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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

164

Real Talk

"It is true that in the past 12 years, I have been able to rise above the circumstances of my birth and build a life that I truly love. But no one should have to make such a Herculean struggle for simple normalcy. Even given the happiness and success I now enjoy, if I could go back in time and make the choice for my mother, it would be abortion."



164 Comments / Post A Comment

redheaded&crazy

"near-abortion experience"

"near-abortion experience"

NEAR-ABORTION EXPERIENCE?!?!?!

OhShesArtsy

@redheaded&crazie On that note, how horrifying would it be to recover fetal memories??

"See this little finger? I remember when I grew it, it's a funny story, you see. It was the late 1980's, hair was crimped, colors were day-glo, and I was just an undeveloped clump of cells..."

redheaded&crazy

On a more serious note, I've been dealing with a lot of anti-choice rhetoric lately so I really appreciated reading this.

melis

Oof. Real talk is right.

Judith Slutler

@melis Yeah, whoa, this is a tough one to hear.

I wonder how people can get to a psychologically healthy understanding of "it might have been better if I didn't exist" because that's pretty damn intense

Ophelia

@melis Yeah...the 'Pin is HEAVY this week.

@Emmanuelle Cunt I think it's pretty rare for someone to be able to step outside of their own head and consider their existence as it affects other people...I was with her for most of it, but I'm not sure how I feel about the paragraph where she talks about the fact that her current life is, essentially, mediocre.

PistolPackinMama

@Ophelia Oh, I dunno. I mean, really, we are all pretty mediocre. We have to be, because averages. I just think that she's de-emphasizing how truly wonderful middle of the road humanity actually can be.

Being spectacular (or, I guess more spectacular than any/everyone else) is overrated. Being as much yourself as you can might mean you are a lot like everyone around you, but it's you that did it. In the experience of your own life, that is the part that matters, not that anyone else could have done the same job better than you did. In the scheme of the universe, though, our existences are probably not that special.

Actually, this is a comforting thing, to me. We are at once utterly irreplaceably precious, and totally, completely unremarkable.

I guess I just talked myself into agreeing with you, Ophelia. But I also understand her impulse to frame her own life that way.

Ophelia

@PistolPackinMama I'm not totally sure I can give up the idea of being a special snowflake, but I do know what you mean.

cmcm

@melis I feel like often someone ELSE could look at her situation, or someone else in a situation where an unplanned pregnancy ended up creating a terrible life for mother and child and say "it would have been better if she could have gotten an abortion". But to be able to say it for yourself is just... tough, and brave.

Briony Fields

@PistolPackinMama I love this. You explained it perfectly. There's something very comforting about the realization that you are thoroughly average.

Stacy Worst

@Ophelia I feel like if I could give up on being a special snowflake, half my problems would be solved.

Ophelia

@Sister Administrator Plus, I'd finally stop melting, so there's that.

meaux

@Sister Administrator. Holy cow, would my mental health improve if I gave up on being a special snowflake! Currently, I am a lumpen mass of unrealized potential, a profound disappointment for me (and clearly, my parents: "gosh, we always thought you'd be a..."). I'd much rather be happily average and unremarkable than sadly regarding my lack of snowflake-status attainment. We need a new mantra to get to this happy/beige place. Let's repeat "Me? Meh." until we all feel better!

Myrtle

@cmcm I read her post, the replies, her replies to those people... what a revelation. Just like the 'Pin, so many people who understand this topic- another one I've buried under my skin, under my fat. If my 19 year old mom had aborted me, she wouldn't of committed suicide later, after years of abuse. She was a textile artist and a fine singer who collected friends that were true for decades. I'd rather she'd of gotten a shot at living that life by aborting me. The article ventilated a closed-up part of me I've never talked about.

Sundae

Super powerful piece and I think it deals with this topic in an incredibly brave and logical way. There are millions of ways in which I, the person I know today, would never have been born and the decision to terminate or not to terminate by a mother is only one in a huge chain of chances and happenings. It doesn't take away from the value of a person's life for them to acknowledge these chances and attempt to objectively as possible assess the situation. Not every woman wants to or can be a mother and forcing a child upon someone doesn't magically make them capable, especially with the lack of support in our community.

Beatrix Kiddo

@Sundae My friend's mother had an abortion, but then years later, while more financially and emotionally stable, decided she was ready to have a child. She admits that if she hadn't had the abortion, she wouldn't have gone on to have another child later, so my friend wouldn't have been born. I guess my point is that there are so many variables we can't possibly speculate on how they'd all turn out.

baked bean

@Beatrix Kiddo
My grandfather's older brother died shortly after birth to older parents who desperately wanted a child and had trouble conceiving. They then had my grandpa a couple years later, and had no more children. I think it's safe to say that grandpa would not have existed had the first child not died. I wouldn't be here.
Of course, had that baby lived, there are all of his family that'd be here now instead. WHAT IF THEY WERE WAY BETTER PEOPLE AND DID AWESOME THINGS? We have no way of knowing, speculating is almost pointless.
So yeah, when I hear anti-abortion arguments like that, I'm like, "Whatever, do you know how many miscarriages happen every day, and all the other 'couldas' out there?"

Even then, the topic is pointless, because the straight fact is that a living breathing woman is more important than any unborn life. I don't care how often anyone reminds me that it's ALIVE.

Faintly Macabre

@Sundae Yeah, I find the whole "WHAT IF THE BABY MIGHT HAVE CURED CANCER??" stuff so, so silly. Every day is full of what-ifs!

3 concrete things that could have prevented my existence:
-My mother had an abortion as a teenager. If she'd had the kid, it would have been an adolescent when she met my dad. She probably wouldn't have been at the party where they met. No me!
-Even if they had met, I wasn't their first kid. They probably wouldn't have wanted a third. No me!
-Their first child together was stillborn. My parents purposely chose to stop at two kids. If she'd lived (which, tragically, could easily have happened), they would have stopped after her and my older sister. No me!

It's such a flimsy argument. Are my parents supposed to spend their whole lives regretting what their stillborn child could have been and grieving over her? And ~8 months is a lot closer to a baby than a typical abortion! Am I supposed to spend every day thanking my lucky stars for my existence? If I never get married, should I regret every party I didn't go to where I could have met my future husband? Etc, etc, etc.

AJ Sparkles

@Sundae Me too! My awesome mom story: She was pregnant with her first child @ 19, it was '69 so they ended up getting married. My sister's father ended up leaving them after a few years leaving my mother to raise a kid on her own. (The woman is amazing- she graduated summa cum laude while working full time with a toddler- she is superwoman)
Fast forward a decade- my mother & father were dating & she got pregnant again. My father asked her to marry her & she was able to say no. No, I'm not going to base this decision on pregnancy & I don't feel comfortable with where we are in our life/relationship to make that commitment. She had an abortion & then about a year later they did get married & quickly knocked up. The decision to have another child was on her terms. And yes, I would not have been here if she had decided otherwise a year earlier.

