It shouldn't matter what others think. It's your body and your life. So why is it that, when most women learn they are pregnant, one of the first of the many thoughts that begin racing through their minds is telling their parents and family?
While it is never healthy to feel afraid of being honest with your parents or family, it's important to remember what lies beneath the surface of the reaction, that the way they appear to feel rarely matches the true nature of their emotion.
For a parent or family member, your pregnancy may symbolize many different stress factors simultaneously, such as loss and grief, among many others.
Everyone handles stress and anxiety differently, but the following are some categories psychologists and counselors have noted as patterns in human response to stress and anxiety. Under each reaction are some ways these responses may be expressed on the surface.
Denial or Numbness:
Self-preservation, protection, emotionally distancing to lessen pain
Tears, even laughter, are ways for the body to physically release stress
A reaction to loss of control
Rather than confronting the issue at hand, ruminating about what could and should have been done
Threats to a person's basic beliefs or understanding of life in general can manifest as anger or even violence
Need to Talk:
Verbalizing the situation, or repeating stories or memories is another coping mechanism people use
People may experience real physical symptoms in response to grief, stress or anxiety
Not only will knowing the real reason behind your loved ones reactions help you feel empowered and more able to face the reality of your situation with strength and rationale, it can help you help your loved ones process their emotions in a healthy way. While it may not be the best thing to tell your mom, who is in tears, that the real reason she is crying is because her body is in need of a physical release, knowing this can help you find ways to handle your pregnancy in a healthy way.
Your Adoption Specialist can better help you understand the emotions of your family members. She is available at 1-800-ADOPTION or by requesting free adoption information.
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