Because – I love you.

Self-portrait with Nico

The gift of vulnerability

This is a piece I wrote in my writing class yesterday. I had no intention of sharing it, but when I read it aloud in class (through sputtery tears) I looked up and saw that we were all a bit teary. On a day when I felt so alone, so fragile and wanting to hide, there was a table full of women nodding their heads saying, I’ve been there… And guess what? That was enough to change everything. It didn’t fix my problems, but helped me to hold them (and myself) with more compassion.

I share this as a window into one of my harder days, in the hopes that if you find yourself in these words, you will breathe a sigh of relief. You are not alone. And neither am I.

Because

Because he is only five. Because I’m trying, really trying. Because I’m stressed out. Because I wonder if we’ll ever stop worrying. Because I promised I would do no harm. Because I don’t want to yell.

Because I miss my boy. Because I don’t want to do it like my parents. Because I want to be far away. Because I want to hide. Because I feel like an infection. Because I’m tired. Because I don’t know what to do. Because I feel stuck. Because I feel like a horrible blot.

Because I worry about food – who’s eating it, how I’m going to make it, how we’re going to fill the fridge. Because I want everybody to like me. Because I want to feel confident and secure. Because I don’t know how to do anything anymore. Because I am lost.

Because Nico is still a baby. Because I don’t want to miss out. Because I hope I haven’t blown it already. Because I’m humbled and crushed by it all. Because I feel the crazy of my lineage moving through me, not my crazy but theirs. Because all it took was that telemarketer from Heifer calling me to send me into compulsive sobs for the rest of the night. Because I’m cracking up and not sure why. Because I want to fix what’s wrong with me.

Because Ben is like me. Because Ben is just five. Because Ben doesn’t know. Because Ben is just playing.

Because I go to those scary places in my mind. Because sometimes I think they’re better off without me. Because now I’m crying. Because I needed to get this out. Because I want someone to rescue me. Because life is hard. Because I feel like a fraud. Because you should not be tortured by this list anymore. Because this is embarrassing.

Because I don’t know where to go from here. Because I’m trying my best. Because I want to be a better person. Because something about this is not mine, but has been handed to me. Not my crazy, somebody else’s. Because I want to do better than they did. Because I love my boys. Because I want to feel the real love coming my way. Because there is so much in the way. Because I feel like damaged goods. Because I want to move past that. Because this is my work and I’m tired.

 

126 Comments

  1. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I love you Andrea. And I hear you.

  2. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing your truth.

  3. Jane
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I recognize all of that all too well. Thank you for voicing it so beautifully.
    Thank you.

  4. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Thank you. (wipe tears). Me too. Because I love. Love you and your words.

  5. Amy W.
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Because you put it perfectly into works. Because I understand.

    Thank you.

  6. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I love you so much.

  7. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    because we are never more beautiful than when we share our truth.

  8. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    You are brave and you are NOT ALONE. I loved your post and have felt most if not all of those feelings. Bravo.

  9. Jen Anderson
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    because you are real
    because you are true
    because you care
    because you are beautiful

    as my husband told me just this week: healing hurts.

    because you are dead on that path.

  10. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Hot damn and sweet goodness, I’m glad you shared this. It’s beautiful and true.

  11. Tina tierson
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Oh, sweet Andrea! How that resonates with me! My children are grown now and I sometimes still have guilt over my mothering when they were small. So many mistakes! And the crazies – yes, I was handed a whole trunk full of them. But you know what? One thing I know for sure; your boys feel your love. How do I know? Because of who you are. All of us can only do the best we can. None of us can measure up to the “perfect” parent in our head, especially if we’re comparing to our own childhood. I could make an arm-long list of things I wish I hadn’t done when my children were small, as well as when they were teenagers, some of which I think would shock you. But you know what? My son and daughters love me – they really, really do! (Thank you Sally Field!) And the thing is that I’ve only very, VERY recently come to realize that! Just remember that being a mother is very hard and we all muddle through as best we can. You’re not alone, but you are GOOD! Sending much love and many hugs! xoxo

  12. Jamie
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    You are wonderful and beautiful and love and compassion. Thank you.

