Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Inheritance


23 comments:

Emily said...

I saw this PostSecret postcard, too, and it really resonated with me. I am almost afraid to have children because I am scared he/she/they will inherit my mental illnesses. At the same time, I would really like a kid one day. So it's kind of a toss-up for me.
:(

Devon said...

I saved this postsecret long ago when it first appeared. I think it's normal for us to be hyper sensitive and afraid...there's always the part of nurture in the nature vs. nurture. That's really the only thing you have a say in. I guess it's motivation for me to be long rid of ED by the time I have kids. At least I'll be able to fight the chances on one level.

brie said...

When I firt found out I was pregnant, I wanted a girl, because I wanted to buy cute little clothes and put bows in her hair and little bracelets on her tiny wrists...but now that I have my baby man, I wouldn't want it any other way - in many ways I believe that God gave me a baby boy first so that I can fully recover before I have my little Sadie who may be so susceptible to my behaviors. Because of ED, I'm afraid of having kids, but not afraid enough to NOT have them, you know? I know that I can be a wonderful mama, I just need to kick this once and for all.

Amber Larsen said...

I have had those same thoughts, Brie. Two daughters later, I still think about how I might protect them from a society where "thin is in". The truth is, you can't save someone who doesn't need saving yet. By that I mean our daughters haven't chosen EDs or cutting or stealing or whatever so many of us have chosen for ourselves to deal with life and stress. I truly believe that our obsessions with protecting them can at times give whatever we are protecting them from even more power. This will never be a perfect world and we will never be in a perfect state of mind. But, I think if we teach our children the fight rather than the fear, their minds will have more peace.

Stacy said...

I am soon to be a mother of 2 girls. and it is scary. . I do my best to be normal and healthy around Haylie and for her. I try to help her to eat normally (I let her eat what she wants and if it is nothing that is ok, and if it is everything that is ok too). I just want to be good to her. And if I teach her her to love herself and give her what I feel I lacked that is all the pretecting I can do. I hope that works, that is what I am trying to do.
As mothers we inherently worry about our children, and with the past we have had, we have even more we worry about.

I know none of that helps, but you are not alone in feeling it.

brie said...

Amber and Stacy, I am so proud of you for the mothers you are. You are both mothers of 2 girls, both struggle/have struggled with an ED, yet you are both in recovery, or trying very hard to get there, and I think that's the best we can do, and that's all our daughters would ever ask of us. Thanks for the hope and words of wisdom.

Amber, I loved what you said about teaching them to fight rather than to fear things, and about how worrying about it can make the obsession even stronger. It's true in all things, not just in ED. Thanks to you both for commenting. I truly find you inspiring, for I know that one day (perhaps soon?) I will be in your shoes. Good luck with your darling girls who have wonderful mamas!

(okay, I think I'm commenting too much on MY OWN blog...woops :)

Penny said...

Ok, from an old,old Mom: Here it is. We do give all of our kids an inheritance. If there is a predisposition to an eating disorder there will also be a predisposition to empathy and ssensitivity and compassion. There is no way to deny part of yourself and just want what is left. Brie you will be forever altered because of this struggle and that is what you will also pass on as your legacy. And I and many others like you very much as you transform from your illness to a healthy and wondrous life.

Less Than Anonymous said...

I have the same fear and the fact that my cousin already displays so many worrying behaviors really makes me wonder if adopting might be a better idea.
I know ED has to do with 'nurture' as well as 'nature' but it just seems like there's something in the water my family's been drinking.

Brett said...

I had an interesting thought after reading the note on the baby pic (at least I think it's intersting). If everyone decided to not have children if they had some major "weakness" or flaw, we'd probably still be in baby heaven waiting to come down. (I know that wasn't funny, I was just trying to make a point!)

While it's true that some are not fit to raise kids, most people have a major weakness or flaw. Whether it's an ED, mental disorder, drinking problem, laziness, etc, etc.

I'm sure mom could list lots of flaws that i have, and might eventually pass on to my kids. Probably that I'm too OCD? I dunno?

How come most blogger people have a pic by their and not me?

Sarah said...

I don't think I'll ever have children. I can't imagine being responsible for a child's nutrition but more than that -- I'm a fourth generation alcoholic. It probably goes way further back than that. I would love it so much if it stopped here for my family. That's just me, though. I really admire people who have children. I think it's the most hopeful act in the world.

Laura said...

