Things We Do Not Talk About
There are things in every woman’s life we just do not talk about. If we do, we often feel ashamed and apologetic. Women’s reproductive health, infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth or menopause are still taboo subjects in the majority of cultures. We do not talk about these things because talking about any of the above makes people uncomfortable. We keep these things to ourselves because we do not want to upset others. We are afraid of their judgement, we do not want their pity. Conditioned to believe that showing vulnerability is weakness, we put on a brave happy face, keep marching on through life, disconnected from the pain, performing, perfecting and acting ‘business as usual’. Then, behind the closed doors, behind the shower curtain, we allow our tears to flow. If we do, we feel guilty. ‘Nothing happened. Get over it. Don’t be such a baby’ –we berate ourselves. We make sure our suffering is invisible to others.
Women’s voices, women’s stories, women’s issues matter. If we are to change the conversation, we must be heard. And to be heard, we need to lean into our own vulnerability, even if it is difficult. Someone wise once told me ‘do not be ashamed of your story, it might help or inspire someone’. This is something I would like to say to everyone who experienced a loss or grief that hides in a box labelled ‘things we do not talk about’. It is high time to open it up..