Part 3: Why? My expectations are destroying me.

I feel like anger is this dirty, dark emotion that is not ok to feel.

The day before Memorial Day, I boiled eggs for the deviled eggs I intended to bring to a cookout the next day. While walking to the sink to drain the boiling water, I misstepped and poured boiling water down my stomach and left leg. Thankfully, I was wearing my belly band (for diastasis recti), which shielded my stomach from most of the water. However, the skin on my thigh instantly peeled off and began to blister. I am an avid cook and have been for over a decade. I have never burnt myself this severely. I believe that anything that occurs to us physically is the last-ditch effort of the Universe/God to get our attention. I believe we are first given intuitive nudges, feelings, and thoughts to help steer us in the right direction. When all of those things fail, our physical body is the last way the Universe has, and normally it is the most severe. So I called my best friend and asked her to look up the meaning of burns in Louis Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life. Hay states that burns are indications of anger expressing in the body and that anger will find its way to express, no matter how much we try to suppress it. She says that spiritual people often believe they shouldn’t get angry and that, yes, we should be working towards releasing all blame from others, but until we get there, it is much healthier to acknowledge what we feel in the moment. At the time she read it, I thought I am not really angry about anything… I may be annoyed or frustrated, but angry seemed like such a harsh term. So I brushed the incident aside and decided I just needed to be more careful when cooking. Then we arrived in St. Petersburg on Saturday and went to the beach on Sunday. It was a cloudy day, and we were there for four hours. In that four-hour time period, any exposed skin on my body got extremely burnt. For the next few days, I experienced flu-like symptoms as my body recovered. When I had that breakdown I referred to in my first post, the best friend who shared the Louis Hay burn meaning with me observed that I had been severely burnt twice in less than a month. When we got off the phone, I thought about how over the last year, I had burnt my forearms and hands multiple times while cooking but had always blamed it on rushing and multi-tasking with my daughter. All those burns had been minor and something I never thought about. Now I realize it was the Universe trying to help me get honest about how I felt. Anger is something I attribute to my father. I would never describe myself as an angry person, and it’s a word I would rarely use to describe my feelings. I think of anger as something bad, dark, and negative. Even identifying as angry in this moment feels severe…but if I’m honest, I am. I was told to raise my daughter in a particular way and that it would yield beautiful results by multiple professionals, books, podcasts, and documentaries. Yet, no one discussed the challenges and reality that would be created through choosing attachment parenting. And as these challenges emerged, the same people who gave their advice so passionately would sheepishly admit that it was a part of it. I feel like this is a common thing among pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. When asked or discussing those topics, we tend to skim over the bad and focus on the good. In theory, this is not a bad thing. However, it can create unrealistic expectations for first-time parents who have never gone through it before, creating confusion and concern because this was not the reality described to them. I am angry with myself for so blindly following other people’s advice. Pregnancy, birth, and parenthood are some of the most natural and intuitive processes humans can experience. But, unfortunately, I did not allow any space for my intuition to guide me. Instead, I created strict guidelines and expectations before ever even feeling my daughter move within my womb.

This is the hard one to admit because I am playing the victim and blaming others for my actions. But if I am honest, I am angry with my midwives, doula, and experts I read/listened to for not telling the full story. I am angry that they did not include the potential negative consequences of choosing this lifestyle. I am angry that it took me asking questions after the fact for the difficulties to be discussed.

I am angry because my unrealistic expectations did not come to fruition, and life has been hard. I am angry because I cannot keep parenting the way I am, but I know that changing will be hard.