The Catt Box

'Having Children'

Message to devotees

 

Now comes the most sensitive part of this section....the discussion of my having children. This isn't something that comes up too often, and when it does, it usually isn't pleasant. I know that a lot of talk about this subject goes on behind my back, and people don't think I realize that. They don't think it gets back to me, but it does. 

Once in a while someone will criticize me for having children.....calling me selfish.......they will feel 'appalled' that I ever entertained the thoughts of having children. 

I was inspired to write this page because of what happened to me in the fall of 2001. Just before my cable company went bankrupt and my website disappeared, a website that is dedicated to making fun of other websites had featured my site for about a week. 

These supposedly grown adults shredded my site.....made fun of my legs, my husband, the name of my website, and they even discussed that I should have had a set of 'hemostats' rammed into the back of my neck at birth.......that people like me should have never been born. 

This one girl, who finds the sites for these jackals to shred, had set my site up to be mocked and ridiculed. I couldn't believe what I was reading. I wouldn't have known about it, at least at first, except that I have site trackers on my website so I can monitor my standing on the search engines. 

Anyway, one night, just before bed, I checked my stats and saw that I had over 800 visitors to my site in one day. I knew something was going on, so I followed the link from my tracker and it led me to that vicious place. 

I was stunned at what I was reading. There was nothing about my site that these people weren't making fun of. You name it, they were making jokes about it. I hadn't seen this kind of viciousness and name calling since my school days. They had even taken pictures from my site and doctored them up to portray my husband and I in various situations.

So, naturally, I went in there and defended myself. I didn't expect to change their minds about anything, but I was angry and I had a few things to say. I have worked very hard on my site, and in my life, and these people totally dismissed everything that I am and they said I had no right to live.......that I should have been killed at birth. 

The girl who originally posted my site came in and posted her own comment, after I had written a scathing email to her. She told everyone there that she had originally posted my site because she saw the 'devotees' as 'evil'...however, it all backfired on her and they turned their attentions on 'me'..... "I" was the 'evil' one...... "I" should have not been allowed to live. She did tell the people there to back off of me, but they actually became worse towards me.

Upon reading her comment, I went in and defended that at least the 'devotees' had never given me the grief that these particular people did....that neither me nor the devotees were evil, but that they themselves were the evil, cruel, vicious ones.

I'm not putting a link to their site here, and I'm not going to mention the name of their site. I'm not about to give them any credit or visitors. I would love to see those very same people live my life and see how they would feel to be so casually dismissed. I wonder how well they'd live their lives as an amputee and endure the things I've had to endure. I wonder how many of those vicious people will end us as an amputee one day, due to an accident or Diabetes....and if they will do as well.

Anyway, as the week wore on, they began to harass me...they were writing phony letters, pretending to be mothers of handicapped children, seeking advice. They pretended to be interested in several things, and I could tell who they were....so I never responded. They were also signing my guestbook.

Even that vicious  website has rules about not contacting the owners of the websites that they are 'discussing'. But these people were breaking their own rules just to give me a hard time.

So, I stopped answering all email that I wasn't already familiar with. I didn't want to take the chance of one of those people being clever enough to get a response from me and take it back to the 'den of jackals' and shred me again. 

Because of them, I didn't trust anyone writing to me, except for my friends. I was being set up by some of those people and I was very upset. So, I decided that when I re-built my website, I would explain why I had my two children, just in case any other judgmental 'holier than thou' people were reading about my legs and decided that they could play 'God' and decide who should be allowed to live and who should die..

Some people have asked me if the doctors had tried to discourage my family from reproducing, knowing that they'd have a chance of being born like me.

Well, why would the doctors try to discourage me from having children? That's like saying I don't have a right to live. 

Besides, all of the doctors and people who really knew my family knew that this was not the sort of birth defect and problem where the thoughts of 'discouraging reproduction' were ever discussed with us. I'm sure that if the doctors thought that this was so 'wrong' of a life to lead that they would have suggested something, but they never did, not to any of us. They looked at us as 'normal', just as we looked at ourselves. 

Living life as an amputee has not been nearly as challenging as what it was like to deal with supposedly 'normal' people. They seem to have had more of a problem with it than I ever did. They're the ones who have made this a challenge, not the amputation.

