I Couldn’t Tell Her the Truth

Today, I saw a very close friend at a casual brunch and she delivered amazing news.  She and her husband are expecting their first baby come next year.  Of course, I am thrilled for my friend.  I think she will make a great mother and it is with much anxiety and love that I hope to be part of that little one’s life.

While I am excited for my friend, I somewhat anticipated the crushing devastation that I felt after she had told me and the initial excitement wore off.  It was obvious to most people around me that something was off, and I think only QoB and DSB really knew what was going on.

I made a decision a long time ago that I wouldn’t have children.  My decision was affirmed by people I loved, doctors and therapists I trusted.  Some went so far as to say, “Rose, you wouldn’t be a good mother.”  I internalized that and made it my own.  When I would feel my biological clock ticking, that phrase reverberated in my head.

I see blogs where people with bipolar have children and make things work.  Bipolar people who go off their meds, just hoping to get pregnant, damn the consequences.  Bipolar people who just figure it out.  I don’t think I can do any of that, and it has been pounded into my head for years that, Rose, you just can’t.

There are a lot of barriers to me having a baby.  I would have to go off most of my meds, and I have just now reached a long-term level of stability that I can enjoy.  I am extremely limited financially, with only $115 per week to spend on gas, groceries, and any other incidental that might come up.  How does one raise a baby (and then a teenager!) on that kind of budget?

I have severe angst about my decision to not have children.  I really just don’t think it would be fair to the child.  I just don’t.  When I am not stable, I can barely get out of bed, think, drive, go the grocery store, leave my house, pump my own gas, cook, clean, take care of personal hygiene, just about any little daily tasks becomes unsurmountable.

Knowing those things is one thing.  Feeling this longing for a child of my own is quite another.  My feelings one way tear up my feelings the other way and vice versa.  I have been around babies, young children, tweens, teens, and young adults.  I look at what goes into that and know, deep deep down, that I don’t have what it takes.  It is something that I hope to get a grip on someday.  To not feel this terrible angst about the whole situation.

Compounding matters, I had an abortion when I was 21.  I was trying to escape an abusive relationship, and I was desperate and manic as all hell.  I often wonder what would have happened, had I kept the baby.  I know, realistically, that this was simply not feasible at the time, but I do wonder.  And I know it is part of what makes  this so hard now.

I love my DSB and he would give me the world if I asked for it.  This is one thing I won’t be asking for.  I am re-affirming my vow that I will not have children.  I will have DSB and my dogs and my family, and that will have to be enough.  I will work and work things through in my mind until that is my only truth.  I can’t go through this agony each and every time someone close to me gets pregnant.

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3 thoughts on “I Couldn’t Tell Her the Truth

  1. I also chose not to have children, and had a tubal ligation when I was 25 (I’m 34 now). My reasons were similar to yours- my anxiety, depression, and OCD, as well as spina bifida. Every once in a while I question my decision, but I always come to the same conclusion: I did the right thing. Sure I wonder what my children would have looked like or how much of my personality they’d have, and I think it’s normal to wonder those things. But I know that children are not the only way to contribute to society, nor the only way to live a satisfying life. So long as I focus on things that I love, I truly forget I ever had to make a decision whether or not to procreate. I think it’s just a state of mind: drive myself crazy wondering what might have been, or keep moving forward and find peace and happiness elsewhere? I can’t say I’m living a happy life yet, but I’m definitely moving towards it. 🙂 Anyway, I just thought I’d share my story so you’d know you’re not alone. Whatever you choose to do, always stay true to yourself. 🙂

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    • I am so glad you commented. I hadn’t looked at it like that before, just caught up in the angst of it all. I truly appreciate you taking the time to write. Best, Smrtie

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