The best part was I never knew any of this story until I got pregnant. She drove up & stayed with me for like a week after I had my abortion. Her story & support further solidified that I was making the right decision & I have NEVER regretted it.

TheMnemosyne

I've said this to people before and they mistook it as some kind of suicidal self-hatred. My mother, like the author's, was too young, consigned herself (and, later, my siblings) to poverty, abuse, and suffering an uncertain existence. This really hit home for me, but in a good way. My mother should have made the right decision three decades ago, but chose not to.

billie_crusoe

@TheMnemosyne I feel the same way. I have heard all my life about how much more successful my mom would have been if she hadn't gotten pregnant; I wish she hadn't had me not because I want better for her (fuck her) but because being an unwanted and (emotionally) abused child really, really sucks and is one of the main reasons I'm pro-choice. It just would have been better for everyone.

TheMnemosyne

@billie_crusoe My mother wanted me (for reasons I still do not fully understand), my father adamantly did not, and I have spent the entirety of my life so far dealing with that as a result. My mother got married to an abusive spouse because of me, scrapped college plans because of me, worked countless shitty unskilled labor jobs because of me, and so on and so forth. She would have had a far better life without me.

Anon.

@TheMnemosyne Adding my voice onto the pile. I made an anonymous account not because I'm ashamed, but to maintain anonymity for my parents. (My [extremely common] middle name is in my regular posting name, so just in case.) I feel the same way. Every day that the topic crosses my mind, I think "I wish my mother had aborted me". My mother's life was nowhere near as horrible as the girl's who wrote the linked article, and my childhood wasn't that kind of a struggle, but I figure I ought to contribute just so you know the thought isn't an isolated one.

My father was a physically abusive drug addict and my mother was emotionally abusive in return. Both of them would have lived better lives if they hadn't had to put up with each other and have hated each other for as long as I can remember. They're also both miserable to this day. I only realized in college that I was the mistake that tethered the two: the FAFSA required that I ask for the date of my parents' marriage, and it was slightly after I was born. That fact and my Catholic mother's pro-life beliefs tell a fairly obvious story.

I'm fundamentally a happy, fit, successful Catholic girl (I mean, as much as you can be right after graduation, I'm not a CEO or making a killing on the stock market or Mark Zuckerberg but I have a really good-paying job), I enjoy my life a lot, and I wouldn't give it up for the world, but that's all after already existing and living this far. I know there's a huge difference between being killed and never being born, and I would gladly have never existed if it meant my parents would have been better off.

billie_crusoe

@TheMnemosyne I don't feel as bad for my mom because I'm pretty sure she would have sabotaged herself in another way if she hadn't had me - although maybe she would have had a chance to work through her Stuff if she hadn't had me. (But she was 27. Not that I feel prepared to have kids yet at 27, but it's not that young.) I do wish they hadn't married (they're mutually miserable, and my dad puts up with her super-borderline stuff with more patience than I have). So far my sister (10 years younger) is doing OK, but my dad REALLY didn't want her (my mom did, and my dad came around when she was born), so they've had a rocky relationship. But my brother and I, we have a lot of work ahead of us to be normal emotionally-functional adults. I'm well on my way, but, still. My mom should not have been a parent, and she was realllly the wrong parent for me.

billie_crusoe

@all Also, I'm sorry that this is your situation, too.

Springtime for Voldemort

@TheMnemosyne I've also often thought this. For a long time, it really was a lot of suicidiality, because that's what often happens when your parent/s are abusive. But even now, when I'm mostly happy and content with my life, I think that it shouldn't have been that hard. I shouldn't have had to spend all those years being depressed and traumatized, and more years working so hard to simply function in everyday life and not hurt anyone. And when I look at my mother, even though she wanted me and I was 100% planned, I think mothering was a profoundly unhappy experience for her, and her life would have been happier and more peaceful had she aborted me. (Or, in my case, simply let me abort me, which I tried to do at 6 months). Having my sister and I seemed to to totally derail whatever happiness she had, and mothering became this black hole sucking the life out of her.

Myrtle

@papayalily I feel awe at how much Truth you know.

whimsy

This is a great piece because it shows the more common reality of what happens to women who don't have access and how much it affects the child.... They do end up poorer than their counterparts and I hate that people keep perpetuating the myth that having a child automatically means being poor isn't such a burden! The author is smart enough to overcome her odds and I am thankful she is adding her viewpoint to milieu of people who can "remember" their own birth?

Scandyhoovian

What a powerful story. And the first comment is hitting the ball out of the park as well:

"This story illuminates the myth that all women are destined to be great mothers. It is an inherent ability of all women and as long as we bring a baby to term we will magically have all the skills and mental capacities to be a great mother. ... This is a conversation that more people and women need to have: Being a woman does not necessarily imply the ability to be great mother and women who chose not to have any children are complete women, not some sort of mutant outcasts."

supernintendochalmers

@Scandyhoovian I'm usually afraid to read the comments on pieces like this, but they're pretty amazing and full of very moving stories.

angermonkey

@Scandyhoovian Right? that kinda points to the other side of the abortion argument: some people are not cut out to parent. I am MOST DEFINITELY not cut out to parent. We paint these pictures of women who have abortions as being in desperate straits and abject poverty, but there's an even more fundamental issue here: nobody should have a child they don't want, regardless of demographics or socioeconomic background. I am 33, married, have stable income. I will not have children, regardless of whether I get pregnant. For some reason that idea terrifies people.

angermonkey

@angermonkey Also, the next person who says "oh! you'll change your mind! You'll love ANY kid you have!" Slaps. Slaps all around.

WaityKatie

@angermonkey "It's different when it's YOURS!"

fondue with cheddar

@angermonkey I'm not mother material either. My brother has two kids, and that's good enough for me. I'm totally cool with being an aunt.

Being a good mother is about so much more than love. You can love your kids and still be a terrible parent. I have a great capacity for love, what I do not have is any kind of maternal instinct. Plus, I don't like babies. Please don't make me hold your baby.

themmases

@jen325 I always feel like children will be pretty much just like TV animals: eerily good judges of character/vampirism. This makes me too shy to hold babies/what if I break the baby and prove it right.

