I have always understood that life events such as weddings and funerals have a tendency to bring out the ugliest parts of some people, but I didn’t realize that pregnancy and childbirth also fell beneath this category. My pregnancy was pretty challenging. I had an emotionally and physically demanding job teaching middle school and I experienced terrible morning sickness from the time that I reached 7 weeks until I was in the delivery room at nearly 10 months. The struggle was mad real. Towards the end, it took so much effort to do simple things that I once took for granted like walking up a flight of steps, walking to the parking lot after work, and cooking dinner. For this reason, I was astonished that people would choose those particular nine months of my life to start mess or be overtly nasty with me. Like many women, pregnancy left me feeling extremely vulnerable and of course, emotional, due to fluctuating hormones. For this reason, I didn’t take it lightly when people tried to come for me during this time, and honestly, I still don’t.
Mixy people are going to be mixy no matter what, jealous people are going to be envious and hateful regardless of the circumstance, and people who dislike you — even though they pretend to on the surface — are going to continue disliking you, pregnant or not. I never expected special treatment but what I did not expect was for people to choose to put their full-fledged nastiness on display while I was pregnant or right after I gave birth — especially from people who have been pregnant before and know what that feels like.
For the most part, I try not to hold grudges because experience has taught me that they harm the grudge-holder much more than they do the target, but those people have earned a semi-permanent role on my sh-t list, and honestly, I don’t feel too bad about it.
As previously stated, I feel that there’s a certain level of vulnerability that comes with pregnancy. These people could visibly see that I was struggling. I may have even foolishly told them about my challenges and from my vantage point, it looks as though they smelled blood and tried to kick me when I was down over petty nonsense. Honestly speaking, I’m struggling to completely forgive that. It’s been almost two years since I had my daughter and while I have made peace with some of the things that have happened, those relationships have never been the same. The only reason that any of them have continued is that most of them is that permanent ties keep us connected; however, I keep those people at arm’s length and I’m still looking at most of them with a side-eye.
I thought that I was the only one who felt this way until I recently came across a post on Facebook in a Black mommy group. I won’t mention the specific group out of privacy for its members and I can’t recall the exact details of the post, but several women shared that they also never forgot or forgave the people who treated them like sh-t during their pregnancies. To see my exact feelings expressed so accurately by someone else was comforting and let me know that I was not alone. So I hope to pass on the favor by sharing a little bit about my experience.
What about you? Do you struggle to forgive or continue relationships with people who treated you poorly during your pregnancy? How have you handled these relationships in the aftermath?