Monday, November 20, 2006

Selfish

Thank you, Meira. For this, and for your comment on my (I freely admit, totally whiny) last post. Seriously.

I think one of the many things adding to the hormonal vortex right now is that I swing wildly between self-pitying anger and frustration with people in my life who are, let's face it, only doing their best; and then the realization that they are only trying to do their best, and trying to show their kindness and love in the only way they know how, and I really am being a little selfish. Deservedly selfish, maybe, but still. And then I just feel even more horrible.

Meira wrote,
I remember having those feelings and then I remember the endless laments of my (teenaged) brothers telling (7-yr-old) me that I was selfish and ungrateful and everything else. And then you’re ‘grown’ and pregnant and people are giving you things and you hate them for it, which means your brothers were right — it’s who you *are*.

And that's the feeling my mother's horrible "you're being selfish" comment brought flooding back. I don't know if it's a cultural thing--selflessness to the point of self-abegnation being generally expected of Asian women--but my mom has been telling me how selfish I am my whole life. And maybe I am a little selfish, but I fight it so hard. I think that's one reason I've had such a hard time with this sort-of bed rest--it goes against everything I've ever been taught, to be putting myself and the needs of my body FIRST, no exceptions.

I still remember this one time, I was probably 6 or 7, and I had just gotten these beautiful brand-new pink sandals. I loved these sandals, truly. I wore them 24/7. If I could have married these sandals, I would have. And then I had a friend over to play, and for some reason she needed to borrow a pair of sandals (I can't remember...maybe we were going to the pool and she had some other kind of footwear?). I wanted to lend her another pair, but my mom said no, I should lend her my new sandals, because you always give your guest the best. And I did. not. want. anyone. else. to wear my beautiful new sandals. So I threw a little tantrum, and stormed up to my room. Not exactly model behavior, but come on, I was SIX. My mom came upstairs and gave me this huge lecture about how selfish and badly-behaved I was being. Again, yeah, maybe the most generous thing for me to do would have been to share my sandals, but again, come on, I was six years old. Could I have been more open-hearted about my belongings? Sure. But was it also perfectly understandable, under the circumstances, that I might NOT want to share? Again, yes, absolutely.

What's funny about this bedrest situation is how I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. If I try to make decisions to protect my health, my stress level, my sanity, I'm being selfish. Yet if I push myself physically just a little harder than is maybe ideal, or I express frustration with my situation, then I'm also being selfish, for not putting my baby first above all else.

And considering how very little about this pregnancy has gone the way I would have hoped, I feel more than a little like a six-year-old girl who's had to share her favorite new sandals.

I know this isn't making a whole lot of sense...I guess I just need to remember that with all the fear, all the frustration, all the stress, all the everything, I'm not in a particularly rational frame of mind. And I need to have some compassion for myself for feeling this way.

I might need to take a break from blogging for a couple of weeks...it's hard for me, right now, to come up with anything to say that isn't more of the same, more complaining, more crying, more feeling sorry for myself. And the more I indulge those feelings, the harder it seems to get.

6 Comments:

Blogger K77 said...

Complaining, crying, self-pity, um for me that is the whole POINT of blogging :)

5:39 PM  
Blogger Alli said...

This is the place to get it out. I don't think the sandal thing was selfish - I have a 6 year old and I would not have done that. Besides, six year olds are selfish because they are six. . .

Hope you are feeling better and back blogging soon!

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Brooklyn Girl said...

Hang in there, kiddo. You're more than entitled to all the emotions you're feeling. Thanks for sharing them.

7:56 PM  
Blogger gaelen said...

Sweetie, you are allowed to complain, cry, and feel sorry for yourself. Why do you think any one of us even have blogs? Don't feel guilted into feeling otherwise.

And I would throw a tantrum NOW if my friend even thought about borrowing my favorite pink sandals ;)

9:37 PM  
Blogger TeamWinks said...

K77 is right. This is your space to do those exact things without feeling guilty. I think it would have been just as generous to share any pair of sandals. I believe your mom was teaching you to give the best you have to everybody. That's a price you can't always afford. This is a temporary situation, and all you can do is give the best to you and your baby. Everybody else will have to wait in line.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Meira said...

Ooooh, I feel sad for the 6-yr-old who had to share her best sandals. Surely the 2nd best would have been fine?? It's really a shame that your mom doesn't make more of an attempt to look at things from your perspective.

And I'll second what the others said about this being the place to get those feelings out -- especially since you're already feeling isolated. You need a safe place to vent and I'm afraid I might have made it feel less safe. I'm sorry.

10:33 AM  

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