I Like Kids, I'm not infertile, but I can't have any!

I'm a 27 year old female in a stable, loving relationship. I find that in my current land of residence no-one quizzes me about whether I want to have children or not. No-one is ever that rude or that nosy. However, when I go home to the States, I get asked about it quite often. It bugs the hell out of me. The worst thing is that I can't really tell them why (even though it's none of their beeswax anyway). But I can blab it to the internet.

Just for clarification I left the USA when I was very young indeed. I go back to visit what remains of my extended family. This is where the problem is.

I do like kids. I work with teenagers for a living. I don't interact with the little ones NEARLY as often, but I usually enjoy doing so. Adults wear masks that have cemented into place so firmly that they can never be removed. Kids are less inhibited, less bitter and guilty and find more things to enjoy rather than b*tch about. Not that this is always the case. It's just how I perceive things and perceptions should never be harped upon as truth.

Here's what I do know for sure. The reason why I don't want kids? My genes. Alcoholism, gambling problems, drug dependency, depression and personality disorders of all kinds run through BOTH sides of my family. Most of us turn into total trainwrecks of some kind. My partner's family has a streak of almost psychotic violence in it that can be traced back for generations. My family has always hid the most terrible degradations behind a clean-cut facade. You could never imagine how many ways a human being can really be dehumanised by addiction or insanity. You could never understand it until you'd seen it unfold before you! Let Philip Larkin explain:

"They **** you up, your mum and dad
They may not mean it, but they do
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you
But they were f**ked up in their turn
By fools in old-time hats and coats
Who half the time were soppy stern
And half at one another's throats

Man hands misery on to man
It deepens like a coastal shelf
Get out early as you can
And don't have any kids yourself."

I couldn't ever burden a child with our unfortunate genetic heritage. There's plenty of children out there as need a home- if I'm ever wanting a kid at all, I'll adopt one. 

kriemhild85 kriemhild85
3 Responses May 5, 2012

This is nothing to do with Phillip Larkin's childhood. It might be fun for you to display some knowledge but I think what he said about his mum and dad is true for many of us- whether or not we had political parents. Everyone living is affected by their parents and noone is perfect? Thus the poem.

And why HUMBLED???!?!??!???! that hacks me off. I don't think it's necessary that you should be "humbled". However maybe I am the one who is wrong- American English is developing differently to the English I understand. I think "humbled" means something in America. I just wish I knew what it was. In my usage of English humbled means that you feel small and have to pay homage. That can't be what that person meant. O woe- I might have been born in the States but I can't hack your dialect or your lifestyle or your country!

Fascism has already come to the States. It carries a flag and a bible- but it also works in subtler ways; poisoning minds by working on prejudices. I WON'T have a child because of my miserable genetic heritage. That's my choice. To have kids or not have kids- to abort or to go through with it or to use the pill or whatever. That is up to the parents or maybe-parents to decide. It's a sensitive choice and genetic history is a dicey thing. I doubt any of you know about die, die als Lebensunfaehig ausgerottet sind.

I don't. Think Larkin enjoyed his childhood very much. His father was a tad eccentric to say the least. He was Treasurer (or something fairly high-up) in Coventry City Hall before the war, and had Nazi memorabilia on display in his office. It was sometimes suggested to him that he not display his political sympathies in this way. He *eventually* complied with the suggestions and removed the Nazi tat from his office. In 1939.No wonder Larkin said 'they f*** you up'!...

I am so humbled by your approach. Not many people realize the genetic link to many of those conditions, and there is scientific research to determine the degree in which nature vs nurture plays a role. I am in full support of you adopting, as there are so many children that lack homes because of the risky decisions of their parents, or lack of ability to support their children. Don't let what people say to you knock you down. It takes a strong person to come to the understanding that you have. I am a nurse, and working in the hospital I see far too many patients that are there because they followed down the same road as their parents, grandparents, and siblings. Thank you for sharing, and know that you are supported.