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Tag Archives: Hurt

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I wrote this post earlier this morning. After publishing, I peeked at the Daily Post prompt for today:
Ever have an experience that felt surreal, as though you’d been suddenly transported into the twilight zone, where time seemed to warp, perhaps slowing down or speeding up? I gave it some real thought and think that Motherhood qualifies as surreal ~~~ you will do things that you never could have imagined doing, like removing snot from their nose or licking your finger to wipe jam off of their face ~ you will have periods of Deja Vu and pray for Time Warps and time travel machines ~ you will realize that going through labor, and adolescence, and doing it again means that we really have received the milk of amnesia in the hospital. You will see yourself in situations that are truly out of time, space and continuum. You will stand at a wedding and see your child as a little girl with blond curls. Your son will graduate and you will travel in time to the first day of Kindergarten, all in the space of a moment.

Motherhood is the longest running series of the Twilight Zone!


You will wear yourself out worrying about your children.

You will stay up nights with newborns, croupy children in fully steamed bathrooms, 4 a.m. calls to get to the ice rink or gym, Will struggle to think of new and creative ways to feed your children and feed them dinner every day. You will buy the clothes and the shoes and the bows and the tie and the socks that match their favorite team’s colors or the colors of their birthday balloons. They will tell you that they no longer like that color, or team, generally at the party that you have worked long and hard to create.

Your children will not remember any of those things.

They will remember the time that you were at your worst and said or did something humiliating. They will not remember the numerous apologies. They will remember it and tell it to their significant other, friend, colleague, and therapist for at least 25 years or more and repeat it over and over until it grows in strength and horror. They will only remember a small part of the situation magnified many times.

You will go to four different stores to find the toy that they love for the Holidays and then empty handed, will secretly buy it on Ebay. You will not want your child to know that you went without something else so that they she would not be disappointed. You will want to be the person to make their magical dreams come true and worked many extra hours to see the sparkle in their eyes and the grateful smile that made it all seem worthwhile.

You will go to great lengths to settle for something so simple as their smile more times than they will ever know.

You will love your children more than they will ever love you. You will try to give them roots and wings and tell them to call you anytime, day or night. They will not call when you think that they will but you will settle all of your anxiety, anger, guilt and fear just to hear them say “Hi Mom.”

You will show off their photos and run out of places to hang their artwork.

You will carry scars that they will never see from giving birth, adopting, raising, and being the recipient of their anger and disappointment thousands of times over.

You will jump through hoops, stay up late, drive thousands of miles and hear that you never did anything for them. And, besides, they never asked to be born anyway.

Your heart will break when that vision of who your child will be crashes to the ground and splinters. Your heart will break when you have to seek professional help for that child or when someone says that it is time to let go.

You will defend the child’s behavior to your spouse, in-laws, teacher, medical professional and law enforcement. But you will pierce your own heart wondering what you did wrong to make him or her turn out this way.

Everything bad that the child does will be blamed on you and their lack of a proper upbringing or careful mothering.

You will never stop having to give money to your child. Period.

You will wonder how it took them two years to develop a vocabulary, and yet, they won’t let you get a word in edgewise.

You will fight for them with principals, teachers, doctors, other family members, and your significant other.

You will give them your last shred of energy even if they are dancing on your last nerve.

You will try to get through their adolescence, realizing that you have failed miserably to learn anything useful to use with your other children. You will realize that none of them behaved the same through those stress-filled teenage years and you will still be shocked and hurt to hear what they each have to say to you.

You will wonder why it hurts each time anew to be the least important person in their daily lives and how much time they want to spend as far away as possible. You will wonder why you have chest pains and stress headaches when they say that they do not want to talk to you, see you, or hear from you.

You will hear things like:
“I hate you”
“You never loved me”
“You were a terrible mother”
“Steven’s mother has food on the table waiting for him when he gets home”
“Sara’s mother lets her go to the Mall alone”
“This is disgusting and I will not eat it.”
“Why can’t you love me unconditionally?”
“Jessica’s Mom lets her……”

You will learn that you have no privacy whatsoever. Not even in the bathroom.

You will come to appreciate that newborns stay where you put them down and cannot say “No.”

You will question your sanity, your finances, your sense of values, your desires, work hours, choice of toys, organic produce, abilities to love and nurture another, the fear that comes with hearing about horrible things happening to children and pray that you never have to make those choices.

You will not know why it seemed so much easier for someone else to raise their children, if a tutor or a second language would have helped them to succeed, or if changing doctors would have affected the outcome.

You will cry more than you laugh and panic more than you sleep.

You will never stop apologizing and wonder why it is always your fault when they do not become accountable. Or accepting.

You will be amazed that you have done so many things over so many years and the time, money, heart, and strength it all took.

You will wonder why children will turn their back on you and seek solace and comfort from some other woman or man who “knows how to be a real parent.”

You will wonder what your life would have been like if you had never done this or had more than one child.

You will wonder if any other mother is going through these things.

You will realize that despite all the drudgery, hard work, sleepless nights, lack of money, hurtful words and withering embarrassment, you would have done it again.

If you are a Mom, have a Mom, want to be a Mom, or know someone who fits into one of these categories, please share.
Don’t Worry. They won’t be mad. IT’S ALL MY FAULT, ANYHOW.




With the wonder of Thanksgiving, and the Holidays in the sparkling and bright way they light up the darkness and cold of the Winter, we should all feel wonderful, right?

For those who are still grieving, or have experienced a loss, the Holidays can be an extremely difficult time. Every image we see is of a full, loving family, generations side by side, glorying in the glow of the fireplace and the warmth of a fulfilled life.

