I met Emily at The Story Party where she told us how she put herself together after being raped. it turns out that she’s also childless and I’m pleased to share her story here.
What she said about reconnecting into her body resonated with me as it’s something I’ve read a number of times on these pages. I’m coming to believe that it’s an important part of the healing process.
I know exactly what she means when she says that she’s ‘recovering my mental health, and my sense of self ….. that the previous 4 years was more characterised by ignoring.’ I don’t know about you but the ignoring was familiar to me and I know from experience that it doesn’t work.
There’s a lot to learn from Emily’s story and especially when she says that I can’t do anything about those experiences, only my responses to them.’ So true.
Over to Emily,
Where are you on your journey now?
I’m approaching my 44th birthday this year, and in writing for this, I realise that I am finally resigned to not having children of my own. I still feel loss, but there’s an acceptance that it just wasn’t meant to be.
What’s your story?
When I was newly married at 24 I was finally diagnosed with polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS), which I’d most likely had since my periods started when I was 10. The consultant sat there and advised my husband and I that we should start trying for a family straight away because it might not happen. Except, because it could, and we were both young and at the start of our careers (at that time, enjoying our relationship unencumbered) I stayed on the pill for most of my thirties.
Approaching 30, we started thinking about children. For a while we were trying very hard for children. Of course, that does actually involve having lots of sex, so we probably weren’t trying that hard after all. I remember though being so green with envy at all the seemingly unending parade of women at work with their pregnant bellies. There was even a (short) period where I understood how a woman might get to the point where she could steal another’s baby for her own.
When we divorced I was 34 and as part of moving on from that, I made a conscious decision that I was going to choose not to want children. My reasoning was that I was 34, I had been married for ten years, so I needed to meet someone, fall in love, get married, and be with them for more than ten years before I was going to trust ‘forever’ which I needed to trust for children. Hence, the timing would be impossible, therefore better not to want.
And anyhow, a year later I was raped and my life took a very different turn, my focus being on survival and trying to recover my mental health.