  13. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Thank you . For being so brave and honest. But especially for showing how universal the feeling is.

  14. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    you amaze me with your honesty. thank you. i too struggle with someone else’s crazy in my bones and wanting to shed it all. we will. we are. thank you for all you do all you are and extending the invitation for all of us to dream .

  15. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Love, love, love this. Gave me goosbumps in the first paragraph. Thank you for sharing your truth and giving us all permission to name the hard and crazy stuff. xoxo

  16. Jenny
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    So so brave.

  17. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    love love LOVE you. so very much. you are so wise to post and voilà, look at all these people who hear and are here, even from afar. brave, wonderful you.

  18. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    because I know.
    because I don’t want to yell either.
    because I believe I am here simply to love. and be love.

    because I am hearing, seeing, witnessing a mama just like me.

  19. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    You are not alone. You are not alone.

  20. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    sending you love and support and hugs

  21. tara
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Andrea, I have tears streaming and the biggest lump in my throat.
    I relate to this so much, so many words could have come from my hand.
    I hope you feel the strength and love us readers are sending to you.
    I am here to chat if you ever need to.
    LOVE TO YOU SISTER

  22. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    because you are love(d) xx

  23. Dolly
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Because I understand even though mine are grown & living their own lives. Because you made me cry…good tears, validating tears tor all those times my thoughts mirrored yours.

    You, are a beautiful person…know that you are loved by many…especially your boys.

  24. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I am feeling pretty crazy myself right now. And do you know that during one of my recent, interminable nights of heart-pounding insomnia, I thought: I should email Andrea. She has been through this. She will say something wise that will help. Just want you to know that, with your honesty and sharing, you have helped so many of us to feel less alone.

  25. Taryn
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for sharing and being so honest! I loved this and it’s so nice to know that a lot of us share these same feelings. You are not alone. Sending you a great big hug!

  26. Leslie
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    bless you Andrea…because you know how to get “it” out…because you are a good mother…because you try so hard…because you inspire me.

  27. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Oh YES, Andrea. What courage you have. Thank you for sharing. They almost all resonate with me, but what really stood out was, “Because I want everybody to like me.” I guess that’s where I’m at today.
    I can’t wait to meet you someday soon (I hope) and share a big hug.

  28. Allison
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Andrea .. you are so special. In sharing you reach so many of us who have similar “because” lists. This is your purpose. One at a time you reach our hearts and make a huge difference. xo

  29. Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I love you. tears too. you will get through this/move past. xo

  30. Sam
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your braveness in saying things many of us want to say but cannot – you are an inspiration!

  31. Shawna Greenway
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this. I think that we all feel this way and no one wants to admit it so these thoughts just stay in our head and beat us down. There have been times, especially since Jack came into our lives like the little Taz that he is, where I lie in bed thinking “I can’t believe I yelled at a 4 year old, I’m the worst mother ever, they deserve so much better…” but really we’re all doing the best we can. Parenting is so goddamn hard and it makes you insane and makes you question every single thing you do and the worst of it (for me anyway) is you never see your own kids the way other people see them. Andrea, you have done such a great job with Ben! In the short time that he and Jack have attended school together this is what I’ve learned about Ben – he is funny and goofy and smart and so sweet and that had to have come from you (ok, and maybe your husband, too!) and the love you have for him. Kids who have “bad” parents aren’t as happy as Ben is so you are clearly doing something right, even though the voices in your head tell you otherwise.

    Hang in there. It gets better – until they turn into preteens, anyway!

    Love, Shawna (next time I see you at school I’ll introduce myself – sorry for being shy)

  32. Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Because I understand. Because I’ve been in similar places, even though I am not a mother. I most especially find myself often needing everyone to like me.

    Wrapping you in love and comfort and belonging.

  33. Kendra
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    wow.
    Because I didn’t know others felt this way too.
    Thank You.

  34. j
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I have no words, I’m speechless and crying. It’s like you looked into the very deepest caverns of my heart and found what i only whisper to myself alone in the dark. thank you, thank you, thank you.

  35. janet
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    i wasn’t a perfect mother…i wasn’t a perfect wife…i am not perfect…there has never been a picket fence…but this is what my daughter wrote for my birthday…i am loved and i love…and really in the end it’s all about love http://cowboylovescowgirl.blogspot.com/…sending much love to you all day!

