I have had more ups and downs in the past few months than a kid on a trampoline. I questioned myself as to the possibility of my being manic-depressive, but I quickly ruled that out because my depressions weren't deep enough and there were no manic phases....just general contenment interrupted with frustrating upsets. I have now tracked down the cause of my mysterious malady. It's called LIFE. WHOA.
Yep, I was slipping back into my old, irritating habit of thinking that life should go as I wanted it to and people were to behave accordingly. And with the time-accelerating effect of aging, the downs just seemed closer together. As Old Honest Abe put it, "most folks are as happy as they have a mind to be." That's my truth and I'm sticking to it.
It has been frustrating to watch mothers splinter and faction to the point that some are hostile and intent on trying to make others miserable. It's doubly frustrating to have a message misunderstood and renounced because someone's feelings were hurt or the message was not in line with their philosophy. But we BSE/EMS moms have witnessed history and it stands on its own as fact. We can't change it to make it more palatable to some or more inclusive to others. It is what it is. What I still don't understand is why the actions of a group of us and what we say should touch off such a firestorm. I'm not talking about debate. I'm talking ugliness.
I don't see where we are taking a thing away from anyone. The eras have been defined and the reasons are written in the annals of legislation, Supreme Court decisions and newspaper archives. I keep looking for analogies and the right words to explain the differences until I realized that those who oppose us don't want our reasons, they want capitulation. Well, want in one hand and...well you know the rest.
So, sometimes, we will run through the swarm and pick up a few points. Other times we are going to run into the solid surface of resentment and rancor. Sometimes, we're the windsheild, sometimes, we're the bug. I do know that the mindset of the EMS was different. How we were treated was different and why we were treated that way was BECAUSE THEY COULD! Here's just a little sample of the mindset of that time frame.
"The bastard, like the prostitute, thief, and beggar, belongs to that motley crew of disreputable social types which society has generally resented, always endured. He is a living symbol of social irregularity, an undeniable evidence of contramoral forces..." - quote from The American Journal of Sociology, article by Kingsley Davis, 1939
"Because there are many more married couples wanting to adopt newborn white babies than there are babies, it may almost be said that they rather than out of wedlock babies are a social problem. (Sometimes social workers in adoption agencies have facetiously suggested setting up social provisions for more 'babybreeding'.)" SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS, National Association of Social Workers, (Out-of-print) copyright 1964
"... the tendency growing out of the demand for babies is to regard unmarried mothers as breeding machines...(by people intent) upon securing babies for quick adoptions." - Leontine Young, "Is Money Our trouble?" (paper presented at the National Conference of Social Workers, Cleveland, 1953)
There are many more damning statements made that relay the disgust and derision in which the unmarried mother and the child of that mother were held by society. Yes, I know that some people in some churches and areas still think that way. But this was from coast to coast...nationwide....during the BSE. We were dirty, disposable and our children were to be redeemed from bastardy. I have often wondered why, if we were such awful girls, were people clamoring for our infants?
There doesn't seem to be a meeting place for all in this jumble. This is the era of "more wounded than thou," pop psychology that makes victims into the architects of their own victimization and self-entitlement run rampant. That we want to make our way through this jungle with as few encounters with windsheilds as possible and try to find some justice should not really bother anyone.
But it does and that bothers me.
I had to add a post script to this page: Have you ever played the old parlor game "gossip?" One person whispers something to the person next to them and it is relayed on down the line to the last person who says, aloud what he or she was told. It never comes out the same as it started. Looks like that can happen on a solo basis as well. It can be convenient to forget or alter facts.