IF has changed my feelings about a lot of things–control, my body, my future, people poking my tender parts with objects–and many of those changes are positive. I’m actually glad to lose a bit of my modesty, and I recognize that I had to learn the lesson about not being in control of everything at some point. I do feel I’ve learned enough lessons and should get to have a child now, but okay. The effect has been negative, however, when it comes to my feelings about my mother. I understand that many people have mothers who are actually awful, and that I should be thankful for my mother’s good qualities and shut up. But I spent most of my life being thankful for my mother’s good qualities and would now like to take some time to be angry at her.
Between the time I was four and the time I was ten, my mother had three unplanned pregnancies. She had an abortion the first time, gave the second child up for adoption, and kept the last baby, my wonderful little brother. I could write about how heartbreaking it must have been for her, but this post is about ME and MY FEELINGS. These pregnancies made things so much harder for myself and my older brother. The details are boring, but trust me when I say my childhood would have been less scary, more secure, and more stable if she hadn’t gotten knocked up so often.
My mother believes that whatever happens is for the best. It’s not that I don’t buy into that at all–I do agree on some level. I know that we can’t foresee the consequences of seemingly negative events, bad can lead to good, etc. But it’s kind of a retrospective way to live your life. Plus, that attitude allowed her not to take responsibility for choices she made, and for the impact of those choices on my life. If everything sucked, well, that was somehow for the best. It’s hard to acknowledge that one has erred if whatever happens is for the best.
When I joined the ranks of the infertile I was already pissed off at her for getting pregnant so easily and so often. It was like she’d used up our family’s allotment of pregnancies and had somehow ripped me off. When I stupidly told her that we were having trouble conceiving, she said, I can’t pray that you get pregnant. I can only ask that what’s meant to happen will happen.
This comment might not read as deeply hurtful, but it hurt me deeply. You don’t get to say things like that to your child–you’re not allowed to say I can’t ask that you get what you want. Sorry. It’s not part of my belief system. And rather than saying nothing at all, I’m going to say something that highlights the already very salient fact that you may never get what you want! You’re not entitled to what you want!
It’s odd to want to be a mother so badly at at time when I’m so angry at my own. If I get to have children, I may make mistakes far worse than hers. But I’ll never refuse to hope that some reasonable request of my child’s is fulfilled. And I’m not sure I’ll ever entirely forgive her for that comment.