Page 1 of 3 [ 39 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
SomeRandomGuy

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 20,172
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

29 Dec 2017, 12:23 pm

I think one of the biggest challenges these days for me is getting over the 'no children' piece and what it means for my future.

While not everyone experiences this I'm sure a fair amount of us do - it's a bit like my own interior and everything I'm built on is screaming. I'm 38, I graduated college, did everything right on paper, and even when I found out that wasn't enough I did all kinds of self-improvement and self-enrichment things but whatever pieces of my ASD show up it was more than enough to keep me out of fruitful relationships, unable to connect with women, financially I'm stuck living at home, and while I have a feeling I'll be financially buoyant in time I have that nagging feeling over what'll happen when my parents pass which is likely to happen in the next fifteen years or so. I have friends but I have a feeling as well that I'll be deeply alone in the world and for as much work and stress as having a family is I do realize that would be my alternate unit at that point - and it looks like I'm fated to need a more creative solution.

For those who are older, do you have any pointers in getting through the internal fuzz that gets kicked up around this one? I'm sure I'll be fine, it's clearly an archetypal biology kind of thing at play where we tend to wrack ourselves over the stories we hoped for and the stories that get broken. I'm sure a big part of the trick is to build a new story that allows for success or a feeling of having crossed the etheric finished line, the 'You made it!' hugs, even if I end up facing the world as a permanent single but it'll take a lot of work in both getting that story right and getting that story credible enough that more levels of my biology than not calculate the math, realize it's the best course, and fly in formation with that plan. To that last part, if I feel like I'm able to come up with anything useful I'll absolutely share it.


_________________
“Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity. For the crowd believes that if it cannot see to the bottom of something it must be profound. It is so timid and dislikes going into the water.” - Friedrich Nietzsche


MissWiggy
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 13 May 2011
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Posts: 103
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

29 Dec 2017, 6:31 pm

I'm sorry I don't have any wise words or advice.

I have always known that I never wanted to have children, but I had to deal with a lot of external pressure to conform to the universal worship of motherhood and that did impact me internally to feel I was somehow 'deficient' or not enough of a woman because I wasn't like everyone else. So maybe my opinion might not be very useful or helpful for your particular situation. If so, feel free to ignore it. :)

However, I can imagine that it must be quite difficult for you to grapple with these thoughts, feelings, fears, hopes and dreams.
I think we all have our personal worries and wonder about the future and what we might regret or miss out on.

I am not trying to be cheeky or smart arsed, but a few questions - do you think having children is a fool proof guarantee that you will be taken care of in old age and have someone to love and support you? Is that your only motivation for having children or do you have any others?

What if your children didn't have a good relationship with you and rarely visited? What if they moved to another country on the other side of the world for work and settled down there with their own spouse and family?

I try to remind myself that nothing in life is guaranteed. Love, sex, relationships, family, work, good health. Nothing.

I see lots of couples together for decades that end up divorced or having affairs.
I see lots of estranged family members and relatives falling out with one another.
I know lots of adult children constantly bitching about their parents and hating the fact that their elderly parents are overly reliant on them and expect them to visit them all the time instead of having their own life and social circle for support.
Within my social circle, lots of people have taken time off for the Christmas holidays, but tell elaborate lies to their parents that they are going back to work early so they don't have to be stuck spending more time with them.

It is such a taboo in society to admit that you don't really like your parents very much and would rather not spend that much time with them. But it is very common.

What I'm trying to say is that maybe people overly romanticise parenthood or the parent-child relationship and reality doesn't seem to reflect that. Some folk are very lucky that they come from very stable and loving families and have a good relationship with their parents and siblings, but so many don't.

Many men can continue to father children in their 40s, so you might still have a good few years ahead of you to meet a long-term partner and have that family you have always wanted. A lot can change in a few years. :)

Maybe the more immediate focus is on finding a way to move out to a place of your own, and building a small but trusted social circle of friends in your community so that you have a wider network in addition to your parents.

From what I've seen, as you get older, you find that spouses/partners can come and go or die before you, children may or may not always be around, but usually it is the people in your immediate area such as neighbours, co-workers, friends, church members etc that step up to help out with things and support you in unexpected ways.

I feel it is important for everyone to cultivate a healthy independence and not be too reliant on partners or children for your wellbeing. Having a wider social network for help and company prevents the unrealistic pressure on just one or two people to provide all the emotional support for you. It can be very draining and stressful as a child to have such expectations from a parent.



techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
SomeRandomGuy

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 20,172
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

29 Dec 2017, 7:53 pm

MissWiggy wrote:
I am not trying to be cheeky or smart arsed, but a few questions - do you think having children is a fool proof guarantee that you will be taken care of in old age and have someone to love and support you? Is that your only motivation for having children or do you have any others?

