Bad Mother

Nah, that’s not how I look at myself. It’s the title of a book I bought myself on my last big book blowout. I think I probably mentioned the book when I finished reading it, but there was one passage in the introduction that really struck home with me, kinda like a mental “cleanse colon” code for me. Since I am seeing my cousin this weekend, and she has asked to borrow the book, I guess it’s time to share that with you.

Here’s what Ayelet Waldman had to say:

I believe that mothers should tell the truth, even-no, especially-when the truth is difficult. It’s always easier, and in the short term can even feel right, to pretend everything is okay, and to encourage your children to do the same. But concealment leads to shame, and of all hurts shame is the most painful. Only if you name a problem, confront it head-on, drag it into the light, does it become surmountable. I always tell my kids that as soon as you have a secret, something about you that you are ashamed to have others find out, you have given other people the power to hurt you by exposing you.

I read that little tidbit not long after the massive blowout that happened in my extended family. The truth is, life isn’t always pretty, and here was a major author who acknowledged that and said to tell the truth anyway. It was a pivotal moment for me. And I hope I let that principle guide me for the rest of my life. Even when I choke on the words. Because sometimes I still do, but at least I am no longer ashamed of stuff that wasn’t my fault.

Ok, that’s it. maybe next time we’ll discuss hypomania. And maybe we won’t. You’ll find out right after I do. 😯