“On December 20, 2015, I became a mother and went crazy.” This is a powerful and beautiful beginning in its own way. Vertebrate history (Random House Literature) book in it Mar Garcia Puig (Barcelona, 1977) Inspired by her traumatic experience to give a voice to all the women who have seen and seen how motherhood has taken away their sanity and still does. Philologist, editor and deputy of En Comú PodemGarcía Puig expresses personal narrative and historical essay in his first book to remember that “there is a long chain of links between motherhood and madness ”
Q: Why are we writing this book so intimate and, at the same time, universal?
R was found. When the episode of unbridled anxiety passed, I dove into books and history to find companionship and community and take the blame for myself. I came across a picture of a Victorian woman, admitted to a mental hospital, and it says Puerperal insanity (postpartum madness). At that time, they took pictures of the maniacs. From there I began to investigate, and when I had a lot of documentation and established links with some of these women, I felt compelled to give them a voice. In the book, I talk about women who wrote about their experiences, as well as about unknown women who are lost in the archives of history.
Q: Did you know from the start that you were going to be part of the story?
R was found. No, the idea was to do a test. I clicked the button when I went to the Val d’Ebron hospital to talk to the psychiatrist who treated me at the first moment, and she gave me my history. Reading it, it seemed to me pure literature. I was moved, feeling that among all these women’s records I had to put my own. This is where I begin to tell my story.
Q: Was it difficult for you to find the balance between the historical essay and the personal story?
R was found. Once my date showed up, everything was very organic. The story I tell in its own way is a horror story, about ghosts. And Gothic literature, of which I am a wonderful reader, gave me a hanger in style that allowed me to put together all those crazy stories, which are very literary and very Gothic, without leaving one more personal psychological piece and one more historical essay. Maternal fear shaped history and the place women occupied in society, and Gothic literature allowed me to make this historical excursion.
Q: Have you hesitated a lot about how much you want to reveal yourself?
R was found. At first I thought of leaving or hiding some things, such as the bout of swallowing hair [la ingesta del propio cabello]. And there was a point where I thought about it when my kids were older and reading it. But I tried to set some boundaries for myself and it didn’t work because the approach was to go with all the consequences. As he helped me in my work to read women who are able to articulate all this, I felt from the greatest humility a kind of debt.
Q: Your book comes at a time when mental health is on the table.
R was found. One of the things I wanted to do with this book is to take mental health out of the medical field only. Sometimes we think that through therapy, which has helped me a lot, we will solve more things than just a medical thing. There is also a cultural, material, historical and philosophical component, a human part and certain boundaries. Mental health and madness cannot be completely stopped and resolved, and we also have to learn to live with it and accept that it exists. Sometimes it is simplified in too many respects and its complexity and incomprehensible state are not assumed. Madness should not be cheered up because it involves too much suffering, but it should be claimed as part of life. And I think calling him crazy takes him back a little bit of that dimension.
Q: Did you always know that your experience in politics would be included in the book?
R was found. I’m not psychic at all, I don’t have magical thinking and I’ve always wanted to leave irrationality out of my life. But I became a midwife and gave birth on the same day. Although I think it’s a coincidence, I had to talk about how complicated the two things are, still code in my case they happened on the same day. There is a general aspect to motherhood and madness, another to that which is silenced between four walls, and there is an intimate, irrational part to politics. I couldn’t stop associating them.
Q: He tells his story in a very physical way, with the body always in the foreground, as if he wants to make it clear that the things he is talking about are real.
R was found. For many women, the body has been a place of pain. In my case, the character I had been turning my back on my entire life exploded in my face with motherhood.