Confessions of a Failing Sorority Girl

November 13, 2008

So I am a Sigma Kappa – a very proud one at that.  Most of my friends are people whom I have met while I was in college as an active member or became friends with because we are alums.  I owe a lot to the sorority, particularly because of the women who have kept me sane the last couple of months are mainly Sigma Kappas.

So in light of that, I thought, “I have some time, I should help out with the local chapter.”  I met with the women of the Advisory Board last night and as I did, I found myself faced with the dilemma of what to do.  Do I join or not?  Why is this an issue, you ask and why am I telling you about it?  Well, I found myself thinking, as I was sitting there listening to the meeting, this is all so trivial.  I mean, let’s have some perspective here.  My babies died and I am listening to a discussion about recruitment skits.

And then it hit me.  I don’t know that I am in the right frame of mind to do this.  See, it may seem trivial to a non-Sorority or Fraternity person but it’s not.  As Kelly reminded me, it’s about the health and well-being of the National Organization that I want to live on for my daughters (fingers-crossed).  A year ago, I would have really gotten that.  I would have stepped up and said, “what do you need me to do?”  I just can’t do that right now, as much as I want to, I can’t get into it.  And that’s not fair to the Chapter and the other advisors.

I’m angry that grief has robbed me of this opportunity.  I’m pissed.  I would have never thought that this loss would have effected me in the ways that it has and it still surprises me.  All of the books say that you shouldn’t start something new in the first year after a loss.  I thought I could just push through this and do whatever but I clearly can’t.  I was nearly panicked last night at the thought of taking on any kind of responsibility for the chapter.  I was terrified of committing to something and then letting them down if I couldn’t do it to the best of my abilities.  I was very quiet towards the end of the meeting and on the ride home.  I think the woman who drove me to the meeting picked up on my quietness.  This fear and panic is not me, it’s not who I am.  I used to be so much stronger than this.

And it makes me feel even worse than I already do because it’s one more thing that I CAN’T do.  I can’t seem to find a career, I can’t seem to have a baby, I can’t seem to be a good sorority girl….I’m stuck in this negative, self-depracating tailspin and I can’t seem to get out.

So what do I do?  What do I tell the other women on the Board?  I am totally entertaining any thoughts here.

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5 Responses to “Confessions of a Failing Sorority Girl”

  1. Gretchen Says:

    Go Sigma Kappa!

    YOU ARE a sorority girl, you always will be. You are just not active sorority alumn right now. That is life as we know it and you are NOT alone!!!

    Timing is everything and everyone has a time and a place to serve. the end!

    PS- tell them the truth. they are women and sisters, they will understand.
    PSS – U R STRONGER THAN YOU KNOW!!!! You have handled (and you are handeling) somthing that most women can’t and won’t!!!

    Preaching over! I love you!

  2. Nikki Says:

    Don’t be pissed. Just because you can’t contribute in the way your mind imagines you to, doesn’t mean you aren’t a sorority girl at heart. That doesn’t mean you can’t contribute in other ways. Your sisters will understand & support whatever it is you decide to tell them. If anything.

  3. Karla Says:

    Gretchen responded before I could, but I was going to write the exact same thing she did: they are women and sisters and they will understand. I think you are putting unreasonable demands on yourself. You wrote that all the books say you shouldn’t start something new within a year of the loss, but that you “thought you could push through this.” Why? Why would you put that unrealistic and unnecessary expectation on yourself? The people who write these books know what they are talking about. Not getting involved in new projects right now does NOT make you emotionally weak; it makes you emotionally NORMAL. You have the rest of your life to help Sigma Kappa. Take this time for yourself, to grieve and slowly heal. You already have a career, plus your own business, plus you do animal rescue volunteer work, plus you maintain a home and a marriage and many relationships AND you are trying to get pregnant. I think that’s plenty! So you feel fear and panic. So you don’t feel as strong as you used to. That is OK. That is NORMAL for someone who has been through what you have been through. You are a different person than you used to be and no one expects you to be the same as you were a year ago. I think the only person who expects that is you. Cut yourself some slack, girl! And keep venting your feelings here. It is healthy to get it out, even when you’re angry and negative and fearful. We are here to support you.

  4. KB Says:

    Courage is moving through the things that most frighten you.

    You’re frind, Gretchen is right in her PSS. And so is Karla. I understand how you feel. I’ve been getting calls and requests for me to do things, profesional things and I’ve had to turn many of them down. Why? Why not just throw myself back into work and “distract” myself from my grief? Distracting and doing other things to avoid what’s really going on w/ me would be like living a lie – it would be like running from that which most frightens me. And right now, what frightens me is living day-to-day having lost my first baby, remembering everything from the day I had my pregnancy blood test, until the day she was stillborn, wondering if it will happen again, waiting to get pregnant, fearing I will lose again and dealing w/ all of the emotions that surface. But, I have to do these things. Grief will come and get me in 20 years if I distract now and don’t work through them. Because “distracting” doesn’t work. Becasue what I/you/we really want is not to throw ourselves into work or causes or to find other things to do in the meantime – we want to throw ourselves into ourselves and we want to become pregnant and then have high risk pregnancies and then have healthy, living babies.

    I know you don’t feel as strong as you used to – neither do I. But sometimes, when I stop and step back from myself and all my fears, and sadness and emotions -and I just look at myself – look clearly – from how I was before my pregnancy, and how I am now – I AM stronger than I was before. Maybe not physically, or professioanlly, or even on the surface, but as a person, as a being – my insides. My new strength comes through my tears, my allowing myself to feel, my honesty – the fact that I was totally powerless to this awful thing that happened to me – yet – I survived it – and it will not destroy me.

    It will not destroy you.

    Sometimes, I think the long, slow, grind of grief is more difficult than the intense, initial and acute grief. It is a really uncomfortable and weird place to be – this middle part. And you;re allowed to be mad at it. Grief is an unwelcomed guest.

    Just remember, it will not destroy you!

  5. StaceyS Says:

    my dearest sorority sister,

    i’ve been “lurking” on your page for about 2 months or so (via iron cupcake blog roll)

    as a sigma kappa girl too, i assure you if you are not up to being on the board, that does not make you a bad SK. And when you feel like delving into that- it will be there.

    What makes you a good sigma kappa is your heart. And that you’ve opened your heart so wide to share you story with countless other women.

    I have no words to express how much i’ve been cheering for you. for you to have joy and happiness in your life in whatever form it arrives in. because i now also know you are sigma kappa girl- i’m cheering even louder. You are an amazing woman. thank you for sharing your triumps and low points.

    all my love to you,
    stacey
    (omega)


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