I am not OK.
I’m happy. Things have never been trending up in my life quite this much. And sometimes I feel “guilt” about how comparatively “easy” I have it right now. How well things are going.
But I realized this past few weeks, I’m not…OK.
You know that thing that happens when you work at an unsustainable pace and then you stop working, go on vacation, and get sick suddenly? Because your body knows it can break down? I feel like that’s what recently happened to my soul.
I’ve been saying for a while now that at some point—retirement maybe?—things were gonna get calm enough that roughly seven years of built-up trauma from divorce, from building Pando, from becoming public enemy number one of the bro-economy, from living under constant and various threats for so many years would just sideswipe me and put me in a fetal position for a few weeks as I dealt with all the things I hadn’t really had the luxury or time to deal with while they were happening.
I guess it’s a good sign that this suddenly hit me when I was on a yoga retreat a few weeks ago. There I was with friends, gorgeous surroundings, and total calm when I woke up miserable one morning and spent most of the day crying. It was like trauma reflux. I have no idea where it came from or what triggered it. I guess it’s a good thing when that comes out? Emotional vomiting that gets that residual toxicity out of your system? A sign that I’m healthy enough to deal with it now?
I think a lot of women have this. Maybe you haven’t had your job given away while you were in labor, or felt betrayed by a spouse at a vulnerable time, or had people you thought you could trust turn on you. But I’m guessing most of us have gone through times when it just felt like everyday was a battle to stay afloat. This kind of thing.
Or even just the daily tax of being a woman. Before I had kids, I remember coming home one night late after a work dinner and just sobbing about tiny little slights, grabs, comments and bullsh*t that a man in my job simply wouldn’t have to deal with. The enormity of the aggregate attempts to get you to doubt yourself, to quit trying to beat the odds, to just be the right kind of woman.
It’s interesting that the phrase “crushing it” has become the bro-conomy cliche. Getting millions in venture capital because you have a penis and some connections isn’t crushing anything. It’s more of the same. It’s the women and people of color in this industry who fight for their right to exist and build something that are doing the crushing. And part of that includes being crushed yourself.
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:
- House manager? Nanny-lite? What do we need for our next phase of childrearing?
- How do you model showing healthy emotions to your kiddos?