Will my children get it?

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Wilderhearts

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Will my children get it?
« on: May 28, 2019, 03:35:05 PM »
Having kids has been on my mind lately - more the "to have kids or not to have kids" question.  I'm not in a position to have them right now, but in the next 5 years or so, dependent on the situation I find myself in.  How have other people factored in the risk of their kids inheriting a PD from our parents/future children's grandparents?

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Will my children get it?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 04:05:17 PM »
Well, I had kids before coming OOTF, but I wouldn’t choose not to based on who my parents and ILs are. We’re planning to have more. And my kids have 4 out of 4 uPD grandparents!

It’s our choices that define who we are far more than any potential genetic predispositions. I think my kids’ chances of growing up healthy are pretty good. We’re certainly doing everything we can think of to give them the gift of a loving family and good supportive community around them. Not to mention an emotionally available and healthy mother.  ;)

It’s hard to accept we can’t control the outcome, especially when other humans are involved. Especially when we’re talking about our own children... we can break the cycle simply by accepting they are our own but we do not own them. Just that simple truth goes a long way in changing everything.

Should the children choose to live in a dysfunctional way, despite my best efforts, that is their choice. I’m not responsible for what they do with their lives simply because I brought them into the world.

It would be immensely painful. But motherhood is in part signing up for pain. Even just pregnancy taught me that. I have had miscarriages, despite doing everything “right.” And of course childbirth itself is darned uncomfortable haha. But really, there are no guarantees. When we choose to give love there is a chance we will get hurt. It’s a matter of deciding whether you’re willing to accept that risk. Once you do there is no going back.

I very much relate to your fear of passing on the personality disorders. I worry about that when I see traits in my kids and get triggered and have to talk myself down that they are in fact acting their age. But I do not wish they were not here, ever. I hope this helps.

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athene1399

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Re: Will my children get it?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2019, 10:55:19 AM »
I wanted to break the cycle, so when I unexpectedly got pregnant by a lying jerk I knew in my fragile mental state I may treat my daughter like my mother treated me. It was my greatest fear so I gave her up for adoption. I never regretted my decision once. But that's me. I'm now a stepmom, but she was 14 when i entered the picture. We have a great relationship. But I think things would be different if I had a baby. Babies need too much and I don't think I could handle that. Or maybe I've never been brave enough to try. I've just never wanted kids and my SO doesn't want any more so it works out. I honestly think just being self-aware is the best thing regardless of what you choose. In my case, my M wasn't self-aware and blamed me for her own insecurities or anything that she thought reflected negatively on herself. She gave those feelings to me and made me feel that I was the one with the problems when I was just a child with normal child needs. IMO if you are self-aware, you are less likely to take those things out on your child. You are also more likely to put his/her needs before your own. And you are more likely to notice when others (your parents/ILs with a PD) have the behaviors. Then you can explain things to the kids that how they (your parents/ILs) act is not the kids' fault. 

Whatever you choose, we do have the power to break the cycle if we are aware there is a cycle to break.

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Wilderhearts

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Re: Will my children get it?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2019, 05:36:21 PM »
Your words are so comforting, Cordelia.  What radical acceptance you're practicing.  Everyone around me is having babies and I've learned plenty about the miracle-horror of childbirth!  Yes, little ones (and not so little ones) acting their age can reflect a lot of the callous behaviours we've experienced - I think I can be patient and empathetic towards that, when they don't yet have the skills to respond better.  But their fate is ultimately their own, and trying to control/own them benefits no one, is what I hear you saying.  Thank you.

That looks like a good compromise, Athene, and I'm glad you found the path that's right for you and were wise enough to take it.   I'm not so much worried about my ability to parent or break the cycle.  My non-PD'd mom is a great one and I take after her in a lot of ways - everyone tells me I'm a gentle person (except for PDs to whom I stand up - then Im an abusive asshole, of course).  Basically I'm just afraid of bringing evil into the world.  But as Cordelia said, you're responsible for the environment you provide, not who your children are.

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athene1399

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Re: Will my children get it?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2019, 05:30:16 PM »
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everyone tells me I'm a gentle person (except for PDs to whom I stand up - then Im an abusive asshole, of course)
This made me laugh so hard. It is so true!

And if you're more concerned of the nature vs nurture (like if there's a PD gene), from what I've read it's more about how the child is raised, how the parents interact, etc. IMO PDs aren't born, they are made.  Even if a PD gene exists, it will probably only be activated if the environment cultivates it. So from the nature side of things, if a PD gene exists, it usually only gets activated if the environment nurtures the PD gene. Natural temperament can play a role as well. It will determine how the child handles problems. PDs have a tendency to use their maladaptive behaviors to escape or avoid their problems because they didn't have a good support system growing up, so you can always offer additional support so the child learns how to effectively cope. Having good boundaries yourself is also helpful as children learn through modeling their behavior after their parents.

I hope some of this helps!


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AD

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Re: Will my children get it?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2019, 03:16:25 PM »
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everyone tells me I'm a gentle person (except for PDs to whom I stand up - then Im an abusive asshole, of course)
This made me laugh so hard. It is so true!

And if you're more concerned of the nature vs nurture (like if there's a PD gene), from what I've read it's more about how the child is raised, how the parents interact, etc. IMO PDs aren't born, they are made.  Even if a PD gene exists, it will probably only be activated if the environment cultivates it. So from the nature side of things, if a PD gene exists, it usually only gets activated if the environment nurtures the PD gene. Natural temperament can play a role as well. It will determine how the child handles problems. PDs have a tendency to use their maladaptive behaviors to escape or avoid their problems because they didn't have a good support system growing up, so you can always offer additional support so the child learns how to effectively cope. Having good boundaries yourself is also helpful as children learn through modeling their behavior after their parents.

I hope some of this helps!

I totally agree with Athene - I'm of the nurture over nature perspective as well, and believe that PDs are made, not born. And hey, you managed to survive growing up with PDs and turned out ok - so imagine how much better off your child would have it with you providing a healthy parent/home environment.

I would say that you may need to really think about how much, if any, access the PD parents would have with your kids - in my view, the risk here would be that any toxic involvement with the grandparents would be the greatest risk (but even then, I still think that having healthy parents is the most important factor).

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Wilderhearts

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Re: Will my children get it?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2019, 04:30:05 PM »

And if you're more concerned of the nature vs nurture (like if there's a PD gene), from what I've read it's more about how the child is raised, how the parents interact, etc. IMO PDs aren't born, they are made.  Even if a PD gene exists, it will probably only be activated if the environment cultivates it.

I totally agree with Athene - I'm of the nurture over nature perspective as well, and believe that PDs are made, not born. And hey, you managed to survive growing up with PDs and turned out ok - so imagine how much better off your child would have it with you providing a healthy parent/home environment.

I'm so relieved that that's the consensus (even if only of two people) - thank you!  My uNPDf is deceased, which has given us all a break from the abuse and time to heal.  I guess my only concern is making sure I don't let myself get sucked into a relationship with a PD!

I like the whole "PDs are made" - it does help me be more compassionate towards pwPDs for never having the support to learn better coping mechanisms, or respectful behaviours.