  36. Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I’m far from the first person to say this, but I love you too. I always mean to write to you and tell you how much Mondo Beyondo helped me changed my life. I still don’t know what I’m doing much of the time, but you’re one of the people who have helped me understand that that’s OK.

    At your core, without doing anything more than existing, you are so fundamentally OK.

  37. Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Wow. Tears of recognition.

  38. Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Powerful, raw and real…

    “When the Japanese mend broken objects they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold, because they believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful” Barbara Bloom

    You my dear are beautiful… inside and out.

    Beacause your song sings so brightly we can all hear it… and we are singing it back to you…

    “When a woman of the Ubuntu tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes to the jungle with other women, and together they pray and meditate until you get to “The song of the child.”
    When a child is born, the community gets together and they sing their song. When the child begins his education, people get together and he sings his song. When you become an adult, they get together again and sing. When it comes to your wedding, the person hears his song.
    Finally, when your soul is going from this world, family and friends are approaching and, like his birth, sing their song to accompany it in the “journey”.
    In this African tribe, there is another occasion when men sing the song. If at some point the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, take you to the center of town and the people of the community form a circle around her. Then they sing “your song”.
    The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment, is the love and memory of his true identity. When we recognize our own song, we have no desire or need to hurt anyone.
    Your friends know “your song”. And sing when you forget it. Those who love you can not be fooled by mistakes you have committed, or dark images you show to others. They remember your beauty as you feel ugly, your total when you’re broke, your innocence when you feel guilty and your purpose when you’re confused.”
    Tolba Phanem
    African poet

  39. Mariella
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Oh, sweet sister. The tears. They’re streaming down my cheeks. I so get this on such a deep level it hurts. Thank you for being so brave and generous in sharing this! Was there a writing prompt for this? How long did it take you to whip it out? I’m blown away by how much it resonates with me…vibrates through my heart and soul type of resonating. xo ~ M.

  40. Janet K
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this. Though my becauses are different…this has allowed me to feel ok about mine…I think reading this has helped me more than I know right now.

  41. Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Andrea. We definitely aren’t alone…

  42. Aylin
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    You are a hero. Keep shining.

  43. Susan Rosen
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Yes, exactly.

  44. Moyra
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Definitely the song of the mother or parent. Honest and raw and true. But only one side of that amazing path that it is. Darkness and light. A life felt and lived. This too shall pass

  45. Arden
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    You’re not alone on that path. Let’s all hold hands.

  46. Keri
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    You’re not a fraud! You are amazing and an inspiration to me and others.

  47. Sara
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I wish we could all hold hands, sometimes the virtual hand-holding does not seem like enough. I want a hug after reading this, i want to give you a hug. I want to say Thank You.
    Thank You.

  48. Posted June 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    This is so true and so beautiful. Thank you so much for being brave, for saying it out loud and for sharing.

  49. Denise Tanaka
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    because I don’t always post back but need you to know that YOU are an inspiration for sharing this. Truly, you are not alone. As said above, this too shall pass. I’ve been there-most of us have. Look forward but don’t forget these beautiful moments with our/your kids. Thanks so much for sharing.

  50. Posted June 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Holy shit. You really ARE a superhero, powerfully pulling countless women out of our rabbit holes today. I’m wrapping you up in a cape of love & light.

  51. Lisa Tomsha
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Adrea, my throat is aching and tight with emotion. Hot tears welling up in my eyes. Yes, I feel all of that as well. I could have written every word. about the food and meals. about the craziness. Thank you for sharing. Thank you. I too am lost (and without an ounch of patience.) My kids are 7 and 4. Year after year I just don’t seem to be able to figure it all out.

  52. Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Andrea, you are one of the people I admire most in the blog world (I’ve been reading you since I was 22 and a hot mess of emotions, going through a divorce and trying to figure out my life and I’ve always secretly thought of you as my wise big sister online) and I cannot tell you how comforting it is to realize that I’m not alone in these thoughts and feelings. You’re not alone. And you’re so brave. This post makes me want to give you a hug and assure you that it all will be okay, because it will. xoxo

  53. Jenn
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    A,

    One of the best lessons I have learned as an adult you taught me. Show up. That simple. Just show up and then it starts to happen, the openness for the lessons we are supposed to learn. That’s exactly what you just did and in a real and vulnerable way. Thank you for sharing this. It’s like you say when you show up with truth others brig it also. Lovely piece!

