It is Child Abuse if a person with Mental Illness procreates?

That is what people on reddit have hurled at the beautiful soul that is Nicole Lyons. Nicole writes the blog The Lithium Chronicles.

If it can happen to one of us.  It can happen to any of us.

She is a brave Bipolar mama.  Putting it out there.  Being honest.  Fighting stigma.  Saving lives.

She wrote this post talking about how she did NOT feel guilty for having children.

I thought it was awesome and I tweeted her right away to tell her so.  She also made me feel brave enough to out myself as a mom on my blog although I have since taken the post down because it felt too raw to me.  Maybe I will have to put it back up for her.  I have another Bipolar parent post that I have been sitting on in which I actually quoted Nicole from her piece.

At the end of her piece she says…

“To those who would shame me for choosing to have children, do you feel guilty for having children because you’re an asshole?”

 

Now I think you my smart dear readers can see what she means….

Having Bipolar is not a given that you will be a bad parent and that your kid will be Bipolar and it will all be terrible.

Not having Bipolar is not a given that you will be a great parent and nothing challenging will ever happen to your child.

There are all kinds of people in the world and everyone should think long and hard about having children.  EVERYONE.

I will go out there and say that all of the Bipolar parents I have known…and it is actually a lot…(there are TONS of us) are some of the kindest, most caring, compassionate, intelligent, people ever.

I would make an argument that Bipolar also gives us gifts that allow us to parent with a different set of skills….we are different…different life experiences.

I completely respect that there are people with mental illnesses including Bipolar who choose not to have children.

We all have DIFFERENT Bipolar

So it makes sense that some of us feel equipped to parent and some do not think they should.

That is a personal, INDIVIDUAL decision.

SO I am OUTRAGED that Nicole has been ATTACKED for standing up for herself.  For standing up for all of us who have chosen to have our babies.

It really is obscene.

And you know what REALLY disturbs me is that it is coming from within the community.

Other mentally ill people attacking Nicole for procreating….

and then for not feeling guilty about it.

This is what I mean when I say we stigmatize each other.

 

As I said before.  These are the risks we take when we put ourselves out there…

when we try to fight stigma

be honest

reach out to ease the suffering of others

This is why we have to be brave when we do it

This is why we are courageous

Because there are always going to be haters

just waiting for their chance to hate

.

I have quoted some of the reddit comments below.  They are attacking Nicole but also the women who commented on her original post.

Nicole has updated her post to include these comments so you can also read them there.

Please Please hop on Twitter or go over to Lithium Chronicles and give Nicole some support and some tribe love.

She doesn’t deserve this.  She is just another beautiful Bipolar who has suffered and conquered and battled some more and is helping other people by sharing her heart and her story.

 

.

.

 

The disgusting comments

This is one of my biggest triggers ever. Selfish breeders (they really don’t deserve to be called parents), who don’t care if the kid will be sick too, who don’t care about the clear impact of growing up with a mentally ill parent on a person, who just choose to ignore facts in order to cater their selfishness.

And somehow, they feel morally better for doing all this shit? Entitled to teach others “big truths about the life, where everybody must suffer anyway, so why wouldn’t I make sure my kid will suffer for me personally”. Omg, I cant even, this is just so infuriating for me.

I’ve been in favor of eugenics for years. This is yet another confirmation of my views.

Knowingly having a child with a disability — be it physical or emotional — is CHILD ABUSE. Anyone who does that is a selfish asshole or a naive simpleton who doesn’t comprehend what they’re doing to their child.

Anyone who doesn’t care if they give it to a kid clearly doesn’t give a fuck about the kid, at all.

And to the woman in the comments on that site who said women are ‘genetically built for having babies’ – fuck you up the ass with a unlubed catcus. I’m so mad at people of her ilk that all I can say is this – They are the cruelest, nastiest, lowest, most immoral and unspeakably selfish fucking cunts in the world.

I’m genuinely horrified by how many of the commenters knew they had this disorder and bred anyway.

I don’t know how people can do that with a clear conscience.

it really is child abuse, and thinking about it is terribly upsetting

It isn’t like dwarfism – it is a lifetime of psychological torture. No one has the right to inflict that upon a child who never asked for that life.

