Sterilization at 22 (Part Three)

I had a mental breakdown today. I was irritable, I took personal offense to everything, and I cried. A lot. About everything. Was this directly related to the fact that I’m having my surgery next week? I’m hoping to explore that a bit. 

I had my pre-op today. For both anesthesia and the procedure itself. It’s all a go. Surgery is clear for April 26th. I am thrilled. Thrilled isn’t even the right word. 

I think the reason I was so edgy today was that this entire time, since a month or so ago when I first got approved, I was expected to be met with resistance. From all sides, I expected this to be a fight. In fact, I’ve been preparing for it. 

There has been no fight. None, from any party. A few parties telling me they regret their decision to have theirs done, on several platforms of social media, which is annoying to be sure, but not a fight. 

My mental breakdown today might have honestly been one of relief. I’ve been so heated up to defend my choice, and today I realized that I didn’t have to. Nobody has challenged it. It could be that they know arguing with me is pointless, and I will go rounds and rounds before becoming so fed up that I just quit. I didn’t need to constantly be on the edge anymore, and when my defensive walls come down, I tend to crumble with them. 

With the procedure only nine days away, I feel like it’s time I explain my choice in a bit more detail. 

I am ill. I have SLE (a form of lupus that targets organs), and mine was so severe I almost died in 2014. My kidneys went from faulty to almost completely dead in a short time span of three months. By the time I received a diagnosis, my kidneys were almost completely shut down and my stomach was starting to go. 

Looking back, it feels sort of like a bad dream. But it is not. This is my reality. I fear nothing more than I fear death. Even thinking about my own mortality causes me to have a full blown anxiety attack. 

No, I never wanted children. But the idea that I could potentially pass this life threatening genetic mutation down to a child, I don’t think I’d want children now even if I had. Kidney function drops during pregnancy (hence the swollen feet and ankles) and that’s not something I ever want to experience again. Selfish? Maybe. 

I am also mentally ill. Major depressive. Anxiety. PTSD. Borderline Personality Disorder. These things, I think, would keep me from being a good parent. Please don’t think that I’m saying people who are mentally ill don’t make good parents, but I truly think it would prevent me from being a good parent. I am selfish. Incredibly so. A fair bit of that is a result of mental illness. I’m extremely cautious about things that could potentially making my mental health worse, and I regard them with disdain and avoidance. Children cause issues in both anxiety and PTSD both. Loud noises, certain things children say that they’ve picked up from television, make me panic. A child of my own would be no different. 

Health issues aside, I have never felt a shred of maternal instinct. I do not get baby fever. A crying baby does not make me want to take care of it, it makes me unbelievably angry. I don’t like children. They are loud, they are sticky, and quite frankly, I don’t like the idea of having to take care of something until I’m dead. Children grate on my every nerve. I don’t treat them differently, I just don’t care for them. 

This is what I want. This is who I am. Child free is not the best option for everyone, and I understand that there are some women who might regret this decision. 

But I have thought long and hard about this for ten or so years. There is no changing my mind, there will be no regret. 

The next time I update my sterilization journey, my ligation will have already been done. This is my reality. 

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