Thank you so much for your kind words after Thursday's post. Honestly, it was a rough day for me, and your words and comments meant so much.
One of the things that bothered me about the whole thing was, "How could people be so mean?"
Friday, as I was talking to a friend, I had a moment of clarity. You know an "aha moment" as Oprah would say.
When another mother hears about what happened to Collin, it is very scary to her even though Collin is not her child. My friends that are mothers, all reacted very strongly when they learned of the accident. As mothers, when we hear of something sad and scary happening to a child our knee jerk reaction is, "Wow that is sad and scary." Which is immediately followed by the thought, "Could that happen to my child?"
That thought, "Could that happen to my child?" is very scary for a mother. It is a place where no mother wants to go.
The mothers that don't know me, don't allow themselves to go to that scary place. Their knee jerk reaction is, "Wow that is sad and scary." Which is immediately followed by the thought, "That mother must be negligent and stupid." That may sound mean, but by blaming the other mother, they protect themselves.
They think, "Of course, that could not happen to my child. That was just a "bad mother" and I'm a "good mother" so I wouldn't let it happen. No, my child is safe, and that could never happen."
By vilifying me, those mothers protect themselves from going to the place of, "Could this happen to my child?"
Does that make sense? It really helped me. As a mathematical person, my brain works step by step. When I see a problem like, "How can other mothers be so mean," I have to solve it, and this solution works for me.
That realization made me realize that their anger is not about me at all. They are just trying to protect themselves, and I can understand that.
Shad solution is just, "People say stupid things at stupid times because people are stupid." Typical man, doesn't he know I have to analyze things!
If Collin's accident happened ten years ago, I would have handled very differently. I probably would have written a post filled with Christian cliches, and just told myself to be strong because that's what people expect.
However over the past ten years, I have realized the importance of not hiding my feelings or just trying to be tough. I have to process through things and not just stuff them down. In the long run, anger, fear, and sorrow always catch up to you if you don't deal with them, and they seem to have a way of growing when you don't deal with them.
Sometimes as Christians, we feel the need to be strong or make big displays of our faith in times of crisis. However, I believe it's okay to be sad. It's okay to say, "This is tough," or "This stinks." If you don't believe me, just read the Psalms. They are filled with David expressing his true heart to God, and sometimes it's not so pretty.
That's why when I first read the comments, I had no trouble admitting how much they bothered me, and how tough it has been dealing with Collin's accident.
This weekend, after my "aha moment," I could tell I was on the upswing. My mother load of guilt started to lighten. It's just easier to talk or think about the accident, and my heart seems to be patching up!
Writing really helps me process through things. Thank you for listening. Thank you for not pushing me and giving me time to work through this. You don't know how much y'all have helped me through all this.