Friday, August 24, 2007
Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize something about yourself that should have been totally obvious but somehow you never saw it? That happened to me a few weeks ago.
Quite some time ago, I blogged about how I don't want to have children. In the post I mentioned that I am an attention whore and that I love my life exactly as it is. Those reasons haven't changed, but I learned that I have a deeper reason for wanting to remain childless. I was talking with Bear's childhood friend K and she asked if I ever wanted to have kids. I looked at her, and something clicked in my head. I said, "No, I don't want kids. Growing up, I was always made to feel that I had ruined my mom's life, that I was a consequence of an ill-thought out action. My mom put up with me because she'd behaved irresponsibly. So I guess to me, I equate children with burdens that ruin lives." As soon as I said it I knew it was true. My mom was trapped in a bad marriage, so she had an affair with my dad. They didn't take the appropriate precautions, and I came into the world. My parents did get married (and still are), but their lives didn't turn out as they had planned. I guess I have always felt responsible.
I was in college before I ever realized I felt guilty about the circumstances surrounding my birth. I have no doubt that my parents would have chosen a different path if it were an option to them. Why I took the guilt of their choices onto me was a mystery, but I have been working on letting the guilt go for years. At least I had a reason for why I'd felt uncomfortable in my own home for as long as I can remember. I'm twenty-six now, and this new revelation just made itself known. I'm not sure I know what to do with it. On the one hand, I know I don't want kids so I'm tempted to just leave that assumption alone. Kids = burden. Got it. On the other hand, I wonder if I could ever want one if I didn't view children in that light anymore. That thought scares the shit out of me.
This is nothing I can ever discuss with my parents, and Bear just shrugs and says he doesn't care one way or the other. I'm on my own with this (except for you, of course!). I guess what I'm wondering is this: is the fear of a child ruining my life an acceptable reason not to have children, if added to my pre-existing reasons? Or should I deal with this idea as I did with my guilt and re-evaluate my position?
at 11:14:00 AM