FRIGGIN PLACE TO SAY WHATEVER WE WANT AND NOT GET JUDGED OURSELVES? can't we just HAVE THAT, after we've lost EVERYTHING??? if everyone else gets to have their children, can't we have these tiny little spaces where we can be free? free to even be wrong or judgemental sometimes?? i'm so sorry, and it almost even makes me cry, that you felt you had to justify yourself.