Monday, 9 October 2017

Shedding desire

A quote from the article I mentioned last week has been repeated in a number of places in our community this last week or so, with many people agreeing that the “ desire to have a child never goes away.”

I’m now 14 years on from knowing definitively that I would never have a child (or I will be in 11 days), and I feel that passage of time; I’m now in my 50s, I’ve had a hysterectomy and I’m in menopause, and whilst I might have regrets that I didn’t have a child, given my age I wouldn’t want to have a child now, even if it were possible.

The problem with the desire to have a child is that in my case it is an unrequited longing which could only lead to disappointment and feelings of loss, inadequacy and pain. Frankly, I’ve had enough longing and disappointment and pain over this issue, and I will not allow anything in my life that is going to prolong this, or to make me feel lesser, simply because I wasn’t able to have children.

So I don’t, I can’t, I won't allow myself to feel the desire to have a child, as I don’t see that it could achieve anything except to make me feel bad, and why would I want that?

There’s a difference between having once wanted something when it was a very reasonable possibility, and still wanting it when you know there is no possibility of it ever happening. To those of you who still feel that desire, maybe it will help to know that as time passes, as acceptance grows, as our bodies change, it is easier to shed it. It is gradually replaced with acceptance, with our desires for more achievable goals, and by quests that will help us feel good, worthy, happy, and free.


8 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear you have reached this point of acceptance. It would certainly give hope to others just starting that path. I can see how focusing on what you are missing doesn't help and would just make you feel worse. Thinking about all the things you do have and being happy is a much better outlook.

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  2. It sounds freeing to reach the point of acceptance without desire. I can't really imagine at this point not feeling the sharp pain of the loss of the life we wanted but could not achieve. I can see accepting that our life is different, and making it the best life we can possibly have, but I don't know if I could shed the desire for what didn't happen. Is it acceptance still if you can love the life you have but still mourn the alternative one you lost when those moments present themselves? Interesting post to think on!

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  3. I think what you speak of is very possible, but it requires a bit of work. The first part is going through the grieving process and allowing oneself to heal from infertility. The second part that you talk about comes from that. It’s not that you are denying anything, but more that you are actively looking forward and finding a way to raise above. Inspirational to think about.

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  4. I haven't reached the point where I can honestly say that I don't ever have the desire to have a child. Most of the time I don't. The vast majority of time, actually. But every so often, something will catch me the right way and I long for what could have been. It's always fleeting and I recover faster then I would have a few years ago. But it hasn't gone away altogether.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this perspective. Distance and time often change things.

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  6. I hear you... the passage of time does soften things. I wish I could silence the tug at my heartstrings sometimes, usually most prevalent around certain family orientated times of the year. Perhaps that will fade with time too, or perhaps it won't - I don't let it define who I am though, if that makes sense? It's just an intrinsic part of me and I'm comfortable with it.

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  7. I guess the statement is very broad, maybe too broad. I think you don't want just any child, you wanted a very specific child, from when you were trying. Especially when there was a beginning of a pregnancy. I know my perspective is different. My original dream was to have 4 kids. My outcome is 2 parttime stepkids, one girl and one disappeared twin/miscarriage. So yes, I still have the desire that the twin would have made it. But that is not the same as 'a' child. I hope this makes any sense, sorry if I didn't (and/or misunderstood)

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  8. "There’s a difference between having once wanted something when it was a very reasonable possibility, and still wanting it when you know there is no possibility of it ever happening." I totally agree with you, Mali, and I had the same thoughts when I was reading others' responses. I certainly did want a child, and I wish things had worked out differently -- but they didn't. I am still sad from time to time that I never got parent, but would I want a child NOW, at this point in my life? No... as I remember writing on my blog once, I know that ship has LONG since sailed! The time for raising children has passed. I think maybe age, crossing the threshold into our 50s, does give us some perspective. I did secretly hope for that miracle baby long after we stopped infertility treatments when I was 40... but the further from 40 I got, the more I realized that it really was NOT going to happen... and did I really want to be a mother now, at this late stage of my life? (Ummmm, no.)

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