 

26 comments

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  1. stephellaneous

    Heinous. These people are heinous. Eugenics, really? I’m…I’m sorry. I thought I could come here and be a thoughtful contributor to your comments. But I’m too angry – this disgusts me. Thank you for speaking out and standing up for her.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. morgueticiaatoms

    As one who used Reddit for years only to have my existence, and choice to have a child critiqued, I must say, sometimes the user behind the name is not actually the gender/who they claim to be. Internet trolls are like the devil, they just exist outside of the mortal coil. As in, soulless anti humans.
    I will NEVER say my child is a mistake. Whether she has bipolar issues or not, she
    has a chance to succeed where I never did. Anyone who considers this a negative pretty much proves their own ignorance.

    The sheeple need to watch “Gattaca” again and come to terms with their own genetic weaknesses. 15% chance of breast cancer in your line? You are a selfish ass for reproducing…

    Oh, what’s that? “Potentially passing on a genetic flaw doesn’t make it a certainty is abusive? Duly noted. When YOUR child develops cancer 15 years from now even though you were aware of the odds…
    YOU euthanize yourself and your children for the greater good.

    Noooo?

    STFU.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A

    Wow. Just wow. I cannot believe someone is speaking to another human being in that way. No matter what they are saying, that is so cowardly! This person must be having feelings of their own that they don’t know what to do with and is projecting their anger towards everyone else. Wow.

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Andrew

    Just to add my two cents: “genetics” is incredibly poorly understood and what we little we do know is incredibly simplified and distorted by the media. No bipolarrrrs in my immediate or extended family, and yet here I am, special Andrew, trailing clouds of glory. (Wordwsorth, people, really.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • bipolarfirst

      That is one of my all time favorite poems.

      I wrote a spin off once for a poetry class….that I took pass/fail because I was convinced I couldn’t write….

      and NO one else in the class knew Odes on Intimations……except the teacher

      I have lost all of those poems

      Liked by 1 person

      • Andrew

        Really?! Thought no one read Wordsworth anymore except a few octogenarians. One of my great favorites. Two summers ago I went through and chanted the whole Collected (‘cept for the boring Ecclesiastical stuff). The Prelude was a revelation. I like all of it. I maybe read/chant less now that I’m on an mood stabilizer: thumbs down to the mood stabilizer. (I was always more like Coleridge, anyway). Old Billy definitely sensed he’d been born a hunter-gatherer. I mean, it’s where all the great poetic insight comes from! The raw material.

        “Oh, many a time have I… stood alone
        Beneath the sky, as if I had been born
        On Indian plains, and from my mother’s hut
        Had run abroad in wantonness, to sport
        A naked savage, in the thunder shower.”

        Like

      • bipolarfirst

        Wow. yes that sounds perfect for you.

        I’m now having a Plath urge…so cliche I know

        I wouldn’t say I “read” Wordsworth so much as I would say I “love” Wordsworth

        Big diff

        I don’t want to mislead you into thinking I am some literary beast like you.

        In recent years my battered brain and negligible attention span force me to placate my word passion with chick lit and travel memoirs.

        but i had my days……

        now i find myself flipping through a dickinson or something muttering “where the fuck is the one that REALLY MOVED ME?..is this it? mmm no…”

        it is true….the mood stabilizer does tend to do away with some of that “searching” quality of the soul….

        which maybe is good but maybe is also wrong……

        but it sure is more comfortable

        Chanting?

        Dude you so cray!

        Like

    • bipolarfirst

      and oh yeah thanks for the 2 cents. Yes. To think we know everything there is to know is always a dangerous thought path……………

      “To know is to know that you know nothing”

      Thanks Socrates for keeping it real

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sonniq

    This whole thing leaves me speechless – the cruelty of other people’s words and opinions. Would I want any of those people to be MY parent?? The major social ills of our society are passed down to the children by teaching them to be prejudiced about many things. Children grow up thinking it is okay to pass judgement on other people. They don’t learn it on their own. It comes from the adults in their life. The adults learned it the same way. They often learn to be hateful from their religious training in issues of gender and other issues that don’t agree with their faith, although that isn’t an absolute. Some parents just had parents of their that were negative and hateful.

    People aren’t born racist and prejudiced. Children learn that it is okay to be intolerant and the children grow up to be adults like this. Sadly, not only can it not be stopped, it’s going to get worse. One reason is because the religious right is using politics to insist more and more that we use God’s law instead of the constitution to determine right and wrong. In this election year with so many professed devout Christians trying to prove they are the best Christian to run this country there are more people who think they have the right to put down people who don’t think like themose hem – refusing to do business with gays – refusing to issue marriage licenses because it’s against their beliefs and have other people cheer them on. Our country is sick. Those in power want this kind of dissention – people turning on other people. It distracts them from the real issues.

