An essay in a new anthology
Birthmother shame and postpartum depression are closely related, I believe. My essay, “My Face in the Darkness” explores the link. This essay will be included in a new anthology called Mothering Through the Darkness.
Somewhere in the timeframe of writing and submitting the essay, I came upon this survey. So I took the survey, realizing anew how completely abysmal my first experience of childbirth was. Mind you, my son was born in 1970, and there has been a fair amount of reform since then, but the survey questions did not evoke a single memory of support or compassion. Every interaction with the nurses and doctors in the hospital before, during, and after my son’s birth was tainted with shaming and judgement. I know that this story is not an unusual one among birthmothers
Women, girls, and shame
Women and girls are subjected to a lot of shaming in our society. Our bodies and our clothing choices are shamed, as are other aspects of our appearance. Everything we do is held up to scrutiny in a way that seems bound to our gender. As a mother of two daughters and grandmother to two granddaughters, I think about shame in the context of their lives. You can read more about shame HERE. Or watch THIS. I’m looking forward to reading the other essays in “Mothering Through the Darkness.” I wouldn’t be surprised if, in some way, shame figures into each and every story.
And speaking of surveys, have you seen THIS ONE?