KatieBarTheDoor

@angermonkey Ugh, this is my mother ALL THE TIME. She'd left me alone for a bit, but now that I turned 28 a couple of days ago she says I need to hurry up and have a child because "you're supposed to have kids by age 30." Totally blows me off when I say I don't want them. "It's fine to not like other kids, but you'll adore yours! You'll see! Just have one and prove me right!"

WaityKatie

@jen325 Or, like my mother, you could be really great at all the technical aspects of mothering/housewifery, and yet totally emotionally cold, distant, and judgmental of your kids. If they're not "perfect" like you, they're worthless, hooray.

fondue with cheddar

@themmases ARE YOU A VAMPIRE?

The Attic Wife

@Scandyhoovian That's a great observation, just because a person is capable of becoming pregnant (or impregnating) does not mean that they should. I hate the idea that once you have a kid, you'll automatically be a good parent. Even some people who want children aren't prepared to raise them, so why should someone who doesn't want/isn't prepared to have a child feel guilted into giving birth?

themmases

@jen325 I'm actually an alien, but no baby is that good.

Myrtle

@themmases I think you're right; I think they do know. I did not want to hold babies, etc, when I was younger and they knew it. Cry if they were near me.
Since the Fertility Freighter has weighed anchor and abandoned my ovaries, that's all changed. Now we like each other.

orangeyouglad

What a brave and outstanding piece.

But seriously, Dalbey? Equating a "near-abortion" memory with a survivor's experience of the Holocaust? There is no way you remember that! Your neural synapses were not firing on all cylinders at that point in your life!

It also made me think of Dwight Schrute's birthday memory, "Here's one: it was dark, warm, wet. A sudden burst of light, an intense pressure like I'd never felt before, father dressed in white, pulls me forward, mother bites the cord--"

anachronistique

@orangeyouglad LIKE A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR. I am going to go to his house and pee on everything he loves.

melis

@anachronistique Someday we will live in a world where no one who has not survived the Holocaust will compare themselves to a Holocaust survivor. When that day comes, we will already be in paradise.

H.E. Ladypants

@anachronistique I would just like to introduce him to someone who actually survived the holocaust. Just sort of show up and be all "oh, Rachel here was at Dachau. But do go on about your problems."

melis

@H.E. Ladypants The only problem is he sounds like the kind of person who - rather than understanding he's conflated his non-problems with one of the most horrific episodes in human history in an attempt to co-opt the trauma of others - would take that as an opportunity to bond over mutual experiences. "I know just how you feel," he'd nod sagely. "My mother considered abortion, so."

whateverlolawants

@melis Sadly, I imagine all survivors will be gone by that point, if we ever reach it.

MailerMattDaemon

@orangeyouglad It makes me crazy that anti-abortionists use analogies like holocaust and genocide. This is the language they choose to describe women who become pregnant? Do they really mean that individual decisions made by women are the same as government-sponsored genocide? I mean, what does that say about the value of pregnant women (or women, period!)--and really, what does that say about the value of our own history? Gah.

Faintly Macabre

@MailerMattDaemon While basically no one should be allowed to use the Holocaust as an analogy anymore, it makes me extra-crazy when the Christian Right does it. Guess what! Your religious beliefs are the kind that allowed the Holocaust to happen! And as people who didn't flee over here on whatever vessels they could board to escape one of the many instances of everyone in your country wanting to kill you for your religious beliefs, please stop co-opting my people's history. (But really, everyone, including fringe Jewish groups. Unless it's an actual genocide/Holocaust, stop comparing it to the Holocaust.)

katiemcgillicuddy

@Faintly Macabre "Unless it's an actual genocide/Holocaust, stop comparing it to the Holocaust."

Yeah, you'd think this would be a pretty logical rule for everyone to live by. You'd think.

MissMushkila

I had a childhood friend staying with me the other week, because she was trying to leave her husband and had nowhere to go. She married right after high school to a military man, and the marriage was abusive and controlling. She is younger than me and has a two year old and an infant.

It broke my heart to have her here, because she is a shell-person right now. It's like she's barely going through the motions. And the two kids, while fed and loved, are not really getting the care they need. She had never read a book to her son. He plays on his ipad and jumps off of furniture all day - he acts up for attention which he doesn't get. She would let the baby cry at length until I would pick her up and sing to her or talk to her.

Sorry, this is all just on my mind a lot. We tried to help her get into a local shelter that provides services for abused women, but she was resistant to the idea of living in a shelter. She thinks she can support her two kids on a part-time server position at a restaurant in the suburbs.

This just all made me think of them, because she got married after high school because of an unplanned pregnancy. I hope they will be okay in the end, but when you have children before you are ready, and don't have any college or employment history, you start out WAY behind.

Judith Slutler

@MissMushkila Augh, that's just so tough. I'm glad you could help her out.

A friend of mine who got married after an unplanned pregnancy, dropped out of college, had a second child and then ended up leaving her husband because he demanded that she change her religious beliefs + was pushing her to start using that horrendous "Train Up A Child" physical discipline / abuse system, went through a lot of similar shit. He stalked and harassed her once she left the marriage and it took a while for her to get back on her feet.

Nowadays she's working toward a Master's degree, and just got remarried. Her kids might not have had the easiest start, but she seems to be doing great as a parent.

I understand your worries, though. She did put up with a lot of BS in her marriage "for the children" and wishes she had left earlier.

PistolPackinMama

@MissMushkila Oof. God, I am sorry.

MissMushkila

@Emmanuelle Cunt I hope my friend gets to somewhere like yours is - it seems like their circumstances are somewhat similar. While she was staying with me, her husband called my phone ~16 times a day, ostensibly to "check on the children" since he had turned her cell phone off. I eventually told him that his calls were over the top and controlling, and they needed to stop, which made him angry.

It's just hard to watch someone you care about struggle so much. There isn't much you can do for someone trying to get out of an abusive relationship other than be a sounding board and resource.

Judith Slutler

@MissMushkila Ugh, I know. It's heartbreaking when a pretty unrealistic scenario of supporting 2 kids on part-time waitressing, might be the dream of a better life that even gave her the strength to leave. I know what it's like to watch things like this play out, and it's so frustrating just because nobody outside the situation can swoop in to fix things.

Hugs to you.

TheDragon

@MissMushkila I am so sorry. I see my former roommate/best friend's life ending up like that. It breaks your heart to see it happen. I am really glad that your friend has the courage to try and leave her husband. I hope everyday that mine will find that courage sometime.

whateverlolawants

@MissMushkila I don't understand what's so bad about a shelter temporarily. I am totally not saying that in a critical way about her and her thinking- I'm just wanting to understand, because I haven't been in those shoes. Is she worried it will be disruptive for the kids, or a bad place to live? Or does she not see herself as an abused partner? Does she not like to receive assistance? Is it something else?

