When I set out to create a blog, I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew I wanted to write. I knew I felt a void in social arenas of safe spaces and honest conversation. Honestly? I was tired. It’s exhausting to pretend and I just haven’t experienced motherhood to leave much room (or energy) to pretend. I also missed the outlet of writing that existed before motherhood did.
I also knew that I wanted to honor the women and mothers I have had the privilege of meeting in both personal and professional venues who inspire me. Some days, they are the wind beneath my will to deny defeat, the air to breathe in confidence that is sucking me dry and my confidants through the extraordinary joy in motherhood.
Initially I had the goal to invite women and mothers to be a part of the conversation because I knew there were groups of people seeking the same refuge I was. A place where the falls and triumphs of life were shared truthfully and safely. I was not pursuing this for monetary gain and in fact, knew I’d be sacrificing many late nights of sleep and time with my family to see my vision come to life. I also knew of the potential judgment and controversial support behind doors that weren’t open for me to walk through.
I recently went to join an online Stay-at-Home mothers group. I was excited at the opportunity to socialize, normalize and support what we experience every day. I shared a post I had recently written, including an invitation to share in the Resurrected Together initiative I started. No soon after I posted it, I received a sentence letting me know I had been banned for “promoting my website.” My initial reaction, you might ask?
How many of us have been in that vacant, hollow, rejected, uninvited and segregated space?
I think I re-read her one sentence a dozen times. I just couldn’t believe it. I was stunned, hurt and then my sadness turned into anger.
Why do us mothers do this to one another? It’s a cycle of shaming and dishonoring a role we occupy that does it all on its own without any help from others. I’ve seen it and experienced it in social groups too. Whether it was being completely alienated from a mother’s group as a consequential choice for refusing to engage in the exiling that was done to me or witnessing the culture of gossip among women who smile to your face, but dismantle your character behind your back, it’s taught me a lot about “sisterhood.”
Consenting to silence or participating in the exiling of women is a common price people will pay in order to be on the “inside.” No one wants to be on the “out.” It’s that vacant, hollow, rejected, uninvited and segregated space no one wants to be in.
What bothers me the most about being banned was that there was never even a conversation? She hadn’t even read about the intent and mission behind the blog. Had she engaged in a conversation she would have found out that the only thing I was trying to showcase was my need for connection like everyone else and the hopeful vision to help honor women along the way. While this woman may have chalked up the rejection to being about my blog, she even think about the person behind it. I was the person behind it. Not a business, not a sponsorship, not an advertising company…just.
Rejecting one another is what women do all of the time and it still baffles me. It’s the behavior that solicits the need to help our daughters build armor when they’re up against it in their own circles. It’s the generational cycling of modeling to show them how the game functions. It’s the facade of resuming a position, persona and/or power that only leaves us feeling even more disconnected.
Women are bred to dishonor one another and it still brings me a great deal of pain. So, what was my response to this woman, you might ask? I asked if she wanted to talk about what my site is about. I expressed my disappointment in the lack of consideration for sabotaging the very thing I am seeking and in need of too. I didn’t get a response.
I’ve been rejected many times and that won’t be the last time either. When you put yourself out there, it’s a gamble you take. But, I can tell you this. It reminds me why providing safe spaces that are inclusive and supportive are so important. It also inspires me to remember that preserving my integrity and character is more important than attempting to preserve my image. It teaches me that while we’re tempted to engage in the chatter to defy what has been said against us, that it only perpetuates what separates our sensitivity to one another. It also reminds me of the woman I’d rather be so I can work towards teaching my daughter about the woman God intended her to be. Our need for acceptance and inclusion is like air. We all need it and who are we to take the oxygen masks away from anyone?
Know that whether you know me, knew me, rejected me, accept me, disagree with me, are confused by me or whatever your own needs are, I am here. I want to stand with you so we can stand together.
In Love & Truth,