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RISK

"Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.

Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage."


"Having you made me vulnerable

the most vulnerable

I have ever been

Having you made me powerful

the most powerful

I have ever been."

Arlette


CAUTION

The following contains an imperfection disclaimer

Throughout the psychological storm that followed the birth of my first child, I remember regularly thinking :

"I survived. Oh - God. I survived."*

It seemed insane that I did, still does at times, survive, that bearing - giving birth - feeding - raising - all of it.

I survived, then, luckily. And did so well enough to make it happen again.

Another pregnancy, another birth, another feed, another survival.

As children, me and my cousins would spend some of our long summer hours playing RISK.

The aim of the game was to have your army take over the world. You, in the position of the commander, were to strategically impose your men onto a land which was meant to be conquered, to the risk of having your little plastic army removed, retreated to any part of land left, possibly entirely eradicated by a nemesis.

To summarise, we were risking losing our fictional pride to the cost of our men's fictional lives.

And this, my friends, is how we embed the idea of domination, colonisation, and social injustice into 7 year-old brains!

Now, I want real risk for authentic rewards. And to do that, I'll show myself vulnerable, because being exposed is a risk worth taking.

And since I survived and still am surviving this, this extreme vulnerability of motherhood - childbirth, broken back, sore breasts, extreme loneliness, suicidal thoughts, resentfulness and loss, I feel like I can take on the world.

Nothing can break me.

And so, while I choose to shine a light on the often good, sometimes bad, and regularly ugly,

expect from me nothing but

imperfections.

***

“The mind and body of the mother are constantly in labor.”

Andrea Liss

Feminist Art and the Maternal, 2008

***

*The maternal mortality of black women is still 3.7 times that of white women. Women from deprived areas are twice more likely to die in childbirth than those from more privileged areas.

The overall mortality rate in childbirth has increased overall in the UK.


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