You know I’ve seen a lot of what the world can do

            Thank you all for your comments on yesterday’s post.  Your support, as always, means a great deal to me.

            I had a troll once.  Only once.  She left one nasty comment and then disappeared, perhaps because I followed that old advice of ignoring a bully.  Although, I must admit I did not ignore it to make her go away but because I was a little perplexed by her point.  I paste the comment below for your edification:

Have you ever had anyone tell you, honestly, that all your fear based decisions are symptoms of being a neurotic?

You MIGHT try being both accountable and responsible for the peptide production of YOUR OWN hypothalamus and, developing some emotional coping skills as cures for your neurosis.  For if I had to live with you in my head, I’d be a sniveling neurotic, too.

 My confusion lay in the peptide/hypothalamus advice, not to mention the missing hyphen and the comma that comes after the word “and.”

            I was not, however, confused about the overall point she was making.  She was calling me neurotic.  I thought for a short time about emailing her back and asking her whether she came up with that diagnosis all by herself after reading a few posts, or whether it was evident from the last name I include on my blog.  Um, you noticed that I’m Jewish, right?  It is my birthright to be neurotic.  It goes with the asthma and the glasses.

            Cultural stereotypes aside, however, I don’t see how anyone could be a mother and not end up neurotic.  There are these two little people out there who exist separately from me, yet who hold within their persons far more of me than I have in my own body.  Their bodies are vulnerable, and it is my job to protect them, even as I am also supposed to give them their independence.

            And, as Tuesday’s earthquake reminded me, I cannot protect them.  I cannot make sure no one ever teases them.  I cannot make sure no one ever abducts them.  I cannot stop earthquakes, hurricanes, or spontaneous combustion.  I cannot shield against cancer and schizophrenia and depression.  Most days, I cannot even protect them from one another.

            I can however try my best to protect their planet.  I can hang out my wash instead of using a dryer.  I can recycle and reuse and buy less and so on.  It only does so much good, I know, but it helps me to fool myself into thinking I am protecting my kids.

            My world has shrunk in the last four years.  I read a lot less news, and I am much less informed.  Everything I do is about my children; everything I care about is them.  When I worry about the homeless, it is because they are someone’s sons and daughters.  When I worry about my husband, it is as a co-parent.  When I think about the war, it is not about people dying but about someone’s children dying.  There is nothing I do or feel that is not connected to my children.

            Has that made me neurotic?  You bet your ass.  I could breastfeed them till they go off to college, but eventually even that protection is going to wear off.  I can buy alarms and lock gates, but we all know a thief who wants to get in is going to get in.  I can buy emergency kits and keep emergency numbers, but I cannot stop the emergencies. 

            Is it any wonder my peptides are out of kilter?

17 responses to “You know I’ve seen a lot of what the world can do

  1. Mothers HAVE to be neurotic. It is in the job description. Some are more than others, but if you are doing your job, you are going to worry.

  2. geriatricmama

    That was a great blog! Thank you.

  3. I can’t honestly say I understand.. because it’s not an experience I know…. On the other hand, I do understand what you’re saying.

    Peptides, eh? I’ve never heard that one!

  4. Peptides? Hypothalumus? Who talks like that?
    Save us all from the pseudo-intellect of the Internet Trolls!

    Also, mothers are naturally neurotic. I myself constantly worry about things like “What if Bean fell into a dumpster just as the garbage truck arrived and the garbage men didn’t hear him crying?”

    I kid you not.

  5. the vulnerability of that is staggering, isn’t it? once in a while i allow myself to face that truth and i am utterly broken.

  6. That comment smacks strongly of someone who believes in conspiracy theories, Fluoride in the drinking water and all that. I think those kinds of comments stem from jealousy.

  7. Dude. I love blog troll stories so much. What a weirdo.

  8. It’s in the motherhood job description to be a little crazy. How can you not be, to bear and then raise and then LET GO OF these wee creatures?

    Trolls be damned. I love you and I will read as often as you write.

  9. My peptides have left town. They couldn’t stand the pressure.

    Loved the post – so true!

  10. I worry about the ‘likability factor’ of all my kids and lots of other things I cannot control. There are moments when I don’t rein in my brain and I get eight steps ahead of myself, predicting what might/could happen to the boys. The funny thing is that I never thought of myself as particularly neurotic. Well, there you go

    What’s that line about parenthood?– Something about wearing your heart outside your body once your little ones enter the world.

  11. For anyone who’s wondering, peptides are basically short polymers formed from amino acids linking together (like a mini protein) . Not sure what this has to do with being neurotic, or even how you can take responsibility for your amino acids getting together. I’m pretty sure they have more to do with hormones, rather than something which is produced by the brain… At any rate, thanks for being neurotic about your kids.

  12. Peptide must have been the word of the day in her “Word of the Day Email Club.”

    And I think all of us mothers are entitled to a little bit of crazy.

  13. umm, yeah. She’s obviously not a mom. And bitter about it. Or else she was having a REALLY bad day and took it out on you. 🙂

  14. That’s got to be one of the more bizzare troll comments I’ve ever read. It almost sounds like the pitch of a snake oil salesman. “Yes friend, now YOU can get your PEPTIDS in order with my new MIRACLE drops made with GENUINE certified ANTI-neurosis oil!”

  15. Oh, and I forgot to say: You’re a mom. Moms are neurotic. It’s what we do. The only way around it is to be a not so good mom and who wants that?

  16. I have always liked your peptides. And I find validation in your neurosis. I know I’m not alone in that.

  17. Yup, motherhood equals becoming neurotic, no way around that one. However, as for the troll, I had an old British saying ‘That’s the pot calling the kettle black’ in my head. S/he hardly seemed mentally stable now, did s/he? I hope there was a truly excellent reason for it, like bringing up young children in an unstable world.