The Final Frontier- Discovering the Woman after Mom
Updated: May 26, 2020
The other day I was watching Star Trek- Discovery and there is this character arc that I really connected with. In the simplest way I can explain, the character dies, he is found on a parallel plane, long story short he is then re-fabricated, atom by atom back on our plane. Everything about his mind is intact, every memory is there, but he has lost a sort of physical connection to it all. His whole physical body is new so he is relearning and re-experiencing all manner of tactile contact all over again.
It was just so powerful a concept and as a mother I really connected with it. I personally feel like I am completely different. Pregnancy and EVERYTHING about it changed me as a person. I have all (or most) of my memories but I’m not connected to them in the same way. Yes, Im older. Yes, my priorities have changed. Yes, I have two littles and a man child that need me to help guide them. All of that and more has shaped me and helped transition me: but more than that……and what my spouse and I are struggling with, is that the old me isn’t really around anymore.
Everything I knew about myself has changed. My body is a completely different shape, my breasts aren’t even in the same ballpark as they once were! This body is something that fluctuates it’s weight and shape into forms I’m not used to or completely comfortable with. It hasn’t settled into a permanent physique and with that outward shuffle I feel mentally unsettled as well. My hair is completely different, the texture is off and all my old tricks no longer work. I’m having to relearn my body, my hair, my face! Those are just the physical transformations and I’m vain enough to say I miss what I used to look like and the glow of motherhood hasn’t changed the fact.
My mind, how I see my world, my spouse, pet peeves, physical arousals: it’s all different. There isn’t one piece of me that hasn’t been shattered and put back into place but it all still feels…………….off. Like magnets with the same charge. You put them together and you can feel the connection but they just can’t stick back together.
There is a quote I once heard in a movie that has stayed with me:
“when a child is born, two children are actually born. The one you hoped for and the one you have. Eventually you have to choose one.”
While that in of itself is hella powerful, I believe the same can be said for women when they become mothers. When we give birth there are now two people. The mother that was born and the woman that you were. Eventually we choose one.
I’m fighting so hard because I still don’t know this new person, this new skin, this new face, these new thoughts. My spouse definitely doesn’t recognize or understand this new person and we struggle a lot as a pair, trying to find a new balance and reconnect.
He just doesn’t understand why the old me hasn’t come back. He still sees me as I was in my early 20’s.
Before two children, one with special needs.
Before I was a stay at home parent, slowly losing any sense of the individual I was; while tending to the every need of those children.
Before 3 years of post partum depression and on-going anxiety.
Before five consecutive years of breastfeeding (at one point even tandem nursing a toddler and a newborn).
How could he or anyone possibly think I am the same person!!!!
All of those things have taken a toll on me. I’m tired of pretending to be the old version of me. I’m self aware enough to know it is time to move on. Stop reminiscing and start reconnecting and reconstructing my mind and body into this new form.
There is a Japanese art form in pottery: the art of KINTSUGI teaches that broken objects are not something to hide but to display with pride. Using gold or silver to piece back together broken pieces of pottery showing every flaw with this new precious metal and creating a stronger, shinier, more beautiful object.
I am a mother and everything about me has been shattered into a million pieces but if I can remember Kintsugi, from this moment on I will no longer hide but cover myself in gold and stand tall and proud while on this new path of discovery.