It has been an interesting year, thought I’d go through it with some blog posts.
Started the year puking, while technically this is a post from last December, it is exactly how January started for me.
On the subject of the toilet, you know how at the beginning you were thinking you were fed up of hugging the toilet and the sight of the toilet’s innards? Turns out that it’s even more soul destroying to be sat on the toilet and vomiting into a bucket because your pelvic floor is wrecked, especially as you only found this out after wetting yourself in a public toilet. Nothing quite like walking out of a public toilet with cold urine down your legs and vomit down your chest. You’ll feel just like a glowing satisfied pregnant woman then.
Then January came with a major upheaval when my daughter was born 10 weeks prematurely, this has spawned a series of posts.
The first time I saw her I didn’t even recognise her as mine. How could I? I didn’t remember her being born, all I had was someone else’s word that this was the child they’d removed from my womb. In that room full of incubators and tiny babies covered in wires I had no way of distinguishing her from any other baby.
Everything about my motherhood this time round feels unnatural, and it’s breaking me.
Monday 17th November 2014 is World Prematurity Day, a day for talking about around 15 million babies born prematurely worldwide. My daughter is one of them, and while I was aware of premature babies prior to her birth I was most definitely ignorant to how hard it could be for the families of these tiny little miracles.
Motherhood was also a recurring theme, especially around Mother’s Day.
It’s not easy to “win” at this motherhood business. Mothers seem to be expected to be simple things who think only of childcare/nappies/etc, and are judged to be lesser people. But if they dare do different they are judged for being lesser mothers. The two shouldn’t be exclusive. A mother isn’t something “other”, we are people too. Complex, multifaceted people.
Should point out, this doesn’t mean I think SAHM is the best option. All I’m saying is that you have to do what is best for you and your family, and not judge others if their needs and wants vary from yours. We are all different, all our kids are different, do what suits you and yours. And leave others to do the best they can for theirs.
Disability also cropped up a few times
My back pain now dictates every part of my life, whether I like it or not. I cannot get a break from it, and every decision I make has to take in to account my limitations. Sometimes I forget and overdo it. Sometimes I get fed up of living like this and ignore the pain – push through it – I always regret it.
You’d think the worst thing about being disabled would be the actual disability, but it’s not for me, the worst is other people. I am always either so disabled that I mess up their plans, not disabled enough that I defy their image of disability, or too much of a mix of both that I make them doubt me. So I apologise. I’m sorry that my totally uncontrollable disability which causes me pain day in and day out is such a nuisance to your life.
It’s amazing the things said to people when they are vulnerable and/or in pain, it shouldn’t be this way. But if even health care professionals think it’s ok, what hope do we have with the person on the street?
As you can see, being disabled when it comes to work has two major problems to overcome. First is the huge variety of needs disabled people have in order to be able to work, and the second is how many employers are willing to make these adjustments/allowances.
I eventually ended up going on to the pill in order to try and stop all of this, the first pill I tried had me vomiting and feeling nauseous. Sound familiar? Oh yes, this one had so effectively tricked my body that it gave me morning sickness! I should have guessed that this was a sign of what was to come
So now here I am, conforming. And I’m not doing it because society forces me to, I’m doing it because disability does, and then I’m watching society sit back and say, “told you so, women can’t do what men can”.
Which leads me nicely on to probably my most covered topic, feminism and gender..
I’ll start with my most read post of the year
Did I report him? No, what was the point, even I’d been convinced it wasn’t rape, why would anyone else think differently? It was my word against his, and he was manipulative. He’d argue it can’t have been rape as I’d stayed with him. Who stays with someone they are scared of? Who would get upset if their rapist dumped them? Makes no sense at all.
My reasons for wanting to abort were both medical and psychological, I could survive the pregnancy, my life wasn’t at immediate risk from it (obviously as I’m still here). My quality of life was definitely. Both at the time and afterwards. Is my reason less valid than someone whose life is at risk from pregnancy? Is my reason more valid than someone who feels the time is wrong for them to be pregnant/have children? Why on earth do we need more reason than the woman doesn’t want to go through something so demanding?
These aren’t examples of people being rude. Not by any fucking stretch. The first is unequivocally rape/sexual assault, the second shouldn’t have been questioned by anyone.
It seems that not only does society expect us to put up and shut up, but we expect it of ourselves too. Preferring not to make a fuss, worried we’ll come across as weak or whinging. We live through it and do nothing.
In so much media she is defined by the men in her life, used as a plot device to further a man’s character development. She’s a convenient way of advertising goods. Her looks are her most important asset, once she;s old and they start to fade she’s no use.
She is nothing without he.
I have a love/hate relationship with the #YesAllWomen hashtag. I love that it’s raising awareness, but I hate that it needs to exist at all. It makes for infuriating reading, but is also so damn familiar at the same time.
As there is this idea that women are there solely for the male gaze you’d assume that the more aesthetically pleasing women would be more welcome than most? Well, yes and no.
Now this is a seriously old trope, the idea of women sleeping their way to the top. What I find interesting is that in those stories the woman is always cast as some kind of evil temptress while the men are absolved of any guilt. As if she has some kind of magical power to make them sleep with her against their will and then this grants her the power (via her magical vagina?) to force them to do things in exchange for sex.
It is totally possible for a sex offender to also be talented, friendly, generous and caring towards others. It doesn’t negate what they are capable of. Presenting them as a two dimensional villain is not only lazy but harmful too.
Force down the little frustrations, choke on the bigger hurts, but keep it all in. Every last bit.
But it’s not all rage and ranting
So this goes out to all the feminists I’ve met in my life, thank you. Even those of you I disagree with, thank you for forcing me to really think through my beliefs.
On that note, I shall wrap up for 2014.
I’ll leave you with a bit of music