I’ve been struggling to write, to be honest
I’ve tried to write a few blogs these last few weeks but a few things have stopped me. Mainly I guess we’ve had family illness and trauma so that’s personal to others and it’s not appropriate to write what’s essentially their stories. And worry is so disabling. I know, I do best when I stay in the moment, and I’ve tried but I’ve not done well really. And although I try not to communicate my worry I’m sure this leaks out in a thousand ways to become a burden for others. It’s a bit self indulgent. I feel so helpless and that troubles me.
My self image was of someone who could do things to help; it’s so ingrained; to make soup, do shopping, washing, ironing (?). But instead I watch as others help the people I love and I’m part of the complexity not especially helpful at that time. It grieves me deeply and I also know it’s not about me so I stay quiet and bring what I can which is my listening ears and a bucket of love. Sometimes advice is welcomed and I know what might help. I’m guilty however of offering advice clumsily, when it’s not wanted. I try to blame my eagerness to help but again that’s making it about me. And breathe. You see why it’s hard to write about?
I’ve wanted too, to write a blog called ‘Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman’. I’ve started it and thought, but so many folk have written about this better than I have, but it’s a theme I couldn’t step over. Overtly or covertly it’s been a huge theme in the news.
I’ve so many special women in my life, my sister and sister-in-law, my nieces and niece-in-law, my friends, my step daughter and granddaughters and of course my daughter-in-law and my daughter. I feel so angry at how women’s trauma has suddenly become for women to fix too. A world of misogyny and violence against women became quite overwhelming for a time recently. The death of a young woman in London sparked a telling of stories, like no other. Of all the times women and girls had experience threatening or violent behaviour so much that they had shaped their lives differently as a consequence. I’ve recognised more signs like gaslighting in recent years and called it out. This has felt so huge a step and yet so small in the whole context. But I do believe we change the world one person at a time. And I see and know many women who do call things out, who challenge , and bring up daughters who are confident. But I also see how my generation ( and some of the subsequent) has adapted and fitted in to make life calmer, to stay for the children, who stay because they like the job, who accept it’s just how it is. And that has to be ok too, a life constantly fighting is not a happy one.
Men have to accept responsibility for change. My sense is that violence against women has become more exposed but that doesn’t mean it has stopped, maybe that exposure has normalised a previously hidden sore? So now we’ve exposed it, almost like another pandemic in its reach and impact, but where is the vaccine we have pursued with equal vigour and investment? Until we invest to change it will stay and I fear it will become a deeper wound, much more difficult to heal.
I’ve been fortunate to have had very special men to share my life with, my sense is that they are the people who will lead that change, alongside us, showing how relationships can be. Not perfect but respectful, kind and loving.
It’s all so huge which is why I’ve hesitated to write about it. But if not now when, if not us, who?