Friday, June 25, 2010

As a Mother, I Parent the Whole World Now...

Something has happened to me since becoming a parent. I am unable and unwilling to stand idly by as children suffer, but I also cannot bear to watch. I call it the Mama Bear Syndrome.

It's as if all children were in some way my own now. And in a theological sense, that is, of course, true. We are all connected and suffering is suffering. It is as if God Herself opened a part of my soul to expose me to a fraction of her love for all her creation. I feel open, raw, and over-extended a lot of the time now- especially when I read the news.

I cannot read or learn about a bad circumstance involving children without getting nauseous or angry (or both). I have a hard time reading and watching videos about circumcision, for example. When the baby screams and passes out from pain and shock, my heart leaps out of my chest and I want to hunt down the person that did this horrible thing and bite their head off, literally. Beware the Mama Bear- she loves and protects her cubs, with violence if necessary.

This Syndrome makes me avoid watching and reading about such things. I know that I should stay informed on this (and other) issues in order to do the most good, but when the time comes to watch or read that first-hand account, my body rebels.

I have never had a hard time getting involved for social change. I have been a part of queer anti-violence patrols that stopped hate crimes and domestic violence on the street, for example. In the moment, I am clear-headed. I am discerning and strategic. I do what needs to be done for maximum benefit. I deescalate when possible, disarm when necessary. I have taken away guns and knives, faced down gangs of skinheads and frat boys. Little 5 foot 2 inch me and my queer friends. And afterward? I usually throw up.

It's hard being a new mama, and not in the way that I think many people mean (the lack of sleep, the lack of self-care, the crazy routines, the inability to get as many things done as you used to). It's hard because you realize, now more than ever in a tangible sense, that the world is in your hands. That you are responsible with your action, inaction, words and deeds. And I struggle to make every one of those words and deeds count. For the maximum benefit of all.

I got an unsolicited email from a Feri Initiate friend yesterday. It was something I needed to hear right now (gotta love psychics!):

I don't know if you want any direct advice but I do have some, lol. The first year after a child is born, especially the first year for a woman doing spiritual work, you will be very sensitive on many levels. Some of this is very primal wanting to protect your child and wanting a better world for that child. When Victor (Anderson, former Grandmaster of the Feri Tradition and now among the Mighty Dead- ed.) spoke to me of respecting both the strength and fragility of human nature in body, mind and spirit; he spoke of the need for new mothers not to take on the world even though they might want to. This is not wimping out. :) but a time of self love and focus. Hugs BB -C

I laughed when I got that email. It was so timely.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I am exactly the same as this. I can hardly bear to watch the news because there is ALWAYS (or so it often seems) a story about how a child was abused or murdered and it makes me see red and then my heart hurts not only for that child, but also because, unwittingly and involuntarily, my brain switches over and imagines someone doing that to my own children and I about go rabid right there.

    I already have a very difficult time even comprehending how someone COULD abuse or kill a child. I just don't get it and I never will. It makes me ill to hear of such things and, truthfully, it makes me break out into violent fantasies of what I would just LOVE to do to people like that. Even moreso at the mere thought of someone doing that to one of my children.

    I've been a mother since 2004 and I can tell you, it never really gets easier where these kinds of things are concerned. I hear of cases of child abuse and I still want to run over to the child and love him/her and comfort him/her. For me, it's almost like the mentality of a wolf pack. A particular she-wolf might have been the one who physically birthed the pups, but when they're born, they're EVERYONE'S cubs. Every wolf in the entire pack feels a parental love toward those cubs as though they were their own.

    So, I suppose I have what you could call a Mother Wolf complex. Not only do I feel urges of violence when I hear of a child being mistreated or killed, but I have the urging to want to mother them all as if they were my own. Perhaps it's a mentality like that that provoked the saying "It takes a village to raise a child" ^_^

    Ok, sorry for the novel. Love your blog!


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