A month back one of my readers sent me an e-mail asking me if I could see signs of my mental illness in my children, and if I could have foreseen this would I still have chosen to have children. I have been thinking of this topic and the best way to answer. I do see some of my mental illness in my children, and it twists me up inside. I do not like the thought of my children suffering as I had growing up. Is it ethically wrong of me to risk brining them into this world knowing they were prone to this illness?

I wonder if that makes me selfish. There are many times I wish my parents never had me, but there are pockets where I feel grateful to be alive. What if my children suffer more than I have; is this fair to them? My youngest has clear symptoms of anxiety; this anxiety keeps him from making new friends. We were at one of my daughters’ softball games and there was a group of kids all playing together. I could see him watching them playing, my heart just broke seeing this. I tried to encourage him to go introduce himself so he could play with them. He was not willing to do that; I tried building his self-esteem up saying they would be silly to not play with you, yet he was to shy to go. Finally I offered to go introduce him, and he ended up having a blast. He also suffers from insomnia and perhaps bi-polar. I have heard he was just like me at his age. I hope this is something he out grows.

If this were a “my solution” society I would not be allowed to have children because of my illness. I am happy this is not the case, because regardless of what I passed along I love my children more than anything. I just feel this is a selfish outlook on things. If I was never allowed to have children then I would not have the regret of knowing them, and they would not even know because they would never know existence. I also wonder if me making the decision to not have them based off my mental illness is selfish. Who am I to say they will have the same life as me? Who am I to be their judge and jury? Either way I cannot undo what has been done. I can only hope they do not know the suffering I have. If they do then I would ultimately be to blame; this would be a heavy burden to carry.    

Even with this knowledge I would not change my choice. I would not want to know a life without my children. The thought of it brings a tear to my eye. My family is the lighthouse guiding me to safety on dark nights. I love them more than words can even describe; not knowing them would be not knowing myself.

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Comments
  1. ram0singhal says:

    divine…..children are gift of life…..if we are not there
    what cosmic intelligence will do….a human ultimate destiny is to be mirror for god…..children are our mirrors….god is kind to all….trust me….your children will be all right

    bless you…and your family…with all the happiness of the world….

    love all…

  2. dana says:

    well said.

    I too see parts of me in my kids. On my good days, I am glad that I have travled the road ahead of them, so I can guide them and help them through the bumps and mountains. On a bad day, I think of how I have messed them up. What was I thinking having kids?

    In the end I conclude that each of us have a reason in life, and we would not be here if we were not each needed for that reason. It is my job to raise my kids the best that I can, so they can grow to be the best they can. Who knows what they will accomplish as they grow up??

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Dana,
      I know the person I was prior to having children, and I can say they saved me from a lifestyle where I would most likely not be alive today. My family has caused me to grow as a man. I worry more about how my illness affects them than passing it on to them. My illness has caused many issues I will never take back. I take comfort in knowing we all screw up our kids even if we are “perfect” parents. I just hope their illness is nowhere near mine

  3. johanna says:

    Children are our mirrors of God….Beautiful!

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Johanna,

      The Taoist believe if we are able to think like a child and live like one we have achieved enlightnment. I would agree with the idea children are our mirrors of God.

  4. hames1977 says:

    tim,

    your decision to have children is right. i think, people should not really highlight each health problems or mental problems one has to have when he grows up. who haven’t? we had all share of inconsistencies orr inadequacies, but that would not make us lesser than a human. the best is to live with it. making the best out of our lives.

    best of times to you.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Hames,
      Thanks. I feel so much guilt when I see issues in my kids. It breaks my heart to know I am the cause of this. I need to learn ways to deal with it myself so I have knowledge to give to my children

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