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  1. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Currently on the west side of the U.S.
    Posts
    417
    Also, absolutely everyone's terrified of turning into their mother. You're not alone.
    Hahahaha! Just had to add that Emmabobemma could not be more right about that!!! I've been in therapy since I was 19 (I'm 34) specifically so that won't happen.
    Christine

    Pregnancy #1: lost to mc, 10/11

    Amelia Joelle arrived on 11/28/13 at 7 pounds, 4 ounces of pure beauty. Couldn't be happier to finally be mommy!

  2. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    968
    First of all, I want to give you a huge internet hug (!!) along with major props for being so honest with yourself and others about your emotions. It's not easy to face our feelings, especially if they cause us shame. I was in an abusive relationship as well, before I met my husband, and while every experience is completely different, I can empathize at least somewhat, and my heart goes out to you! When we come out of a sustained period of trauma like that, it takes a huge toll on our self-perception. I'm so glad you have a loving stable relationship with a good man who cares about you. Having a safe place to release those old hurts goes a long way toward facilitating the healing process!

    In regards to the body-image thing...it sounds like things in your past have made you place a higher value on your appearance than on who you are as a person. Even deeper than thinking positive thoughts, I think it helps to find other things that give you a sense of worth and value...the more core to your personality the better! One of the most important things I've been learning in my own recovery is that my "radar" is skewed...things that I would admire or praise in someone else, I don't naturally notice in myself; things I would never say to someone or use against them, I beat myself up over. The golden rule of "treat others how you want to be treated" almost needs to be flipped on its head: "treat yourself how you would treat your loved ones." If you would be gentle with them, be gentle with yourself. If you would admire a certain trait in them, like a caring heart, the ability to think logically under pressure, or a passion for a certain cause...admire that in yourself. When applied to the motherhood thing...I think of it like this: that womanly body that makes you feel good about yourself, that makes you feel valued...it gives you the ability to do something remarkable - nurture and sustain a life, bring a child into this world, create another human being! That's breathtaking to think about. Rather than being something that robs you of your value as a woman, it can further empower your womanhood by carrying you into the next stage of a woman's life, motherhood. (By this I don't mean that one must be a mother to be a woman! But it's true that fertility is quite symbolic of femininity, and that can be very nourishing and empowering for your woman's heart.)

    Along that line, I found this website to be very inspiring: http://theshapeofamother.com/. If you're uncomfortable with nude photography it may not be a good option for you, but it's not pornographic or sexual. It's an honest and tender look at the bodies of mothers of all ages both during and after pregnancy. I find it unearthly beautiful and meaningful to think that each mark that society might call ugly or unsightly is proof of a mother's love and of a woman's power to bring a child into this world.

    I hope this is helpful to you! Very best wishes to you on your journey to recover from the past and embrace your ability to choose your future
    Zion Nathaniel ~ Solomon Fable ~ Balthazar Wolf ~ Malachi Sparrow nn Kai ~ Tobias Rowan ~ Endymion _____ nn Ender ~ Caspian _____
    Alice Willow ~ Ophelia Wren ~ Lucia Pearl ~ Eve Wisteria nn Evie ~ Cosima Rose ~ River _____

    GPs
    Narnia Rose, Luna Seraphine, Astoria nn Story, Illyria, Serafina, Soraya, Faerydae
    Orion Melchior North, Tobias Loki, Edmund, Frost, Oberon, Kenshin, Remiel, Atreyu

  3. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    763
    I am 25 and don't have kids. I have the same hangups about my body.

    There is no reason to have kids if don't want to. None.

    I think you should try some meditation, and yes maybe talk to a counselor figure out what you really want.

    As a society we are not supportive enough of people who do not wish to have children. I think it's very brave choice.

    I think you should try to separate your feelings about your family from the decision to have kids. I know what it's like to have a negative family. Maybe a little time spent away from them would be a good idea.

    As someone who struggles with her weight, I think the issue is very real. Not all women lose the weight after the baby born. Some women struggle with losing weight. Yes you can control it to a certain extent, but don't listen to people who say it's easily fixed. They may not understand what you're going through. Some people naturally put on weight. It's harder for people who don't to understand. My mother and my aunts all struggle with their weight and they have naturally put on a lot of the weight they have from pregnancy over the years. It's something you will probably have to struggle with your whole life. Our society puts a value on women who are thin.
    It's hard. (On the other, you will probably have to struggle with your weight regardless of having a baby)

    I don't think you should have a baby just because someone else wants you to.

    I think the biggest clue lies in the fact you've been married 12 years and put this off for so long. I think if you really wanted kids, you would have had them already. Instead you put it off to the point where it's now-or-never and maybe not even now. I don't think you should rush into a decision, and I respect for not already doing so but 12 years? Among other things, I have known women who have had babies totally naturally at your age, but have also known women who need a lot of fertility treatments when they reach your age.
    (My mother was one, and my aunt has a friend who had one child at about your age and tried for years for kid #2 only to eventually adopt the second at age 50.)

    Just because you don't have kids doesn't mean you will be alone in your old age. Kids eventually move away and lead their own lives. (Ask my grandmothers) I don't think that's a good reason to have kids.

    I think you know in your heart you don't want them, which is why you put the decision off for sometime.

    I think if you decide to have kids. Don't go into it with any illusions.
    a) it may be difficult to get pregnant
    b) you will gain weight and your body will change
    c) you will constantly be responsible for a little one who is constantly dependent on you
    d) they will move out and there will be times when you hear/see less from them

    I think seeing a counselor particularly one who understands the issue here is a good idea. I think if you really wanted kids you wouldn't have put off while being in a stable relationship for over a decade.

    Good luck!

  4. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    5
    Thank you all so much for your kind words. I am so grateful for your advice.

  5. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    5
    Part of why we put off having kids was due to to my problems, but a major factor was that we spent ten stressful years trying to make ends meet with two of us working five jobs and barely being able to pay the mortgage. Now that my husband has a full time pastor job and I don't have to work, life is much happier for both of us (I was not a pleasant person to be around when I was teaching; loved the students, hated grading papers.). This is really the first time in our lives that having kids was ever a serious consideration, and honestly, I spent a lot of time avoiding thinking about out of fear.

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