Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Just thought I'd pop in and post an update.
I have been doing better with arranging my work, and sleeping longer at night, and it is really helping me feel more steady and even. Yay! :)
I also have a new resolution to stay off of Internet comment threads. Can I do it? I just got into this hideous debate with a knuckle-dragger on a Catholic blog. I made a comment that women do a lot of unseen, unsung work, and he told me that everything valuable I had ever used or benefited from was made by a man, and that men are the only reason why the human race is not in total chaos, and basically only stopped short of claiming that he had personally made every piece of technology in my entire house, and that I was selfish and whiny and shortsighted because I never personally thanked the people who laid the cable under the sidewalks in my neighborhood. I should not have even entered the discussion at all, but once I was in I had to retort a couple of times and of course it didn't help, of course he didn't see my side, and my arguments did not really make any difference. In fact they only made me more angry. This is a concept I am trying to learn, to overrule my emotions and just leave things unsaid.
It's actually pretty relevant because I have discovered that I am still dealing with little bits of anger from a lot of things that have happened just in the normal course of living life, things that are not out of the ordinary, and that anger tends to show itself in my show-offy "intellectual" arguments that for some reason always seem to come out on political/religious comment threads ;) They bring out the brattiest side of me, I think.
Basically, I have always had a hard time connecting with my real anger, and this has the strange effect of me actually holding on tight to my anger in the event that I actually do experience it, because it helps me feel safe. If I stay angry, there's no chance of getting hurt again, right? When it starts to slip away, I find myself trying to reignite it, just to keep it close so I don't forget. It happens unconsciously, but I am starting to notice it when it does happen.
So the point of all this is to say that I really need to learn how to not fan the flames of my own anger. It doesn't help anyone and it gets me all upset and there's really, truly no point to it.
I think a lot of my anger, sadly, is about the circumstances surrounding my sudden motherhood when C was born. The motherhood itself was fine, but all the peripheral stuff -- the doctors, the comments, the breastfeeding, the total lack of help, blah blah blah -- have really set me up with an angry, defensive, axe-to-grind kind of mindset that is keeping me from moving forward. It's really hard to be a normal 21st century gal and then wake up in the 1800s just because there's a baby on my knee. I don't think that modern women are really prepared for the way their lives change when they have children. And maybe not everyone has this experience. I don't mean to say that my experience is universal. But I could almost hear the shift when I had a child. It was really humbling -- humiliating even -- when several people chose not to visit me in the hospital, because what would be the point, when the baby wouldn't be in the room? When it's right after the baby comes home from the hospital, and people just ask me for a Coke and put their feet up and tell me I have a lot of weight left to lose?
So step one is stop fanning the flames. When someone calls SAHMs lazy, or tells me that women are just selfish whiners who don't understand that men do all the important stuff, it is my job to keep a nice Quaker Silence rather than to try to school the person or convince them of their wrongness. After all, when I write a clever little refutation on a message board, I am not really expecting to change the heart of the person I'm responding to. I am hoping that someone else will chime in and tell me I'm right. And the fact is that if I am right, the truth will show itself. I don't need to hammer it into anyone's head. And if I am wrong, then it's best to keep quiet anyway.
As my dear and imaginary-friend Mark Twain said, "Its better to stay silent and look a fool, rather than speak and remove all doubt."
So no more engaging with misogynists on message boards. I'm going cold turkey. ;D