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Not Wanting Children Anymore

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Growing up I always wanted to be like my mom. She was your regular stay at home housewife but she was amazing. Every night was a homemade meal, she cleaned my room, took me on special mommy daughter days and especially was always there for me. She has always been the most loving caring awesome mom ever and I wanted to be just like her. My boyfriend and I have been together for five years and have always talked about wanting a family. Im 22 now, and three days before my birthday this past January my older brother died unexpectedly. He was my only sibling. Since then we have learned of some health conditions he had but we were unaware about it. My mom also has high blood pressure and has had two strokes in the past three years, the last being the day before my brother died. Drug addiction and alcoholism also runs in my family. Because of our ( lack of a better word ) crappy genes, I really don't think I want biological children ever. I take the precautionary steps to avoid this of course, but the more I think about it I don't think I can ever have children. I can't bear the thought of losing them. I feel consumed by my mothers grief as well as my own because every ounce of pain I feel, she feels 10 million times as much. I feel like I can't invest in anyone new. I already have my family and any more is just more grief in the future. Does anyone feel similar?

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I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. My brother died 7 weeks ago, and it is devastating. For me, he was my much younger brother. I was nearly 15 when he was born, and I took care of him a lot. I never had children, so he was the closest thing to my child. I'm crying and crying every day, I can't believe he's gone. It was sudden, he was killed in a car crash, and we don't know exactly what happened or even why he was 150 miles away from where he was supposed to be that day.

I would say what you are feeling is normal. Over time, you may feel differently, but wanting to protect yourself from more pain is natural. Just take it one step at a time. They say you should not make any major decisions for at least a year after a major loss like this.

In my family, alcoholism and cancer are prevalent. Yet my mother is 84 and healthy, and my aunt is 90. You never know how long someone will live. And loving means you risk loss. But living without love is worse, in my opinion. It's just very hard.

I have been reading about sibling loss, and one of the difficulties is that your parent's grief can seem to push yours aside. I have had to make a little bit of distance with my mother, because I have to take care of myself or I will be no help to her. Like on an airplane, you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help others, or you may pass out and they won't be helped. In many ways, the grief of my sisters and myself is ignored in favor of the grief of our mother and my brother's daughter. But we all are grieving, and there is no use in comparisons. Take care of yourself and your grief. I talk to my mother every week, and visit her monthly (I live almost 200 miles from her). My sisters also stay in touch. But I have to have my time to grieve too.

I don't have much else to say, but just know that you are not alone in this horrible loss, unfortunately there are others of us going through it too.

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Very wise words, Ann, and I hope with all my heart that you pay attention to them, Caitlyn. One thing we've all learned about grief is that it changes. Everything in life changes. You are young, you have many child-bearing years ahead of you, and this is not a decision that you are required to make right now, in the midst of your grief for your brother, your concerns about your mother's health and your family history of substance abuse and alcoholism. That is quite enough for you to be dealing with right now. Please know that you have our deepest sympathy as well as our ongoing support.

PS ~ Alcoholism runs in my family, too ~ but that has not affected me or my two grown sons, both of whom are successful and of whom I am very, very proud. ♥

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