She is a woman of few words, and of no temper tantrums. Very opposite of my mom. She is a woman who spent her entire 82 years taking care of other people, and now finds herself at a loss as to what to do with her time, having nobody to take care of anymore (though to some degree she still helps my mom). She is someone I have always enjoyed being near, not because she's overly emotionally open, but because she always seems happy to see you, and wants to do whatever she can to make you comfortable when you're in her home. And I want to do whatever I can to be there for her, across these miles. So when she was in town, it was great to go to Disneyworld with her, to take her to the movies, to play a game with her, and my mother, brother, and sister.
But, me? I'll never be a grandmother.
This fact hit me smack across my face the other day in a McDonald's. It was about 5:00 PM, and apparently many grandparents take their grand kids to Mickey-D's at that time of day, because they were there, tons of them, crawling across the tables, climbing at the walls, yelling, laughing, screaming, crying, crawling, throwing things, demanding things, eating, singing, playing, all those things little kids do. And I thought, "I will never have this in my life. There is no opportunity for this to ever be there. I will be an old woman with no children, and no grandchildren".
And most likely, I will. I am a feminist, and I am pro-choice, so I am not prone to thinking it is my destiny in life to have a child. But I would like to have the OPTION to have one, if i want to. And, I really don't have that option. That option was robbed from me by this illness I have. This schizoaffective crap. Who is going to want to have a child with me, for one thing? Who? Nobody I know. Nobody I will be likely to meet any time soon. I do not date. I have not had a boyfriend in 3 1/2 years. I am totally celibate. There is no child coming from this womb.
Who is going to be dumb enough to have a baby with all the drugs I take from so many Pharmaceutical companies that will lie to protect the dangerous side effects their drugs can cause, running rampant through my body? Who would advise me to put a fetus through that kind of atmosphere? No one.
I asked the doctor who is the director of the community mental health center I go to, when he did my recent Psychiatric Evaluation, about how much my medications would affect a child if I ever did get pregnant. He was unclear as to how much of an effect there would be. He said it would be possible to have a child. He said Klonopin is the one I'm on that most frequently causes birth defects. But what does he know for sure? I have been on many, many, many medications over the years, most of which he doesn't know about since I was only meeting with him for an hour and there was no time to discuss all those. I have probably got a damaged liver by now, and if I don't, I probably will soon enough. I have been on psychotropic drugs for 21 years. That is a hell of a long time to experiment with your body.
So I won't have the baby clothes shopping sprees, or the baby shower, or the first day of kindergarten, or the screaming infant, or the laughing toddler, or the day she learns how to walk, those things a mother has. I won't have the honor of guiding a child in the way he, or she, should go, and of reading them bedtime stories and making sure they are not afraid of the Bogey man. I won't have their college graduation, their wedding, their first apartment, their children. I won't have those grandchildren. Unlike my Nanny (grandmother), I won't have the trips to Disney world, and the visits, and the people to take care of all around me. I won't have the people to take care of me, either, in the end. I won't have anybody.
It's not all sunshine and lollipops with kids. I have even thought many times, I'm glad I don't have a child, because my life is hard enough without another person to take care of. I'm not entirely sure my nerves could handle the screaming and crying, or that my stomach could ever handle changing a dirty diaper again; it's been many years since I worked as a babysitter. I'm not sure I could ever afford a child with my income, and certainly, now, I could not. I don't know when my income will ever be any higher. And, certainly, I do not have the physical health, stamina, or energy to chase after a child. I do not have the mental well-being to be entirely focused on one either. At least, not right now.