After I had kids I would have said that I became quite emotional. I cried for a week when Lucy got stabbed in ER. I embarrased myself in row D when Les Miserables came to Belfast – when Fantine sang before she dies – I lost all run of myself and even my chin was shaking; people were looking at me like I was ‘let out’.
So I have always been out there emotionally. Being made redundant wasn’t a surprise for me – I had 10 weeks notice. So when I signed on this week I thought I was prepared? Really? By wednesday I was crying to my ‘mammy’s’ at school and texting my poor sister in the middle of her new client meetings (She runs a Nursing home).
I had a good old cry in the car on the way over to the school. Then gave myself a talking to, put on a bit of lip gloss and opened the car door – action! As we sat in the parents room waiting for the guitar lesson to be over, my french ‘mammy’ asked how I was. I burst into tears and had the wobbly chin moment again. They all huddled around me. It was miraculous. It was reassuring. I felt I had someone looking after me. I felt like I was eight again and Siobhan Maguire was bullying me and my Mother got on the war path. I felt someone was looking after me. I felt (corny I know) sisterhood and support.
Until I had kids I never really identified with women really – I loved the company of men, the no nonsense, straight up approach. I loved that they didnt get emotional, just factual. Then when the hormones started flowing in pregnancy – there was no going back to the old Joan.
So although it doesnt feel like a positive – crying at school – afterwards I felt that I had moved closer to my ‘mammy’s’. As I listened to their shared stories, I felt strengthened, I felt once again like a survivor.