What if your children didn't have a good relationship with you and rarely visited? What if they moved to another country on the other side of the world for work and settled down there with their own spouse and family?

TBH I actually don't expect my emotions to follow discursive thought and reasoning; I mean there is a logic to them but it's not always practicable in the real world. The tug of war between my frontal lobe and other parts of my brain has that emotional layer almost coming to me like a wounded and grieving animal and it's sorrow rather quickly becomes my own.

All the points you made above are good points. Some points I've meditated on quite a bit as well, for decades, is just how messy, ugly, and common divorce is, the political tug of war of children if the split happens with lasting resentment of any kind, even without divorce the possibility of one child being a drug addict or committing suicide, having a crippling disability and needing care for life, also the possibility of ending up in extreme poverty if one parent or the other loses their job and can't get rehired immediately - lots can go wrong.

I think that gets back to the point above though - that we as people can know these things, have no sugar-coating on how we actually see life, and it's no guarantee that our own emotions will operate in tandem with where we're at psychologically and that they won't have all of the hopes and dreams of a wounded seven or eight year old. I try not to say that condescendingly, I'm really trying to be as dear and understanding with myself as I can, but I realize that there has to be a way to both snap that part of me out of it (technically I'm guessing just as true on the off chance I do get married and have kids - the reasons for needing it will just change) and bring that change in such a manner where the solution is life-affirming rather than injurious if that makes sense.


_________________
“Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity. For the crowd believes that if it cannot see to the bottom of something it must be profound. It is so timid and dislikes going into the water.” - Friedrich Nietzsche


elbowgrease
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Aug 2017
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 992
Location: Arcata,CA

30 Dec 2017, 1:29 am

Have you ever considered the idea of some kind of volunteer work with youth? Teaching, mentoring, big brother/big sister kind of thing.

I don't think I want kids or a family of my own, really. I'm just not cut out for it. But I would like to work with them at some point, and to some extent I think I'd be good at it. Have some kind of positive effect on the younger generation. Maybe be remembered by someone the way I remember some of the people in my life.

I've kind of come to think of kids the way I think of dogs. I love dogs, but I can't deal with them for very long, can't give them everything they need, and it's not healthy for me or the dog in the long run. But in small doses, I'm great with dogs. So I love other people's dogs instead of trying to have one of my own.

It was the first response to the "no children" question that came to mind, and something I've thought about quite a bit myself.
Too tired to expand on it right now though.



MissWiggy
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 13 May 2011
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Posts: 103
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

30 Dec 2017, 7:03 am

Oh I totally understand that!
We can list out all sorts of logical and rational reasons, but part of being human is that our emotions don't always line up with the sensible talking. On a good day, we can talk ourselves out of such feelings, but when we are at a vulnerable or low point, then no amount of rationalising will help the emotional side. We feel what we feel and our feelings and emotions are always valid and real. It is how we act on them that is important.

I think it is ok to be kind to yourself and allow yourself the days when you maybe feel a little sorry for yourself, or wondering about the future, feel a little upset by the unfairness of life or how things have turned out so far. There is no shame in taking the time to allow ourselves to have those moments now and again.
You just have to remember to not get too sucked into those feelings, otherwise it does become a vicious cycle that is harder to get out of.

As elbowgrease mentioned above, have you thought about volunteering / mentoring in charities that work with children and teens? Maybe you will have kids of your own some day, maybe you won't, but for now you can still find ways to give something back to society and help an impressionable young person. You can feel fulfilment and happiness that way too.

I have never had the maternal urge for children, although I do occasionally get a fleeting desire to have babies when I am falling in love with someone. I think I know myself well enough to recognise that is merely a biological and emotional response, and not necessarily some divine sign that I should be getting pregnant asap.

Long-term relationships are very hard work and when a relationship ends or a partner hurts / betrays you it is the worst emotional pain imaginable, and yet, most of us (myself included) would still take the risk and fall in love anyway because the joys and experiences of loving someone far outweigh the hypothetical pain that might be caused if the relationship were to end badly.

