Getting to Know You

Is there any better feeling in this life than feeling understood? It’s a catch-22 of sorts, we human beings who crave being known, and yet work so hard to hide our (perceived) flaws. I am well aware that I must let someone in if I expect them to see beyond my surface, but that’s easier said than done. 

Between the births of our two sons (born almost three years apart), my husband and I had two miscarriages. Each time, as our news trickled out, we received cards and emails from friends and family who said “I know exactly what you’re going through.” One of those stories came from an aunt, whose miscarriage was never hidden, but who’d never had an opportunity or reason to share it. I look back on those losses with such mixed emotions – saddened (for obvious reasons), but also grateful for the opportunity to grow closer to people I already considered close.

I read somewhere that every child a woman carries in her womb (whether it’s a full-term pregnancy or not), alters her DNA. In other words (very simple words): she is forever changed by each child. I could write a year’s worth of posts on how our two living children changed me, and continue to change me, for the better. The change that came from the children we lost was a permanent crack in my emotional armor, allowing others in and more of me to come out.

In the last ten days (has it really been that brief?), so many people have shared with me their stories of caring for loved ones with depression, affirming the seriousness of this disease and countering society’s tendency to say, “Can’t he just get over it?” Like midwives who support a woman through her first time giving birth, you’re making this experience so much less frightening and so much more doable. Thank you for the gift of knowing you better. I look forward to playing midwife for someone else, one day. (Perhaps my posts are doing that right now?)

 

Pictured (above): This sign hangs outside our front door. Failte is the Irish word for “welcome.” When you read my blog posts, you’re entering part of my world. It feels only right to say welcome!