    Jenn

  54. Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    See how beautiful you are? See how telling the truth brings all of us together? See how much we love you? xxx

  55. Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Your strength is in your vulnerability. You are not alone. We have all felt at one time or another we are failing the ones we love the most.
    Thanks for sharing.

  56. Posted June 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    If all of us had our sh-t together we’d be a boring bunch. It is really hard sometimes but take comfort in the response of all of us when we say you aren’t alone and you are doing it. It may not feel like it but it’s true. You’re DOING IT.

  57. Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve been feeling so much of this lately and your post (any everyone’s replies) made me realize I’m not alone. You reminded me that we do all worry about somehow crushing the bright light within our kids with our stress and worry. Through all the craziness though, what shines through most is that deep genuine love that you have for your kids and that they can feel at their very core. Thank you for being brave and vulnerable in a way that was difficult but so appreciated.

  58. Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    You are my superhero Andrea. Beautiful, broken, and all. And that is why I love you so much. Because you remind me that I am okay, broken and all. Trying and all. Just keep loving and all. Healing and all. You make me feel like it’s okay to be me. And that is SUCH A GIFT. And I will forever honor and thank you for it. I HEAR YOU TOO. And I wish I could give you a hug and be hugged by you.

  59. Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    you are a superhero, and superhero sometimes fall too. and superheros need hugs too! big hugs to you!

  60. Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    So beautifully raw and vulnerable. You are not alone.

  61. Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    thank you. because i am grateful. i love you. because i do.

  62. Sarah
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Because you know all of these things…

    You are strong, wonderful and doing your best.

    Because I feel many of the same things and you made me feel understood without even knowing me.

    x

  63. Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    I know this story deep in my bones. You are a truth speaker for the masses. Thank you for being your big bad ass brave self. I am grateful.

  64. Marie
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    By expressing such inspiring vulnerability, you have reached in my heart to my little hidden away parts and let them know that it’s ok to have their voice, since you were so courageous in sharing yours. <3

  65. Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Because I want to feel the real love coming way.

    And sometimes the real love is the Velveteen Rabbit kind, it’s the love that makes you Real, even as it leaves you tattered and bent and worn around the edges. This kind of Real adds to your beauty.

    Thank you for sharing your real heart. Love, love, love.

    To you. From me. And through me. And through every one here.

  66. Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I’m so very glad you shared this today. You have put everything I am feeling into words, and it is good to know that I am not alone. Sending hugs and connection across the globe to you my friend.

  67. Carolyn HP
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful words from such a lovely soul, how brave to share your heart & mind, your hopes, dreams & fears. Much love to nurture you on your journey!

  68. Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this. Such a raw look inside you… inside me as well… inside so many mamas.

    Sending deep peace to you Andrea.

  69. Andrea
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Thank you all for your beautiful comments. I cried so many happy tears today, moved by your kindness and generosity. Feeling so lucky to call you my tribe.
    xo
    andrea

  70. Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    this is your truth. I love you for it.
    I
    LOVE
    YOU
    for IT.

  71. michele
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    your words are true and they are the same that resonate in my head on a daily basis. but through the muck and mire of having 2 little ones, there is the beauty of it all. the daily grind of love. in everything you say and everything you feel there are a tribe of “us” out there hearing you.
    motherhood is by far the hardest job of them all and yet at the end of the day when the house is quite and you look at your creations, beauty & magic. but then it starts all over again :) and we hold on….
    “because” this is life this is love~ this is what it really look like, unveiled.

  72. Mel
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    As always I feel like we are connected by some invisible line that shares so much in our lives… The thing I say now is what I struggle to believe in my own dark moments, but I think that by questioning it, we are already doing better…but in the moment I feel like a fraud I see it as another proof of my failure!

