When I was a child, all I wanted was to be a wife and a Mom. At 44, I am neither and that’s ok. It’s taken a long time to be OK with it, but it’s how it’s supposed to be. Before I understood the myriad of things that are wrong with me neurologically, I always knew something was wrong. I knew I was different.
I wanted to be a Mom so my mom would never, ever have access to those kids. I never wanted them to feel like they weren’t worthy or less than or not good enough. If they did have a problem, neurological, psychiatric, whichever, I sure as hell wasn’t going to bury my head in the sand and do nothing or worse yet make fun of them.
It’s true, for the extent of things wrong with me neurologically on paper I am higher functioning than most would think. It’s the little things like balance, coordination, riding a bike, tying shoes, figuring out which side was which on a school uniform that were exasperating and I had no idea how everyone else understood it. Whether by choice or by chance, I usually ended up being closest to the smartest girls, but in the end they were never loyal. I was a friend, a best friend until parties came up, maids of honor were needed, then I wasn’t as close as we thought. I’m also not a competitor by nature. If I’m your friend, I did not understand (and still don’t) rubbing someone’s face in how many kids you have, cars you have, money you drive, etc. It’s not a pissing contest. Can’t we all just support each other and be happy in whatever life brings us? I suppose that’s a lot to ask.
Dating has had a few highs and lots of lows. So I thought I found my military prince at 19. He was 21. My man I thought I would run away with. He told me he loved me, sent me flowers, and treated me like every young woman in love wants to be treated. I was in the stars and clouds, then I miscarried and he deployed. I was the most thin I’d ever been in years, size 10. No one ever knew about the miscarriage, not a soul until a few months ago.
In that relationship, no one made fun of me, called me names, or put me down. There is a first time for everything. I have been told even if I was thin, I’m not pretty. A former male friend I would go out with in college was fine to be seen with me alone, but would ditch me in public. But shame on me – I tolerated it. Over and over I heard, said person looks at you like there is no one else in the room. He did, as long as he didn’t have his friends around, then I was too odd, too heavy, not cute enough, his words, exactly.
My own nieces and nephew were brought up to believe I am crazy. I was good to use as a babysitter, but I was called weird, off, odd, I smell, by their mother and mine.
I wouldn’t bring in another child into that (loving) environment and run the risk of them feeling the rejection and self-hatred. No one has the right to do that to another person whether they have epilepsy or not, depression or not, and in my case it was a blessing not to be able to have kids. There are too many people I’d have to explain that don’t love me for me, and that makes no sense.
I’ve had the chance to be Mom for a while to more college freshmen than I can count. I’ve wiped tears, made some not so happy sons and daughters empty out kegs and reminded them better me than the Dean, cried with young women after breakups, laughed with freshmen who had NO IDEA who shot JR and made me swear not to tell as they watched for the first time. So, while these were not mine, for a while they were and for that I will always be grateful.