What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here.  Today’s guest post is by an anonymous writer. 

I came from a large family and I was changing the diapers for my younger siblings when I was barely out of them myself. When I was 12 I got my first job babysitting for a few families in my church. By the time I became a teenager I was burnt out and thoroughly over the baby experience. In my irrational teenage state, I felt that I had been deprived of a childhood and that everyone else got to be a baby except me. When I was 17 I started dating a long-term boyfriend and we became sexually active. After several years, the relationship began to deteriorate and I began to try to find a way out. Sensing that he was about to lose me, my boyfriend intentionally compromised our birth control and got me pregnant in an attempt to trap me. Panicked that I had this baby that I wasn’t sure I wanted, I isolated myself. I didn’t tell anyone what was going on and I considered an abortion. Over the next two months I slipped into a depression. I stopped eating and sleeping and started abusing caffeine and alcohol. Due to the abuse I was putting my body through I had a miscarriage. 

I cannot even express the guilt I have felt over losing that unwanted baby. For years I felt that it didn’t matter if I ever changed my mind and decided I wanted kids, because I did not deserve them. I have struggled with spells of insomnia and night terrors where my baby asks me why I didn’t want her. The sound of hearing an infant cry fills me with so much guilt that I become physically ill. 

Instead of dealing with this pain I decided to cover it up. In an attempt to excuse myself from ever having to be around babies I have taken the Robin Scherbatsky approach from How I Met Your Mother. I decided to be career oriented and to over animate a fear of babies. 

Recently a friend attacked my dislike for children and called me harsh and anti-feminine. Now I have a new fear. What if I can manage to heal? What if I do decide one day I want kids? I worry that because I have misrepresented myself so thoroughly that I will not be welcome around my friend’s children and my friends would tell mine that I did not want them.