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I'm the father of a child I will never meet
Hello all and thank you first of all for welcoming me to your forum. As I have only 2500 characters to use, I will keep this as brief as possible.
I did not ever believe I would suffer from anxiety or depression (and truly I find it hard to accept now that I do, I can be so stubborn) until recently. The long and short of it all is that I have been involuntary made a father-to-be. Some of you might think "that's normal, we all go through that sort of feeling before becoming a new parent". Generally I would agree. I am a very different person however. Not to go into this too much but I am a childfree by choice person and I have always been this way. I recently dated a young lady who fell pregnant to me fairly quickly. These things happen and we talked. It seemed pretty obvious early on that she was really not interested in me anymore and just wanted a baby; I was basically a sperm donor. Now, this was hardly an optimum situation for me, being a somewhat vocal childfree person. She assured me that she would cut all contact, remove me from her life and never needed me to enter it again, financially or otherwise. As there wasn't much option I accepted her terms and moved on. The issue was not raised again until a friend of hers contacted me to reassure me that she did not want me in her life, and never truly had. She had just received a 500k life insurance payout from her deceased ex partner and was happy enough to consider that our brief relationship never happened. Small consolation for me....this whole pregnancy is a horrible cloud over my head causing strange thoughts and constant anxiety...I can't even reminisc on good times past without my brain adding in "but that was before the pReGnAnCy InCiDeNt" and ruining my next ten minutes thinking....wash rinse repeat every half hour or so and you get that that must be awfully tiring to have happen.
I have had to accept that there will be a child out there that I will never meet(I don't really want to either....I really don't like children at all)
I am curious what anti anxiety methods people may suggest, or memory suppressant excersizes, I do not want to be affected by this thought process for the rest of my life. I equate my situation to genuine sperm donors and wonder if they suffer similar anxiety to myself.
I lead an active social life which helps and work a demanding job which also helps.
Thankyou again for having me.
Hi RTS and welcome to our caring community;
Oh how wonderful it would be to have a memory eraser or suppressant. Unfortunately it doesn't work like that I'm afraid.
I'm glad you found this site as it must be difficult to find people who get what you're saying and experiencing.
I 'get' anxiety as it's been part of my world for many yrs. I'm in recovery now thank heavens so I hope I can help you sort thru this issue.
Our brains are pretty amazing organs. We'd like to think we're in control of our thoughts and for the most part we are. When worries hit without notice though, especially when they're invisible under the surface, our minds try to get our attention so we can identify what they are and deal with them. (an annoying thought for instance)
The fight, flight, flee or freeze primal response to danger is human's best tactic. You don't actually have to physically run from threatening information though so emotionally and mentally run/hide/fight using tools like arguments, dissociation, ignorance or diversion as examples.
Anxiety's one of those responses that tap us on the shoulder (bit of a sleepless night) to tell us we need to turn around and face some impending situation, information or avoidance to survive.
If we don't listen and keep avoiding, that tap on the shoulder turns into a brick in the face. (First panic attack) If we go on regardless, the panic and anxiety continues, damaging our central nervous system. Ergo chronic anxiety/panic and depression and, worst case scenario; a breakdown.
So trying to delete a memory or a thought is pointless and causes more harm than good.
I need to take off now so I'm hoping my post has been engaging and maybe lures you into replying.
Hope to talk soon;
Welcome, and I'd have to agree with Sez that one cannot expunge past events at will. As you have found distraction does help - as does time. I suspect your username cannot remain accurate, life ensures that.
While I can see that fathering a child might not have been your intent and that it may go against your basic philosophy I would ask what in particular is troubling you?
Rather than talk in general terms I might cut it short and wait to see if the nature of the problem becomes clearer.
Thanks so much for the replies. The above regarding anxiety is a good little insight into how it all works.
Croix I will try to keep emotion out of my reply in regards to the whole no kids thing.
I basically hate them. They are repulsive to me, and years ago I made my choice not to have them. I am very very career driven and as such a child would only get in the way of that. I don't have paternal instinct nor do I wish to care for another human short of a life partner.
I don't really know how to approach this situation, as there is not really anything I can do to help myself feel better. I don't want a child and technically I'm not getting one, but in my head I will always know. Then what if she back tracks on me, and asks me to pay her money and see this child I won't love or have any connection to? That scares me although it is highly unlikely as I said before due to her current financial windfall.
I know there is no real hiding from this issue but then it almost isn't an issue I can actually face anyway which leaves me in a sort of purgatory.
Thank you for coming back and saying a bit more on how you are affected. It sounds a very complex matter and I'm no expert but will try to offer a few thoughts, they are only mine, others might see things quite differently.
To start with I would have to ask what leads you to believe any child is yours?
