The part that stuck with me the most? “Apologizing for being me is a crime. I am who I am.”
D and I took the kids to a Hanukkah party last week. Many of our friends were there with their kids too. The smell of fried latkes wafted through the house, and kids whizzed and zoomed around while adults stood sipping wine and chatting. Uneasiness started swelling up inside me, but I tried to stuff it down. Gripping my wine glass, I drifted around, floating on the edges of conversations, but my brain wasn’t really present. I began falling, teetering on the edge of that familiar separation where I stand outside myself.
People commented on how I’d just had a baby and lost all the weight. I tipped back my glass for a gulp, then said, “It’s easy when you have Postpartum Depression plus anxiety, sleep deprivation and three kids to take care of.” They laughed and I smiled, but it’s the truth. I didn’t lose the weight the healthy way; I lost it through worry, stress, and trying to cope with it all by keeping busy and never allowing myself to sit down. By eating protein bars while balancing a baby and a bottle on one arm. By doing 10 loads of laundry a day and running up and down the stairs until I thought the bowling ball in my vagina might actually make an appearance. By suffering through my recovery thinking this was how all women felt after a vaginal delivery, when in fact, what I’m going through is very rare and only complicates things. I lost the weight by trying to be perfect, making sure the house wasn’t a wreck and that everyone else was taken care of even if I myself hadn’t showered or changed clothes in three days.
I don’t think they got it. Someone else said, “Don’t you hate people like that, people who have a baby and then look like her a few weeks later?” I promise I’d rather still be carrying the extra pounds if it meant I could relax and not freak out about something every five minutes. I’d gladly put 20 pounds back on in a heartbeat in exchange for not worrying about the baby every split second.
I left the party early right after receiving a vibrator during the gift exchange. You’d think a good joke would bring me back from the edge, but seeing everyone else laugh and have such a good time only magnified my loneliness. One of my girlfriends touched my arm, looked at me and said I looked tired. That did it. I lost it and there was no getting it back. I felt like a child. I apologized and hurried out of the room. I took the girls home with me and D stayed on, confused and clueless about what had just happened.
I am going through so much. Yet I felt the need to APOLOGIZE. This is nothing new, but it’s certainly getting OLD.
In 2012, no more bullshit, no more excuses (except maybe baby sometimes), no more fear, and no more FUCKING APOLOGIZING FOR WHO I AM.
Do you ever find yourself falling into this trap? Do you apologize too much for yourself and/or in general? Why?