I have made a decision.
I don't want to have biological children.
I'm sure it helps that it's not as easy for me as it is for most, and that my (sorry-excuse-for-a) mother convinced me to tie my tubes at eighteen years old, so I couldn't pass on my "issues" to any biological children. However, something inside me is shifting, fast and hard, and I'm barely managing to keep up with it all.
First, I think I'm finally accepting the idea of life with Post-Traumatic Stress and some BPD symptoms. Despite these issues, and maybe in some ways because of them- and the fact that neither are considered uniformly genetic- I am coming to terms with the fact that my past frigging SUCKS. My mother, another child, two different adult men and a 13 year old boy changed the path of my life, and took away a lot of happiness for me- but where they tried to leave a void, something else has begun to grow. It's big, it's tough and it's real scary, but I think it's a future.
I don't want to spend another minute obsessing over in-vitro fertilization or birth plans. I have spent so much energy hating that I wouldn't just find out that I was pregnant some day, when, all that time, the woman that looked back at me in the mirror was a child born of that situation. I was, if you ask my mother, an "oops" baby, although she said that about my younger sister at one point then changed her mind. I was a baby born to two married parents who had been together for over a decade. A DECADE!! That's unheard of these days! Two years later, they divorced, and it got worse from there. Why, why WHY HAVE I BEEN SO STUCK on having a child the same way my mother did? Giving birth does not make a mother, let alone a fit one! It's so cliche to say that there are so many kids out there who are unwanted and why not give one a home.... but, dude, I was one of them!!! My mother put me in foster care at one point, and that was the least abuse I underwent!
Why should I do it her way? Why should I work so hard to undo what my mother imposed on me, when I could keep someone else out of that situation? The two biggest positive influences on my childhood were my stepdad, who never had biological children, but was quick to take care of my sister and I as his own, and my babysitter, Grandma Vera, who was- you got it- a foster mother. She adopted two of her foster children- at least two. The two people who made it possible for me to be as happy as I was when I was little were people who took care of OTHER people's children.
How did I miss this all this time?!
I was talking to my friend C who's teenage sister is pregnant with an unwanted child right now in another state, and I started talking to my husband, and considering the possibility of interracial, open adoption. Then I stumbled across a blog post titled Teenage Boys Aren't Meant To Live At Home and, at about the point the author says that everyone, if they're honest, wishes they could have the easier life of a biological child, it hit me: I don't do anything the easy way, and that's what I've been trying to do here- and, go figure, it hasn't worked. Yes, it WOULD be easier (and probably cheaper) to go through in-vitro, and have "our own" child, but a child who has never known abandonment, who has never known contempt and abuse and who only knows unconditional love.... Can I handle that? Unconditional love is a foreign language to me in so many ways. I still demand my husband explain why he loves me and why he stays with me some days. What about having a child "naturally" would be right in this situation? When all I've known is abuse, when all I can relate to is fear, would I really do more good than harm for a son or daughter who didn't know that life?
I work best under pressure- and I think I've finally found the challenge I've been craving my entire life- loving an unloved, unwanted child. What took me so long?