  73. nina
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    love you a little more each time i visit here

  74. Posted June 9, 2012 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    You are my superhero!…luv you much, much, much

  75. Susan Harrison
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I hate to be the one to tell you, but I just turned 50 (gulp) and these feelings don’t go away. Just part of life, I am beginning to think.

    I adore that you shared this. XO

  76. Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    be you … all of you … just because !

  77. tijen
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    This is so wonderful and raw and real. I am still teary. It is amazing that in our vulnerability and truth we are all so similar – I hear every word you wrote (loudly).

    Thank you thank you.

  78. coradavidson@gmail.com
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Nodding until my head falls off. Bone crushing hugs. You are not alone and neither am I. And neither are our kids. Thank you for helping us connect.

  79. Posted June 9, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    oh how I do love you Andrea Scher!

  80. Michelle
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Because you need to know that this is a shift in your life, and you need to learn how to cope with it…for years I felt as you so beautifully wrote, and even with the help of counselling (really great, fabulous counselling) and finding the right medication for a mild but constant depression that’s probably been with me all of my childhood, teenagehood, and adulthood, I still feel that way sometimes But because, BECAUSE it is better, I hear what you are saying and I feel what you’re living, I want you to know there is better…peaceful, stronger, happier…everything-er, and you will come out of it. Because you will, you do, and you must. In the meantime, check into the past and see if you also suffer (and gawd, I mean suffer) from chronic low-grade depression. When I finally found a description for the melancholy, it was a relief…because I knew it was me, all of me, and I was just perfectly me with a slight hitch that I needed to recognize and accept as me…and because it’s so much easier to love me today because of it. (((HUGS))) Go through it all as you need to. Looks like a huge community of helpers you’ve got, so take the time to make the shift sideways and accept who you are, warts and all, as a wonderful, loving, and regular human bean Andrea.

  81. Posted June 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    wow, I really liked this deeply honest post!!!

  82. l. dawson
    Posted June 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    It will be okay…things will be fine. I’ve been there, we’ve been there…make sure you get
    what YOU need, time for you, help if you need it. You are a wonderful parent!

  83. Posted June 10, 2012 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    Once again you’ve shown me the courage you have to share your heart and truth and why that is the very thing that brings people back to your pages and really to you. You really are your very own superhero and someone I look up to even having never meeting you.
    Because you are so brave.

  84. Erin Bidlake
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Andrea, hearing you loud and clear. Wrote this in parallel.

    ***

    Because I was born this way.
    Because there is no knowing, there’s just knowing.
    Because he loves me this way. Because I am loved.
    Because that’s how knowing happens.
    Because half the muffins burned and the other half were divine.
    Because that’s a metaphor and half.
    Because muffins are only muffins when they aren’t tied up in self-worth.
    Because I’m trying. I tried. I’ll try again.
    Because he ate them anyway.
    Because nothing is wasted.
    Because there is no 5 year plan.
    Because I am suddenly naked in front of that.
    Because I bless anyone I pass stooped or limping.
    Because 11 years without a diagnosis didn’t teach me nothing.
    Because I’m full of that knowing too.
    Because all hearts want what 3 year olds want: to be heard calling out,
    to be held until sleep comes,
    to know why, why, why.
    Because it was never meant to be more complicated.
    Because the details are irrelevant.
    Because we are not trying to fix anything here.
    Because we are already whole.
    Because we are god. God is us. We are them. They are god.
    Because our loneliness is their loneliness.
    Because I don’t know how else to explain it.
    Because it’s way past your bedtime.

  85. Kimberley McGill
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Thank you. I feel like damaged goods today. Reading this has released tears that I’ve been trying to get out all week. It’s helped me feel a little less damaged and acknowledging a little bit of what is still good. Thank you.

  86. allyson
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    wow, just wow. Grateful that you put these feelings to words and shared. They touched me deeply.

  87. Samilja
    Posted June 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Andrea. I have nothing to add except, you are not alone – which can’t be added enough. Thank you. Tonight, I really need this and I understood, and heard, every single word.

    Really.

  88. marina
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    you are so beautiful and brave, Andrea! I would like you to feel a very very big hug and the warmth of love and gratitude. your words and truth are reaching deep inside me and making me feel less odd and strange and unlovable. I hope you can feel more strongly how amazing and so worthy of love and belonging (in Brené Brown’s words) you are today, and tomorrow, and the day after that, etc.
    thank you, Andrea, for sharing your truth here.

