I’m going to become a Mom near the end of 2016. While the unwanted life, birth and parenting advice is starting to trickle in (“You and your partner should really be married first,” “Don’t think for one second you can give birth without an epidural,” “Make sure you put your child in daycare.”) I find myself fearful about what people will think and say about me as a “Mad Mother”.
I cannot be the only Mad Parent out there that feels the pressure to go above and beyond to “prove” that they are capable.
I have been working with children, ages 18 months-13 years old, for a little over 8 years and have a background in early childhood education. I am very confident in my ability to be a Mom. But when I see pictures like this,
as a person with the Borderline Personality label, I can feel my emotions rise and desire to protect myself and my family from the mean people who may look at me and think that I will fail my child because of my label rising.
To add to the injury of this picture, I found it on Facebook, posted by a Facebook Group I “Like” that is supposed to be supportive of the BPD community. Sharing photos and “research” that blanket all women with a BPD label as being bad mothers is shameful and offensive. (more…)
I fought tooth and nail to not be the depressed person I was told I was. A youth psychiatrist, in 2005, told me that I would never recover and would need medication for the rest of my life. I didn’t know any other way, except what the psychiatrist told me, and I hated that way. I used to think I was sick, I was told I was sick and people seemed to dislike me because I was sick. Even the quest to make me “not sick” made me feel worse and affected how people saw me, and not for the better. For me, a diagnosis of a mental illness was a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.
The day I learned about Madness was the day I stopped being sick. It was the day I began to heal from my past wounds caused by psychiatry, society and myself. It was the day I found myself. It was the day I found my value and strength. Madness opened me up to a rich history of people who have felt, thought and experienced things differently and were celebrated not labeled as sick. Madness taught me about neurodiversity, that all of our brains have different structuring and levels of functioning and are supposed to be that way. And Madness taught me about sanism and how what I was condemned to be, a sick, depressed person, was the result of discrimination and not a flaw on my part.
What does Mad Pride mean to you? What is your vision for Mad Pride 2016?
Mad pride is a chance to bring together people from across the GTA. Mad is an inclusive term. We need to celebrate and embrace people who are familiar with the Mad movement and people who are interested in learning more.
At events, we heard a lot about the importance of publicity. We know we need to have more people involved in the early planning and at the events. This is a great volunteer opportunity to meet, learn and get involved in healthy-dynamic team! We hope to hear from you soon.
Thank you for your commitment to Mad Pride. Looking forward to seeing you in 2016.