The fact that you are already so aware of the possibility of passing Ed behaviors down to your girls is a good sign. I fear this DAILY. And I have done and/or said things that I KNOW are not cool. But I am aware..and I apologize..something my own mother never did, and has never done. So I have to believe that right there, my knowing, and acknowledging, is a step in the right direction.

And let me just say, my 7 year old girl has quite the tummy on her, and wants to only wear bikinis! And my 9 year old SON won't wear shorts because some dumb ass kid told him his legs were fat!!!!!!! Go figure. IT is my BOY with the body image problem. I am sooo not prepared to handle this!!!

Laura said...

OH, and I almost forgot...are you pregnant????????

KC Elaine said...

me too

Laur said...

its kinda like our conversation yesterday....i understand what you mean.
and I just noticed your response comment to your other friends, you said, "I know i can be a wonderful mama, I just need to kick this once and for all"
you are for SURE already a wonderful mama, and props to you for not letting "the beast" keep you from being a great mom.
So please never ever let yourself say something like that again because you are for SURE a wonderful mother, this girl knows that for 100% sure.
love you

brie said...

LAURA! Your allegation, frankly, is shocking. I vomited a little in my nose when I read that.

So, NO. No no no no no no no for a while longer!

rachel said...

I think children, particularly girls, become susceptible to body image issues when their number one role models--their moms--say even slightly negative things about their own body.

Mommies need to love their bodies, if not for themselves, then for their daughters.

Heather said...

I'm scared to have kids due to my past ED. My own mom had one for most of her life and although it didn't make me develop an ED, it certainly contributed greatly to it. I don't know if it's hereditary for sure or not, but in any case, I observed her and picked up on so many of her behaviors. I want to be completely free from my ED in both behaviors and in my thoughts...I just couldn't live with myself if I exposed my daughter (or son) to an ED. That's just me, however. My sister is recovering from an ED and is an incredible mother to her daughter! She's raising her two children to eat intuitively and it's so amazing to watch. So, I know it can be done. I just don't think I'd be very good at it right now.

Krystle said...

This scares the living crap out of me as well...:/

Krista said...

I agree with what everyone else has said. I worry about even passing things on to my son. How does one help a picky eater to eat intuitively? My son is a horrible eater and I think he would go all day not eating if I didn't make him or only eat "cany" and "nacks" all day. It's frustrating to me. I want him to grow and be healthy yet I don't want to force him to eat and many times I can't. I have to force feed him Pediasure most days aka: "baby boost" just so he doesn't go below the weight charts. GRRRR! I guess I kind of know what I put my parents through now ;-)

Kathy with a K said...

An interesting thing happened to me. When I started becoming the mother I wanted to be, I not only raised a daughter without an eating disorder, but I helped myself not have one as well.

Keely said...

My grandma and mom BOTH had eating disorders. My mom caught me one day in my behaviors (I was already into my ED for two years before she found out). When she told me it has been passed down the family tree I was less than thrilled... But I think that if I ever decide to have kids it will be okay. Why? Because I'm the first one to get help- to acknowledge my eating disorder for what it is, delve deep into my own issues, and face it. And that's what were all doing. Getting help. Facing it. That is what will make all the difference for our kids (or future kids.)

Courtney said...

Oh do I hear ya on this one. I love what Keely said about the fact that we're getting help and facing our problems. I've seen a lot more messed up kids come from seemingly "perfect" parents than from parents who may have had problems but were working on them. Hopefully our willingness to be open and honest in our families will help our kids be more open and honest with us. In the end, all we can do is our best and I have to hope that somehow that will be enough.

Shannon said...

I think Brett is absolutely right. It's always a concern that we will pass on our less that desirable traits or illnesses to our children, but none of us are perfect and there's no guarantee that even if we were our children would be. At some point we have to do what we feel is right for our families and do our best to teach our children all the good things we can. I have been in a funk lately and am feeling horrible about my mothering. I yelled at Weston yesterday and wondered if I had just inadvertantly taught him that it was ok to yell. I had to apologize and attempt to explain forgiveness to a 2 year old. I hope it sticks, but it's a lesson, like so many others that we have to teach our kids every day. None of us are perfect. I hope you know that you ARE doing a good job. Being a mom is tough stuff no matter your problems. I hope you don't get too down on yourself. I'm trying to pull myself out of that quilt and feeling like a crap mom right this minutes, but theres light (like baby giggles and story times). That was really rambling, sorry, but I just wanted you to know that even though I don't struggle with ED, I have plenty of vices that I hope not to pass on to my kids, but I want my kids anyway. :)