MOTHERING IN ABSENTIA
Hello, welcome to a safe haven where women speak about their wombs.
Yes, you read that right.
So perhaps you thought we were only talking about mothering.....
That I would enlighten you on the term Mothering in Absentia.....
Well, that's definitely part of the agenda but before that let's get out of our heads and into our wombs.
Some sectors of our community make assumptions about what's going on with us based on what our wombs have or have not produced.
Some sectors of our community act as if what our wombs have or have not produced determines our ability and capacity to think, learn, decern, guide, care, etc.....
Some sectors of our community conflate being a mother with being a parent.
Mothering and parenting are vastly different, sometimes they overlap and sometimes they are poles apart.
So let's set our records straight, here, and see if that helps us bust a few myths for the blinked and prejudiced who feel somewhat entitled to condescend when invoking slurs such as 'how would you know you're not a mother', 'you have no idea, you're not a mother', 'when you have a child then you have an opinion', 'of course you'd think like that, you're not a mother'....etc.
This is where we separate the chaff from the wheat so to speak.
This is where we speak about our wombs and who we are according to the traffic that we know has passed through our wombs.
This is where we become aware of our own blinkers about ourselves.
Blinkers we put on to survive.
This is where we take off those blinkers, when we're ready, and open ourselves to encompasssing and celebrating the completeness of who we are.
This is where we acknowledge the bravery, the loneliness, the grief of who we are.
Where we celebrate the power of being who we are.
Where we learn ways to become who we always felt we are.
Where we let go of surviving in favour of thriving.
Whatever the circumstances are that led to your status of being a mother without a child this space is sacred.
Not one woman in this community will be judged for the absence of her child or children.
My story is your story so you already know a lot of the details. Suffice to say that due to the pressure I was placed under to conceal my status of being a 'mother' I lost connection with myself for a long time. However, regardless of the time passing and the self destructive things I engaged in the feelings I had of being a mother to a child who wasn't with me persisted. I had to explore this more deeply because my feelings were so intense I had to find out if this was real or a myth.
Not on one occasion I reached the point of no return that almost resulted in suicide. - the thought of ending my life was a daily consideration.
The redeeming thought I had each day that got me to the next day was that my child would be devastated if I did that.
Instead, I pursued a winding path to where I am today that started with an awareness that I had a right to 'truth'. Truth was abandoned to lies when I agreed to not tell my story. In a bid to find locate my truth I had to expose the myths about who I had become. I had to take action to reclaim all the bits of me I had cloaked to fit a story that made others feel safe and left me in jeopardy of disappearing completely. Yes, I had agreed to tell the world a lie when I separated from my son through adoption. That lie was a story that I was given. I was simply that. A story.
Once I had this realization I had to discover how to write my own story.
To do that I began exploring what I was feeling.
I stopped jumping from pain straight into annihilation.
I stopped doing damaging things to me on behalf of others.
What I discovered is : the journey is the destination
My unshakable pain lay in the belief and the physical knowing that my babies are still my babies.
I am their mother.
I will always be their mother.
First I had to locate each of my feelings.
I had to name them and I had to own them.
Then I had to thank them for being my guides.
The pain came from my grief.
The pain came from my fear.
The pain came from my shame.
The pain came from my low self-esteem.
The pain came from so many directions that the cause was all jumbled up.
All my feelings were negative - there was no joy - there was only numbness.
Emotional numbness is a red flag signally high levels of trauma.
But I had to learn all this.
I had to find my joy and make friends with it to balance out the negative overwhelm I felt every waking moment.
Don't get me wrong, I was and still am a high achiever. But I couldn't celebrate anything I did. I couldn't find joy or self-acknowledgment within me. I was doing well out of fear of being discovered. I was accomplishing stuff to disguise my huge, unforgivable, unfixable failures.
I was a killjoy.
I had no idea that I was allowed to have both negative and positive feelings. I thought that being vibrant, functional, and productive was traitorous to the babies I was too scared to keep. I didn't deserve to be a happy person. I was a wicked, shameful, slut, who didn't know how to be a mother.
I had no idea that
It ho is and who is not a 'mother' need to be exposed debunked.
This is my contribution to taking the pressure off women who have experienced the same stress to conceal a vital aspect of themselves. It is time to integrate the parts of us that make us strong so that we can amplify our contribution to this world and do so with pride and excitement and joy. The whole of me is with me everyday. That includes the internalised mothering of my child(ren) in spite of their absence.
Mothering is internal.
It is psychological.
It is spiritual.
It is celluar.
The physiological transformation a woman experiences upon conception is non-negotiable. Once a woman becomes pregnant her body that was no longer is. She is transformed.
called nonetheless mothering.
There are billions of women around the world consider themselves mothers yet they cannot speak about what that means for them simply because their 'child' is not physically with them.
are not given respect, dignity, acknowledgement, access and kudos conferred on women who have a child to evidence their status. The title 'mother' is exclusory and reified only when the child is present.
This is a sacred space where women are encouraged to speak openly and in their own time about their ways of being mothers to the children they gave birth to but don't have physical access to.
This is a sacred space where women are encouraged to speak openly and in their own time about their ways of being mothers to the children they didn't give birth to.