Feminine issues

30 Dec

Ok – I’m going to address something here that I doubt many women talk about after a miscarriage (though i have a feeling some feel this way too). But to be honest it’s something that’s been following me for much longer.

I don’t feel like a woman.

Here’s the thing: I’ve got some hardcore daddy issues. He’s a pig. Seriously. He can’t fathom a strong, business – savvy woman as something normal.

I’ve always been strong. So basically from as early as I can remember he’s been telling me not to walk down stairs with a skirt on because people will see my balls.

Paints a pretty picture – doesn’t it?

That’s not all – he also tells me sometimes that “he forgets I’m a woman.”

lovely. thanks dad. that does wonders for my self-image.

And it’s not like I did much to overcome this. My actions perpetuate it.

During grad school – very early on, one of the female directors got picked up (as in physically) by an actor on a set who proclaimed “you’re so freakin’ cute!”.

and of course, the mostly male crew stopped respecting her at that exact moment.

So – when I directed, I came in wearing sneakers, baggy clothes, with my hair up in a ponytail and a baseball cap (I hate baseball caps!).

No make up, no skirts. And make sure to let the camera crew talk openly about T&A around you. Say the word “tits” a couple of times and curse like a trucker. One of my most used phrases became “fuckety fuck fuck”. That helped.

I made a huge effort to be “one of the guys.”

Avoid getting emotional. Never ever EVER cry in front of the crew. That shows weakness. Never be girly. Because most of them are guys, and they will immediately stare at your huge boobs (I have double D’s. Baggy sweatshirts came in handy).

So I perpetuated it. Over and over and over.

I remember that on the day I finished grad school I got dolled up for the ceremony. Got my hair done, make up, a cute little black dress, heals, the whole shebang. One of my crew (who was also graduating) came up to me before the ceremony and proclaimed: Oh my god! You’re a chick!

I assume he meant it as a compliment. And – he was genuinely shocked. He was not joking.

My father to this day continues to treat me like a son – not like a daughter. He can’t handle it when I cry in front of him, for example.

The result is that I rarely put on make up, I don’t “dress up” for anything, I never buy myself anything pretty anymore (even though I have a serious shoe fetish).

My internal monologue is – what’s the point?

There were exactly two months in the last decade where I truly felt feminine. Starting from a week before my wedding and until my first miscarriage.

Having a wedding dress, a honeymoon, and a baby in my belly helped me feel grounded and whole. I found myself shopping online for pretty maternity clothes. It was fun. It was as if I had found a missing part of my identity. I could finally embrace my femininity. Embrace my “inner mommy”. The woman longing for a child.

And now – two lost babies later – i feel even less like a woman than ever before. How can I be truly a woman if I can’t keep a baby alive inside of me?

This feeling haunts me. I don’t feel sexy. I don’t even feel somewhat pretty. And I like feeling those things. I just don’t let myself any more. I’m in a bit of a gender crisis – to say the least.

Plus – I have PCOS, which means that as is, I’ve got a smidge too much testosterone in my body. So that doesn’t help matters much.

Oh – and I’m the primary breadwinner in me and schmerson’s little family.

it’s as if the second miscarriage was the final nail in the coffin of my femininity. Which sucks! Seriously. I wish I had a more eloquent way of saying that. But I don’t. It sucks and I don’t know what to do about it.

It’s amazing what an internal monologue of your own and daddy’s voice will do to decimate a person’s gender identity.

I actually LIKE the way I feel when I put on pretty, flattering clothes. I L-O-V-E shoes, and unique jewelry.

I have this earring – this amazingly gaudy earring that was made by a designer and cost a fortune. I LOVE the way I feel when I wear it. I haven’t worn it once in the last year.

I have – literally – a collection of unique shoes. Pointy heals, flowery boots, really adorable shoes that I LOVE. There was a point where I would stop and stare at a good pair of nine wests or mellisas – sometimes spending hours trying on shoes that i had no chance in hell of affording. I have at least 15 pairs of cool shoes (bought on clearance!). I barely wear them. I just wear the same pair of sporty flats until I wear them out, then I buy another boring pair of sporty flats. I barely window shop for shoes anymore. And did I mention I love shoes?

I LOVE the way I look in heals. Don’t wear them.

I LOVE how I feel when I get my hair done. I do it – at most – once every three months. I like having long, painted nails, but they’re “not practical.”

I don’t buy pretty clothes anymore. And none of my old pretty clothes fit me. So I wear ratty jeans and shirts. When I “make an effort” it’s a tunic and tights.

but still those same boring ratty shoes. If I feel daring I put on a ring that takes up half of my hand and is a giant butterfly.

That butterfly ring is nothing compared to that righteous earring. THAT made me feel like a little bit more of a woman. Especially while wearing a cute little black dress and an equally gaudy bracelet that matches the earring perfectly and was bought at the bargain price of 10 dollars.