I guess parenthood is similar, though I cannot relate. Raising children is very hard work and there are no guarantees that it will all turn out fine, but just like romantic relationships, people decide to have children anyway because the joys they get from it would outweigh the small probability that things might go wrong.



autlander
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 25 Dec 2017
Age: 50
Gender: Female
Posts: 26
Location: Netherlands

30 Dec 2017, 7:54 am

I'm also childfree and really happy with that, cause I can't deal with kids behaviour/noise.
Posted this a few days ago: viewtopic.php?t=358197

I'm happy to see childfree is kinda the norm arround autists.



SabbraCadabra
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,913
Location: Michigan

30 Dec 2017, 10:52 am

I've honestly never had much pressure to have children in my life...or maybe I just never let it pressure me? It probably helps that my other siblings all have kids, so my parents already have enough grandchildren to keep them happy.

I've had people ask me before if I had kids, and I usually say "nope"...and they usually say "lucky" :oops: I always feel like that scene from Idiocracy.


_________________
he had a lot to say, he had a lot of nothing to say
we'll miss him


Benjamin the Donkey
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 7 Mar 2017
Age: 55
Gender: Male
Posts: 432

01 Jan 2018, 8:28 pm

My sons were born when I was 44 and 46, so there's time if you do want kids. (My wife is quite a bit younger, though.)

Plenty of women around your age already have adult kids, weren't able to have kids or simply never wanted kids. You definitely don't have to stay single just because you don't want to reproduce.


_________________
"Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey."


MagicMeerkat
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,239
Location: either here or there

11 Jan 2018, 12:01 pm

I made up my mind at four that I never wanted children when I grew up. I never changed my mind. Everyone tells me I will one day but I had to have a hysterectomy and am now biologically incapable of having them now. Maybe they mean I will adopt a child someday. If I do decide adopt a child someday, it will have to be an older child, possibly a teenager. I could put up with teenage stuff more easily than I could cope with a screeching infant.


_________________
"So for all of you with the courage to stand up and say "I am me, screw you, World if you don't like it!" Here's to you!
-Erik Sprague


techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
SomeRandomGuy

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 20,172
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

11 Jan 2018, 12:21 pm

The more i'm thinking about it life is chaos - there's no rhyme or reason. Part of what makes the emotional complexities so deep for me I think is that the society I've lived in has never been to adequately rate me - ie. historically I've either exalted by people or told that I was the lowest of failures and needed to lick boots to stay alive. There was almost no place of sanity in between and dating was that bad as well in that, at least through my twenties, I could not get sane reactions from women - they either hated my guts or were so overexuberant of the top that I internally cringed as I knew what was coming - ie. that they were going to self-oscillate themselves right off the top, feel embarrassed, and the whole thing would get sabotaged in that manner. The really disturbing thing was, there was no medication I could take to fix other people's crazy or whatever I was nonverbally doing to them to provoke only polar extremes.

At this point in my life things have calmed down, a lot, but my past has still left me in a place where I have no theory of what relationship success would look like, no theory of 'me ready' to deal with other people's chaos would look like, nor what I could expect. I don't know how that will play itself out or resolve, I think I've gotten a lot tougher, wiser, and more prepared in the face of various warning signs. It does make the future really difficult to predict because, again, I don't know at what level I might still have that excitatory effect on culture around me even if it's muted some with age. I've been a bit of a shut-in for the last ten years, sticking mostly to work, a circle of close friends, and a few special interest groups (martial arts in one case, esotericism in the other) so me filling the shoes of a societal husband or dad role could either be blissfully easy, everyone could just buy it, or I could be be up to my neck in ape crap within months for reasons even the participants in making that mess wouldn't understand in their own behavior.


_________________
“Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity. For the crowd believes that if it cannot see to the bottom of something it must be profound. It is so timid and dislikes going into the water.” - Friedrich Nietzsche


jimmy m
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Jun 2018
Age: 70
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,350
Location: Indiana

04 Jul 2018, 1:43 pm

Many times it is common to do "What if". But you will not really know the answer unless you do it. So it is hypothetical. I am married, have two wonderful daughters and four grandchildren with another one on the way. But I am a little different Aspie. I have learned to shed my fears. And I just do things. I chase my dreams and I always have dreams and most times I succeed because I have rock-solid determination.



breaks0
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 8 Jul 2018
Age: 45
Gender: Male
Posts: 6
Location: New York

08 Jul 2018, 12:56 pm

It sucks frankly because I actually would like kids, a partner and/or a dog as well. I too for various reasons can't handle any of them (kids or dog at least) largely b/c I still don't know how to take sufficient care of myself and likely wouldn't have much to give beyond providing affection and a good time to either kids or a pet. And this unfortunately does sometimes lead me to ruminate about what I've missed, am missing and quite possibly won't find in the future. My own family life growing up wasn't great, even while I wasn't really materially deprived and we didn't have company over very often which I guess helped stunt my own social development and helped deprived me of the myriad necessary skills to be a parent.

