The crying lame
I'm having one of those days. The ones where you burst into tears whilst reading the news, because you perceive it as a direct threat to you and yours. You watch a video about teaching infants to swim if they fall into water, and you feel sick even though in the video the infant floats to the surface and survives with a smile.
My child is both my world, and my biggest critic. I feel simultaneously joyous and guilty 24 hours a day, just through his existence. Since even before he was born, I've had some sort of anomalous crying thing - if I hear applause, or witness any sort of outpouring of respect for anyone, whether it's at the end of a musical performance, or just when a celebrity walks on stage at a charity gala, I have to fight back the tears. The weirdest part is that usually I'm not actually feeling anything - yet the physical reaction still occurs. And before you ask - yes, it is bloody embarrassing.
Only today on the train home from work I was reading the news, as you do, to pass the time on the journey, and a story about a mother murdering her three disabled children caused me to choke up in full view of half of Canary Wharf. Granted, that is a tragic thing to have happened; I can but imagine the pain she must've gone through already, and the pain she and her family will now have to go through. Which brings me on to another controversial, yet important point: why do we implicitly trust what we are presented with by the media?
Take the recent story of Josie Cunningham. For what it's worth, (and for the record, that's nothing - it's nothing to do with me or anyone else for that matter) here's my view on the Josie Cunningham debate. I have nothing to lose through being controversial. Because of that, I'll happily say whatever I think. Read it and weep.
One can incite hatred simply by making a choice, and being led into making this choice public property. The saddest part of the story is that Josie is not able to take this decision in private; she has been primed and possibly cajoled by her 'others', who have the extra incentive of making money out of a juicy story. Nobody other than Josie knows whether she's getting any proper support throughout any of this.
We don't know from reading the various shitty tabloid articles or watching the videos whether or not any of what she said was drawn or 'encouraged' out of her by those wishing to capitalise on her vulnerability. I've been in that position, so I know how flippantly they dress it up. It's obvious that she is vulnerable, and yet we talk about her as if she were merely a vessel.
I am one of the people that would be expected to say I could never have an abortion, because I had my son through IVF treatment. Yet I still wholeheartedly believe in a woman's right to choose whether she should become a mother to a child or not. I also believe that the press, and especially the tabloid press, have a lot to answer for when it comes to reporting on these choices. Had she been a woman on benefits proposing to have another child she maybe could not afford to have, people would have been up in arms!
Britain is in the grip of double standards which allows those in power and those with money to make choices and those who have no voice and no money to be limited. I'll quite happily raise my voice in support of anyone who is making the choice not to bring an unwanted child into a f*cked up world.
So, when I'm making a fool of myself crying on a train in rush hour, at least I can take comfort in the fact that I'm doing so because I have the ability to feel for others, to empathise, to hurt. I think that's a real gift.