Lee Van Queef

@whateverlolawants It could be for any or all of those reasons, and so much more. There's not really a cut and dry answer to your question. One of the important things to understand about people who have lived/dealt with an abusive partner is that the abuser to some extent or another exercises extreme control over their lives. If a person has made the decision to leave, they could perceive going to a shelter as relinquishing control when what they want to be doing is reclaiming it.

Not only that, but going to a shelter means that you are going to give up tons of details about your life to a or a bunch of strangers. This could be very stressful for a survivor who is experiencing the shame and fear perpetuated by the abuser and living in an abusive household.

There is the fear and instability of being told or knowing that shelter is only a temporary solution -- not every shelter can hold every person / family for long enough to allow the person leaving the relationship to find a stable living situation.

There is the stress attached to getting to and from work, or getting kids to and from school, especially if the shelter is in a remote location and the survivor doesn't have reliable transportation, which is very often the case when someone is leaving an abuser.

And very importantly, leaving an abuser is actually THE most dangerous time for a survivor, as that is most often the time when abusive behaviors can escalate to such things as stalking, harassment, and lethal force. The fact of the matter is, shelter may just not feel very safe to a survivor, and that is a completely legitimate and very reasonable feeling/response to have when you spent any amount of time with an abusive partner.

MissMushkila

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas
I think it's all of those reasons, in sort of a diffuse way. Luckily she is from the area originally, so other friends have been giving her shelter after she moved on from my place (I live in a very, very small one-bedroom apartment, on which the lease is up at the end of this month - no one imagined it was a permanent solution).

I entirely support her in that decision, except that the shelter would have put her on the shortlist for other government services which she wants and needs, such as legal help with the divorce, section 8 housing assistance, and affordable childcare. My mom works for the government, so I know how long the wait for those services often is - frequently upwards of a year to two years.

I think a bigger issue is that despite trying to increase support, it is still SO VERY DIFFICULT financially to leave a bad marriage when you are dependent on the spouse's pay for living expenses.

whateverlolawants

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas @MissMushkila
Thanks, that helps me understand it more. I really wish her the best. Her decision to leave must have been really brave.

Lee Van Queef

@MissMushkila Oops, yes, I skimmed over some of the things you mentioned in my attempt to help give an understanding of what the emotional state of a person in a situation similar to your friend's might look like. (Also, I just want to add that I in no way intend/ed to speak for your friend's experience or yours.)

If this helps any, she may not necessarily have to stay at the shelter to be shortlisted for any of those resources and assistances. I know that the shelter I volunteer for is incredibly exceptional, but they do have dedicated advocates to help survivors seeking those aids get them, regardless of whether or not they have ever stayed at shelter. You can call 1−800−799−SAFE(7233), and they may be able to give you and/or your friend more information on the resources available to her in the area, if there are any. There are also some organizations which offer volunter-provided pro bono legal resources and referrals to people with limited incomes. You might be able to search for "volunteer legal service [your area]" and see what you find.

You sound already really knowledgable, and I fully acknowledge that you may already have considered all of this stuff, so if it comes off as repetitive or unhelpful because you already know about all the stuff I suggested, I hope you won't take offense. :)

Myrtle

@MissMushkila Everything I've read says the shelter is safer for her and the kids- and for the abused woman's friends, who could themselves become targets for violence by being in harm's way. The shelter people are trained, the location is secret, they have supplies and know how to talk to the kids. But when I try to picture myself in that situation, I'd feel safer at a friend's house, too.

Guybrush

Veeeery interesting... But I still don't really see the difference between “The best choice for both my mother and I would have been abortion” and “I wish I had never been born.”

double paw?

@Guybrush I think the main difference is the perspective from which you're looking. In the "best choice" scenario, you're detaching yourself from your particular experience, and looking more objectively at someone else's regardless of how much it directly impacts you - those outcomes and consequences don't enter into your assessment. The "I wish I had never been born" is more grounded in your own experiences and outlook and whatever dissatisfaction you might have with it.

I don't know if you were actually looking for an explanation or not...but just wanted to share my thoughts, since I see a big difference between the two. (I'm not saying you MUST see it too, though!)

whateverlolawants

@Guybrush I think the difference is more in the emotions and intent behind the words. This sentence made me understand what she meant: Somehow they confuse the well-considered and rational: “The best choice for both my mother and I would have been abortion” with the infamous expression of depression and angst: “I wish I had never been born.”

whateverlolawants

And now I see that you did quote from that sentence, so I'm sorry if I wasn't helpful! It was the adjectives she used that helped me.

charmcity

@Guybrush I think there is a difference between "I can objectively recognize that my mother's life would have been better, and the world in general wouldn't be worse, if she had had an abortion" and "I am really unhappy in my current life that I am living now."

Lee Van Queef

I don't know if it's just my perception, but it seems like the Hairpin is engaging with these "heavy" topics more regularly, "heavy" being the word we most commonly use for experiences like rape, abortion, abuse, etc. that don't get talked about out in the open, out of fear and shame.

I love that these conversations can take place here, and that pretty much everyone is understanding, caring, perceptive, and honest. And I love that it's in a space where we can just as easily sort of "relax" with 'Pin Picks and Qream and Ghosts and whatever.

Sorry about all the scare quotes. Just feeling especially feelings-y.

fondue with cheddar

@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas I love it, too. The comment section on topics like this on other sites make me want to stab everyone. But here they make me want to hug everyone.

katiemcgillicuddy

@jen325 Exactly. It's like there is "every other site" and then there is "thehairpin".

fondue with cheddar

@katiemcgillicuddy I live in fear of the Others discovering us and ruining everything.

whateverlolawants

@jen325 For those reasons, I only tell a very select group of people about it. I don't even remember sharing the articles on Facebook more than once or twice.

katiemcgillicuddy

@whateverlolawants, @jen325 Yeah, I am really selective as far as who I mention this site to because I love it so much. I mean hell, I even half regret recently telling a few friends (friends I adore and who are wonderful, so no worries) that I started commenting and now the game is trying to figure out what my handle is. This was a bad idea. But yeah, yes to being protective of this site and this community.

Ophelia

@whateverlolawants Heh, me too. I have a few friends who are 'pinners IRL, though, and we definitely talk about it offline.

fondue with cheddar

@katiemcgillicuddy Haha. My friends would totally know which one is me (at least they would if they know my birthday). I've been considering changing my username for that very reason, but on the other hand, having a recognizable name makes me think twice about who I tell about it because of personal things I've said in comments.

