Happy Monday morning friends.
Our family is home after a long weekend away, there is a blog to come about the weekend but in the meantime here I am catching up on the 100+ blogs I choose to follow.
Today I want you all to head over to my friend Ellie’s site, One Crafty Mother. Ellie is interviewing Amy Hatvany who has authored the book Best Kept Secret.
Best Kept Secret is :
“A timely novel about a mother whose life falls apart when she descends into alcoholism, and her battle to get sober and regain custody of her son.”
I haven’t yet read the book, I just ordered it but something in the interview struck home for me. Amy states the following:
“I think as women in our culture – whether or not we are mothers – we are certainly driven by perfectionism. We are told we can do it all, be it all, have it all. Of course, we can’t – at least, not “perfectly” – so I wanted to portray how as a result, many women experience profound levels of shame and self-loathing, even as we smile brightly and tell ourselves that we can’t expect to always be perfect at everything in our lives. But deep down, perhaps subconsciously, I think we still believe that we “should” be. So we reach for behaviors that drown our shame out, at least temporarily. And then we become ashamed of the behavior, and a vicious cycle emerges. I’m not just talking about alcohol, here. Eating disorders, shopping, gambling, sex – even our careers can serve as an “escape” from the pressure. “
I would love to know your thoughts, did you experience such loathing that you turn to something as a tool to provide happiness?
Do you now?
How did you change this behavior?
If you are a mother how are you changing this pattern with your kids?
With two little girls here I’m already seeing internal confidence issues and would love the feedback.
Julie Thurgood says
Great post Julie…I am not sure how to answer your questions, but maybe I will try…I am a tech addict….a photography addict…but heck I turned that into a job….so I am not sure I am answering this well enough.I am in touch with everything all the time – my blackberry, my laptop…for me to go one day without being attached to something is like withdrawal. I have tried to not be so connected, however with running my photography business that is hard…in the world of SEO and the "buzz" I am constantly looking a new ways to stay in touch and promote my business.Am I the mom with the blackberry with me always – yes – you know that commercial with the parents walking around with the blackberries and not paying attention, that is me. Can I stop this, I know I can……
I remeber my parents saying how much the world had changed since they were kids… and I am sure we can claim the same. I don't know if there is more violence, but I do recognize the celebrity culture and unrealistic portrayal of body image contributes to the shame and self-loathing we see in our youth. When we consume in excess, whether alcohol, smoking, food, drugs etc. it is to fill a void, it is to fill the space that was meant for love. Unconditional love. Love we should have got from our parents, our siblings, our school mates, friends etc. It is my (unpopular) belief that we come into this life, with full knowledge of the lessons we are going to learn. And how do you set up lessons to learn about complete love, unless you are given less? You cannot have happiness without pain. So we sign up to experience pain, with other souls. They play the bad guy, so we can set up the environment to live the lesson. This means there are no victims, all of us chose the life we have and the way we react, creates our future. The key is to understand you are responsible for your life, you are the creator… to create a different life, focus on love, integrity and truth. It is not pain that scares children, it is the inability to heal from a painful experience. It is possible to let go of the past and create a peaceful, loving life.
One Crafty Mother says
Thanks for spreading the word about the interview, and Amy's book. It's amazing.And I know that shame and a feeling of not measuring up were definitely at the root of a lot of my drinking.. I think I was an alcoholic before I became a mother, but after my first child was born my drinking really skyrocketed. It just seemed so much easier for everyone else, you know?But I know now that I because I was already drinking I had that "terminal uniqueness" that so many alcoholics experience..Sober I still feel those roller coaster emotions of motherhood – joy can turn to prodound annoyance in the blink of an eye – but I don't struggle any more with the self-loathing and feelings of not measuring up. The only explanation I can find is that I'm not drinking, which tells me the drinking was creating the feelings of self-loathing. I also had terrible anxiety, which got a LOT better when I got sober.The other big thing I have now that I didn't before is a network of supportive, sober, REAL women who help me understand that I'm so not alone with my sometimes ambivalent feelings about motherhood. -xo-Ellei
Excellent questions an I think I might have to blog my answers….more to come. I will send you the link when I get it done.
Writerly Wanna Be says
Julie,I think we all have a little bit of that in us…men as well. Some have more than others. I have to think it is what we feed. We have all these many facets that make us who and what we are. Inside and outside influences. The pieces that grow, are those we feed. So with our children, we need to recognize it in them, and then be sure to feed those we want to grow and hope they learn to do that for themselves. However, they will have outside influences beyond our control.
First, we can't do it all. That's such a lie we tell ourselves.Second, I think in a world where women are expected to work much of the time, the men need to be raised to understand that they have to help out more. I can't believe all the instances I see where the guys are like "Hey, I worked all week, I DESERVE some relaxation. You take care of the kids while I go golf." The implication: taking care of the kids is your job. As is working. And cleaning the house. Get on it. I think we need to shift our expectations on everyone to make the situation better – but, surprisingly, as it stands it's only really hurting the women it seems.