When I was growing up, my mom always told me that people who put others down, or made fun of others, or just spread unkindness, did not feel good about themselves or their lives, and tried to cover this up by bringing others down.
The older I have gotten, the more I see this to be true. The worst part is, I see it in myself. The sense of bitterness and anger at my life is never far away. Sure, it gets tucked away for a time, maybe even weeks, but it comes crawling back out whenever it feels like it.
I can't be around the "perfect" people. You know who I mean, they finished their Ph.D by 26, got married, had 2.5 kids, stayed home for awhile, then decided to start a business doing they something they always loved, which, of course, is extremely sucessful and they also manage to squeeze into their schedule volunteering for some good cause or another.
Now, please, don't comment on how nobody's life is what it seems, everyone has problems, we don't know what struggles have happened behind closed doors, etc. etc. I know all of this. The truth is, it isn't about them. It is about me. What my mother always told me is true. I feel bad about my life, and that manifests itself into bitterness, manifests me into someone I don't want to be.
Here is me: Even though I am a grown up, I still don't know what I want to do "when I grow up". I have held several jobs searching for this answer, struggled to finish school (not done yet!). I don't have a "career", I have a "job". I didn't spend my youth traveling Europe, or expanding my horizons in any other way. I didn't get involved in anything, even hobbies, really. I just lived. Worked, paid bills, spent time with family, my husband, just lived a regular life. I am not old, but not young, though I still get told I am, and what do I have to show for my 20's? Nothing, but a dead son and a miscarriage.
All of those things about me have always been true, but since M died, they bother me. I never knew they bothered me until he died. I think because after M died, that became my ultimate failure. It magnified to me all I hadn't done, all I hadn't accomplished, the worst being that I couldn't even keep my son alive.
That stays with you. Even if you worked with it, tried to work through it, know in your very logical mind you are not to blame. But the whisper of guilt and blame is always there, somewhere.
No one tells you that grief will make you question everything in your life, both before and after.
Being pregnant again doesn't really ease this, at all. Because, as we all know, being pregnant doesn't mean you will succeed at the mother game. I might end up with another failure on my list.
And we are back to my issues with the "perfect" people. I never knew losing a child would make me doubt so much my own sense of self, my own sense of worth, my own sense of success.