Chesty LaRue

@katiemcgillicuddy They don't already know? You're Winnie Cooper.

whizz_dumb

@Ophelia Y'all are nailing these comments, which is great because I'm in the field today and barely have time to peck these words. But I'm reading and thinking things --things like "Yes, yup, EXACTLY, yep, Yes!, and fuck yeah"--all with a heavy heart.

fondue with cheddar

@whizz_dumb FUCK YEAH THE HAIRPIN

This is my new username

@jen325 Hahaha, I totally changed my name to my current random and boring username because I started with the username that I use for eeeeeeeeeverything and I have occasionally made reference to articles here IRL and realized I needed to be more anonymous just in case.

katiemcgillicuddy

@jen325 Yeah, if any of my friends guessed right and went back through my history it would take about 15 seconds to figure out. They don't read the site nearly as much as me though, so maybe I'll last. Oh well.

katiemcgillicuddy

@Chesty LaRue Ha, yeah, it was pretty stupid of me to use my picture as my avatar. Dammit.

whateverlolawants

@jen325 For a second I read that as "YEAH FUCK THE HAIRPIN"

Springtime for Voldemort

@katiemcgillicuddy I've stopped posting articles from The Hairpin on Facebook, and just sharing them to the 2-4 specific people I know would not only enjoy them, but would be good commenters, just because of this. The Hairpin really is the safest spot on the internet right now. (And I am now doing a bit of butt-clenching in fear that we have all jinxed it.)

fondue with cheddar

@whateverlolawants Fuck The Hairpin, gently and lovingly, give it plenty of foreplay and let the excitement build to a crescendo, then bring it home deep and hard. That's the way The Hairpin likes it.

katiemcgillicuddy

@jen325 ...(slow clap)

fondue with cheddar

@katiemcgillicuddy Hey, why are you standing there clapping when you could be having a sexy 3-way with The Hairpin and me?

Keep the Winnie Cooper glasses on.

katiemcgillicuddy

@jen325 Oh, they never come off.

fondue with cheddar

@katiemcgillicuddy Nicccce.

olivebee

Things like this piece fill my core with so many feelings and my brain with so many thoughts that it's difficult to fully articulate myself as eloquently as a lot of you guys have (@Sundae, @the person Scandyhoovian quoted, for example). It's a really powerful thing to not only say, but to write openly about, and I truly wish that more than just us already-liberals(/pro-choicers) would make up the audience reading it. Although, people like the ones she references aren't going to change their mind anyway, but at the very least, it's a grain of truth sand in the vast beaches of delusion that make up their beliefs.

It makes me sad that people who are on the more moderate side and on the fence about issues like abortion can usually be swayed more easily by the vocal zealots than people like the author.

atipofthehat

Couldn't she have gone back in time a few more months and chosen birth control?

Briony Fields

@atipofthehat I'm gonna go ahead and be pedantic here and note that abortion IS birth control. Perhaps what you mean is contraception. But in the end, what's the difference? Whether her mother used condoms or got an abortion, she's saying their lives would have been better if she hadn't been born.

atipofthehat

@Briony Fields

You should let Planned Parenthood know, they would seem to disagree.

all the kittens in the club gettin nipsy

@atipofthehat I think the author mentioned that her mom got assaulted and pregnant in grade school. Even pp won't just give birth control to 12 year olds, if the mom had known enough to get it beforehand.

meetapossum

@atipofthehat Well, her mother was raped, so...

Ophelia

@meetapossum I missed that somehow. Yikes.

olivia

@atipofthehat Yes, if only she had thought to take birth control before she got raped.

MissMushkila

@olivia There is always a troll who seems to make that argument on other sites, which is why I can't read comments.

fondue with cheddar

@meetapossum I think she called it "coercive sex" which, when you're young, is basically rape.

Judith Slutler

@atipofthehat why, in your mind, does that discussion belong here. Just why.

meetapossum

@jen325 Well, I was actually a little confused, because the author says that her mother was "raped in grade school" and then "was experiencing an unplanned pregnancy that resulted from coercive sex". I assumed the two events were the same, though it's unclear.

Either way, I would call "coercive sex" rape no matter what age you are.

Ten Thousand Buckets

@meetapossum I think they're two different events. To me at least grade school indicates an age of 11 or under. Girls might be hitting puberty at that age these days, but probably not back when Lynn's mother was in grade school.

HeyThatsMyBike

@meetapossum Yeah, I read them as separate events as I think she's distinguishing between the grade school rape and a later instance of coercive sex. Not that it necessarily matters - agree that "coercive sex" is just another word for rape anyway.

KatnotCat

@atipofthehat Because this is a response to the question "What if your mother had aborted you?" which assumes the choice is abortion or carry the pregnancy to term. It is not a response to "What if your mother never became pregnant with you at all?"

fondue with cheddar

@meetapossum This is true. I was coercively sexed in college by my boyfriend, and I didn't see it as rape at the time but years later I realized that it totally was.

@Ten Thousand Buckets I thought they were two separate events too, for the same reasons.

meetapossum

@HeyThatsMyBike Yeah, re-reading, I agree with you guys that it was two different events. But yes, point still stands.

Anon.

@atipofthehat God, it's so unbelievably rude and cruel to say "silly girl, this all could have been prevented if your mother had just used birth control, or the birth control hadn't failed, or she hadn't gotten raped". Discussions of abortion are discussions on the response to unplanned and undesired pregnancy, not flippant debates about alternative history time lines.

KatnotCat

@Anon. BOOM!

Thank you.

Diana

@Anon.

Not trying to be a jerk, but isn't this precisely that? This is, in fact, a discussion of abortion regarding alternative history time lines.

Anon.

@Diana No, I mean, abortion is only an issue in the case of unwanted pregnancy, so if you side step that, youre approaching the whole discussion from a facile and sophistic direction. Like if you say "We need welfare because it helped my mother get through a tough patch of unemployment, and if she hadn't had it, she wouldn'tve had the chance to get the good job she has now" by saying "Well, if your mom had never lost her first job in the first place, she never would have needed welfare, so let's cut welfare funding because it's useless". Or "Let's not give children sex ed or condom access because they shouldn't be having sex in the first place".

themmases

I enjoyed this piece, but I had a real problem with this part:
Any positive contributions that I have made are completely offset by what it has cost society to help me overcome the disadvantages and injuries of my childhood to become a functional and contributing member of society.

Many other people than just the author need help to become functional and contributing members of society, and that help is part of what makes us a society instead of a nightmare horde/libertarian moon colony. People with fewer advantages are one of the major areas that contributing members of society contribute to, and until we somehow conquer all disease and death and misfortune they always will be.

