Because I've been spending more time around people since starting college classes, I've also been dealing more with bingos. Obviously, for most childfree people, bingos are just a part of life we have to deal with. I've met some decent people who, when I express my lack of desire for kids, leave it be, or even commend me for knowing myself well enough and not putting an unwanted child in a bad situation. But there are others who push and bingo me until I manage to get them on another subject or cut the conversation short. I wish I didn't have to do that, I really do. These people are otherwise generally very nice individuals; I don't think I've ever been in a class where I like 90% of the people, as I do now.
While I'm sure they don't mean anything by it, I'm still bothered when my pregnancy phobia is dismissed with "oh, just wait until you have your own." No. It won't happen. Desire, or lack thereof, for kids aside, pregnancy disturbs the shit out of me. It's nightmare fuel for me and has, in fact, been the center of nightmares in the past (once to the point that I went without sleep for almost three days because I was afraid of having that particular dream again). I know none of my classmates know that--how can they, when I haven't told them?--but other fears aren't dismissed like that. My fears of clowns, heights, and spiders were all taken seriously. Even my fear of dolls was taken seriously, and that isn't exactly a normal one.
But when I expressed my fears of pregnancy, it was dismissed with an off-hand comment from one woman. I was firm but nice with my insistence that kids weren't going to happen but...it still bothered me tremendously. She's a very nice woman, funny and intelligent, and I like talking to her otherwise.
But to have a legitimate fear brushed off simply because I'm a woman and it's assumed that I will have kids one day is hurtful. People shouldn't be assuming what I want just because of the reproductive organs I happen to have.
The bingos are hurtful, too, in a way, because my choices are brushed off as not being legitimate, or because I'm supposedly too young to know any better (but if I had children it wouldn't be that way). I know I need to just get used to them--I'm going to continue dealing with them as long as I'm spending any amount of time around people. But even though I know remaining childfree is the right choice for me, I still feel so worn down and sometimes I find myself wishing I did want kids just so I wouldn't feel so alone, so people wouldn't keep looking down on my choices. I want the pity, the condescending remarks, and the dismissals of my feelings to stop.
It doesn't matter how confident I am in my choices, it still hurts to have other people dismissing them or reacting badly or treating me differently. I almost hate myself sometimes. I know I'm not defective--I just have a different viewpoint, a different opinion--and yet I'm made to feel I am defective and that I'm a bad person and sometimes being surrounded by that is enough to make me feel like it's true.
I look around me and I see all the current parents and future parents and I feel alone and out of place.
Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't on different ground about so many other things; I don't know. But I am, and those are things that tend to draw condescending remarks, too (like my English instructor when she asked if anyone in the class was vegetarian and commented that "we won't make fun of you if you are." As though vegetarianism is something to be ashamed about. I've never been ashamed of it but I almost didn't raise my hand.) It makes the feeling of isolation worse and I hate feeling like that. But I know if I tried to follow the "norm" then I would still be miserable because it wouldn't be me. And I hate lying to myself.
I just don't understand it, why its seen as so horrible, so pitiable, so wrong, to make a choice like not having kids. I mean, I know that's how society is--parenthood isn't presented as a choice. But its not the 50s anymore. It's 2012.
I really wish that society as a whole, instead of making parenthood out to be a definite, made parenthood out to be a choice. Plenty of people would still have kids, you can bet on that. There are plenty of people who love them (and plenty of people who have them just so they don't have to do anything with their lives). If it was presented as a choice, maybe we wouldn't be seen as bad people, or defective, or people who should be pitied. Because we're not.