What I fear most: ever having kids

The thing that scares me most, even more than death itself, is the responsibility and challenge of having and raising children. Intellectually, I know that it is possible – there are 6 billion of us on Earth and that means people are reproducing – but emotionally I fear that my BPD would get in the way of bringing up a happy, healthy child.

First of all, I don’t want to pass on Type 1 Diabetes (or a genetic predisposition to it) and/or disposition to BPD to my children. At times, these two health problems torture me, depress me, and in many ways keep me from becoming a better person. There are days when I spend hours in bed, staring at the wall, or trying to sleep. Sometimes I feel OK, other times utterly hopeless. I would never want my child to feel this way if I can help it.

Further, I would never want my child to fall victim to diabetes. BPD and Diabetes combined are absolutely horrible because 1) No one gives a shit about BPD and mental illness and 2) No one cares to understand what Type 1 diabetes is like – because most people are Type 2 – leading the masses to believe that I can be treated with a daily pill or better diet. Sorry folks, Type 1 is a whole different ball game.

Beyond my poor genetics, I fear what I’d be like as a parent. I am moody, angry, pissy, and have a very short fuse. My BPD tantrums are violent and physical. If I have alcohol in my system, they are even worse. Other times, I am withdrawn, anti-social, depressed and feel completely worthless. I barely want to get up.

I believe this emotional make-up would not be beneficial to a young child. They would grow up in fear of their father’s temper, while at the same time confused about why some days their father doesn’t want to leave the house. How would this create a loving, nurturing family environment for a child?

All of this goes without even mentioning having a healthy, productive relationship with a prospective wife. If I lose my cool and start breaking plates or something, or if I’m so hopeless that I want to jump off a bridge, it wouldn’t surprise me if she would file for divorce and sole custody of our child.

Moreover, I fear becoming physically violent with my child when things are not going right. All parents have moments when the screaming baby, disobedient toddler, or stressful teen pushes them to the limit. The result is a show of anger, authority, and release of negative energy for lack of having any other way to respond. Having BPD, however, complicates this because while the “normal” parent might curse and push their child, I fear that with BPD, I might curse, punch, kick or throw my child out of sheer stress and anger.

Basically, having a BPD “response” to your children is not appropriate. You have to act even-keeled and thoughtful.

Part of my fearful notion of parenthood comes from lack of self esteem. I hardly ever date, feel uncomfortable around babies, and am not a “people person”. I don’t want to have a child for the purposes of creating a fan club, I want to have a child that has a positive, realistic upbringing in a safe environment.

In some ways, this fear is helpful because on the rare occasion that I am intimate with a girl, I ALWAYS use protection. I’d be mad if I picked up an STD, but this anger would pale in comparison to feeling completely terrified if I became the father of an “unplanned” child. None of my relatives in my family have children out of wedlock, or as a result of a “one night stand”. Instead, all my relatives are married and in what appear to be stable relationships. I would feel embarassed to be around my family in this situation.

Maybe in a couple years I’ll feel differently about having kids. Maybe my BPD will subside as I enter my 30’s, or if I meet a very understanding woman who knows what she’s getting into.

For now, however, I am not prepared to be a father in any way, shape, or form. Sometimes this makes me feel abnormal, like a jerk, or cowardly; but when I look at myself honestly, I really want to be 200% sure that I am prepared mentally, physically, and emotionally for having a family.

And, for the sake of the human race, why would I want to pass on BPD and Diabetes to the next generation?

My feelings are very complicated in this matter, and perhaps will become clearer with time and more maturity.

3 Replies to “What I fear most: ever having kids”

  1. I feel the same way whenever the maternal urge hits me… that my BPD would prevent me from being a good mother and providing my child with the healthy, loving life he or she deserves. For the most part, I’ve given up on having children, but I still hope that someday, I will be healthy and whole enough so, that if I do decide to have a family someday, I will be able to be a good wife and mother to them.

  2. My name is Elizabeth Bogod. I am the author of “What’s in a name? Borderline Personality Disorder Label Creates Stigma”. Firstly, I would like to thank you for your excellent website and to say what an honour it is to have my article included on your website. As a person who has now recovered from BPD and is moving on with my life, I am very passionate about increasing the awareness of this serious mental illness as I am sure you are as well. Recently, I graduated from the Community Mental Health Worker Program at a college in my area which means I can now work in the mental health field which I am very excited about. I am not generally the type of person who likes to flaunt my credentials although it did occur to me that having it after my name might help give this article more credence in the professional community. I wondered if you woundn’t mind making this change.
    Thanks once again,
    Elizabeth

  3. I have been reading your entire blog over the past two days and wanted to comment on this in particular. I grew up with an undiagnosed BPD father who raged at us constantly. His tantrums were so crazy that it has taken years of work to be even somewhat sane. My siblings and I all have varying levels of PTSD and a lifetime of hurt from his crazy rants. In one fit of rage, he tried to kill me with a kitchen knife. I was 8. He literally held me down on the ground and threatened me with a knife three inches from my throat ranting about how worthless and horrible I was. He thinks he was justified because I did not buy my mom a mother’s day present. To this day, 30 plus years later, he will say he is justified. I spent years being sleep deprived because he would get up in the middle of the night and scream at my mom for hours. If she happened to be out of town- we got woken up for a nightly scream fest. I could go on and on.

    Be sure you are 1000% sure of kids and be sure you are under much control before you do have them. You will wreck havoc on their lives if you don’t.

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