    I know I’ve gotten off the subject. I tend to rant when I’m pissed. But this is part of the bigger issue that has cultivated a generation of outspoken hate. It is often a topiic I write about on my blogs.

    Like

  6. sonniq

    Reblogged this on Watch and Whirl and commented:
    This whole thing leaves me speechless – the cruelty of other people’s words and opinions who think it is child abuse if you choose to have children if you have been diagnosed bipolar and then slam them with vile and hateful remarks on their blog which is dedicated to people who have to contend with the mental disability of being bipolar? I was blown away by these nasty remarks. Do they think the children of people with depression and mood swings don’t love and care for their children? Do you think the people who said these things are go parents? Should they have aborted their pregnancies or should they put them up for adoption even if they wanted their babies. I am shocked and disgusted. Below the line is the reply I left on the blog that exposed the remarks of the vile creature who left them. There is a link to the original post at http://lithiumchronicals.com. Please go there to leave your comments of support.

    Many of my writings here and at http://mynameisjamie.net have to do with exposing what is wrong in our society. If you don’t stand up and actively try to change this things then you are part of the problem.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Would I want any of those people to be MY parent?? The major social ills of our society are passed down to the children by teaching them to be prejudiced about many things. Children grow up thinking it is okay to pass judgement on other people. They don’t learn it on their own. It comes from the adults in their life. The adults learned it the same way. They often learn to be hateful from their religious training in issues of gender and other issues that don’t agree with their faith, although that isn’t an absolute. Some parents just had parents of their that were negative and hateful.

    People aren’t born racist and prejudiced. Children learn that it is okay to be intolerant and the children grow up to be adults like this. Sadly, not only can it not be stopped, it’s going to get worse. One reason is because the religious right is using politics to insist more and more that we use God’s law instead of the constitution to determine right and wrong. In this election year with so many professed devout Christians trying to prove they are the best Christian to run this country there are more people who think they have the right to put down people who don’t think like themose hem – refusing to do business with gays – refusing to issue marriage licenses because it’s against their beliefs and have other people cheer them on. Our country is sick. Those in power want this kind of dissention – people turning on other people. It distracts them from the real issues.

    I know I’ve gotten off the subject. I tend to rant when I’m pissed. But this is part of the bigger issue that has cultivated a generation of outspoken hate. It is often a topic I write about on my blogs.

    Like

  7. nagrij

    I’m bipolar myself, diagnosed and confirmed. I don’t have kids, but I don’t feel I couldn’t if I wanted. The thing is, two absolutely healthy people (from the outside) can have a bipolar child or a child with other ‘defects’. Or a bipolar couple could have a perfectly normal and healthy child. Genetics being what it is, even in this day and age with a mapped genome and breakthroughs on brain research every day, it’s still a crapshoot.

    Oh, and Eugenics is pure garbage, as a theory and an idea. You can’t get rid of any sort of genetic information or disease by making sure a given couple doesn’t breed; you would have to do it across entire family lines… thousands of years worth of people, all branches. People who champion eugenics should probably make absolutely sure there isn’t at least one sort of genetic disease in their lineage at all, before speaking up. Glass houses, stones, and all that.

    Like

  8. bipolarsojourner

    oh yah, like dwarfism doesn’t offer a lifetime of belittling, exclusion, being made uncomfortable for you height, and tauted. Hum, that doesn’t sound much different than the psychological torture of mental illness.

    using their logic, if you have a history of heart disease, cholesterol problems, alcohol dependency, cancer, stuttering… you can’t procreate, either. any of those maladies could easily viewed as weakening the human race.

    i guess they don’t understand the idea of biodiversity. by limiting the gene pool, it increases the possibility of problems. ever heard of inbreeding? this is a form of limiting biodiversity. sometimes that doesn’t work out to well.

    gees

    Like

  9. paininzeeback

    My undiagnosed bi-polar mother gave birth to a beautiful, bouncing, full on bi-polar baby girl at the tender age of 18. ME! Lol. She went undiagnosed until her early sixties and I was diagnosed at 43. While my childhood was often painful it is what made me who I am today. I feel no shame for being bi-polar. Can you begin to imagine the awful shame I would have to live with if I had that fairly new disorder? You know which one I’m talking about. The Self-righteous, Narcissistic, Judgemental Bitch disorder. Thank God for small favors. Give me bi-polar any day.
    In all seriousness, where do people get off thinking they have a right to decide who should procreate and who shouldn’t? There is no guarantee that two perfectly healthy people won’t create a moron. I’m sorry for being ugly. I get so angry at people who think they have a right to judge others or decide what is best for them.
    We have to keeping standing up for each other. I just need to get my temper in check.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  10. darie73

