What makes someone a mother? In my line of work I meet women, (and men, but this post is about mothers…) well, people, who don’t actually care about their children. It’s rare, but not as rare as you’d think. Some of them seem to care about their children, but are not able to put their children’s needs above their own, at any level. It is always, always, the adult’s needs before the child’s needs, in their world. Others do genuinely care, but have emotional difficulties/diagnosis, severe substance abuse, or other circumstances that make them unable to take care of their children. This is the reality I deal with on a daily basis.
(A little warning: There is a mention in this post about consuming meat/bones, in a “gross” way, so if you’re vegetarian/vegan or otherwise sensitive to this, you may not want to read further. This post is…. “wild”, in a way, I guess).
Most of you know “Tangle” by now, from my posts. If you don’t here she is:
Anyway, it hit me today as I was preparing her food…. (yes, preparing, not pouring it out of a jar or a box), what I do for her:
- I buy her actual raw meat and bones, like I’ve told you before. But, I haven’t told you the whole truth yet. I don’t just buy the meat and put it on her plate. No, I cut up the (for me: yucky!) raw meat, into smaller pieces, so she can actually eat it. Now, we’re not talking plain pieces of meat you would buy for your own supper, we’re talking meat with bones in it, bones I cut with scissors and/or knife. Sorting out the real thick bones, so she doesn’t hurt her teeth. With plastic gloves I stand there, like some Mrs. Hannibal Lecter, a butcher lady, cutting through…bleh, on a level I’ve never done before. (All my own pieces of meat always were “ready to barbecue” sort of meat)
Example: Today, I divided a whole little French dove into four pieces…. (eew?) I can not begin to tell you how many weird…. “parts” there are, in a whole little dove…. But. I gladly do this for my “baby”. Tangle devoured this quarter of a dove, her best appetite so far. The French know what they’re doing when it comes to food, I guess! She’s never eaten this much in just one “sitting”!! (It’s like she ate half a Big Mac, or something. Lol.) I admit I’m a bit grossed out by having to be a butcher, the inner parts and all, but not as much as I’d have imagined. When I see her well-being, my would-be-nausea, just *POOF* vanishes!
- This is the absolute most gross and weird part, I can’t even explain this properly, at all….. but, I’ll try…. When you give cats/dogs this raw food, “BARF” (Biologically adapted raw foods), the pet is supposed to eat (some, not all kinds) bones, inside the meat… How gross is that?! But…. I don’t find it gross at all, when she does it. In fact, I get a completely weird, Dr. Frankenstein reaction to it… My heart swells with pride, and more importantly, gratitude, when I hear she manages to actually crush the bones with her tiny kitten teeth. (Yes…it’s a….crunching sound…. uhm.. yeah. I’m Mama Tiger, suddenly). My natural reaction would be, to throw up, even just reading all this, myself. But: my heart is filled with joy, relief, and I almost have tears in my eyes, when she manages to eat these bones properly. You see, the pets need calcium and preferably from bones, or they could develop serious diseases.
Alright, I’m no Mother Theresa. But, I’ll do most anything for my pets, even things I could never have seen myself doing. Today when Tangle wanted to sleep on my arm, and I wanted to blog, I wrote this blog partly with only one hand, so she could continue sleeping on my arm…
Am I not a mother? In the traditional sense, I’m definitely not. But, at the same time, I am one who would do anything for the welfare, health, and happiness of my pets, defenseless creatures who are dependent on me and wouldn’t survive one day, left to their own devices. So, in some sense, they are children and I their “parent”. I feed them and look after their every emotional and physical need.
I’m painfully aware, that all of this is a substitute for me not having any children of my own. And the panic, stress and grief that I carry, knowing that at my age, the prospects of ever being able to have children of my own, are disappearing faster than lightning… I know all this. I’m acutely aware of it. Yet, since I don’t have any “quick fix” for that, I just…. “repress” that fact, for now. This day. This week. I know, soon enough I will have to make the biggest decision any human can make… Do I turn to science, to be able to have a child all on my own, as to not miss the chance altogether? That will be my hardest decision, ever. I just can not make that decision right now, this minute. But, being without children, and grandchildren, for 30-40 years, the rest of my life, which is a very real risk right now, seems like the worst possible scenario I could face. I know I would never, ever get over that kind of grief.
So, am I more or less of a mother, than those I meet every day who can’t/wont’t take care of their children, but let them fend for themselves? That’s not for me to say. But I do feel, given the amount of love and care I give to my pets, that I am indeed, a sort of mother at least, albeit a “wild” one, “only” a mother to animals. So far.
What pains me is that I think I (compared to some) would make a good mother, but as it seems, it’s very likely that I won’t ever even get the chance to be one. A lot of rage and anger goes out to the narcissist who brainwashed me for the last 4 years, so that I wasted what might have been my last fertile years, in a complete fog of psychological abuse of a kind I could never have imagined, or protected myself against. I wish I could somehow make him pay, make up for it, but there’s no way. How can you ever make it up to someone, that you robbed them of their chance to be a parent? An injury that will affect the rest of that person’s 40 years, in life…. I don’t know. I guess that’s impossible.
I’ll have to think long and hard about what I’m going to do, but I will have to do something very soon, if I want to have children of my own at all, that’s for sure. The stress of this is unlike anything I have ever experienced. It can’t be explained, it can only be experienced. It’s like you have a constant led weight on your chest, and you just want it off of you, you just want to breathe. It is a grief without an ending. I will have to decide soon, the reality of biology won’t let me think much longer, I have to make a decision, take my chances with dating and see if I meet a “potential father” within the next few months…. (Cause then you have to “date ” them for a few months/6 months/a year, before you can even decide on children, etc).
The reality for me right now is, I’d have to meet someone in the next few months, who could be the potential father, and then he would have to want children. Then it “might” work out. The odds are stacked against me in a way I have never, ever experienced before, in life…. I will be in my “decision room” in my brain, in the next couple months…
Until then, I will have to deal with this “frozen sorrow”. Until then, I will have to deal with this extreme stress at work, Until then, I will have to deal with this “all but destroyed” soul after the narcissist’s emotional torture chamber. Until then, it will have to do with this (tremendous) love I have for my pets. (Grateful for it!)
Until then, I will remain “The Mother Without Children”.
Still, I am just asking the Universe, if against all odds, there is anyone/any “Greater Power” listening out there, to just give me a break. Just one break. I haven’t had one, for the last 10 years. Right about now, would be pretty sweet. (A very sad side affect of me having not a shitty week, or even a year, but a shitty decade, is me abandoning my previous faith. I no longer have any belief whatsoever that “things happen for a reason”. Least of all since my kind-hearted friend died for no reason of an “extremely rare” cancer, at age 33. That does NOT happen “for a reason”, I’m, sorry, but anyone claiming that, that’s just bullshit…)
The Mother Without Children. That’s me. Don’t say it will “get better”. Just, please, send me a thought, once in a while.