Afraid of perpetuating abuse

  • 7 Replies
  • 1226 Views
*

Widdiful Falling

  • Member
  • 163
  • There are hills and valleys in life. Keep going.
    • View Profile
Afraid of perpetuating abuse
« on: March 18, 2015, 09:19:30 AM »
Does anyone else find themselves afraid to have children because of the abuse they've been through? If you have kids, how did you work past the CPTSD, and the bad lessons your parents taught you?

I ask because, although my SO said that he's okay if I can't/don't want to have kids, he would prefer to have them. I told him I'm still undecided. I know he loves me, and he's very forward-thinking, but to my knowledge, this is one of those things that hits people harder than they thought once it's finalized. I'm really afraid that if I don't start a family with him that he's going to have an existential crisis somewhere down the line, and it'll be all my fault because I'm broken, and shouldn't have been anywhere near a relationship with someone normal like him, anyway. My mother wanted to end the cycle of abuse, and only ended up furthering it. I don't want to do the same. I would rather never have kids than subject them to a life like I had.

*

marycontrary

  • Member
  • 204
    • View Profile
Re: Afraid of perpetuating abuse
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2015, 10:09:28 AM »
OMG yes.  :bighug:

*

keepfighting

  • Member
  • 409
  • I'm not broken just bent
    • View Profile
Re: Afraid of perpetuating abuse
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2015, 11:51:38 AM »
Sometimes the best parent you can be is not to have any kids.

That doesn't mean that I think you don't have the potential to be a good parent. It's good that you are honest to yourself and your SO about this subject; if anything, this honesty and knowing your limitations has the potential to make you a great parent and ask for the help you need in raising your kids.

I have 2 kids myself with a big age gap in between. When my oldest was about two years old, I sought T and found a good one who helped me a lot. Raising kids and not continuing the cycle of abuse was something my T and I frequently discussed and she helped me develop the confidence to believe that I could break the cycle and make a good enough parent.

It's a tough decision but I think that you are being a responsible parent already by the way you're tackling this - whether you'll end up having kids of your own or not.  :thumbup:

Re: Afraid of perpetuating abuse
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2015, 01:11:11 PM »
I've got two kids, and I knew about my PTSD before I decided to become pregnant. The thing that made me decide to take the plunge was simply the fact that I love life and find much to enjoy in it, even though it IS difficult to live with CPTSD. So I thought that life itself would be something my kids would also appreciate, even if it meant having to work through quite a bit of trauma handed from my great-grandmother to my grandmother to my mother to me to them.

But even so, having kids and raising them is exhausting. That's something worth considering. If there are enough resources for you, enough support, then why not. If you could say: "I'm struggling, I need someone to babysit so I can meditate/journal/get therapy/sleep", and it would work out, then okay. If not, things might become very difficult very quickly.

I wouldn't become pregnant out of a sense of obligation. Never. Even non-traumatized women very often decide that motherhood isn't for them. From what you say, you're not 'too broken' to make your partner happy: you're simply too realistic to plunge head-first into a lifetime commitment that's one of the biggest and most serious tasks anyone can face. No reason at all to feel guilty. It's just plain common sense. If your partner so wishes for children, would he be willing to take over childcare, maybe even be a stay-at-home Dad? If not, there isn't much reason for you to feel guilty if you too can't picture yourself becoming a full-time parent. You have a very good reason to be wary of that level of commitment and stress.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 01:14:27 PM by schrödinger's cat »

*

C.

  • Member
  • 1029
  • Learning from reciprocity as I heal from CPTSD.
    • View Profile
Re: Afraid of perpetuating abuse
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2015, 11:30:23 PM »
I know a couple of people who've made that decision and are at peace with their decision.

I had my kids before I was aware or symptomatic of cptsd.  But, I worked in the parenting/early childhood field so I educated myself a lot.  I remember when I learned through training that yelling was just as painful as slaps to kids.  My daughter was 3 yo. and I'd yelled a few times a week.  But, I stopped.  I apologized to her.  My daughter is now an adult and she's doing well.  I have a teen aged son.  I think that both of my kids are much more emotionally aware and skillful than I ever was at their ages.  Sometimes having an example of what NOT to do really helps with parenting.  Like I knew I would always show empathy when my kids experienced pain, no shaming, correcting or ignoring.  I think my point is that many of us with cptsd can parent very well.  But it's also sometimes quite triggering...the behaviors of my kids, exposing them to my FOO, etc. 

You sound aware, so whatever you decide I see it will work out.

Personally it seems best to me to have children when there is a "yes" to wanting to have them.  Ambivalence can lead to challenges later on.  So thinking about the decision more in depth, discussing it with others, and educating yourself are a great first step that you've already begun.  I've no doubt you could be a wonderful parent, it's likely the ICr that's telling you, you cannot.  But whether you want to do so and the other layers to the question are up to you...

Re: Afraid of perpetuating abuse
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2015, 07:48:43 AM »
Sometimes having an example of what NOT to do really helps with parenting.  Like I knew I would always show empathy when my kids experienced pain, no shaming, correcting or ignoring.  I think my point is that many of us with cptsd can parent very well.  But it's also sometimes quite triggering...the behaviors of my kids, exposing them to my FOO, etc. 

Same here.

*

Charlotte

  • Member
  • 19
    • View Profile
Re: Afraid of perpetuating abuse
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2015, 09:38:26 PM »
This forum is such a blessing.  I have a 10 yr old son.  I worry often that my Having cptsd will hurt him too, but it's kept me on a path of learning that has allowed me to be really present for him.  And it's forced me to speak up a lot about my concerns too with my SO.  I don't find a lot of support from other parents though, many of us are superficial. 

I'm even somewhat ok with the helicopter parent label, because we probably have a good sense of what our kids can handle emotionally.  It's not that hard, for most I believe, to know how to respond to a child seeking love, affection and tenderness. 

Repair is a newish parenting concept for me.  After a conflict or discipline, stay with the interaction long enough to remind a child they are loved.  Not always easy but my parents were poor at this.

Keep sharing ideas!

*

lonewolf

  • Member
  • 77
    • View Profile
Re: Afraid of perpetuating abuse
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2015, 05:12:33 AM »
I'm 47 and never had kids because I didn't think I was capable of being a good parent. It comes with the territory sometimes. If I knew then what I know now (10 or 15 years ago) I would have wanted to have them. Stay open to it.