True Entitlement

Spoiler Alert: It’s not generational.

 

I get so tired of hearing shit like, “well, I didn’t know her husband was hitting her-” or “he didn’t act suicidal” whenever bad things happen to the ones we love. I’m even more exhausted of the retort- “well, how did you KNOW THEY WERE REALLY HAPPY? Why didn’t you physically implant a tracking device into your friends’ asshole until you were certain?!”

Ok. Maybe people don’t really say that last part. But it’s increasingly apparent to me that the only time these dialogues take the stage is when something doesn’t go as planned. This is what true entitlement is. It’s not a millennial thing.

It’s a social thing. Entitlement is a learned behavior that is caused by watching billions of people over share tiny pieces of their lives through social mediums. This isn’t a conspiracy. I’m not going to site Michael Moore here. This is how we, as a culture, forgot how to see with our eyes. This is how the majority of a population became so distracted by filters that they evolved to see things more pleasantly than reality ever intended. The bottom line is that we are not entitled to the most intimate details of someone’s life. You do not get to use someone’s instagram account to justify when good/bad things happen to them.

I recently stepped away from social media. Not entirely, I’m not a living in my basement with the lights off- don’t worry. I didn’t delete all of my accounts. I didn’t stop checking in on my friends. But regardless, I still felt the break was necessary. I suffer from a disorder that you might be familiar with- it doesn’t have a name, to my knowledge. However, it’s characterized by feelings of frustration that are often triggered by people who overshare stupid details of their lives that I don’t give a fuck about. Let me know if you think of a word for that kind of thing.

(I say this ironically, of course, because I’m nearing the 1 year anniversary of my blog- ya know, where I share intimate ideas and details of my life with people I don’t even know. But even here, you will not find me sharing details so intimate that they would be better reported to a therapist. I digress.)

The reason for my stepping away from social media is quite simple. I do not feel compelled to share my life right now. It’s partially because I’m pregnant and I am enjoying the last few months of privacy before I have none. But it is also because I find life difficult to focus on when I’m preoccupied with the happenings of others.

I don’t believe in much, but I believe in myself. It’s hard to believe in myself when I’m focused on everyone else. A friend recently opened up to me about their difficulty being “present” in their life. I can see this exact issue in myself, whether it’s because I’m messing around on facebook, distracted with housework, planning a family trip- I’m never exactly where I say I am. I’m trying this new thing where I don’t let funny memes distract me from the importance of the moment I’m living in. I’m going to continue my absence online in hopes that I can become more present in life. I hope this means that I will be writing more, but I also hope this means I’m away from my desk more.

A.

 

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Morning Sickness

I am pregnant. 22 weeks + 1 day. Maybe I should have written about this sooner- just to give my readers a little more insight as to what is happening in my life right now, but you’ll have to forgive me. Because I’ve already forgiven myself.

As a pregnant woman, growing in the age of social media, I have found myself trapped in one of the most unforgiving stages of my life. I’m not quite sure how it became this way. I have heard stories from so many women of past generations, speaking about how they lost themselves in pregnancy: the most guilt-free period of their lives. I wonder when that period ended.

I have been “blessed” with morning sickness, a diet of saltine crackers and bile. If you’ve ever had morning sickness, you know that it does not end once the clock strikes twelve. It ebbs and flow with every smell that passes your nose, every change in temperature or increase in humidity. It comes back when the sun gets too bright and when your husband touches his fingers to your skin. It wakes you from dead sleep and pleasant dreams. Every sound too loud will send you sprinting for the bathroom. It makes it impossible to gain weight for your baby, clean, cook, go to the grocery store, work, or change the toddler’s diapers. But you have to. Because you are a mom. And you have been “blessed” with morning sickness.

I spoke out about this a lot with my first pregnancy, begging for relief, suggestions, compassion:

“Try ginger tea”
“Try ginger candy”
“Try ginger ale”
“… Crackers, water, bread”
“Just eat whatever you can to feed the baby”
“Just smile through it, you have too many obstacles ahead to start complaining now”

Doctors told me it would go away after 13 weeks. In my first pregnancy, I was “let go” from my job for having missed one day of work. I stayed home, vomiting bile when I couldn’t hold down water. I sat in a dark room, cringing at the sight of any bright light, any scent other than my own. At 13 weeks it got worse. I was prescribed medication that I could not take for (proven) fear that it would give my baby heart defects. More advice:

“Go out for a walk”
“Stay out of the sun”
“Talk to your doctor about ____ medication”
“Aren’t you worried that drugs will hurt the baby?”
“Try smoking weed”
“Weed will give your kid brain damage”
“Why can’t you just suck it up”
“I wish I was that thin when I was pregnant”
“You should really be gaining more weight…”

The last time I got sick during my first pregnancy was 35 minutes before my son was born. It was just water. My son weighed 5 lbs 12 oz, born at 39 weeks. I gained 10 lbs throughout my pregnancy. I lost 3 of them during week 37. I walked out of the hospital weighing 5 lbs less than I did before I got pregnant.

I am 22 weeks + 1 day today. I have gained 2 lbs since getting pregnant. And last night I broke blood vessels throughout my entire face while vomiting. I have been “blessed” with morning sickness. And no, I have not found relief. I do not want your suggestions. And most of all, I do not expect compassion.

A.
Morning Sickness