A piece appeared in the Guardian a few days ago with the provocative title: I wish my mother had aborted me.
The sheer scale and passion of responses to this article is quite staggering.
The essence of the piece is that the author’s mother would have had a better life if she’d opted for abortion, and the author herself wouldn’t have had to endure such a shit life.
This has been met largely with absolute derision in both the pro-choice and pro-life camps. It’s been described as: self-pitying, woe-is-me, fallacious, illogical, Liberal self-loathing, nihilistic, lies.
Some pro-choicer’s have viewed this is a powerful and cogent response to pro-life anecdotes and ‘emotional blackmail’.
The thing is, this piece resonated powerfully with me in a very sad way.
I don’t really care if this essay is a pro-choice shot in the foot, a pro-life victory, or whatever; this is what stood out for me:
The world would not be a darker or poorer place without me. Actually, in terms of contributions to the world, I am a net loss. Everything that I have done – including parenting, teaching, researching, and being a loving partner – could have been done as well, if not better by other people. Any positive contributions that I have made are completely offset by what it has cost society to help me overcome the disadvantages and injuries of my childhood to become a functional and contributing member of society.
If the author really means this, then in reality this piece is nothing to do with abortion, but is a reflection of a deeply and profoundly psychologically damaged person.
I should know; I’m assailed with such thoughts regularly.
This is not about a foot-stomping “I didn’t ask to be born” sentiment; this is about honestly and sincerely believing the world would have been a better place if you’d not existed.
This isn’t self-loathing, this is a profound, dark, deep, sadness. This is tragedy, a place that would terrify you if you knew it intimately.
In all of the pontificating on this article nobody has even acknowledged in passing, or touched on, this aspect. Oh, there’s plenty in comboxes, ridiculing and deriding her ‘insanity’ and stating that if she really believed this stuff she’d have killed herself already.
This pain belongs to this woman, and believe me it really is agonising to think and believe in this manner, even if for just brief episodes.
Many of you will not even understand what I’m driving at and your life is all the better for that. Some may view this type of thinking as a slap in the face of God, or loved ones; a rejection of the gift of life if you will. That makes no difference. It doesn’t matter how you logic it out in your mind; if you are wired to have these intruding thoughts; there’s little you can do about it.
I can understand why this article has evoked such response and passion, but one thing it has not elicited; is compassion.
I feel for this woman and all who think and believe as she does.
And before you judge; remember, hopefully, you aren’t living with this.
Tags: Mental Health