Friday, January 28, 2011

Soap Box

I should be doing homework right now, but there's something I have to get off my chest.

While the majority of the comments I get are encouraging and kind, there are those that make my blood boil, too. I don't remove them. I think it's only fair that since I put my life out there for people to see that they should be entitled to have an opinion. So I leave the comments up. I've only ever deleted one comment on this blog, and that was because it was so over the top and hateful that it was flagged by several people.

That being said, the questionable comments that get left do bother me. I'm not impervious to criticism, especially when it's not the constructive variety. More than that, though, it bothers me because I try to hard to write in a balanced way so that people will respond  to me in a balanced manner as well. While I am emotional about the turns my life has taken over the past couple of years, I try to write calmly and rationally for the most part. I leave out things that would only serve to make others look bad and make me look better. I try to put my faults out there so that everyone knows I'm not professing to be perfect or even close to it. I try very hard, sometimes to my own detriment, not to villainize anyone. There are so many posts I have begun to write only to scrap them because the only purpose they served was to soothe my injured pride.

At the same time, I want to be real. I want people to know what it's like to go through what I've gone through, either to help them through their own issues or as a cautionary tale, as a reminder to spend time in their own marriages before it's too late. So I don't want to sugar coat things so much that it looks like this is easy.

It's not an easy line to walk. But I try to do it, even when I know that be being more controversial I could get more traffic, which would lead to more income for my family. I choose not to write so much. I choose to look on the bright side while still being relatively open about my life. So when I get comments from people saying that they feel sorry for my children, it upsets me. Today someone said I should get my tubes tied and that they felt sorry for my children because their father didn't want to be a dad to them.

First of all...I know an awful lot of families who go through unplanned pregnancies. I admitted that I knew that some people would have an issue with mine when I announced it. But I'm not the only person out there whose children are unplanned. In fact, you could argue that many people who leave the amount of children they have up to God don't plan any of their children. I'm not saying what that getting pregnant in this situation was ideal, but even if this baby's life is the only reason God allowed me to spend the last two years of my life trying to reconcile with a man who walked out on me, it will be worth it. It already is.

As far as feeling sorry for my children because of their situation? That's not okay with me. The kids and I didn't choose this, and I don't put our lives out there so that people will feel sorry for them or pity them or me, for that matter. I don't even put our lives out there for the small amount of money this blog makes me every month. I put our lives and our story out there for the emails I get from others who didn't realize they weren't the only ones. The women who didn't realize there was someone else out there dealing with single parenthood being thrust upon them or someone else dealing with the death of a child or someone else dealing with a child with special needs or someone else dealing with all of that. Every email I get from someone saying "I didn't know I wasn't the only one...I hate that you're going through this, but I feel so much better knowing I'm not alone." makes everything I write here worthwhile.

I know the pain of feeling alone in your sorrow, that you must have done something so terrible to have so many things go wrong in your life that no one else could possibly understand and relate. I also know the bittersweet joy of finding someone who knows just where you've been and can help pave the way you want to go. If I can be that to someone, this is worth it. If they grow in their faith or become Christians in the process, then it's even more awesome. These are my motives, nothing else.

We don't need pity, and you certainly don't need to feel sorry for me or my children. Yes, my kids have a hard road to walk because of choices they had nothing to do with. I realize their life has taken a turn I fought very hard to avoid. I come from a family of divorce. My dad died when I was very young. I was raised by a single mother. It's not what anyone would choose, but we don't always get to choose.  I always swore that my children would not go through what I went through, and yet I couldn't save them from this. But I can protect them and their hearts and teach them to walk with their heads held high and never be ashamed of things that were beyond their control. This will change them, but it will not break them, and they will not be miserable or empty or deserving of pity. I cam promise you that. These children, including the one that is not born, are loved hugely and mightily, and they will never feel unloved, no matter what. That is something I can promise. Love, from me and many others, will never be something they go without, no matter how untraditional their family unit.

We're not the ones to feel sorry for. Not in this situation, and not in the larger scheme of things. There are many other people in the world that are truly deserving of that sentiment, but I will always try my hardest to make sure that my children don't fall into that category.

I just want to clarify that I know there are well meaning people who sometimes say "I feel sorry for..." when what they mean is that their heart is going out to someone, or that person has been placed on their heart for prayer, etc. The sentiment is completely different, and that is usually apparent in the tone of the rest of the conversation or comment. Just want to put that out there.

And I'm off my soapbox now and off to do homework. Whew.
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