Conflicting Feelings

By Bre, The Toddler Mom

I think it’s pretty safe to say that most of us are pretty tired of all the ridiculousness in Washington recently. I mean seriously, just end the bickering and start working together to solve things people – you work for us not the person who can pay you the most to vote “their way”! The founding fathers are rolling in their graves at the state this country is in. Can we just subdivide into smaller countries yet and have it over with?? Oops, sorry, got little off topic… It ticks me off how childish our “leaders” are and it gets me a little worked up…

Back on topic now, as a woman and a mom of a little boy I’ve had some pretty conflicting feelings these past few weeks.

As a woman, I despise the fact that women aren’t believed when they come forward with their assault stories, and other such experiences. I had my own experience years ago and didn’t come forward at the time because I was afraid, and knew it wouldn’t make a difference – I’m not going to go into it any further here, let’s just suffice to say that everything is resolved and I’ve been at peace for a long time. But, I know that I’m lucky, most women don’t get to have this peace or any resolution, and that is the most devastating thing (besides the act itself). So, when women like Dr. Ford come forward to share their stories and are not only not believed, but are vilified for coming forward – it makes me sick. Do they really think we think the decimation of our lives and everything we care about sounds like fun? They must with the way they react….Since decimation is what happens when you do come forward, and we all know that will be the consequence, coming forward is something you do when the truth means more to you than literally anything else. It’s not something you do lightly, especially when coming forward will be as high profile as Dr. Ford’s experience. That act of bravery alone should have been enough to make everyone in Washington say “Lets press pause on this and give a fair investigation before moving forward”, rather than getting all up in arms as a first reaction.

However, as a mom, this was yet another thing that has scared me down to the core of my soul. Sure, there’s a small part of me that worries that my son could be falsely accused of violence against someone (man or woman) when he’s older, but the false claims are a small percentage of the already small percentage of reported assaults that it’s not terribly likely. The really scary thing about this whole issue, at least for me, is that we’re going to fail in some way in raising our son and that he’ll be one of the real accusations. That’s the nightmare-inducing, cold sweat creating, sitting in a corner rocking back and forth chewing on my hair kind of fear. I also worry that we’ll somehow miss teaching him some other important life lesson like empathy, or kindness, or fairness for all, etc… and I’ll look at him one day and realize it’s far too late to correct something that we missed and now our little boy is a callous, horrible adult who feels that he is allowed to do whatever he wants to anyone without thought.

This also tends to snowball into other worries about school shootings, bullying, what happens when our dog passes away, why blowing your nose is a really good thing instead of letting it run down your face… you know, the big things that you need to guide your little ones through. But that’s more my anxiety than anything else. Most likely our currently sweet, happy, funny, kind little boy will turn into a sweet, happy, funny, kind man, who knows how to treat other people well.

I haven’t figured out yet how to reconcile these feelings I’ve been working through – the frustrated women and the nervous mom. But I don’t know that the lack of reconciliation is a bad thing. My hope is that this friction of feelings will make me speak up and fight harder for all of us women in any way I can, and that it’ll make me a more careful mom to ensure that my son gets the right lessons as he grows.

Only time will tell, but I hope that all of us moms and dads out there can raise a generation of people who can be better than those that went before – believe women who do come forward to share their stories and work to not commit these terrible acts in the first place.

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