T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 42492
posted 09-19-2010 11:07 PM
So the other day, I got a fair bit of crap from a few of my coworkers.
The topic of disciplining children came up, and I made a comment along the lines of “well, I probably won’t have to worry about all that, since I don’t plan on having any.” I have mentioned these views before. But this time, they decided to make it a long conversation about how I’ll change my mind when I’m older and meet prince charming, blah, blah, blah. Then I mentioned that I wasn’t even sure I wanted to get married. I was given the line of “you think that now, but once you get a place of your own and have to come home to an empty place, you’ll change your mind.” First of all, I do know that there is a chance that I will change my mind. I’m 20 years old, and while I have a few big things like my education planned out, I would be kidding you if I said I knew exactly where I wanted to be for the REST OF MY LIFE. The thing is, the thing that I don’t talk about with all my coworkers, is the reason I’m so apprehensive about the idea of marriage/relationships. They all think it’s because my relationship with my ex didn’t work out. And that’s not really true. Sure, that wasn’t something I’d like to repeat, but it wasn’t enough to make me lose and faith in lasting love. The reason I feel this way is largely because of my parent’s relationship. Once, I remember a friend informing me that I was “sheltered” because my parents are still together. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. If my parents had divorced, that probably would have spared me from having to watch my mother be verbally and emotionally (and on at least one occasion in my childhood that I can remember, physically) abused and manipulated almost every day. My parents have been married since my mother was 16, and she is now past 50. I cannot remember a time that he hasn’t screamed at her, threatened, or belittled her. He still yells at her about things she did that upset him before they were married. She is not allowed to go anywhere without him except work under normal circumstances, and every penny she spends is closely watched and dictated. And I know she will never leave. He threatens to sometimes, but he won’t either. He’s getting up in years, and his health is declining rapidly. He’s just not healthy enough to live by himself, and secretly, I know he knows it. My mom’s reason for staying used to be us, and how she couldn’t afford to take care of us, ect. But now that we’re all getting older, she now says “I couldn’t leave him like that, he couldn’t make it on his own.” The thing I've come to realize, is she's been with him since BEFORE her adult life even started, and I think she's rather be with him than on her own. She just can't imagine life on her own. The other women in my family didn’t exactly have great relationships either. My paternal grandmother was treated badly by my grandpa, but I don’t know a lot of details. My maternal grandmother was abused at least once physically by my grandfather. After divorcing him, she married her second husband, who not only treated her horribly, but molested my mother periodically throughout her childhood and teen years. So, I honestly don’t know of any women in my family who have had even halfway decent relationships. Even if my relationship with my ex wasn’t abusive, I still feel like I handled myself in a way that was very untrue to me. I subconsciously pushed away all the things that I thought wouldn’t fit with him and his lifestyle, and some of those were very big things. What I wanted to do with my life, the music I loved, the art I did, and everything I was truly passionate about. I never discussed my spiritual beliefs, or anything that meant anything to me with him. In a way, I can’t really blame him if he got bored with me, because at that time in my life, I pushed away everything that made me interesting and unique. When we broke up, all these things started flooding back, and I felt like I’d FOUND myself again. I never want to lose myself again. I am determined to break this chain of miserable women. And a bit part of me believes that the only way to break it is to be the last link. Sure, I’d love to believe in the fairytale happily ever after. But I just can’t. And the thing is, I still can’t stop myself from fantasizing about is, and wanting it sometimes. Even when I see people who appear to be in happy relationships, I’m convinced that it’s all public face, and behind closed doors, they’re just as miserable as my mother pretends not to be. I wonder if, maybe when I get out of the house and away from the turmoil, I’ll feel differently. And that scares me too. I’m afraid I’ll let my guard down and become just like them. So, after this extremely long rant, I’m actually not really sure what I’m asking for. I would like to have a discussion about my family and relationships, and where it all might lead me. I would like to hear other’s stories. I would like to hear someone say that I CAN have whatever kind of life we want, and that I can have a happy, fulfilling life even if I never have another relationship again, and that my “biological clock” won’t automatically start ringing and begging me to get married and have kids the minute I graduate from school. That if I DO choose to have a partner, that it will be because it’s something that will honestly make me happy, and not just something I want because “everyone does”. So, anyone have any input?
Member # 3
posted 09-20-2010 12:31 PM
You CAN have whatever kind of life you want, and you can have a happy, fulfilling life even if you never have another (romantic -- a whole life with NO kind of relationships would be difficult) relationship again, and your “biological clock” won’t automatically start ringing and begging you to get married and have kids the minute you graduate from school. If you DO choose to have a partner, it will be because it’s something that will honestly make you happy, and not just something you want because “everyone does”. For serious. You know, I got the same kind of feedback you did from a lot of older adults, and even some peers, around me when I said the kind of things you are, even though my motives for not wanting to biologically parent and marry were different. Some common threads, but mostly different. And yet, here I sit, twenty years later, having felt the same way consistently throughout. Mind, I could have changed my mind, plenty of people do. Just like plenty of people think they DO want one or both of those things, then later decide that they don't. Whether or not you want those things later or not isn't all that relevant to what you know you do and don't want now. People should respect each other wherever where are, and meet us where we are, not posit that they're some kind of human crystal ball, something most common when someone is saying they do or don't want something that is unpopular or challenging to others. So, no matter what choices you do or don't make later, you get to know what you want right now, and also get to know that you have some idea of what you think you'll want later, without having to commit to that AND without having that challenged by wannabe-psychics.
Member # 42492
posted 09-20-2010 09:50 PM
Although, really all that is more of my reason of being wary about the idea of romantic relationships. My reasons for not wanting to have children are probably more similar to what yours might have been- that I just don't see myself as a mother, nor do I have the desire to step into that mother role.