My mother, or the doctors, had not foreseen that her birth defect would be inherited by some of her children...no one else before her had ever had this to happen in our family....and until I was born, they thought it was just a fluke. 

Who knows why my mom continued to give birth to more children after I was born, maybe for the same reason I that I did. Having been an amputee all of my life, I knew no other way....and to me... to us.....if this is the worst that can happen to one of our children being born, then that was a blessing. We knew no other way of life. We already knew our potential......life could be lived fully by us. To us, we are normal.

I look at it like this.....every day there are 'physically normal' parents who are giving birth to future rapists, dead-beat dads, murderers, drug addicts, pedophiles, wife beaters, prostitutes, serial killers, and lazy bums who steal, rob, and lie in order to get through life. I have worked since I was 14 years old and have always been a productive member of society. Yet, to some people, having twisted legs at birth should have signed my death certificate.

I have never been arrested, addicted to drugs, or contributed to many of the other ills of this society. I went to a public school and I graduated. I have 'pulled my own weight', worked, and lived. Yet, somehow, my family is supposed to feel guilty by exercising our right to have a child. 

Why do a lot of the 'physically normal' people who have caused so much more pain to a lot of people, have more of a right to live than me?

How about Osama Bin Laden?...his parents were perfectly normal, physically...but does that make him more deserving of life than me just because his legs weren't twisted at birth? Of course not. And just look at what he did. 

So, you can't judge a person as 'having more of a right to live' by whether or not they were born with twisted legs. According to some people, I should have been put to death, but someone like Osama Bin Laden gets to live because his legs were normal. Does that make sense to you?

If some of these critics of mine were to give birth to a child with twisted legs, would they themselves want to ram a pair of hemostats in the back of their child's neck and kill it? Would it be easy for them to do? It's what they wanted to have happen to me.

 
Perfectly normal parents can have severely retarded children, who are burdens on the family and society. Most of those ones cannot live productive lives. So, I can think of much worse cases. 

Look at the children who are born with chronic health problems. Are some people also suggesting that perhaps people who have twins running in their family should not have children because they may be conjoined? There is that chance, you know. Each and every person alive has the chance of passing along a birth defect onto their child....any child could be born with something wrong with it.

 
Should people who have cancer in their family not have children, for fear of passing it on to their children? What of people who have other health issues that are hereditary? 

Perhaps no one should have children, knowing that any of them could be born 'gay' and live an unhappy life being tormented in school and for the rest of their lives, possibly ending up with Aids and suffering, or living as a social out-cast.....do you think that people should be discouraged from having a child because of the chance of them being born 'gay'? See, there is no difference. I know some gay people who have had it worse than me, in some areas. That doesn't mean they should not have been born.

But, self-righteous people who act as 'judges' like to point their fingers and call me selfish and thoughtless, just because I had two children. I wonder what their own little 'perfect' children have turned out to be. I wonder if they've all turned out to be model citizens of society. I wonder if their own children will end up spending their lives in prison, burdening the tax payers by having to support them for the rest of their lives. And they have more of a right to live than I do?

 
The only thing that was wrong with us were the twisted legs that were eventually amputated ....and then we went on to live very productive, active lives, holding down jobs and careers. I fail to see why there is a big concern as to whether or not we should exercise our right to bear children. 

If you could take your pick as to what physical challenge to have, I would suggest picking my exact leg situation. You can still lead a full life and be someone that contributes to society, experience life, and not be a burden on anyone. 

I went to school with some very cruel children who tormented me.....called me names, hit me, made fun of me, and made my school years less than enjoyable. I also know that since those days, a few of them have had children born to them that were less than 'perfect'.....and you know what, I bet they knew exactly what their own kids were going to go through in school, and they should......after all, they wrote the book on how to treat people with physical challenges.

To all four of us amputated women in my family, this is not much different than someone who wears glasses or a hearing aid.....wearing artificial legs is merely a way to get from point A  to point B. We can live with this.....this is 'do-able'. We still have our health......we can still lead a normal life.


I have also found that living life as I do has made me a more patient person, less judgmental of those with physical differences, more accepting, more tolerant, more forgiving, and more generous. It has given me an understanding of things that most 'normal' people could not begin to grasp.....it may be an unwelcome knowledge, but it's a knowledge many don't have. 

