Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Last Best Year: Shame and Miscarriage

Have you ever had that feeling that you should NOT have said what you just said?  Not because it was inappropriate or hurtful to someone else.  (Not the mechanism that teaches us about social norms and who is safe and who is not).  But because you have a sense that you should have kept that truth about YOU hidden because now people know that there is something wrong with YOU.  The reflex that says – “Run and hide!  Now they know how messed up I am!”

I have felt the shame reflex quite a bit as I have shared my story of infertility/pregnancy/miscarriage.  Not just after I have hit “post” on my blog, but as I have shared with family, friends, groups.  I get that this could be because of my own story and wounds, (and some of it is), but as I talk to women about this more and more – worldwide even – I get a sense that it is something bigger. 

Could it be our culture’s uncomfortableness with grief, pain, and emotions in general?  Or could it be an even older, broader story?  A story about women’s truest glory?  And women’s shamiest shame?

I won’t pretend to have enough knowledge or wisdom as an ambivalent, freshman feminist to say anymore.  But I do pose the question: what is women’s truest glory?  That maybe childbearing is an analogy of, but not a full expression of?  Because I have a sense that once we get some taste of that, shame and miscarriage will no longer go hand in hand.

(And by the way, blogging about it is one way of me giving shame the finger.  For more than just me).

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