Growing up LDS, family was (and still is) always at the center of my attention. However, a lot of the time, I felt like I had to be a certain way. I had to graduate high school, get married and start your family. Because I’ve followed two thirds of that plan, people are incredibly confused when I tell them I don’t plan to follow through with the last third of the plan.
“Oh, you’ll grow out of it. It’s just a phase.”
I had a difficult childhood. I love my parents and know that they tried their best to provide for me, but we had a lot of challenges thrown our way. Right after my mom had my youngest brother (nearly ten years after I was born) my father became chronically ill. My mom spent a lot of time helping him and providing for our family as best she could. That often meant my family needed me to help out with my siblings, work around the house and generally just making sure that our family was taken care of. Add to that my friends mother died while I was still in the house and I think it’s safe to say I had a traumatizing childhood.
Because of this, I don’t think I can have children. I have doubts on whether I’m physically capable of having children, but that’s not the point. I don’t believe I’m mentally capable of having children.
This often sheds light on a lot of societal failings. Many people believe that mental illness is made up, that it’s not a real thing and that people can just get over it. That is false. The brain is one of our most important organs, and just like we can have other diseases in other organs, the brain has a lot of capability of developing illness.
Now, add to that the fact that in my religion, we are taught that children are first children of God and they deserve our utmost respect and care. I believe that people should take care to make sure that they can mentally, physically and spiritually provide for their children and there are some people who I believe should not have had children. Many live on the streets and starve because people either can’t help them or don’t care. And while others have parents, they just aren’t present in their lives. I know that because of problems I have, I cannot give a child what it needs. Add to that the thought of having my own children gives me major panic attacks, and you can see why I have chosen not to have them.
I read another blog post that prompted me to write this. They have different issues, but came across the same mindset of following the mold. I highly recommend giving this a read.
Most of all, I love the passage below.
“As I’ve said, family planning is super personal. Just remember that asking someone you don’t know too well about when they are going to have kids is far more personal than asking how much credit card debt they have. You have no idea what the couple is going through in that area of their lives.
Don’t ask. It’s frankly none of your business. It’s as personal as asking how often they make love, and you’d never dream of asking that question. So don’t ask, let them bring it up if it comes up.”
This applies to my situation too. I don’t know how to answer the question, because my answer has been rejected. Denying truth will never change it.
All I ask is that you please respect what I’ve told you. This is a personal issue, one that I feel needs attention in my community. Families can consist of husband and wife and be just as valid.