Music is one of those triggers for me. Everyone has them. Smells and music generally sends me back a million years. I can’t deal with anything that smells like cranberry because it reminds me of standing in front of my bedroom mirror, doing my makeup on the floor, while pregnant with The Kiddo. Standing in the bathroom hurt my feet, and that was where I got sick every morning. The smell of that cranberry body spray makes me gag, and cry. Even as I write this, the thought of it is making my stomach turn.
The other night I was at work, and this song by Everlast came on. Instantly, I was flying back to my days of opening the little boutique in the mall, protruding belly, being careful not to fall off the ladder I climbed daily to get things ready for the shoppers. The mall played their mall music in the mornings for the seniors who would briskly make their rounds during the cold winter months. It was always quiet, except for the music.
I couldn’t figure out why I was being thrust back into that time when I was overly pregnant, until these lyrics blasted out of the speakers:
Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom who said he was in love
He said don’t worry about a thing baby doll I’m the man you’ve been dreamin’ of
But three months later he said he won’t date her or return her call
And she sweared god damn if I find that man I’m cuttin’ off his balls
And then she heads for the clinic and she gets some static walkin’ through the doors
They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner, and they call her a whore
We truly don’t know the journey those around us are on. We don’t know what things they can handle, or the things they can’t. We don’t know what lesson they are currently learning, or even the one they are about to learn. We can say that they should learn this lesson, or another, but our words won’t change the reality that they are on their own path. A place that they have come to from a series of choices, on their own.
That was a lesson I learned during the months of my pregnancy with The Kiddo. Everyone was so quick to judge me, and my belly. The difference between me and everyone else was that I was “wearing” my “sin”. I couldn’t hide behind a fake mask, or a lie. You could outwardly tell what I had done. You could tell I was much too young. You could steal a glace at my left hand and see that my ring finger was bare. It was obvious that I had made a choice, and not a fabulous one.
Which makes it easy for people to start throwing words at you. Or behind you. Or about you. It makes it easy to judge, and cast proverbial stones. Yet, the truth is, no one really knew what it was like. They had no idea that there was an ever constant internal battle. They had no idea that I could see their judgmental eyes burning into me. They had no idea that I was writing my pro and con list regarding the adoptive family. They had no idea that I was heartbroken, and alone. They had no idea that this little girl was making choices that were way too grown up for her. They only saw the mistake. They didn’t see her need to be loved and to be supported, unconditionally.
We can’t expect someone to bend the way we would bend. We can’t expect that someone will deal with a similar set of circumstances the very way we did. We can’t expect that our glorious ideologies will fit and match with everyone. They won’t work every time. Or they may, but they’ll end up with a world of hurt, and regret. Anger, and frustration.
As I carefully stocked the shelves, I hummed along, and realized that as I had walked that journey years ago, I’d been fed words of wisdom. Ones that I wasn’t able to put into motion or understand during that time, but ones that would hit me later. Serving to provide me with food for thought, and a reminder that none of us really understand the journey we’re respectively on. Today was another day where I was hit with the realization that we have no idea what even those closest to us are suffering through. We are each walking a hard road.
Support is so much warmer than judgment. Kinder. Loving. And we all need it.
Because, we really don’t know what’s it like…
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to have to choose
Then you really might know what it’s like …