I have these bouts of feeling back in my skin. Thinking I’ve found my new normal and having regained my confidence, I put myself out there in one way or another — professionally, socially, romantically. Before long, I find myself cowering in my cave, wanting to shelter myself from the inevitable slings and arrows of real life.
I’m in the cave stage at the moment. Writing, reading, taking care of kids, socializing only in the safest and most familial risk-free ways. I’m pondering next moves and trying to breathe a lot. This avoidance technique is losing it’s appeal. Tired and defeated begets tired and defeated.
So, I’m psyching myself up to get back out there. Stop playing small and show up for life, take some risks.
Tonight, as I considered who I might reach out to, I caught a glimpse of a sensation I’ve had before but was finally able to nail it – shame. I’m ashamed. The old friend I want to call is married. The other one I though of, married too. So what? So, I’m still ashamed of my status as single mom? I thought I’d moved past that. Maybe it’s knowing that inevitably “catch up” conversations always derail to focusing on my ex and his rock n’ roll lifestyle. How do I handle everything? How are the kids? How does it effect them? And, me, this once force of will and fortitude is sort of the victim even when I’m the hero of my story. How hard it’s been. How painful for my kids. How lonely. How rather fucking pathetic when I think about it.
Shame. So in 2014, I feel ashamed of being a single mom. Consciously I am proud of myself and my children and how I have fulfilled my role as their mother. But apparently, deep down, I feel ashamed of being single. How odd. I wonder is this some inherited genetic or social remnant from my ancestors? Is it society’s gross generalized depiction of single moms as either crack heads or desperate cougars? Is it my own loss of identity when I had so much hinged on being his wife forever?
I don’t know. I don’t know how to reconcile the fervent belief I have in marriage and family with my current reality. I thought I had this facet handled. I suppose the littlest set backs in any area of my life tease my deeper insecurities to the fore … so at least it’s here and I can see it. Shame. A relic. A destructive device. A burden I don’t wish to carry. Shame. Maybe now that I recognize it I can do something about it.