  89. Rebecca F.
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Everyone has been so supportive on your experience and your process but I want to be a little more practical….

    I’ve been there too but rather than live with it, struggle through the enormity of it all and feel so sad and lost and lonely all the time, I finally went to the doctor.

    I found a doctor that I loved and told her that I just couldn’t feel like this anymore. That through counselling or medication or both, I wanted help to feel better, needed help to feel better.

    She looked at me speculatively for a while and then prescribed an antidepressant. Within a week, I felt so much better. Not a zoned out zombie, but more in control of my feelings, not so affected by what I had thought my “true” emotions were. They were not true. They were too much. The too much of them all were sucking the joy out of living…..

    For example, while I was depressed I saw a man at the movies by himself. All I could see was his sadness and loneliness. When I commented to my husband, he said the man had been smiling while eating his popcorn and maybe just LIKED going to the movies…. Our own perspectives had colored our perceptions….

    Here I am about three years later. I’ve weaned myself off those antidepressants. I focus now on exercise and joyful activities to keep my mind engaged and happy. I know there are many horror stories on the net about antidepressants. You don’t need to choose them. But getting help for something is not weakness. Give your troubles over to someone else for a while. Let them carry them for you.

    You are not alone. I agree with that. And you do not have to fix this by yourself. It is time Andrea, time to find someone to help you.

  90. Jen
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Andrea… I found your gorgeous necklaces years ago and then stumbled upon your blog. And I keep reading because you inspire me. Even though we’ve never met, much of what you share touches a nerve and reminds me that I am not alone in what I’m going through as a wife, mother, woman and friend. Thank you for your honesty and putting thoughts like this out there. It truly means a lot.

  91. Kelsie
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Andrea, you are beautiful and brave. Love and hugs to you. You are definitely not alone.

  92. Rebecca in Switzerland
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Oh, thank God. I don’t even have children and I feel this way. Because I meant to. (Have children.) And because now it’s probably too late.

    I think this may be everyone:

    “Because I want to feel the real love coming my way. Because there is so much in the way. Because I feel like damaged goods. Because I want to move past that. Because this is my work and I’m tired.”

    Thanks for this Good Stuff.

  93. Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    You ARE doing your best! Hang in there – you are not alone.

  94. Kayla
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Because I learned a lot from you in photography class, but I learned more from you here. Thank you.

  95. Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I’m so moved by this post and so comforted that I’m not alone on this rugged road of parenting. I wish I had something more insightful to say, something more than the 95 beautiful and heartfelt comments above mine, but I guess what I wanted most to do was to add one more to the list and make it 96. I wanted you to know that I’m just one more simple soul out here who is touched by your honest, real words. Thank you, Andrea!

  96. Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing. I lean back in my chair, put my hands behind my head… put my head back, close my eyes and take a deep breath, thinking…

    So I’m not the only one.

  97. Jan Avellana
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    What liv lane said, but I’m too cowardly to write! Go Andrea! This is truly all of us, truly me too. Thank you for admitting what so many of all feel but have no words (or courage) for. Hugs.

  98. jane
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    because being a mother is such hard, scary, astounding work

  99. Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Your truth is so beautiful and inspiring.
    Sending you positive energy and love

  100. Posted June 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh…the sound of 101+ hands clapping…with recognition.

    Sending good thoughts your way from a fellow sister who feels broken in those ways…and was way too chicken shit to be a mom.

    I hope someone is reflecting back how brave and strong you are…

    I think being a mom, a conscious and loving mom, is so brave and courageous. And an artist, too.

    You’re are doing A LOT….and you are creating so much beauty.

    a virtual hug….

  101. Robin T
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    oh hon, how honest and how raw and real and scary and validating all at once – wish I could hug you! As a mom I’ve felt many of those same things – xoxo

  102. Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I just want you to know that this post stayed with me. I read it a few days ago and found myself thinking about it today as I was driving around. Thank you for your honest sharing and know that we are circled around you, cheering you on. You are a breath of fresh air. Major love to you **

  103. jen gray
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    love you. plain and simple. i love you. no matter what.