At most, the author and her life are a product of those challenges which are indeed a net loss for us all. But that doesn't mean that she (or anyone else with those obstacles) is herself a net loss. Like her life and accomplishments, her challenges would also have been suffered by someone else. That abuse is the real drain, not the people who are victimized.

HeyThatsMyBike

@themmases Yes, the author does a great job of being objective and explaining this clearly for the most part, but this was one quote that showed a split-second glimpse of depression and/or self-esteem issues. Your argument against that statement is very well-put. Helping fellow members of society who need help - for whatever reason (and there are many!) - does not necessarily place society at a net loss. Maybe financially, but in terms of not being awful monsters, it's a net gain.

WaityKatie

@themmases Yeah, and I mean, even people who don't need a lot of "help" from society probably end up being net drains. We're all drains on society! We use and pollute and hurt others just by existing. Usually the primary value any of us has from our lives is just the intrinsic value we get from being alive, and that's enough.

Anon.

@themmases I think she's only saying babies born to unwilling parents are likely to face more obstacles than normal, because a common prolife arugment is "that baby could grow up to cure cancer, you're denying the world a cure for cancer when you abort".

themmases

@Anon. I get that that may be why she said that, but there is a huge difference between that and "I am a net loss" (which I realize now is in that paragraph but not my quote), and following it up with talking about her "cost" to society. I strongly agree with her that unplanned pregnancy, and lack of access to abortion, is a terrible social, emotional, and public health phenomenon. But I disagree just as strongly that any living individual who isn't deliberately abusive embodies that phenomenon and shouldn't be.

The bad in her life may outweigh the good, and she may have needed more resources to grow to healthy adulthood than she will be able to give back to her community. That's not the same thing as her, as a person, being a "net loss". I don't agree that other abused, poor, or ill people are a "net loss" as people, or that it's appropriate to frame someone's personhood that way.

PistolPackinMama

@themmases GODDAMN. Yes. This is so good. The conversation about abortion in this case is also about victimization. The decisions her mom made or didn't make aren't removing the burden of suffering of humanity- they are just putting the onus of being victimized in one place or another.

But we live in a real world and can't put the responsibility for suffering where it belongs, which is on the victimizers and sexual predators.

Suffering and needing help aren't "net drain" they are part of the human experience.

[[Side track for discussion of theology: Liberation theology has idea that god loves the poor/victimized in a special way. Not a better/more way than anyone else, just a special way. The purpose of society- and the role of humans in society- is to eliminate the suffering of poverty, which is fully within our power to do. And it is the right of poor people to expect we will all do. We exist to eliminate suffering. People's suffering and need for help is not a drain. I am not an especially god-ey person, but I can get down with a secular version of that idea.]]

feartie

@PistolPackinMama 'Suffering and needing help aren't "net drain" they are part of the human experience.' I'll just go ahead and write that in big letters in the sky, for all of us, those who are suffering, and those who are immune to the suffering of others, because DAMN RIGHT.

Also as a lapsed Catholic, Liberation Theology is one of the key things that helps me feel okay about Catholicism. I mean, the rebel ends of it. So much does not, but that is at the heart something noble and good.

TheDragon

I worry about my former roommate and her child, reading this. I know that she loves her son with all she has, and I don't have the personal experience to judge, but it just seems like her life would be so much better if she had never had him. She was a 4.0 student in one of the country's most respected pre-vet programs, was funny, self-reliant, and confident as hell.
She got pregnant a month before turning twenty, with a guy she'd been dating for two weeks. She is now a college drop out, stressed, sad, and lonely. They stayed together for the baby, but he cheats on her weekly, while not even "allowing" her to admit that she finds male celebrities attractive. He doesn't even have his GED, but because he works as a driller and has money, she is content to follow his ridiculous rules, duck when he's having a temper tantrum, and turn a blind eye to his cheating ways.
This scum-bag chained her and my's dog to a tree and beat him because he growled at him while he was having sex with her. She moved to his town (where he never is. work) and now has no friends, so spends every moment with her son, and relies on him for almost all human companionship.
I worry about that child.

Ten Thousand Buckets

@The Kendragon That fills me with so much rage.

HeyThatsMyBike

@The Kendragon You are rightly worried about that child.

TheDragon

@Ten Thousand Buckets I feel torn, because I'm so grateful to be out of that household, but I also feel like I was her one protector, and I've failed her.

Ten Thousand Buckets

@The Kendragon Of course it's not in any way your fault. The sad reality is that we can't protect anyone from this sort of thing. Adults will make their own decisions, and you really can't tell adults anything. The best thing you can do is offer her your support (even just emotional!) if/when she decides to get out.

whateverlolawants

@The Kendragon If I remember right, didn't he shoot a gun into your bedroom? (Is it weird I remember that?) I don't think you could have stayed there safely! Are you still in touch with her?

HeyThatsMyBike

@The Kendragon You haven't failed her. Her husband/boyfriend/whatever has failed her.

@lola I totally remember that story, too!

TheDragon

@whateverlolawants Yes, he was that juicebox. I know that you guys are right, I just wish you weren't and that there actually was a way to save people from these things.
I talk to her occasionally. She lives about seven hours away now, but her son's birthday party in September, and I'd like to go. (I'm trying to figure out a nice way to ask if Toolbox will be in town that weekend before I commit to anything.)

Lee Van Queef

@The Kendragon @HeyThatsMyBike is right, you are not the failure here, he is. You're doing the right thing by keeping yourself safe. You can't help your friend to the fullest extent of your resources if you are using them to keep your own head above water.

The best thing you can do to help her is to be a someone she feels she can trust, who she knows will listen to her and love her, regardless of whether or not she chooses to leave. That is a really, really hard thing to do and you are not less of a friend or a good person if you need to step back and take care of yourself first.

I'm so sad to hear about this really painful situation. I hope it gets better.

katiemcgillicuddy

@The Kendragon Man, I have such a similar situation but I am going to avoid getting into it because my friend checks this site and so, yeah. But I totally feel you on this and, despite often feeling that I, too, fail my friend (no matter how fucking hard I try to help) your friend's situation certainly isn't on you. I know that in my case, ultimately all I can do is my best for her, to listen to her and let her lean on me, which sounds exactly like what you've done for your friend. She's an adult who makes her own decisions and all you have done is be a good friend. Remember that.

Slapfight

@The Kendragon FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE. I'm glad you are out of that situation and I hope you took the dog with you. I apologize if this sounds judgey as I don't mean it to, but if someone ever beats your animal (or you witness it elsewhere) please report it. He should have been punished for that.
I'm worried about your friend and their child. If someone's willing to harm an animal that way, more than likely they'll do the same to people. Ugh. I'm so sorry. You're in a very difficult place. It can be so difficult to help people in these situations. Especially if they don't want to hear it.

