Reproducing With A Genetic Disorder- A Letter To My Daughter
You are 8 years old and without a doubt the most gorgeous little girl I have ever seen. Your sensitivity, vibrancy, and compassion are enviable and they are going to make you a more compassionate person when you get older. I am terrified that something I do or that I have already done is going to tarnish that.
You do not live with me full-time anymore. You live with your father. The cyclical nature of my moods is not easy to live with and it seems to affect you more than your brother. The guilt from not being able to be the mother that you deserve eats me alive every time I think about you. What will you remember about me?
I often wonder what you will be like when you are 25. There are three distinct possibilities. I will get lucky, be successful, stabilize my life and maybe you will think that I am awesome and want to be like me. More than likely though, you will come to terms with this disease and have a tenuous yet strained relationship with me that exists on “your terms.” It is also quite possible that I will be the reason that you see a therapist monthly.
When I chose to have children, I was unaware of the implications of that decision. I had not been diagnosed with PMDD. I did not know that the choices I was making could take a young, innocent life and change it forever. PMDD is genetic. This means that the monster that crawls into my brain every single month could come after you as well. What kind of mother am I, who allows such a thing? I am supposed to be your protector.
You are here now, and this is your reality too. I want to be a good example for you and so I want to make a few things clear. I may not be able to undo this disease or the poor choices that I sometimes make, but I can make you a few promises:
- I promise to be here. I promise not to take the easy way out or to cower under the weight of my symptoms. I promise to get up every morning and actively work to create a better world for you to exist in.
- I promise to get you tested when the time is right and if you test positive, I promise to help you find a good doctor who trusts your experiences. Nothing you say will sound foreign or intimidating to me. We will get up together. We will conquer this together.
- I promise to pursue my dreams so that you have confidence that this disease hasn't put a cap on your possibilities. In turn, I will do everything in my power to help support the vision you have for your future and encourage you to keep moving forward even when the clouds look dark ahead. You will hear, "The only way out is through," more times than you can count.
- Finally, I promise to do my best to spread awareness of this disease, so by the time you are ready to consider having your own kids, doctors will have an effective treatment.
I love you baby and I cannot promise you that any of this is going to be easy. Thankfully more than just PMDD runs in our blood. We are from a line of strong people who have worked hard for what they want and what they have. I am confident that you will not let this conquer you. You are going to change the world.