  104. Trish
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    You are being cradled love right now. I have thought, felt and experienced every sentence you wrote.

    I love you,
    Trish

  105. Nicole
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Sending you love and hugs. I am in the same place right now with 2 small boys and big dreams and a heavy load and a sensitive heart. it feels so tricky to navigate sometimes. thank you for sharing your heart and helping to break the silence. thank you thank you.

  106. Posted June 12, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    You are brave, strong, true, vulnerable, real, and ever present.
    Thank you for sharing yourself and your words with us.

    Not much else needs to be added to what has already been said, dear Andrea.
    But I will add some love to the comments, I’m adding my love.
    And my tears.

    xoxoxo

  107. Posted June 12, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Because all mamas feel this very same way. Because I feel this way now that my children are grown. Because…in the end, we are all so very human. Love, love, love you.

  108. Posted June 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much, Andrea. For sharing your truth and light. For being inspiring. For being brave.

  109. Posted June 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    unbelievable.
    moving.
    real.
    just like the YOU I’ve witnessed all this time.
    I adore you.

    and I RELATE TO ALL OF IT.

  110. Posted June 13, 2012 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    sounds like you are already breaking the pattern:)

  111. glo
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Because YOU are only human and trying your very best to be the perfect Mom. I know, been there and I occasionally go there again….but no such thing as perfection. Don’t be so hard on yourself Andrea. We learn and grow everyday. We are fully grown adults but we don’t have all the answers and that is ok.

    I apologize to my boys (ages 4 and 6) when I feel like I have done/said something wrong. I want them to know I am not perfect and that it’s OK to mess up. I am just trying my very best to make them the very best they can be.

    You are a beautiful soul…you are a great Mom, don’t forget that. Those 2 boys are so lucky to have you as their Mom.

    Blessings and hugs to you all.

    xoxo glo

  112. JB
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Andrea, I just found this post through your dream lab email and it is so relevant to me today.

    I too wonder if it’s too late for my 4 yo. I too am tired and worried and feel like an Infection in my family. I worry that I am doing harm.

    Thank you.

  113. Posted June 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    What beautiful honesty. And yes, many of us feel that way. Except for me it does seem to be my crazy, not theirs, and I don’t know where it comes from. If I did, I wonder if it would be easier.

  114. Knoxy
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi mama. I haven’t kept up with your blog because, well, I had a boy. :)

    You are amazing. <3 Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    xo

    Knoxy

  115. Posted June 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    i am so far unplugged these days that i rarely read blogs. perhaps one or two posts every few months. but it seems i am always drawn to yours on the days i need to not feel alone. and its always when you’ve posted something so down to the root of true raw gutted peeled and bare beautiful life. sister…its what drew me to you in the first place all those years ago and what keeps me coming back for hydration when i feel parched. thank you…for giving these tender parts of you a voice. thank you…for this gift of permission to be honest about my own journey. thank you…for never giving up on sharing your stories. because you are a superhero in the truest sense. my heart is full of love right now.

  116. Lisa F.
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    thank you for being brave enough to share this. slogging through the passed down crazy with you, sister. Wishing you and the rest of us too, some peace and trust that all shall be well.

  117. Posted June 13, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    This was wonderful. We have a 10-year-old with rage issues, and we find ourselves chanting a similar mantra very, very, VERY often.

    Thank you for sharing this. This is a beautiful piece of work.

  118. Posted June 14, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    IT GETS BETTER, I promise. And your kids are so lucky to have YOU as their mom, heck, I wish I had you as my mom and I bet at least a thousand women whose lives you’ve touched would totally jump in the queue to be your kid.

    Here’s one little tip that I learned from Allison Armstrong that I think might be a win-win for you – little boys love to be helpful. So even if you don’t have time to sit down and play, your little peanut might be SO stoked if you let him take out the recycling or feed the cat or go on “choking hazard duty” and look for anything his little brother could choke on that’s been left on the floor.

    Sending you a big hug from one exhausted mama to another.

