This weekend all hell broke loose in the female blogosphere. Trainwrecks has apparently closed, (we'll see) supposedly through the efforts of various other people who were furious about the way that many bloggers had been treated. When I say bloggers, I use the term loosely, since most of the attacked were women who went online and spoke the truth about their lives.
Yes, some of them were mommybloggers and some were nice people whose comments had gotten out of control after an offhand remark by someone. A lot of them were grieving angry women who did not fit society's idea of how a woman should act when her child dies. One idea I remember, "Grief is messy. Not all of us are going to sob quietly & crumple gently at your feet. "
And then yesterday, Manuela at Thin Pink Line decided she couldn't take the hatred others were spewing at her for now, and she has gone password protect. I have it, and some others. The only way to get it, is to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or email me and I'll forward it to her. And no there are no guarantees she will give permission to anyone. I love Manuela and I am sickened by what has happened, not just because my friend has been hurt, but because she said many things out loud that women aren't supposed to say. She described her anger and her hurt and her bitterness over the loss of Shoelet and the people who never understood her feelings about being an adoptee.
The best blog in Canada is no longer open for the viewing public. On the best blogs in the female blogosphere can't be seen, because when women don't act the way they are "supposed to" God knows society has to put her in her place, and crush her underfoot. I know this all to well, since I've lost children and been crapped on IRL and out here in blogworld when I've tried to talk about it.
So, in solidarity with Manuela, here is how I reacted when Matthew died. I know that the preceding posts have sounded like I was calm and accepting, but really, I wasn't.
I was filled with rage, utterly incoherent. From the moment of our first ultrasound, I was crying and screaming, staying up until all hours of the night, unable to sleep and unable to figure out who to blame. The problem is there is NO ONE to blame or be truly angry with, but that didn't stop me from trying to find someone.
I'm short and tiny, delicate boned with no muscles at all and I took an entire wall down in our basement with a crowbar. A foundation wall. It wasn't pretty.
I blamed myself for popping out an old defective egg, I blamed my midwife, my doctors, my husband.
I blamed myself for my "choice" to terminate, I blamed the world for telling me to hide and be ashamed. I blamed my workplace for being shitty to me in a time of crisis.
I blamed God, the asshole motherfucker who decided to let THAT egg out of my ovary that month. He let it meet that sperm. Why couldn't the stupid sperm just swim by? It had every other time.
I was filled with rage, but there was no one to rage at, so I raged at myself and people passing by in my life. I raged at my "so-called" friends who were too busy to attend the funeral. I raged at the ones who came to the funeral because they didn't know what to say. I raged at Doctors who couldn't "fix" him. At government agencies who couldn't show me tiniest piece of compassion and let me be called a mother in a passing conversation. At bureaucrats who called my son's death minutiae, too small to matter.
And eight years later I like to pretend it's "all better", but it's not. I will never be over it. I will not fit society's straightjacket for grieving mothers, or good adoptees, or impersonal robotic political junkies. I will talk about my dead children and you will not get to dismiss me as a rare exception or crazy, or "depressed." (The label de jour whenever a woman expresses a socially unacceptable thought, both denigrating our legitimate emotions, and the real life sufferers of mental illness.)
All women get to be angry and show it. I don't have to be a good girl or a bad one, I don't have to smile, or shut up and sing the song you want me too.
And neither do you my friends.