Slapfight

@Slapfight Sorry, to clarify, none of this is on you. You seem like a good friend.

TheDragon

@Slapfight DAMN straight I took the dog. I didn't find out about the beating until after we'd moved out, but I knew that Ry didn't like Toolbox and I was not about to ditch my friend with three dogs, a kid, and a screaming infantile man-child.

Slapfight

@The Kendragon Good to hear! Yay happy doggie home!

PistolPackinMama

@The Kendragon Oh my god. I am so sorry.

TattyEmu

This brings out ALL the personal feelings. I too was an accidental pregnancy, born to a mother whose life took a catastrophic nose dive at her decision to carry me to term and keep me.

There is some self pity inherent in the idea that those you love the most would have been much better off had you been aborted. But it can be true without driving happiness from my life. It is a thing completely out of my power to change. I do not own my self any less for bearing the burden of my mother's broken heart.

It freed me very young from the idea of meant-to-be. The illusion of fate divorced from choice. The conditions of my birth were not mitigated by some greater purpose for my life. My mother and family would have been better off if I had not been born. Truth. My mother's bad decision can never be validated. Yet I live, and will continue to live, and enjoy that which I can. All those things are gone and done, and though I was the cause, I was not at fault.

Judith Slutler

@TattyEmu This makes a lot more sense to me than the original post actually. Thank you.

Anon.

@TattyEmu I like this post alot. That's a very good moral to take away from this experience, and I will try to embrace it too.

Snicker-snack!

@TattyEmu This is so beautifully put.

I've known since I was young that my mother meant to abort me. The only reason she didn't was because my grandmother intervened. I've also always known that, had I not been born, my mother's life would have been easier. I can't say it would have been better, because she would still be the person she is making the kind of choices she makes. She just wouldn't have had a daughter when she was very young, so maybe the stakes would have been lower.

The facts of my beginning and the effects it had on my mother's life have never bothered me, because, like you say "all those things are gone and done, and though I was the cause, I was not at fault."

TattyEmu

@Emmanuelle Cunt You are welcome. This is not something I have ever tried to articulate before. Because, when exactly would you bring it up? everyone is either too close, or not close enough. But I am glad someone has said it, and I could chime in.

Cheers to The Hairpin! for making this a very introspective Tuesday.

billie_crusoe

@TattyEmu "though I was the cause, I was not at fault" yes! thank you for giving me the words for that.

Linette

@billie_crusoe I'm going to remember that. I think it applies to most of life, no? A lot of the time we think things are our fault simply because we were the cause, and there's so much guilt from that. I want to embroider this on a pillow or something. "I was the cause, but I was not at fault."

Linette

A friend of mine told me a story that's become the philosophy that makes me at ease with having an abortion should I ever need to.

He and a very long-term girlfriend broke up. They'd had plans to have children together, and live in a particular area, and do certain things with their lives. He said that when he broke off the relationship, he was making the choice to never have those particular children. And they were real to him, in his mind. They were children he already thought he knew, and he had to make a decision about this relationship that would result in those children never being born. That's what broke his heart in leaving the relationship - he knew he didn't want to be with this person any more, but he did very much want to have children with her and raise them the way they'd planned, and it was awful to him to give them up. Even though they didn't exist yet.

I realized that there wasn't a great deal of difference between that decision and the one we have to make when we choose to have an abortion. You're making the decision a little further down the line, but it's still about what your life is going to look like for years to come. It's still about THIS particular child, and whether you'll ever see him, or if he'll just be a child that-could-have-been.

Children-that-could-have-been are around us everywhere and all the time. Right now, I could try to get pregnant with my partner, with this particular egg that's in my uterus right now, and that child will never exist. Because I say so. Because it's not time. That child is never going to be born.

That sounds morbid, but I don't mean it to. I just think that we place so much emphasis on how conflicted this decision is just because the pregnancy has already begun. It's a choice no matter when you make it, and it's okay. It's okay to make the choice that this particular child-that-might-have-been stays a possibility, and not a reality. Especially in circumstances where you feel certain that this child, if they become real, will be unhappy all their lives because you can't give them what they need to be happy.

Ophelia

@Linette I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Linette

@Ophelia Oh, thank you. What a lovely thing to say.

PistolPackinMama

@Linette This is great.

Myrtle

@Linette WEll I made it through that whole 2.0 post, all the comments, made some myself- but Linette, yours is the one that is making me well up. It's so beautiful and true.

yarabollocks

@Linette
Replying here a million days later because this It's okay to make the choice that this particular child-that-might-have-been stays a possibility, and not a reality. Especially in circumstances where you feel certain that this child, if they become real, will be unhappy all their lives because you can't give them what they need to be happy. is exactly what I needed to hear 4 years ago when I had my abortion and was feeling like a total shit about it.

People were supportive in that they were all "it's your body and it's your choice" which was great, but I still felt like there was this huge life/death situation orchestrated by me. Since I was getting an abortion I was deciding to kill of the supposed future-baby.

I eventually arrived at a certain peace with myself, and I like to think that the spirit (or something slightly less hokey) of the baby-that-could-be is somewhere ("somewhere") waiting for when it IS the right time.

Anyhow, I doubt anyone will read this comment - but, thank you. It made my heart a little lighter to see that someone gets it.

Myrtle

@yarabollocks "Subscribing to comments" lets us know when a thread's been updated. Then, all one has to do is remember to check one's email :> Just wanted you to know I hear/heard you. Be well. <3

stephalupagous

I'm so glad I read this today. I'm struggling with trying to get my life together after a long, abusive child/early adulthood and it is terrifyingly difficult. The statement "if I could go back in time and make the choice for my mother, it would be abortion" sums up exactly how I feel. Sure, I've survived and survived well, but it doesn't seem worth it all the time.

Part of this is because of the effort and pain I've had to endure to get where I am today (which statistically speaking, is pretty rare)but it is also because of the guilt my mother has over all that has happened and the loss of her daughter (we don't talk). I still love her and feel empathy.

I recently found out my mother had an abortion when I was 6. I was so happy that another little child had not been born into that hell.

Dancingbear

this is some courageous writing.

i don't believe there is ever a "wrong" or "right" choice when it comes to abortion. i do believe that choosing takes courage and i appreciate the author illuminating the fact that carrying a baby to term is not always the option that comes from a place of the most love or the most courage.

undercoverhippie

Wow, crushingly honest and brutal and beautiful. Some of the comments slayed me, too, with similar horrible-childhood stories.

