Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Procreative Ponderings

I love babies. And kids. Teenagers, not as much, but I reckon if I grew one I would be attached enough not to kill it at the first sign of rebellion. At least, that's what I thought before my head turned against me. My anger has since become a flash fire. An instantaneous, rageriffic, mad-athon that usually results in me saying something awful or crying. Or both. I don't plan on raising kids with deep emotional scars, so this could be a problem.

My rock of a boyfriend takes the brunt of it. He's used to outbursts from women (he has sisters), and he assures me that my anger is nothing that he is worried about and that he understands. I believe him. I apologize if I lose control and he accepts it and forgives me easily. He considers my circumstances and doesn't take it personally. A child couldn't do that. Hell, my dog can't do that. When I raise my voice at all, she shakes and hides. Her behavior is not entirely my fault, she's done that since the first day we got her, long before my headaches let my anger get the best of me. She gets over it in a few minutes. Gets her rope toy and plays fetch with us like it never happened. It's not the same with a kid, though. Children remember. People are all made up of every experience they've ever had. If a person's mother isn't as much of a mother as she should be, the child suffers. The person suffers.

I have a brother who is on the cusp of adolescence. When my head hurts and he starts in, with whining or righteous indignation or whatever mood this next phase of puberty will bring about, it's good that I am just his sister and not the one who is responsible for him 24-7. I can do all the fun stuff when I feel good and then take off if he gets moody or if my head says it's time for quiet. Those times of mandatory avoidance are, well, mandatory. I'm afraid of what he would see if he saw me in real pain. I don't want to scare him. I don't want to be responsible for him feeling anything other than happiness and light and my pain is neither of those.

People with chronic pain have kids all the time. They take care of their families and many of them work full time, as well. I feel woefully inadequate compared to these people. Taking care of myself feels impossible some days. I wonder if that parental adrenaline would kick in, you know, the stuff that makes a mother able to lift a car to free her trapped child. But maybe I could get a low, prolonged dose. Just enough to keep me driving to soccer practice and able to enjoy birthday parties.

Fantasies of miraculous healing as a side effect of parenting aside, I worry that I am too weak to be a mother. Or too broken. I'm not giving up on the idea of being a parent, but I feel I should accept that it may never be something I am sure about. There's a chance that I'll never be fixed. There's a chance I could get worse. And there's a chance that being a mother will become the most important priority, despite head state.


Sue said...

My boys were well into their twenties and on their own by the time my migraines hit, but I've often wondered how the chronic pain might have affected them had it begun sooner.

Thanks for posting this good food for thought.

Jasmine said...

Wow, I could have wrote this myself. There was a period when I was very explosive due to chronic pain, but in my case a lot of it had to do with a toxic, emotionally-draining friendship I was in, as well as my diet, medication and overall attitude. I also had a bad habit of taking on everything myself, but now I've learned to involve my husband without nagging.

We used to think we could never have children because of my pain and anger, but through the past couple years I've made peace with myself, so we've been more open to the idea.

I no longer feel inferior to others who live with pain and have children, or even to those who don't live with pain. I'm grateful that I waited until we were ready (many parents don't, whether they live with pain or not).