We have just finished celebrating World Childless Week 2019, a week of stories shared and voices heard, of celebrating different paths to healing and of valuing all our journeys.
I’d like to share extracts from two of the blogs I wrote specially for WCW ‘19, and a blog I wrote for Psychotherapy Excellence. There’s also a link to this video on Diversity in Childlessness, in which I said, when asked why talking about diversity in childlessness matters:
‘All voices need to be heard, to counter white, able-bodied/neurotypical and straight privilege, to give a full picture of and mirror to our community and to acknowledge that for some people there are layers and complexities to their childlessness that others may not experience or even be able to see. If people do not see themselves reflected they may feel that childless spaces, whether on or off line, are not for them and as a result feel further excluded and unsupported. There won’t be moments when they may be able to say, ‘You too? I thought I was the only one!’ and experience the beginning of the end of loneliness and isolation and the beginning of the journey towards healing and community.’
This is an extract from my first blog for WCW ’19:
‘There is room for many emotions, all are permitted. Joy for others can co-exist with sadness for me, and for the child who would have been mine. There is room for it all.’
And from my second:
‘And so I need to tell my story properly. Not wrapped up and made palatable. Not with an easy punchline. My story, unfinished, untidy, incomplete, as it is, as I am. My story, to be felt, heard, understood.
I need to tell my story properly because my story has value, and my story has value because I have value. I am not a victim, although there were times when I struggled to survive. I am still alive, I am still here, and I am still fighting to make a good life for myself. And I will.
Because it is the best way….to affirm my worth….To live a good life, even though there are days when I don’t feel like I have it in me to keep making the effort. And that’s OK. It’s not the life I wanted, it’s not the life I deserved, but it’s the one I’ve got and I’ll be damned if I let anyone else judge it, and me, again.’
Psychotherapy Excellence asked me write this blog for fellow counsellors in WCW ‘19. Some of the feedback I had made me realise that it has relevance, not only to counsellors, but to many childless people and indeed to any of us who have ever felt different.