It’s Maternal Mental Health Week, a weeklong campaign dedicated to talking about mental illness while pregnant or after having a baby. There are numerous stories of Motherhood, and of Mental Health, in Team Scary and we are honoured and privileged to be sharing some of those stories this week.
Today we are sharing a monologue she wrote as an exercise while developing her radio play, Little Blue Lines and coming up with the character of Amy.
I am very angry.
I am livid.
I am angry that this has literally torn me apart but I do not have the words to explain it, and all my instincts tell me to shut up about it, get over it.
I am angry that there is no form to fill in at HR, no form to fill in anywhere to give me what I need.
I am angry that I was a mother for 13 weeks but no one knows or cares. I am angry that I was a mother for 13 weeks and I have nothing to show for it.
I am angry that when people ask me how I am, I feel embarrassed on their behalf and lie and say I’m ‘fine’.
I am angry that I have realised that when someone asks ‘How are you?’ they mean ‘Say fine. Or a word that means fine. Don’t tell me the truth, we need to get on with our lives, don’t we?’
I am angry I have had one text and two voicemails about a missed antenatal appointment and a call about a blood test result declaring ‘everything normal’ since my baby died. Despite the email I sent to Hospital Admin to tell them my baby died. Isn’t there a system? Has no one noted what happened to my baby on that system? I am so angry about the system.
I am angry at my Facebook page. I am angry at the adverts for nappies and maternity wear and strange shaped pillows. I am angry that Mark Zuckerburg admitted suffering a miscarriage only after having a successful pregnancy. I am angry at myself for using the word ‘admitted’ and for being so jealous of Ms Zuckerberg.
I am angry at my partner for…everything, everything.
I am angry at myself for getting so upset about what was essentially a collection of cells. I am angry that people exist who say my baby is just a collection of cells, or imply my baby was just a collection of cells by changing the subject quickly. Who move on. When I can’t move on. I am so angry I can’t move on. I am so angry looking around this circle that you are not angry!
I am angry at the abortion clinic that I walk past every day and I am sorry for that and sorry for myself and then angry again.
I am angry that I only feel like myself, who was a mother for 13 weeks, when I am crying. I am so damn angry that I have to pretend to be someone else, someone who was not a mother for 13 weeks, to…function, to behave as people expect me to, to not scare their children. When I have actually fundamentally and on a cellular level, changed!
I am angry because my baby died and I have no answers why or how and no one seems interested in helping me. I am angry because it took 3 phone calls to get an appointment to find out my baby died.
God bless the NHS and all that but seriously I am angry I had to go through that, stumble through that system. And bleed and bleed and bleed. And I am so angry at the NHS that I have to bleed like that, (like that is normal and ok, like I should accept that) in 2018.
I am so angry that in 2018 I have seen my baby alive on a screen one week ; and dead, no heartbeat the next. I am so angry at how happy I felt, at how rubbish that memory is now, I am angry at hope. I am angry at the technology and progress that allowed me to do that but that had nothing to offer me after I miscarried.
I am so angry that almost everyone I ever meet wants to know when I am going to have a child. I am furious I do not have the words to tell them.
I am so angry with my body.
I am angry to be told this is normal and ok but when I repeat what has happened to me out of this medical setting no one behaves like it is normal or ok.
I’m angry every time I try to watch TV because where are the 1 in 4 women having a miscarriage? And I’m angry when I listen to the radio, or go to the cinema, or sit on the tube or go shopping or go to the Ladies because where is the 1 in 4? I’m angry when I listen to music coz where is she? And then I found her for 5 seconds in a bloody kids’ film (Up) Or in a song written by a ginger teenage boy.
I am so angry almost every woman my age on TV has a child (or is trying to have a child) and the adverts, adverts, adverts screaming at me ‘you are a failure, you are not a woman! Your friend, your colleague, your sister in law, she is a woman.’
I am angry, really angry, when another pregnancy is announced. And if it’s via a scan photo then I am so angry I cannot even pretend to be happy for you.
I am angry at people floating through their lives being happy. I am angry I floated through my life until this. How do I do life now?
I am angry at young complacent me. I am angry at young mothers who were not complacent.
I am so angry I sound like such a bitch. A jealous bitch. And that phrase, I am angry at that phrase.
I am angry that I need to be angry to get me through the day otherwise I would just lie in bed and cry.
I am angry that when I turn on my computer at work Maternity Wear adverts pop up and Amazon emails me about buggies.
I am angry at the doctor: ‘Do you want to carry on with the procedure?’ and ‘Do you want to take a moment?’ and ‘Do you want me to call someone?’ NO I WANT MY BABY!
Angry that (while in grief and shock) I have to decide between three shit and painful options of how to ‘remove’ my baby.
Angry at the silent sobs that hurt all through my body. Angry at concern that turns to embarrassment when I tell them WHY I am silently sobbing.
Angry that the official term for miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion.
Angry sex has become a job to get through rather than something to enjoy.
Angry we cannot try again yet.
Angry I have to go through this three times before any tests will be carried out. I am angry that in 50% of cases a cause is never found.
Angry that a sculpture exhibition about stillbirth has been canceled because it was deemed ‘too upsetting’.
Angry that my whole life is about something I do not have.
Look out for another piece from Kate tomorrow.