Wednesday, 11 July 2012

What Society Allows

I was happy.

After the thoughts of humiliation, taunting, name calling and more it was surprising how little crap I received. It felt like the aftermath of Armageddon - my planet hadn't been obliterated; there was just some clearing up to do from the meteorites. As the people in school flocked to me to ask if the rumours were true, I reviewed my situation:

 - Parents okay: check.
 - Support of friends: check.
 - Social services happy: check.
 - Healthy me and baby: check.

In fact, the few people who did have something to say about what they thought of me were quickly trodden down by tides of others telling them how brave I was and what respect I deserved and that they can keep their big mouth shut. I'm sure things were said behind my back, but who cares? At least they had the respect not to say it to my face.

So yes, I was doing really well. The thing I found hard was adjusting to the stares and whispers behind my back. 

On one occasion, a girl and her friend walked by me and I heard her whisper, 'That's the pregnant girl!' 
I had had enough.
'That girl's a genius,' I said loudly to my friend, 'Someone should give her a cookie for that intelligent observation!' The girl blushed and I continued on my way, satisfied.

There was one problem.

I wasn't supposed to be happy. Shameful, it was, to be pregnant at my age. Society said I should bow my head and walk along quietly in my disgrace. 

In my head I was brave and almost arrogant in the face of others; I would meet them in the eye and challenge their stares: Yes, and what? In reality I hung my head and avoided all glances... I learned slowly not to blush at every pious stare.

I wanted to be like any other mother in my pregnancy, proud and joyful. But society didn't allow it. Another teenage mother's blog I read* termed this, 'The Guilt of Joy'.

How appropriate.


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