    First I would like to come clean about something. I have always said that I made a choice not to have children after my diagnosis. This isn’t true. The choice was made for me. I wasted so many years drinking and not being diagnosed, spending money, and living an unstable life that before I knew it time slipped through my hands. When I received a message posted on Facebook saying I should be Sterilized and put on an Island I was a few years sober, and had only been diagnosed about 2 years before. I was 39 and going into pre-menopause. I thought it would be easier to say I “chose” not to have children. I had been celibate for several years also, not my choice but it happens. I’ve been celibate for over 7 years. I can’t talk to men without being manic and drinking. My sister and I wouldn’t be here if my mother had been diagnosed at the time and decided or was forced to get rid of us. My sister has a good life and my nephews are kind, beautiful boys.
    The doctors told my sister half way through her 2nd pregnancy that the baby had 75% chance of dwarfism and would need immediate kidney surgery if she chose to continue with the pregnancy. I am so glad she did!!!!!!!!! There was NOT ONE THING WRONG WITH HIM!! He love animals and his Auntie the best. He’s smart and in the average percentile for everything. He just started school. Blond hair, blue eyes, full lips, the cutest little behind, he’s a heartbreaker. So do what your gut tells you. Not society, not the doctors, not your family, YOU! It’s too late for me now and I have issues with that. It’s up to me to work them out. I know that I could love and care for a child NOW. Ten years ago? Probably not.

    Like

  11. Warrior Freya

    I don’t even have words to describe what I feel. At the moment having finished reading this article only moments ago I guess for the most part it’s shock. I am dumbstruck that people can hold this opinion. In many ways it’s like the people who say gay couples shouldn’t parent because the child will be gay. Because we all know only straight parents raise straight children…

    Neither of my parents have any sort of mental illness that I am aware of and yet they still became divorced and I grew up in a broken household. My dad was still an irresponsible jerk who told me at the age of 13 that the reason he left my mom was because she was “spending too much time with the kids,” which led to a whole mess of issues that I have had to spend a considerable amount of time to work through mentally.

    I guess I write all of that to explain that anyone and be an emotionally abusive ass. Just like anyone can be loving and compassionate. I’m not going to say there aren’t situations where I feel like people shouldn’t have kids. But I don’t think this is one of those instances.

    Is it child abuse to have a kid even though there’s the chance you will pass on a cancer you may develop? Is it wrong to have a kid because you have allergies? Is it wrong to have a child unless you are in optimal health with no known hereditary anomalies?

    Is it child abuse to have a child when you yourself are mortal and ultimately your child will die because they too will be mortal? As their parent does that make you their murderer?

    I try to be open minded and to see things from all perspectives, but I honestly can’t see how it is fair in this instance to shame someone for making the decision to have a child. Though I am not Christian I feel it is very much in the same vein of “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    My take on it… unless you’re perfect, stuf.

    Like

  12. SassaFrassTheFeisty

    I wasn’t diagnosed until after the birth of my daughter and I had Postpartum Depression as well. Leslie-a lovely lady-says she doesn’t know how we do it: be a parent knowing we have a mental illness or chronic illness. We know no different. Yes, my children have a high chance of a mental illness, but that doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom, that ANY of us are bad parents. If anything I think it makes us BETTER parents because we already think outside the box and don’t the societal norms. Fuckthatshit anyway. Who wants to be one of the sheeple?! We have more creative and fun ways of teaching out children and raising our children to be more sympathetic and empathetic, to be kinder to others.
    We all need to stick together and fight the stigma, bullshit and assfuckery that is ignorance. Much love to you and your blog ❤️❤️

    Like

  13. nowIgetit

    yuck I just now read this even though you told me about it previously. those comments are disgusting. and a lifetime of psychological torture? I think those comments go back to what we have discussed, that people don’t understand how “spectrum-y” bipolar is. not everyone struggles the same. I was misdiagnosed with PMDD and just “regular” anxiety and depression for years, and both were mild enough that I could manage with coping skills/behaviors and no meds. it wasn’t until I had kids that I was diagnosed and needed to get on the med train. this whole discussion just illustrates so clearly how the general population doesn’t really understand how bipolar works.

    Like

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