TO more directly answer the original question though, once in a while I get asked the "C" question and I often laugh it off. lol I say "no" and think to myself "who me? I'm not ready for that". It instinctively strikes me as awkward/amusing that anyone would even ask, whether they're assuming a guy my age would normally be a Dad or not.



czarsmom
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 17 Aug 2011
Age: 57
Gender: Female
Posts: 165
Location: midwestern USA

17 Jul 2018, 2:56 pm

Im reacting only to the original post here.

I personally believe that there is so much hype, mystique, and utter bullshit around being a parent, and especially a mother. I'm a mother, and have ASD. My sons are 23 and almost 16. I love them very deeply, but honestly, motherhood was almost impossibly difficult for me. Part of this was my own disability, part of this was lack of help and support from others when my kids were small, and part of it was my older son was born with health problems.

There are many people around me who act like being a mother is this lovely dovy, warm and fuzzy thing. It is NOT. There are many sleepless nights, many hours of crying babies, defiant toddlers who throw tantrums, and then the teen years, when you kids act like you are a leper, and treat you with disrespect. And I agree, many child parent relationships are fraught with problems - control, manipulation both on the part of parents or children, just plain differences in temperament, unrealistic expectations on the part of parents toward their children and the list goes on and on. Having children puts great pressure on the marriage relationship too. The children learn to play one parent against the other, unless you both are on the same page on everything, which is very unlikely. Children get spoiled and demanding if the parent is too easy on them. Even NT's have a tough time being parents. That is why there is so much child abuse and neglect. Not to mention the exorbitant cost of raising children. And it takes a very long time these days to raise a child to independence. My older son at 23 is now fully independent. However, I have a nephew who is 30 and is still struggling to find his niche in the world.

There is something about the NT mind that leans towards dishonesty. I big part of that is the motherhood mystique. There have even been books written about this. I am grateful I have my sons, and am very proud of them, and was a good mother to them. But, it was a huge sacrifice, and very exhausting much or most of the time. I practiced attachment parenting, but of course I was not perfect. I showed them lots of affections and love, and did many things with them and for them.



techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
SomeRandomGuy

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 20,172
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

17 Jul 2018, 6:42 pm

czarsmom wrote:
There is something about the NT mind that leans towards dishonesty. I big part of that is the motherhood mystique. There have even been books written about this.


I think Laszlo Krasznahorkai nailed it in his Universal Theseus that mendacity and vulgarity are the cornerstones of human culture.

The more I think about this, and reading through the replies, I'm starting to digest that it's something of a 'grass is always greener' fallacy that our minds can place us in. It hits me from one side because I wasn't on the other - ie. dad with several kids in his mid 20's who couldn't do anything but be a dad, and if I were I'd probably wonder at some of the freedom single guys had.

I do hope one of these days we're able to somehow place human life front and center, at least to take some of the stress out of it for those who wish to be and can be parents.

The way I see it though - I'm an uber nerd, I'd need to be married to one if I were to marry at all, and that can be a very difficult thing to find. I also look at my own tendencies and realize that the woman I'd really make happy is out there, I've met them before, but they're incredibly rare and almost never single. That, ie. being in a relationship, is also not necessarily having kids.

Perhaps the best thing to do is stay busy (no problem there - I'm working 70+ hours per week right now) and keep finding ways to rake in the silver lining in my own life. There's a lot of silver lining to be found and a lot of people, comparatively, wouldn't call it silver lining - they'd probably call something way better than the opportunities they've been allowed. That's probably where I have to look at how much pressure I'm putting on myself in different ways and ease up on it a bit - ie. because when I don't I'm measuring myself with culture's measuring stick and, as something like a third standard deviation outlier, that's a pretty bad idea.


_________________
“Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity. For the crowd believes that if it cannot see to the bottom of something it must be profound. It is so timid and dislikes going into the water.” - Friedrich Nietzsche


Amity
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Mar 2014
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,434
Location: Meandering

21 Jul 2018, 3:56 am

Knowing myself as I do I can be certain that I could be a good parent, but I would not cope long term with motherhood and all of the social/communication challenges.
I would burn out, and what would happen to those depending on me... it would be a mess and that's not a risk I can take.