However, these holidays can also emphasize the losses (ok, let’s be honest, it is not a loss, it is a GAPING HOLE). When the whole world is celebrating, you may feel the most alone. If it is not you, then it is someone nearby.

Platitudes do not comfort; for me, they bring out my anger at the complete lack of understanding. Some people cause such pain and hurt to another that it ought to be illegal.

There are many things for which I am blessed, thankful and grateful. But, my beloved mother and grandmother will not be at our Thanksgiving table. The tableau of family photos have noticeable gaps.

Each time we think we have crossed a threshold, the pain washes anew with a force we thought had passed. Again, the speeches about how much time has elapsed and the “life has to go on” comments don’t heal the wounds. They just remind us that we have one, or more, less people in the world to love and comfort us with the right words or no explanation needed at all.

To those of you who are experiencing your first Holiday Season without your loved one — or your fifth, tenth, or twenty-fifth — please know that you are not alone. You are entitled to grieve as long and in any manner you deem appropriate and safe for you. I may be far away, off in cyber world, but please know that I do empathize and hope that you find some measure of peace.

I hope that you find something during this time that makes you smile or laugh momentarily. I also hope that you don’t beat yourself up or feel guilty for finding that moment. Each smile helps you to keep going until the next wave hits.

The following is from a beautiful blog about grief and loss:

As far as I can see it, there aren’t a lot of resources for instructing people on how to best support a person who is experiencing grief from loss in their lives.

There are times when I feel I must apologize for my fellow human beings when my clients share what people have said to them or some of the thoughtless ways they have been treated at their time of loss. I believe that people mean well. It’s just that most of us don’t have a very comfortable relationship with strong emotions like grief, anger, or hopelessness. When feelings like this are expressed in our midst, we will tend to gloss over it or try to shut it down entirely.

Learning to tolerate other’s reactions to your grief can be one of the most painful, yet necessary tasks of rebuilding your life after loss.

“You’re young, you’ll get married again someday.” “I know how you feel….my grandma passed away too.” “It’s been a year now, aren’t you over this yet?” “He’s moved on. You need to move on too.” “Don’t feel bad, he’s in a better place.” “You need to be strong for the children.” “Time heals all wounds.” If you are grieving the loss of your spouse through death or divorce, it’s likely that you’ve heard these types of statements from those in your world. How helpful are they? Not helpful at all, according to a study of grievers done by the Grief Recovery Institute.

One of the more unusual comments I’d heard was one that a widow shared with me. Someone asked her, “Do you feel him yet?” about her deceased husband. She was unsure what to reply to this. We bandied around a few options (some not fit to print) and she settled on something like, “I don’t know. I’ll have to think about that.”

Many people just don’t know what to say when they encounter someone who is suffering. It’s a rare person who is comfortable enough with his/her own emotional life that can tolerate the grief of another. For those of you who are experiencing intense grief, I understand it’s enough to put you into a rage when you feel misunderstood on top of everything else you are going through. The thing about the statements above is that they cause more harm than good, even if the intentions behind them are the best. So why do people keep saying them? It’s likely that they have not received feedback from a stunned griever that is sufficient to get the point across. In other words, we don’t know any better. Isn’t it time we learned?

In my perfect universe, everyone would be taught how to approach a grieving person with empathy and to really think before they do or say something that may unintentionally contribute to their suffering. I do understand that another person can’t “make” you feel anything, that each person has the responsibility for their reactions to people and situations in their lives. However, there are times when tact, good manners, and compassion are sorely lacking in our society and a little grief awareness and sensitivity training are in order. Think of it as Empathy 101….

Five Really Helpful Things You Can Do/Say if Someone You Know Is Grieving:

1. Ask, “How are you doing?” Then listen with your heart to the answer without changing the subject or terminating the conversation through one of the statements above. Create a space for them to talk about their experience if they would like to. You might feel honored that they trusted you enough to give an honest answer if it’s something other than “Fine.”

2. Say that you just found out about the loss from them. Rather than the obligatory “I’m sorry for your loss,” or “I’m sorry that your marriage didn’t work out for you,” try this instead: “I can’t imagine what this is like for you,” followed by “How are you doing?” Everyone’s grief is different. Even if you’ve experienced loss, you really don’t know how they feel. Let them tell you about it in their own words.

3. “I’d like to help. Would you like me to __________?” Insert specific tasks that you are willing to do that you think might be helpful like “mow the lawn, walk the dog, watch the baby, sit with you, help you clear the garage,” etc. Then show up and do it if the answer is “Yes.” Try to avoid the non-comittal, “Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.” No one believes you really mean it.

4. When someone cries in front of you, all you have to do is stay put and say something in a soothing voice like, “It’s OK….let that out….I’m here for you.” Comforting them with a touch on the arm or a hug is great too. Just do your best to stay present and don’t try to “fix” it. Don’t hand them a tissue unless they ask for it. The tears will come to a natural completion of their own accord.

5. Do your best to keep your relationship intact. Avoiding a grieving person because it’s uncomfortable for you to be with them is really hard for them. You can imagine the feelings of isolation they would be feeling if everyone in their lives reacted this way. It’s OK to say the name of the person that is gone. It’s OK to ask what happened. It’s OK to talk about the strangeness of it all. It’s even OK to cry in front of them or with them. Your silence and avoidance is what could make it truly painful for the griever.

People experiencing grief need to be heard, seen, understood, felt. They need to know that they aren’t alone. Know that your love and empathy will go a long way towards supporting a grieving person in their deepest time of need. Know that they would do it for you, too.

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