  119. Jennifer
    Posted June 15, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Andrea: I have been where you are. I was there for four years, trying to get myself together and miserable and wondering if my family would be better off without me. I felt like a lead weight that drug everyone else down. My husband would send our kids into the bedroom just to tell me how loved I was, and it sent me into spirals of despair. I am sure you are taking good care of yourself, but may I also suggest you consider a low dose of antidepressants? It was the only thing that finally got me over the hump. I only took them for nine months, and they changed my life. I am so thankful I finally agreed to try them–I think they saved my life and gave my kids their mom back.

    If you want to, you’re welcome to e-mail me.

    You are an inspiration to me every time you post. You are doing amazing things with your life and your family, and you are hanging in there with the hard parenting job you’ve been handed. You send beauty out into the world often. This is huge, and you deserve to enjoy this time in your life. Take care, my virtual friend.

    Wishing you the best–
    Jennifer

  120. Paula
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Dear Andrea, You are not alone. You are brave and fearless and oh so talented! I send you a very BIG hug!!…

    …for the past month I have been feeling very much how you described, struggling with so many things and feeling very overwhelmed and lost… and my mom emailed me yesterday a lovely note of support, which I so appreciated and really needed, and at the end of it she she said to me – remember to breathe…. remember to breathe…

    Everything is going to work out. I promise!
    Sending you lots of hugs and support!
    Paula :)

  121. Posted June 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    absolutely right there with you sweetheart. bless you for sharing this, it’s a very good thing that you’ve done! we will all feel better for knowing that we are not alone with these confusing & frightening thoughts. Hugs from my little corner of England ((((x))))

  122. Posted June 22, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    I am here, right now. I am right here. If anything, you aren’t alone.

  123. Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Andrea, you are incredible!!! Thank you for sharing this – I’m there, too, and it is a HARD and lonely place to be at times. Just remember, you are not alone – and you are stronger than all their crazy. You can do it better than the generations before. I’m a trendbreaker, too, and it gets frustrating not having examples to look to in my own legacy, being forced to deal with all the heartbreak of generations that was passed to me. But there’s a reason we’re placed in these lines – to stop the trend, break the cycle, and show others that it can be done.

    Here’s a much-loved quote that might help: “Have patience with all things, but first with yourself. You’re a perfectly valuable, creative, worthwhile person simply because you exist. No amount of triumphs or
    tribulations can ever change that.” It’s TRUE. Thank you for sharing from your heart with such courage and authenticity!

  124. Posted July 4, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    i know the dark place; i have been there and am afraid in the knowing that i have the potential to go there again. it is soothing to think: if i were in that dark place, i could just reach out my hand…and someone would be there to hold it.

    i hadn’t stopped in here for a while, then visited synchronistically on a day that, later, you sent out a Dream Lab letter. this post really stirred me. now that I’m back in the land of easy n quick internet access, I’m glad i stopped in again by your e-encouragement. it’s such food for my heart, what you do here. it cracks me open in a way that feels like i’ll actually heal more Wholly than if i hadn’t let myself get cracked.
    strong work, sister!!!

  125. Posted August 18, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Andrea–I’ve just been back-reading, someone recommended your blog as I’m thinking of the scary possibility of relocating out West from the Midwest. And I feel such resonance it’s hard for me to admit–admit that I’m not uniquely messed up in these thoughts–that I’m not the only one keeping it together just barely and yet I’m so awesome (like you! like so many of us!).

    Anyway, thank you for sharing so openly all those months ago. I really, really, really, really, truly echo and feel it and just want to tearfully say–I know! I feel like a fraud–and yet I feel so real at the same time! Sometimes I feel like I have access to the deepest sadness of the world–a huge ocean of sadness that isn’t mine, but I know it and see it and feel it. Sometimes I think it’s that I can span all times, my past, present, and future, at once. That there is really no difference and that I can access all of those emotions and then it goes further, out through my head and toes into my past lives, future lives. Ok, I’ve just crossed into woowoo, but last year my awareness came to “embrace my woowoo.” It’s part of my gift. It’s part of what makes me difficult, but it’s me. Thank you again–for shining a light on new paths for all of us.

  126. Posted December 14, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Because my two boys are tall young men now.

    Because these words made me cry

    Bless the truth will always be the truth.

    Bless you for sharing it.

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