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>Why do we value stoicism so much ?

>Why is it that we, society, place such a high value on stoicism – that traditional British stiff upper lip ? What is it about us that makes us prefer for people to play down life’s misfortune’s and to hide the true realities behind a glib remark and a brush off of concerns?

Does this really make us somehow better than those who fall to the floor wailing when things go wrong? Isn’t it somehow more cathartic to at least engage in a bit of wailing and weeping? Doesn’t it at least allow everyone to know that inside you’re screaming and gnashing your teeth?
Or is it safer for society as a whole that we continue to put a brave face on? Does the wider social consciousness realise that once you let one crack appear in the facade that the whole lot will come crashing down around you and you’ll be reduced to nothing more than a snotty, snivelling mess ?
I’m trying very hard to be brave – so far I’ve been as guilty as the next of having a stiff upper lip, of downplaying the situation. The problems with Baby2 have been variously described as ranging from ‘just a few little issues’ to ‘she’s trying to come a bit early – silly girl’ and a fall back onto the staple of ‘well every extra day helps’ and a rapid change of subject.
But cracks are starting to appear at the edges. Mr Muddling is off to Hong Kong for a week starting on Sunday – I don’t want him to go but that’s not an option. I want to cling to his ankles and beg him not to leave me to do this on my own, I don’t want to exiled to my parents because its not sensible for me to be on my own, I want to scream that I just don’t have the strength to do this with him so far away.
I also want a t-shirt that explains to people exactly what is going on – that tells them that despite me playing it down that all is not right, that she is hanging on despite everything, that the fact that I’ve got this far is not a sign that it was a great fuss over nothing. I want a shoulder to cry on, someone to hug me and to understand without trying to tell me its all alright, and I’d dearly love somehow for the word to get out to everyone I know that this is going on so instead of being seen as flaky because I’m having to cancel things people understand that behind ‘a few problems with the pregnancy’ lies a world of hurt, worry and uncertainty still that this will all turn out ok.
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7 comments to >Why do we value stoicism so much ?

  • Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy

    >I feel for you. It must feel very lonely indeed. Can you vent to your Mum a bit when you see her? I think you should vent, you should let some people know what you are going through. And the rest of them, well, who cares what they think?

    Still, easier said than done. This phase of your life is transitory and there will be an end to it (hopefully later than sooner) and then you'll be plunged at mach 2 speed into new baby/toddler combo and won't have time for a thing.

    Thinking of you. x

  • cartside

    >You describe the stoicism as a British thing. I think there's truth in it. I can't count the times when even the mention of the stresses I'm under would end a conversation or lead to a swift change of topic. Personally, I need to vent, it helps me. But I also understand that for some people, it may not help.

    Even from reading your blog, I've got no doubt in my mind that every moment you must be full of worry. Not because you wail, you do put up a brave face, but because I guess everyone who's been pregnant knows the worries that come even with a healthy pregnancy and can imagine, even if not really know, the worries of a troublesome pregnancy.

    I think it would definitely good if people were more comfortable with tears, with vulnerability, with sharing the difficult times by talking about it.

  • mumsrock

    >thanks for sharing your experience. all too often pregnancy is seen as an uncomplicated walk in the park by society. Sometimes it's hard, challenging and scary. Wandering whether you would be interested in writing something for us? email me at gigi@mumsrock.com
    xx

  • Jo

    >You sound like you need a bit of proper looking after and somebody to tell you that everything is going to be ok. I've felt vulnerable and lonley with both of my very straightforward pregnancies, so I can only begin to imagine how you feel.

    Are your parents likely to offer much emotional support? I hope so. If not I think you need to open up a bit to someone. And keep posting here of course.

    If anybody genuinely thinks you are being flaky then they are lacking in empathy and not the best kind of people to be spending time with right now anyway.

    Thinking of you x

  • spudballoo

    >Oh I do feel for you…it's so hard. Everyone weebling along with their lives, handing out platitudes like smarties and you're expected to grin and bear it when all you want to do is throw yourself down on the floor and howl.

    At 32 weeks I was told that our younger son had a brain abnormality. The bottom just fell out of the world…a very anxious few weeks ensued when we had to carry on, care for our son, my husband went to work…but every fibre of us was consumed by our anxiety. In the end we were told it was 'nothing to worry about'…but believe me I never stopped worrying about it until he was born and had met all his milestones ie. until he was 2.

    And yet hardly anyone even REMEMBERS that we went through that. Because, fo course, we didn't make a fuss….

    You should let your parents take care of you if they can, and you will let them. You're still their baby. Hugs to you xxxxxxx

  • Muddling Along Mummy

    >Thank you

    Spud – that must have been awful – not least because something so horrid didn't even seem to register on other people's radar

    Jo – I sort of agree with you on the flakey thing but see that its leaving me with fewer friends – guess we have to live with the fall out from other life choices but it really does highlight who your real friends are

    Mumsrock- YHM

    Cartside – you would think that given pregnancy has been going on so long that society would be more accepting of the hormonal / emotional side of things, even when its going ok and to embrace that given we're continuing the human race here !

    BiB – strange as it seems I've not really got my head around this turning into a baby at the end, don't know if its about not getting my hopes up or just head in the sand about 2 under 18 months … but you're right, I need to start focusing on what next and plan for that, move away from now towards when this is a memory

  • Muddling Along Mummy

    >Thank you

    Spud – that must have been awful – not least because something so horrid didn't even seem to register on other people's radar

    Jo – I sort of agree with you on the flakey thing but see that its leaving me with fewer friends – guess we have to live with the fall out from other life choices but it really does highlight who your real friends are

    Mumsrock- YHM

    Cartside – you would think that given pregnancy has been going on so long that society would be more accepting of the hormonal / emotional side of things, even when its going ok and to embrace that given we're continuing the human race here !

    BiB – strange as it seems I've not really got my head around this turning into a baby at the end, don't know if its about not getting my hopes up or just head in the sand about 2 under 18 months … but you're right, I need to start focusing on what next and plan for that, move away from now towards when this is a memory

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