I REALLY want to share this, but then, with whom? Anyone who chooses to read it will do so because they already agree, and as for the others, I always think of the following: "Wow, that link you posted on Facebook totally changed my point of view on that important issue!" Said no one, ever.

whateverlolawants

@undercoverhippie That quote amuses me, but I also think that I have had my opinion changed -- or at least, had my horizons broadened and my perspective shifted a bit -- by links posted online. No 180-degree shifts, though.

TARDIStime

@undercoverhippie
So, so true. I feel the same as the girl who wrote the post and I've honestly never told anyone, not even my mum or my partner (I'm afraid that they might become worried because it's possible that when I say "abortion was the best option" they will hear "I wish was never born" and, as established upthread, they are very different conclusions that mean very different things).
I'd love to whack this all over Facebook, but between ALL the posts of baby pics in my family and posts from my cousin studying to be a midwife and my weekend job at a FERTILITY CLINIC MY GOD THE IRONY it would look... not quite right/like a cry for help even though it isn't. It's not as though there's anyone in my family who is even particularly pro-life, but I do feel it would be... sort of insulting for those in my family who really struggled to get pregnant with their kids and get so upset about people who get pregnant SO EASILY but don't want their kids? Yeah... #turmoil

TARDIStime

@TARDIStime
Addendum: I don't WISH I was aborted, exactly (I didn't have the harrowing experiences growing up that the author did) but I do think that it would have been better for my (single, impoverished) mother, and it's not like it would have made a huge difference to me, what with being a Zygote and all.

TARDIStime

@TARDIStime
also: Coercive sex = a thing! I had no idea how to frame my conception (my mother didn't want to, my father pressured her to without protection) but that's the phrase I've been without for so long.

carolita

When I was a kid, I often wished I'd never been born, but it came down to, "well, I'm here, so I might as well make the most of it." I certainly spent a lot of time imagining other lives for my parents, wondering things like would I have been the same person born to someone else, or whatever... When I had an accident with a condom a while back, I was so grateful to have an Rx for the Plan B pill (or whatever it was called, I got it in France, because that's where I was.). I remember thanking God (or whoever) that I would be able to avoid getting another human mixed up in my crazy life at that point, it felt like the one best thing I'd done in my life at that point, making sure that didn't happen. I still feel so grateful, not just for me, but for the possible human I might have created that awful night. I'll never know, but still, it felt like I was actually possibly saving a life, not destroying one. I can't get over that feeling, the pure awe and gratitude.

TARDIStime

@carolita
Man, do I feel you.
I'm always imagining my mum, who used to be in the Air Force and loved it before she gave it up to keep me, still being there and having a massive salary (she says that if she'd stayed in she'd be a Warrant Officer by now) and still enjoying her successful, fulfilling career, still having all her wonderful Air Force friends and enjoying the camaraderie she felt with them.
She's always saying the loves me and wouldn't change it but she "what if"s as much as I do.

carolita

@carolita my mom always made a big deal about all the stuff she could've done if she hadn't married and had kids. Made it my responsibility to compensate her for it, too, said she wanted me to do all the things she didn't do -- but it seemed that all she ever wanted to do was be married to a rich guy and wear pretty clothes, go out dancing and play the piano or something. She was miserable, unhappy in her marriage, and, emotionally speaking, a pretty terrible mom through total lack of ability (rather than willful neglect or anything), (and she never neglected my practical or physical needs). Consequently, I always saw my mom's "what if's" as a total crock and did nothing all my life but plot my escape, while she tried her darndest to weigh me down while sinking into total depression and other mental illnesses. I certainly didn't have the WORST childhood I've ever heard of (there's always worse), but me and my brothers, I swear, it took us till we were all in our thirties to even realize what we'd gone through and go into recovery mode, and then realize that we'd be in our forties before we started to get our emotional shit, if not together, at least into manageable, well-labelled bundles we'd no doubt bring into our own relationships. I really don't think my parents were the best qualified to be in a marriage, raising kids. I mean, most people aren't, but they seem to have been especially unqualified, though through no fault of their own. It's not that I wish I'd been aborted, now, but I kind of wish people would spare themselves the pain of doing what my parents did. I definitely would have advised against them procreating. I know I came out of it with a determination and potential for making my future life a richness of experience, but you know what? Not everyone is as lucky as me. And it really looks like me and my brothers will be the end of the line for the Johnson family. None of us are having kids, or even getting married. We were all so afraid of putting our own progeny through what we'd been through ourselves -- for the longest time we really though we were all somehow tainted, or that there had to be something seriously flawed in our mental health that we must have inherited from our parents-- , that we avoided marriage and kids all our lives.
Oh, btw, my mom told me her birth control was douching after sex. So, voila, how to be clueless and end up with three kids!

TARDIStime

@carolita
@carolita
I did ask my mum once why she didn't abort. She said "I'm pro-choice, but personally I don't think I could have lived with the guilt of aborting. That was before I knew that the post-natal depression would make me suicidal."
Luckily she pulled herself out of the depressing marriage she was in and took me with her. It was a bit better without him there (my dad) but she really struggled through the divorce and caring for me alone and being criticised by her family and all that.
When I was young she was an incredibly strong role model and I wanted to be just like her. But the older I get, the more dependent she becomes on me for her emotional/financial support. I don't know where the strength went.
I think I'm luckier than you, though - not wonder you spent so much time plotting to get out!
Well done getting things together and admitting to yourself that it's the kinder thing not to reproduce - that's a tough truth for some to face.

carolita

@TARDIStime Thank you. But it wasn't tough at all. We were all really terrified of the idea of having kids that might be as miserable as we were. And the fact was, we never had any parental example to follow, so I, at least, had no maternal urges. I'd never even been taught to care for my little brothers. We all felt like fellow inmates, rather than siblings. (We became friends in our twenties, when it began to dawn on us, from seeing other sibilings actually having close relationships and loving each other, that we'd missed out on each other. It began with us comparing stories, and realizing we didn't actually hate each other, but that besides our parents being "crazy," as we first surmised, they'd also hated each other, and that we'd basically grown up in a war zone.) I never saw a baby in my life that I actually wanted to hold, because that just wasn't part of my upbringing. One learns to want to be a mother, I think. Sure, now that I'm older, I sometmes wonder what it would be like to have a child of my own, but it's a daydream with no basis in experience, you know? And there's no actual desire behind it. This is one of the biggest reasons I know I ought to refrain. I know it's okay, and not surprising, and I don't feel bad about it. I make a good auntie because I'm usually the opposite of everyone's mom. Who doesn't need an opposite of their mom every now and then? I remember hearing that the ancient greeks didn't raise their own kids, and thinking that was a brilliant idea, and deciding that if I ever wanted to have kids, I'd adopt when I was much older. Who knows?

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