A good friend of mine sent the following to me in an email and after reading it, I HAD to share it so I asked for her permission and it was granted, provided I remove any identifying phrases. This piece is very powerful and I sincerely hope that it speaks to some of you as much as it spoke to me.
I have the wonderful opportunity to be attending some marriage strengthening classes. As part of these classes we have started talking about shame. As we have started to do this and I have started my workbook, I realize I carry a lot of shame. So at this late hour when I can’t sleep I am coming to terms and releasing my shame.
I feel like I hide my real self and learned to do this at a young age. I hide my real self in many different ways, one of them by not expressing myself. So here goes.
I have an aunt whom I love very much and look up to a lot. In fact she is not too much older than me, and while she has some children older than mine 2 of her younger ones are about the same age as mine. Well she is very expressive and does not care what other people think. And I think people love her because of that. I know I do. I want to be more like her… anyway, onto the shame.
I feel shamed because of the fact that I suffered from Postpartum Depression. Many people have made me feel this way. I also feel shamed because of the alternative route I sought out to help me overcome it. I sought out alternative medicine because western medicine and I don’t get along very well. Some people have made me feel that I should have just been able to “snap out of, or Get over” my depression. Don’t you think I would have if I could have? I have a family member that no matter what I say or do feels that I have PPD yet again. I DON’T, I have not had issues with PPD this time. They feel though that I do because someone who had PPD said to them that once you have it you always will, and it will get worse with each child. I feel bad for this person who has suffered from PPD more than once. I also feel bad for my family member that refuses to see that I am not suffering. I think part of the reason that they feel this way is because they feel that I sought treatment from a source that was less than godly. I feel they worry about my very salvation.
I feel shamed because we are covered under state run medical plans. Most of those people who shame and judge me for this have never been a student, they never sought higher education and got married and worked in high paying jobs and some have had their wives work, and sent their children off. I chose to stay home and raise my own children and we chose to have children before we graduated higher education. Because of this and because of the fact that NO employer will pay for medical insurance for a part time employee, we have state run medical coverage. I don’t enjoy being on state coverage and have had to suffer through some pretty horrible doctors because of it.
I have been made to feel shamed because my son has Sensory integration disorder and I sought out a diagnosis of this and I sought treatment for him. Well some people have told me that I should just let him be him and not try to fix him, and to let him grow out of it. I, on the other hand, wonder how a mother could stand by and watch their child suffer on a daily basis and do NOTHING about it. Yes I sought Occupational therapy for my son, sue me, I am the world’s worst mother.
I am currently working as a moderator of a support group for women suffering from PPD because no woman should be made to feel alone or shamed because she suffered after the birth of her child.
I also am currently seeking more help for my son as he has slipped in his progression since his release from OT. I am also doing this because other people see that he is different. In fact tonight at a party that we went to some one started talking to me about autism and the question arose if my son has been diagnosed with autism or not, because her grandson is autistic and she sees some behaviors in my son. Well this is the 4th person, three of them being professionals that have approached me without being asked for an opinon and talked to me about the possibility of my son having autism, at least in an extremely mild form. I am not seeking a diagnosis for him for any other reason than to help understand him more and help him to lead a full and productive life.
I will not stand shamed for these things anymore.
I will not stand shamed because I fought and recovered from PPD.
I will not stand shamed because I can not tolerate western medicine and thus seek holistic or alternative medicines.
I will not stand shamed because we live on help from the state, because it won’t be for forever and my husband is working and paying into the same system we are taking from.
I will not stand shamed because I am trying to find ways to help my son cope with life and live a full life for himself.