In my idealized world, I would be able to express my opinions without getting o ton of pushback every time. To be clear, I’m not talking about truly reprehensible opinions such as “All (kind of animals) should be killed.” or “(Group of people who can’t change who they are) should not be allowed to live.”
I’m talking about opinions such as “You don’t have to have children to be a good adult person (specifically woman)” or “I don’t want to get married.” Things that don’t affect anyone other than me is basically what I mean. Decades after I got flack for stating that I did not want kids–
I want to emphasize once again that I never brought it up on my own bceause it simply didn’t enter my mind. As I’ve said, it’s the same as if I would mention that I didn’t play the harp–which would be weird. We normally don’t bring up things we aren’t or don’t have unless it’s to complain about not having it.
I get that having kids is in a category of its own. I’m not trying to diminish it by comparing it to playing or having a harp. My point is that I think about not having kids about as often as I think about not playing the harp–which is never.
Honestly, the only time I think about not having children is when I write posts about it. I was relieved when I realized that I didn’t have to have children, and it’s still the best decision I ever made in my life.
I am an indecisive person. I can regret what I choose to have for breakfast. The only time I had even an inkling of doubt about my decision not to have kids was when my mother was badgering me for the millionth time about it, and I thought for a brief second, “I should have a kid so she’ll shut the fuck up about it!” I was filled with such rage, but I managed to swallow it as I always did, plus I realized that having a kid to shut my mother up was a terrible idea.
I teeter between the idea of having one umbrella channel and different subjects for different days as I mentioned in the last post, and having separate channels. I know what the righ thing to do is–the latter. I talked about how it’s good to have a niche and flog it mercilessly. Right now, my mind is pretty occupied with my father lost in dementia.
There was a question into Slate…Dear Prudence I want to say from a man who had been taking care of his parents for decades. First his father until he died and now his mother. Sounds like Huntington’s (that came from the comments). He works full-time and claims to do over half the chores at home (which I doubt beacuse he included washing the floors which is not a daily or even weekly task–they don’t have children). He would go to his mother’s house every day after work and do what needed to be done for hours. His wife used to help out, but she and his mother would scream at each other. He told his wife to take a break, but now he wants her to get back to it. He said in the last three times she tried to help out, she and his mother ended up screaming at each other.
The comments were mostly on the side of the wife, but there were a dedicated few who were clutching their pearls that the hellbitch of a wife would dare scream at her MIL who was suffering dementia/Huntington’s/etc.
How DARE she?!
Well, I shouted at my father who has dementia–twice. Both times it was because he was yelling at my mother and making her cry. He was berating her and accusing her of stealing his money. He shouted that she was keeping him a slave as she cried. My father is almost 6 feet tall and probably 175 lbs. My mom is 5’2″ and a good sixty pounds lighter. He could snap her like a twig if he were so inclined. I’m not afraid of him physically, but that’s because I have practiced Taiji for seventeen years.
I’ve done it once before and it was also because he was screaming at my mother and making her feel afraid/cry. It was effective in gettnig him to shut up, which was my goal. Sometimes, you have to bully a bully, which is what he is and always have been. As one person in the comments of the Slate column said, maybe the mom was an asshole all her life (paraphrasing) and the DIL was sick of it. And, yeah. I will admit I took the wife’s side.
Other commenters pointed out that the letter writer (LW) probably had been warped to believe that his duty in life was to take care of his parents. It started when he was 19! I could empathize with him to a certain point, too, but he needed to get out. His mother refused to go to a home and said she would die in her own house–and that they would have to take her out dead.
The few people who castigated the wife for yelling at the MIL clearly had never talked to someone they were intimate with who had dementia for an extended period of time. That’s a terrible sentence, but I hope you get what I mean. It’s draining. It’s brutal. And I have heard stories of the caregiver snapping and being cruel to the person with dementia.
Because it’s draining, brutal, and difficult. Plus, and I cannot say this enough, some. people. with. dementia. are. assholes. My father was an asshole. My father is an asshole. My father will always be an asshole. This is a truth that we cannot say out loud, I guess. Once someone gets dementia, then they are an angel.
I want to talk about that. I also want to talk about how much my relationship with my parents deteriorated since my death. But, weirdly, my relationship with my mother has become bearable in the last few weeks as my father gets worse. Not because I love her any more or because I feel closer to her, but because I feel sorry for her. I want to be able to talk about all this. But it’s not all I want to talk about–my family issues, I mean.
I contain multitudes. I want to be able to share that with the world. I know that isn’t realistic, but so be it.