It has also made me realize just how shallow and petty and cruel society can be towards those of us who are different. But in the end, it levels out somehow....perhaps what some of them have to face later on in their own lives will pale in comparison to what I've had to deal with. 

I have had to build character and security that a lot of people never dreamed of working that hard for. This made me fight harder and dig deeper and try more....reach out for more...breathe in life, and taste it, far better than most people I know. Ever wonder what it took for me to feel confident as a woman, knowing I'm missing the very things that epitomizes what sexy is when looking at a woman? I've gained a confidence most other women never had to think about....but I did it...

And in keeping with how I'm so easily judged, shouldn't smokers stop smoking, knowing the hell they'll be putting their loved ones through later on when they are suffering from cancer and dying early in life? How is my birth worse than that? 

Smokers are intentionally inflicting harm to themselves, and unnecessary grief for their loved ones who have to watch them suffer....they know what their chances are of doing that when they pick up the habit of smoking. It's all a chance, isn't it? 

I knew that there was a chance that my child could be born with legs like mine.......smokers know that they could end up dying an early death, forcing their loved ones to go through needless suffering and grief...rendering their own children to be motherless, or fatherless, never being around to watch the grandchildren grow up...much less what it does to the spouse they leave behind. What's the difference?

 
So, giving birth to a 'normal looking' child is no assurance that you will have a 'problem free child'....that your 'physically perfect' child has more of a right to be here than I do. That very child could grow up to be such a source of grief for people...and make people's lives a nightmare....

I think that it's a much worse problem than the way we were born. There are other ways of being a problem to the population than having a few deformed limbs. I'd take this over any other physical problem any day. I wouldn't trade this for anything else. I've done things and been to places that most of my 'physically normal' friends will never do in their life-time. I hardly think I've been short-changed in life. This merely enriched it, to me.

 
I have no regrets that my daughter was born the way she was born...being born in a family like this, in this day and age, has helped her to get a better grip on how to deal with this than if she had been the 'only one' in the family like this.  And my mother didn't regret having me and my sister, knowing how our legs were.

We at least felt the sense of 'belonging' that most other amputees never feel in their families because they are the only amputee...and we are four amputees in one family. That void was filled long ago....we do have that sense of camaraderie when around one other....

So, no matter how much the world had hurt us and inflicted their cruelty, we could always come back to a place where everyone around us was exactly as we were....being at home meant that we felt normal and we blended in....no one was 'special'... 

It's ironic.... when I was growing up, the people who were 'physically normal', and deemed to 'have more of a right to live' than I did, were the most cruel of them  all....and society would rather have the likes of them instead of me? Give me a break. And now that we're all grown up, you should see how some of those ones turned out...and where they are today. 

 
You know who else wanted a perfect race that passed on no imperfection?... Hitler! He killed all handicapped people...they weren't fit for society...and he killed the parents of such children so the imperfection wouldn't be passed on to more children. And that's exactly who some of these people remind me of.

And there have been 'physically normal' girls born to my family....so it's not like it's a guarantee that all girls born will be born with this defect....and, my grandchildren are perfectly normal.

I am a healthy, contributing member of my community. Me, and others like me, have a right to live. A few twisted legs is not reason enough to not have children. I don't know what it's like to have legs, so I don't miss something that I never had anyway. 

In spite of some of the ways that 'physically normal' people have treated me and made me feel, my life has not been so harsh and unbearable that it would have been best if I were not born at all.

Just think of all the 'physically normal' criminals and dictators....serial killers, rapists, wife beaters, terrorists, murderers and molesters of children that are walking around on two perfectly good legs.........and then tell me why they deserve to be here more than me.

 

~Notice ~

Because of all the 'fake' letters I receive from people who 'pretend' to need advice and discuss a supposed birth defect, I am no longer answering questions or letters from anyone.

You can thank the game-playing devotees for this.

Another thing I got tired of was spending my time writing back to people who 'ask' for help or advice and then I never hear from them again, not even so much as a thank you for the time I spent answering them. I am a very busy person and don't have time for the games or ungratefulness.

 

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