My Experience Only. YMMV.

A Mother? Me?

Ah, the shrieks of laughter and squeals of delight from playful children! They cut through me like a light saber through Jell-O. I’m hyper-sensitive to loud or high-pitched noises.

A while back, one of my blogging buddies was speculating on whether she wanted to or ought to have a child, despite her disorder. I have no answer or even advice for her, but but here is what I think about motherhood and Bipolar Me.

When we got married, my husband really wanted to be a father some day. To tell the truth, I never gave it much thought really, since I had never expected to be married.

At that time in my life I was barely medicated and had a lot of meltdowns and breakdowns and up-and-down cycles (mostly down) ahead of me.

Looking back, I am glad that I never became a mother. The thought alone overwhelms me.

First of all, I would have been a really bad mother. It would have been unfair to a child to have a mother who would disappear into her room for days at a time, not communicate for weeks at a time, be depressed for months – or years – at a time. Not to mention not being able to enjoy anything. Put that person in charge of a live human child for 18+ years?

I know there must be people who do it, but I don’t even really understand how non-biploar people manage it.

Second – and this is the part that is going to sound selfish to those people she feel that childless-by-choice women are all selfish – but I needed all the resources I had to construct and reconstruct myself. As Gloria Steinem reportedly said, I didn’t give birth to a child because I was giving birth to myself. I still am, after my most recent and most monumental breakdown, still trying to salvage what I can of my psyche, seeing what pieces still fit, and learning to live with the things that are no longer present – or maybe never were.

And I had all kinds of irrational thoughts on the subject of motherhood. The one time I thought about motherhood, it was because my father was dying, and I wanted him to see his grandchild if there was going to be one.

Also, I was terrified of losing myself. My husband had some issues of his own and was, let’s say, way too close to his inner child. I thought he and a child would outnumber me and I would be the mean one, the killjoy, the Other.

As time went on, I grew less and less inclined to even be around babies or small children. And my husband would go into a funk if one of our friends had a baby. Eventually, he decided that if he wasn’t going to be a father, he could be a mentor, a helper, a healer, to other children and former children. Maybe even his inner child.

Now having a child is no longer even a possibility. And I’m good with that.

 

Comments on: "A Mother? Me?" (3)

  1. I’ve never been able to understand the people who say that not having children is selfish. What are the reasons they give for having a child? To carry on the family name/genes? Selfish. To have someone to take care of them when they’re old? Selfish. To have someone to love/love them unconditionally? Selfish (and not guaranteed from either side, BTW – Charles Manson had a mother, and kids forget their aging parents in nursing homes at an amazing rate). To show their love to their partner? Selfish. To continue the human race? We’re already past the carrying capacity of the only planet we have at the moment, thank you – using up more of our limited resources just so your genes are better represented in the future is certainly selfish. I have yet to hear a reason that doesn’t start with “Because I want…”, which is the definition of selfish in my book. And those are all perfectly good reasons, but don’t kid yourself that you’re doing it for anything but your own gratification.

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    • Perhaps not having children is considered selfish because they assume you just want all that extra money and time to lavish on yourself. That’s my theory, anyhow. I’m sure someone will tell me if I’m wrong. A lot of someones.

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  2. I think the only sincere thank you I have to my narcissist parents is they beat the concept of family being important into me so thoroughly that I couldn’t see doing anything *but* having kids. Having said that, once I had the first one, I had a lot more empathy for those who have chosen not to. But still, kids mean I actually got my diagnosis finally. It means I finally realized my parents were dangerous narcissists and that I needed them the frack out of my life.

    But yeah… proooobably gonna get a hysterectomy after this one. I’m pretty sure I’ve severe endometriosis (as of yet undiagnosed ’cause lulz shitty parents//learning how to be a patient in my 30s//etc), and I’d rather get it alllll out of me. 😀

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