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Friday, April 18, 2014

Maternal Mental Health Contest Controversy

But I sprinkle babies on my oatmeal - Say What? 


So it seems that when Postpartum Support International said they were hosting an international contest open to All; what they really meant was it was open to everyone who was already in good standing. You know, had some clout, had a good name, had a little oomph behind them or at the very least was not me. Because, as you all are very aware; I am a hideous ogre that eats little children for breakfast. 


Regardless, when I first heard of this... oh boy was I so very excited! I thought "Oh my, what a wonderful opportunity". I actually believed for several weeks (and it took me a week to create this piece which I will share with you) that I would at the very least make it to the top ten. I even thought I may win and might have my name next to something remarkable and good revolving around Postpartum Psychosis for a change. Oh how I desperately wanted to win. To have my name finally googled and it associated with something Other than all the horrid things people have often said about me would have been glorious. 
I kept thinking about how I would get to attend the conference at UNC in Chapel Hill and be surrounded by
Maternal Mental Health Contest, Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey
Maternal Mental Health Contest Submission
my own kind. 

You see, I've grown accustomed to the other kinds of people tossing me half sideways glances and backhanded compliments. You get used to the false friends, or the people who just want to talk to you because they are nosey. The pretenders. But it's always so much more hurtful when you think you are in a group of your own and they turn out to be just the same as you've always known and you realize once again you are really alone. 

I'm too controversial to have my name associated with being the design that people might vote for the most... So I can't be in the top ten. What if I won? Then Postpartum Support International would Have to announce Me as the winner. *Something I thought would be so wonderful and could show support to so many
women* They would be horrified to have to announce me. I mean, I took the life of my son when I was sick with Postpartum Psychosis.

This is  the Written part of my submission, I should have included it earlier but did not. Some people have been asking if I had included anything explaining why I chose this design since that may have been the reason... Well, I certainly did! Although there appears to be one image on the top ten that says nothing other than his wife sent him a link and thought he would find it interesting. Regardless here is my written submission:
I am a Postpartum Psychosis Survivor. I blog, advocate, speak loudly and softly. I would be honored to have my design be chosen. I have been speaking with and for women since I became ill in 1999. Maternal Mental Health means a great deal to me and at the moment I am the only women who currently runs a blog and is speaking publicly about losing a child to PPP. 

I give you a bit of my background because I want you to know that this is something I take seriously and I hold it so close to my heart I am not sure I could find the words to express it properly.

2. How do hope your design will impact awareness around maternal mental health issues? 
Even before I found out about this contest I was tweeting #PostpartumUnity
I think if women and families know just by seeing the symbol there is someone with some knowledge and understanding without having to say a word, so many more people would be willing to start talking. You don't always know who is going to understand what you are going through. 
I am including some brief context as to why I chose and created the Symbol that I did. 
I thought long and hard and have spent a great deal of time on this. 

Birds as Symbols of Motherhood in History and Cultural Lore -
Dove:
Associated with peace, love and tranquility, the dove is a companion of Venus (Roman goddess of love). The dove is also a common symbol of the Virgin Mother Mary and is portrayed in Christian art as a representation of selfless love and the sacrifice every mother makes for the well-being of their offspring.
Dove symbolism has seemingly inexhaustible sources of flavor and dynamism throughout most histories, cultures and myth.

Did you know doves produce their own milk? Yep, it's called "crop milk" or "pigeons milk." It's an oddity in nature for birds to produce their own milk to feed their young. From this unique ability, we can glean symbolism of nurturing. In fact, doves are commonly considered a symbol of motherhood.

Borromeam Rings/Trinity Rings/Seed of Life Rings etc...:
It represents many things, in many contexts including Strength in Unity. That is a solid concept in whatever context the rings are seen in. Strength in Unity are also represented by circles. 

I give you a bit of my background because I want you to know that this is something I take seriously and I hold it so close to my heart I am not sure I could find the words to express it properly.
2. How do hope your design will impact awareness around maternal mental health issues? Even before I found out about this contest I was tweeting #PostpartumUnityI think if women and families know just by seeing the symbol there is someone with some knowledge and understanding without having to say a word, so many more people would be willing to start talking. You don't always know who is going to understand what you are going through. I am including some brief context as to why I chose and created the Symbol that I did. I thought long and hard and have spent a great deal of time on this. 
Birds as Symbols of Motherhood in History and Cultural Lore -Dove:Associated with peace, love and tranquility, the dove is a companion of Venus (Roman goddess of love). The dove is also a common symbol of the Virgin Mother Mary and is portrayed in Christian art as a representation of selfless love and the sacrifice every mother makes for the well-being of their offspring.Dove symbolism has seemingly inexhaustible sources of flavor and dynamism throughout most histories, cultures and myth.
Did you know doves produce their own milk? Yep, it's called "crop milk" or "pigeons milk." It's an oddity in nature for birds to produce their own milk to feed their young. From this unique ability, we can glean symbolism of nurturing. In fact, doves are commonly considered a symbol of motherhood.
Borromeam Rings/Trinity Rings/Seed of Life Rings etc...:It represents many things, in many contexts including Strength in Unity. That is a solid concept in whatever context the rings are seen in. Strength in Unity are also represented by circles. 

No One wants to actually talk about that reality. It's better to just sweep it under the rug. BUT, when the NEXT mother drives her mini-van into the ocean or gets shot down in front of the White House... Well, let's ALL be up in Arms about it. We wouldn't want to try raising awareness NOW by say having someone like me represent those women. So push me back down and shut the door on me again, that's what most of you are really good at doing. But make sure you all raise your fists in the air when once again it's too late for another Mom and/or her kids. 

Oh and I will give you a link to the site to vote but you won't find my design there because as I said, I am too controversial. I suppose you could use the Contact button  next to Contest Hosted By: Postpartum Support International on the link and vote for me that way but it probably still won't count. But I would still appreciate it.

I am still holding out hope that some day when my name is googled there will be something besides the horrible things and something good will be said. No one talks about the good stuff you do, only the bad.
**Add-on** The next day I took a closer look at who DID make the top ten and here's the breakdown in the following day's blog post "I Call Bullshit" or you can just go to the homepage and see both posts.
Thanks Everyone

6 comments:

  1. Good to know I am in such good company. I talk about the good stuff you do.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Walker. I would like to think we are each in good company. It can be difficult standing alone for long periods of time, especially when people come by and try to trip you.

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  2. You are a brave angel, Natachia. You have guts to write this post the way that you do. I feel like crying because of how messed up it is that you have been shunned the way that you have. Postpartum Psychosis was NOT your fault!!! Just like having a heart attack is not someone's fault, nor is Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, which is what happened with me. Your dove design is so beautiful and it immediately caught my eye - purple is my favorite color. I am so glad that I read this. I almost didn't, but a woman I admire, Dr. Walker Karraa, encouraged her readership to do so, and I thank her for that. You and your family are in my thoughts, and I will continue to read your blog. My blog is at www.proudlybipolar.wordpress.com and it's titled "Birth of a New Brain". Take care, and know there are people out there who believe in you. I am one of them. warmly, Dyane Harwood

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    Replies
    1. Dyane,

      I am very grateful for the kind feedback. Thank you for the words about my Dove, I worked so hard on her. Purple is my favorite color as well. I am always thankful for new readers and new blogs to discover. I will be visiting soon

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  3. I just looked at the entries and honestly....I didn't connect with any of them except one was so-so. Yours is far superior.

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  4. Natasha, I love your submission. So strong and precise. I am also incredibly impressed by all of the hard work you have done during your recovery and beyond. Stay brave. And thank you for your courage.

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