Wysokie Obcasy (Poland)
If I could go back in time and again have the opportunity to make some decisions – I would wait for this pregnancy.
Do you consciously create the impression you want to make on people?
Yes. But this is not a good feature. The ability to manipulate how people perceive you may be useful, but let us agree that it does not affect the deepened interpersonal relationships. Let’s say I know how to play this game, but I’m not proud of it.
Are you setting the limits? For example, do you use self-employment in a business relationship, but not in a private life?
Sometimes it is difficult to determine where this boundary is, it is a matter of practice. If a man is good at this, he tempts him to resort to this arsenal in any situation where such skill can be useful. It does not matter whether it is a professional or an intimate situation, a conversation about a job or a quarrel with a husband. Only a moment is needed, a signal that is needed. I try to watch but it is a big challenge.
It is no secret that Jess is a character inspired by you and your life. Were not you afraid that the world would know you too much?
no. Neither me nor Lena are scrupulously guarding their privacy, we have never been. Anybody who follows her creativity has managed to convince her. Not only did Lena draw from my biography, but I also gave her more of the bloody bits of my biography, guided by what could be a good translation of the language of the film. The only thing I wanted was that Jessa was not an artist, like a painter. I thought that the line between me and Yemima was so misty that viewers could have a problem understanding that we are not the same person. It must have been clear that I was playing the character, not just the version of myself. I wanted to be rated as an actress playing the role. I also wanted to not threaten my professional position. I want people to take my art seriously.
You thought to yourself: this and this adventure or trauma I want to tell the world, maybe it will help someone?
Maybe subconsciously? I think the more accurate the narrative is, the easier it is for the recipient to relate to what we tell him. That’s strange, is not it? After all, such a detailed description at a glance is clearly attributed to a particular person, so he should in theory lack universality. But it turns out that the audience knows exactly when it is connected to the mass product. Then automatically classifies it as kitsch, something unrealistic, didactic banal. Expressing the message as subjective, giving it face and soul, settling it in concrete experience, making it personal. And doors open for identification. I know it from experience.
Did your feminist awareness influence pregnancy experience?
It’s funny, sometimes I get the feeling that since I was pregnant, ages have passed. And I know it’s not true. Being a pregnant woman and being a mother are two very different things. I’m a completely different person now. Although the core of my self remained the same, the perspective changed radically, but it probably has no connection with feminism. My pregnancy experience was quite different. The second one was more difficult because I already had one child to deal with. The first pregnancy is a celestial condition, unless, of course, it is accompanied by unpleasant physical ailments. The only person you have to deal with is yourself. you are happy with the growing belly, you are eating the nest, you think of names. The child is just a concept, an idea, and you are not yet a mother. Yes, I believe that a pregnant woman until she is born is not a mother, and for that reason I have tried with a few people, most recently – on Twitter. I had no idea what it meant to be a mother, even when we already had a newborn at home. At the hospital they give you a diaper and tell you to “take off”, it’s a foreign language. I did not know what I was doing!
What surprised you most in motherhood?
In the first pregnancy, I was thinking a lot about what my parents would be, what my daughter would be like, what kind of ideal life awaits us. And then every day I had to agree to give up the next fraction of that perfect vision, to say goodbye to the ideal man I was going to educate, and the ideal family I was going to create. Such imagery must fall apart and it is not wrong. Parenting is a practical exercise in forgiveness and improvisation. You have to deal with a living entity, not an art project or a house, so there is no chance of perfection.
What was the difference between the second pregnancy and the first pregnancy?
I had wonderful, tender memories of the first pregnancy and wonderful experiences with my first child, so I quickly got into second pregnancy. It turned out that there is a small snag I did not think about. Having two wonderful little children at home is a great challenge. I was really hard Between my children are two years difference, she noticed that this is a very common difference between siblings. There is such a thing as that when the firstborn finishes 15 months, then the woman begins to desire the next child. The second was difficult. I could not spend as much time as I wanted, but it was half the time. I was very sad, because I realized that I was irretrievably lost time with my firstborn. I remember how I looked at Rafaella after the birth of Memphis. She looked at her brother. I thought I could spend my whole life getting to know this little lady, but that will not happen anymore, because my attention will forever be divided. I can not imagine life without them, but I was struck by a feeling of grip.
How motherhood influenced your self-esteem?
First of all, she had to stop giving herself so much time and attention as before. What I am wearing, my reading, the movies I wanted to watch, stopped being the first place, because there was someone who was completely dependent on me. Without me it would not be me. This completely changes the dynamics of the woman. He stops thinking about how it looks or how others perceive it, and begins to learn how to keep the child alive, how to care for them, how to earn money. It is a modern reinterpreted survival instinct. I felt it for the first time as a 24-year-old when I was a daughter. Most of the girls who are similar to my privileged position do not have to worry about such things at this age, they can still afford selfishness. I had to become a woman quickly.
Have you been prepared?
Not completely. To be clear – absolutely no regrets. But there is nothing wrong in the desire to choose the moment of becoming a mother. It is a decision of great importance, which is not taken so by chance. If I could go back in time and again have the opportunity to make some decisions – I would wait with this pregnancy. And I repeat: it has no relation to how much I love my children, it’s just how it is. Someone told me that it was easy to say, and if I had waited, I would not have my children, for example, my daughter’s reef. Nonsense! I would have a child – beautiful, dear, happy like Rafa. I happen to think about my children and wonder how it would look if I had them a bit later if I was more prepared. Some say there is no good time for a baby. In my opinion this is a discussion.
In 2015, you talked about your abortion in the Center for Reproductive Rights campaign. Some time ago in Poland was loud about the artist who made the abortion coming out. Many were outraged that she had removed her third pregnancy, despite her poor earnings, her apartment, etc. Abortion for social reasons outraged many who accept the treatment for health reasons. Why?
It’s still very strange and incomprehensible to me. It seems to me that people who think so are convinced that what the pregnant woman has in her stomach is a baby. They want all children to treat the same. That means healthy – because if this “child” something is wrong, they understand the exception. In this situation, the decision about abortion seems to be more for his good. And when pregnancy is healthy, the mother trying to remove her puts on herself and her desires, and that does not match those people’s views about who the mother, this mythical figure is supposed to be. After all, in the picture is already “checked” loving mat, family, you need to get to this extra effort – it seems obvious. I think they can not accept such a decision, because it is selfish in some sense. In my opinion such argumentation is nonsense.
I have the impression that in Poland many people do not understand how to be both a mother and a pro-choice activist. You successfully connect these activities.
Just because my personal experience shows that people usually do not have problems associating these two roles, they do not consider them to be exclusive. Of course, it is worth noting that in my social circle there are rather no people who have different views on these topics. Therefore, I do not feel like talking about how America or Poland feel in general about this topic. I know what maternity she can be responsible and burdensome if she is not ready. For me, being a mother and supporting the right to choose a pregnancy are complementary.
Do you have a daughter that makes you feel different kind of responsibility as a mother?
Absolutely! How could I, damn, be pro-life as a girl’s mother, a little woman? The last thing I wish her is the lack of choice. As a mother, the parent simply has to be pro-choice, it’s obvious.