The miscarriages just destroyed the last vestiges of my femininity. I have no idea how to get them back.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

7 Responses to “Feminine issues”

  1. slcurwin December 30, 2010 at 07:11 #

    I’ve been feeling that way for a while but I had put it to being an at home mom and my hubby not caring at all if I got out of my pj’s or not (that doens’t help my case). I guess it did get alot worse after my miscarriages. At that point I didn’t even bother to make myself look nice to go out in public. And now when I put on my nice (or what used to be my everyday) clothes, I feel like I’m getting to fancy and feel embarrassed. What the hell?! We need to just get stubborn and put in the effort to pretty ourselves up…just for us, because it always makes you feel a bit better when you look in the mirror and say “damn I look good today”.

  2. me0me December 31, 2010 at 07:19 #

    Wrote like ten ideas earlier then got disconnected and lost them all 😦 Take Two:
    Go through your wardrobe and decide what you really love. Get a friend to take photos of you fully shebanged in an outside scene. When you think about these clothes and shoes, refrain from thinking about their cost- stay with how good they make you feel! Next new person you meet, make yourself as pretty as you can. It will only strengthen the smart first impression you will leave. Find more excuses to wear pretty things and beautify yourself- it won’t necessarily work for Law and Order marathons, but it just might work as a pick me up, a little indulgence. You is pretty! You is not should fembarrass prettiness! ❤

  3. me0me December 31, 2010 at 07:21 #

    Oh and please take me up kn some of these or I’ll kick your ass 😀

  4. Marie December 31, 2010 at 20:43 #

    Just one earring? What about the other one?

    That aside, I think the obvious solution here is to WEAR YOUR PRETTY THINGS! I like the above idea of taking “modeling” pictures. Tell your husband you need a night out and have him take you to a nice dinner in a fancy restaurant that requires you to dress up. Don’t talk about the miscarriages. Don’t talk about wanting to try again. Talk about sex for sex’s sake, or funny stories from work, or go see a movie first and then talk about your opinions on the movie – anything to take the conversation away from the crap that’s playing constantly through your mind (and trust me, I know how hard that is). Then make him pay – even if it’s technically your money he’s paying with because you’re the primary breadwinner (and I’ve been there, too), make him go through the ACT of paying, so that you can feel more like a woman: beautiful, taken care of, provided for. Then go home and put on some of the lingerie from your honeymoon, and – if you dare – have him take pretty pictures of you in that, too. And then have sex with your husband, even if you don’t feel like it, just do it.

    After my miscarriage, I didn’t feel less feminine per se, but I did feel like less of a woman, like my body had failed to do what it is biologically programmed to do. And I felt less human, like I was floating around all empty because hope and joy and happiness had all been wrenched away from me. I’m not saying these things are a quick fix, but maybe just for that one day, just for those few hours, you’ll feel better. And later, when all the bad feelings start to fade, or when you do get and stay pregnant and have a baby and REALLY won’t have time to make yourself pretty, you’ll be able to look back at these months not as only a period of darkness, but as those pretty little moments of being a beautiful young newlywed, dressed to the nines, on a date with her handsome husband. And you’ll have those hot photos of yourself to prove it.

    • mommyodyssey December 31, 2010 at 21:00 #

      Hi Marie!
      First – the earring is so huge and gaudy that you can only really wear just one. 😉
      You are awesome. Seriously. 🙂
      I read your amazing comment aloud to my husband and he smiled and put his foot down.
      We have a wedding out of town in two weeks and we were going to get a hotel room for the night.
      He has now insisted we make a weekend of it – fancy dinner, spa, everything. I’m already thinking about which of my dresses and heels to wear (should be black to go with the earring!). 🙂
      Much love to you and happy new year!!!

  5. jjiraffe April 14, 2011 at 07:36 #

    OK, so I read the post about the giant earring BEFORE reading this one.

    I’m sorry your dad has given you a complex about this. It’s weird: there’s a dad in my daughter’s class who is totally freaked about my daughter being a bad influence on his daughter. They’re both very strong personalities, and he wants his daughter to be more feminine. It’s so stupid. I love my daughter’s toughness, as long as she’s not unkind to others. Women need to be tough: we have to go through a lot of shit!

    Second, I totally hear you about feeling less than a woman. I totally feel that way lately. I just can’t be bothered to get dressed up (or even take a shower some days) since the miscarriage.

    I need to be inspired by you and the Giant Earring. You look gorgeous and happy in those pictures.


  1. What a Difference a Dress Makes « mommyodyssey - January 15, 2011

    […] couple of weeks back, I talked about not feeling like a woman. Marie suggested then in the comments that I put on a pretty dress […]

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