I’m not depressed, I am enraged


depressed_enraged

Author: Samantha Nolan-Smith
Extracted from the program ‘A Visible Woman’: www.avisiblewoman.com

I’m not depressed, I am enraged

At a society that dumps children in women’s laps and says ‘good luck with that’ as they turn their backs on the sleepless nights and swollen breasts, the isolation, the boredom, the monotony, the endless hours of crying that send you near insane, desperate for just five minutes of silence.

I’m not depressed, I am enraged

At a society that says ‘children matter’ and then gives so little support to the one person who holds it all together in the first years of that child’s life and beyond.

I’m not depressed, I am enraged

For all the nights I spent alone, feeding and comforting my child while the rest of the world slept, recovering from their day, restoring their bodies and their spirit.

I’m not depressed, I am enraged

At his request for more children. As though it were his body that would bleed and be grazed, that would be deformed, permanently scared, flabby and saggy.

I’m not depressed, I am enraged

That men debate the morality of abortion when they’re never left carrying the baby.

I’m not depressed, I am enraged

That society thinks so little of motherhood that it hasn’t yet created pregnancy leave but instead, expects women to carry on working despite vomiting, extreme tiredness, and constant nausea.

I’m not depressed, I am enraged

With a society that thinks 18 weeks is more than enough time to financially support a mother while she cares for her infant child.

I’m not depressed, I am enraged

That my husband gets a week of paternity leave. How is that supposed to help anyone? How can he become the father he wants to be when he’s given so little opportunity to parent?

I’m not depressed, I am enraged

That when the exhaustion and isolation, the soul destroying monotony and the mind numbing boredom gets too much, I’m no longer nice. I’m not compliant. I lose my pleasant manner and no longer fit the mould of what is acceptable behaviour for a woman. When I’m angry and scream, when I’m short and unhelpful. When I start putting myself first and others are left to fend for themselves.

I’m enraged that in those circumstances, society – were it to cast its eyes my way – would deem me an unfit mother. Crazy. Abnormal. Scary. Not to be trusted. Unstable.

I’m not depressed. I’m enraged at a society so unhealthy, so disconnected from its own soul that this is the way it treats the most sacred act of all – birthing, motherhood, the raising of a child.

I’m enraged that motherhood should sit right in the heart of what truly matters in society, but instead, it’s on the outskirts. Disrespected, disconnected.

I’m enraged that as I shifted from maiden to mother I became invisible. That people spoke to my baby but not to me. That people asked about baby but not about me. That when my husband got a cold he got more sympathy than I got for the daily rigours of motherhood. Been in physical pain for 6 weeks? Suck it up sister, you’re a mother now.

I’m not depressed, I am enraged.


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