Accepting it is then being cut out of prospective fatherhood might seem in line with your own beliefs. I'd be most surprised however if it did not have quite a a deep effect. To be used and rejected is a pretty big blow. It would be very natural to want to withdraw and have nothing to do with mother or the possible child as a result.
I've found whenever something very large and strange has happened unexpectedly I very much tend to assume the worst. I've often found facing those worst possibilities and making at least mental provision for them does ease worry over time.
You mentioned the possibility some time in the future you might be approached for assistance and maybe contact with the child, while something like this would not have been in your plans in the past is it as bad as all that?
At the moment you have said you have a strong dislike of children, people change, that may not always be true. As well you may feel a sense of responsibility for your actions and actually wish to make a contribution.
What do you think?
I appreciate the reply. I did not expect a response that would literally stop me in my tracks, and being an event manager, that is hard to do at the best of times!
You have made me feel a lot more....at ease?? About this. I guess that's how I'd word it. I had not thought that maybe, life will just keep moving as standard and I can embrace the idea that not everything moves as I would like it.
Whilst the situation still isn't ideal, I have also come to realise that children aren't a death sentence. They feel a bit that way but that would be an adjustment on my behalf. I am still very apprehensive about this but I don't feel as pressured at this point.
I want to be able to enjoy life above all else. I think your post made me realise I can still do that. Thankyou.
You mentioned feeling anxious about the potential for your child's Mum to change her mind and want your involvement. I wondered have you contacted her to discuss your expectations apart from the initial discussion?
It is very likely one day your child will want or need contact in some form. One day they may need contact for medical history. Or a blood donation. Or to want to know who the man is who is their biological father. No wonder you feel anxious if you both haven't decided how to manage these issues without contacting you.
One thought that came to mind to me immediately is whether she will list you on the birth certificate or record "unknown". This is worth knowing. If you don't want contact it is probably a good idea that you aren't listed on the certificate.
Even then I wonder whether you would consider providing information for the child so they don't need to seek you out. I need my biological grandparents medical records as my illness doesn't run in my Dad's side of the family and I need to know what to expect and what else to prepare for.
However... Mum's biological parents want no contact, have refused to provide any medical history and has a contact veto in place. Contact vetos are no longer legal except for preexisting ones. And they are cruel. Children have a right to their genetic medical information.
I mention this because I know I am fighting the veto. I don't care if they want contact or not. I want to know if my kids will inherit my disease. And if others have had it how it progressed over time.
I share this with you because it is important. If the family had given us basic health information rather than nothing I wouldn't need or want to seek them out. Think of the things a GP asks when you're sick. They ask about your family medical history.
More to come sorry
Could you or would you consider writing a detailed document for the child perhaps explaining you don't want contact but this is their medical history should they ever need it?
Another thing that is often a reason to want contact is to know basic details. Such as ethnic background, level of education, talents and weaknesses etc. Sometimes within family we feel like the odd one out. Which makes you want to find family who might be like you.
And finally I think there is always the question of why. Not knowing can be hurtful and cruel. It could be as simple as deciding with the Mum what she will say to both satisfy the need of the child to know why and also your need to be left alone.
I think you do have the right to be left alone to some extent. But in order to achieve this I do think it would help to compromise and meet at least some of the needs of the child.
Why do I say that? Because I can say in my position I am angry. By demanding complete secrecy and refusing to compromise on basic medical records my biological grandparents have made me feel hurt and angry. So right now I don't really care if I make them uncomfortable.
If they respected my right to want to protect myself and my kids I would respect their right to be left alone.
Is this worth considering?
Absolutely this is worth considering and not something that myself or the mother would have thought of. Bowel cancer is dominant in my family in males and females on my fathers side. So I think after birth I will consider a document outlining everything and apologising for not being in the child's life.
It's a hard thing for a child to know I am sure but I doubt having me forced upon a child as a father would be any better than the child growing up without me.
that suggestion was excellent, I am grateful for yet another angle I had not considered.
The story of your grandparents saddens me however. Mine were taken from me young and I have find memories with them.
I appreciate the reply.
Tonight is a strange night. I felt a lot better today, even driving home from work I had a little thought to myself "life is good". I get home and greet my parents (who do not know about this situation) and suddenly get a huge wave of guilt. They were discussing my 30th for next year and I realized it could not be possible to enjoy it knowing I am keeping a grandchild from them. I know that sounds silly, of course I will enjoy my 30th, but the whole time I am worried I will be just thinking about this baby that they can never know exists. Struggle time once again. I feel more and more like a yoyo, I have A good feeling replaced by a sudden ridiculous thought that manifests for no reason.
I really should have worn a condom (my poor taste joke I hope no one gets offended by!).