Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What will be said

I have been thinking a lot lately about people. I'm a pretty positive person and I guess I always gave people a little more credit than they deserve. The more that I work with the general public, the less faith I have in most people as far as them being intelligent, responsible, well-meaning and capable. I have begun to understand why it is so hard for me to make friends. Compared to most people I am DIFFERENT. The friends I have found, as I'm sure you have deduced, are also different and I value them so much for this. What can be said though for those that are "different?" I've come to believe it is completely true that most people fear what is different. It's scary, and therefore easily vilified. 

I always thought that those who know me, know what kind of person I am. However, I've recently discovered that I am not immune to any witch hunt. Those who've known you your whole life, even, may easily believe lies about you. It is important to remember here, that family is not chosen and that some of them may belong to that vast sameness that you are not part of. Just because you are different, doesn't mean those you have come from are, too. 

I was recently told that a family member told my grandfather that I said I was going to let my son decide if he was a boy or a girl. Now, I can't be sure that this is actually what was said or if it's just what my grandfather heard and you know how the game of telephone goes, but let's assume it's what my grandfather heard. He believed it, without question. So, it is obvious to any of my group of "different" friends who know me that I would never say or do anything of the sort. I am all for breaking gender roles and stereotypes, but I do not believe that gender is a choice, like AT ALL. I think it would be ridiculous to take a boy who obviously identifies as a boy and say, "Son, do you want to be a boy or a girl?" I mean seriously? By that same logic, I do not believe that a boy who identifies as a girl or a girl who identifies as a boy has any more choice in the matter. Gender identity is not, in my opinion, a choice. 

This, however, is not the issue I mean to get to. We can talk all day long about gender identity, roles, stereotypes, but... My point, dear readers, is that people of the "non-different" group, if you will, will find it incredibly easy to believe ridiculous things about you when you are of the "different" group. My grandfather took what he heard and easily accepted it as fact. After all, that Lauren, she's a strange one, that's something she would do right? When you do not fit into the typical, predictable idea of a person, a woman, whatever, most people will believe almost any ridiculous thing about you. All of the "crazy " things that have happened in our history, all of the stories of persecution that seem so horrifying in hindsight, even to your average person I can see now will happen again and again and again ad nauseam. Because most people do not realize how easily they will vilify those who are different, they do so without realizing it and frequently. 

So I now see, I have a lot to fear in this world. I try to share and educate and spread knowledge and questioning, because I see so much value in it and I know that if more people were a little different, then we are all a little safer, a little smarter, a little more capable, understanding, etc.. I am losing faith though. I don't think it's going to work. Our government, education system, media, health care system, food system, all run by corporations, have been working a long time at creating a "normal" about us. They want us to not be different because it's all much easier that way - another brick in the wall if you will. If people don't question anything they are much easier to use and to polarize and to turn against one another.

Like I said, I am losing faith. I used to think that I could help change these things. I could just write and share and if I just kept trying and believing and being positive, that I could help change the world or at least the beliefs or thoughts of those around me (and with the butterfly effect and all, right?) I still believe that if enough people change their way of thinking, we can change things for the better. That's what revolution is, I think. Maybe that's not possible anymore, or maybe it's just America. What do you think? Are we too far gone? Is there any hope? I just don't know.

Now in case you were wondering I didn't say anything about my son being able to choose his gender. OBVIOUSLY. I do remember talking to someone about not wanting to cut his beautiful hair. Babies really don't look like one gender or the other without some serious effort on the clothes and accessories front. I really don't care if someone thinks my son's hair is too long and he "looks like a girl." He is a secure person and I know he always will be, I mean with a name like Maverick, how could he not right? Right?! But seriously, His hair getting a little long is not going to feminize him and I know that. Maybe the non-differents don't, but that's their problem. To them, all I have to say is:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

And who have I become?

To put it simply, Mom.  That term that so many millions of women are.  No longer ourselves, just this thing.  Mom. Caregiver.  An absence of ourselves.  Maybe it's just me who feels this way, I really don't know.  Maybe it's because I'm in the thick of struggling with this new identity.  Maybe it's depression.  Whatever it is, I need to write about it.  I was going to post about a few other topics, but I realize there are things I need to get out and I have no one to talk to.  I have separated myself from everyone I know and love and in my house, I don't really get to be anything other than Mom.  Anyway, this Lauren person has been built.  She's strong, independent, funny, positive, a know-it-all, so sure of herself, and never in any pain.  Well, I can tell you something.  I am not that person anymore.  I don't know who she is.  So I'm going to talk about it...

When I became a mother, the me as I have always known myself flew right out the window.  I have been trying to find myself ever since, and all that I have found is Maverick's mom, the family cook and my husband's therapist and assistant.  I basically take care of everyone now, but no one takes care of me.  I guess it didn't occur to anyone that I would need any taking care of.  My body did something amazing.  It still does actually; it feeds my son.  I am in awe of what I was able and still am able to do.  No one else seems to be.  I don't know what I expected to get from my husband after our son was born, and perhaps it was wrong of me to expect anything at all, but I did.  I hoped for some incredible wonder or appreciation at what I have done.  I didn't get it.  He's a wonderful dad, but I'm not his wife anymore.  I don't know how to be; I'm just Mom.  It is important to him that I listen to his thoughts, so I do.  He doesn't like my reactions though, no matter how I try to respond in a way that I think will make him happy.  I listen anyway.  I make sure he's up for school.  I make us food, but I never have the right things around to eat.

Despite what I have done with my body and the appreciation and care I think it deserves because of that, I still seem to be second to the girls on the screen.  The young, firm, naked women free of pubic hair, positioned in suggestive poses that reveal bodies that have not carried children, that have not nourished another human being.  They are ready for the taking.  I am not.  I am MOM.  I need someone to take care of me.  I need someone to make me feel like Lauren again before I can go there.  But that's just frustrating.  It's too much work.  It hurts me profoundly to see my husband choose to look at other women.  I have expressed that before, asked that it not happen, to no avail.  Yet it still seems a surprise to him every time when I react the way that I do.  Somehow, I become the unreasonable one when I act hurt.  I get a sarcastic comment as he slams the door behind him to go to school, and a stab in the heart.  No I love you.

Maybe there is nothing left to love, because I'm just Mom.  Maybe it's because all day long I am simply needed and never wanted.  I hope this will pass, but I want every other mom or soon to be mom to know that if you don't feel quite yourself after your baby is here, you aren't the only one.  You change in ways you never could have guessed, and that's okay.  Your husband may not recognize you.  You may not recognize you, but I do.

You're Mom, and I'm right there with you.  Just imagine me there, stroking your face, taking care of you and telling you everything you need to hear, that no one else will say.  I'll pretend you are here doing the same, and maybe I'll start to feel a little bit better.