Saturday, 10 April 2010

Damnit, Janet.

So last night I was lying in bed, drifting off to sleep, and I had THE MOST AWESOME idea for a blog-post ever.
So naturally, I have completely forgotten not only what it was but what it was even vaguely related to. Quelle Surprise!

Instead I'm going to go into some light-hearted heavy talk. Do you mind? I don't care.

I have mentioned in previous posts that I'm physically disabled, and that I have a lot of medical issues, and that I've had a fair few mental health problems. I want to phrase that in a less dramatic way but there just isn't one. It is what it is.
Today I went out to see a friend for coffee. The sun was shining, the weather was pleasant but not TOO warm, and because it's only April, we didn't have the horrible muggy stifling summer air that seems to make Londoners so irate all the time. All in all, it was a really great day to be out. I had a great time chatting with my friend (who is A.B's Godmother) and come time to go home, I decided instead of getting on the bus and jolting about for 40 minutes I was going to stroll partway home. It's not THAT long a walk. At least, it wasn't in my head. Before I started. So I set off, and I have Justin Timberlake and the Glee Soundtrack on my iPod and the weather is awesome and I was feeling great. I got about halfway home and decided to just carry on instead of waiting to get on a bus now. I thought I'd save myself the 90pence.
See, I have always been slightly double jointed. Not quite circus-freak bendy, and not as bad as some have it, but my joints don't always stay where they should. This got really bad when I was pregnant when my hips parted like the red fricking sea. I was in absolute agony for most of my pregnancy. Some days I couldn't even walk, because I couldn't make my legs work. They just...wouldn't do what I told them to. All my ligaments and muscles felt stretched and it felt like I was resting a bowling ball on the bones of my pelvis. My doctor essentially told me to suck it up. And I did, and I made it through with no treatment, medication, or even sympathy, because at the time I believed everyone when they told me I was being a great big pansy and I just needed to woman-up and get on with it. Except, since giving birth, my hips now like to play this game where they randomly screw with me. I'll be walking along and suddenly they go funny and I feel like one of those toys where you push down on the base and it releases the tension holding the parts together and they collapse. You know those things? Of course you do. Anyway, that's what happens. Usually I soldier on, lean extra hard on the pushchair and deal with the pain until I can sit down. If it's especially bad, I might actually fall down. This, is embarrassing. But as awful and horrible and annoying as having my hips randomly come apart is, it is good, in a way. Because it helps me feel that what I was going through while pregnant was valid. I WAS in pain. There was a medical problem. They ignored it. I didn't need to 'toughen up'. I needed assistance. I wasn't weak and young and stupid, I was genuinely in trouble.

Validation is a big thing for me. I seek it everywhere, with everything. One particular problem I have is using the label 'disabled'. The United Kingdom government officially recognises me as disabled. Quite a lot, in fact. If I look at it coldly and logically, I know I am. I am less able than the average person. So why do I have such trouble with using that term? Why do I not feel validated? Which is why Mr A ends up yelling at me because I forget my limits and push myself and then end up making myself sick, or messing up my mobility for weeks. Because when you look normal on the outside and everyone expects normality from you, it's hard to remind yourself that what is normal for you is not the same as what is normal for other people.

Why do I need validation when it comes to my pregnancy? It's over, isn't it? It's done with, it's gone, it's in the past. Why dwell on it? Why keep trying to find the hidden meaning in it all?
I think because we always planned to have 3 kids, but then A.B's conception came as a surprise, and I had a very bad pregnancy. I was high risk, I was very ill, and we spent 9 months worried out of our minds. I didn't have it nearly as bad as a lot of people, but I had it bad enough for a 20year old with no friends or family around to lean on for support. So I relied on medical professionals who I can now see let me down terribly. And it was so bad, we decided we could never ever put ourselves through it again. But if I can identify what made my first pregnancy so awful and work on thinking about what I would have done differently if I was given a second chance, then I can open myself up to the possibility of more children.

I got home, in the end, and flopped down onto the sofa, whereupon my legs immediately went numb and my hips set fire to themselves, but I looked at my awesome little girl, pulling on her dad's hair and so close to walking and talking that it aches, and I thought 'This is a good hurt. This s a hurt of opportunity.'

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