Sunday, October 07, 2007

I'm at a loss for a post title

Atticus saw this article (not for children) over at Mark Shea's yesterday. It's the story of a French writer who has told the world, in her bestselling book, that she regrets having children. She and her partner (according to the article, they have a psychiatric practice -- yikes!) are raising two children, ages 13 and 10.

Here she betrays her problem:

"Generally speaking, people who have children have them for the wrong reasons," she says. "They have them because they're afraid of being alone, and they want to grasp a tiny bit of immortality."
She has projected her own mistake -- having children to escape a feeling of loneliness -- onto the world. From earlier in the article:

She is painfully honest, as perhaps only a psychiatrist can be, about her own delusions of motherhood. She had been an only child and had hoped that having children would end her feelings of loneliness. She realized too late, she says, that it simply created new forms of loneliness.

And so, this poor, unhappy woman is trying to justify her own shortcomings by telling the world that her children were a mistake. She thinks she is being hip and funny, but all she's really accomplished is for me to feel pity. Especially for her children. I'm sure she'd find me hopelessly archaic for doing it, but I'll be praying for her.

14 comments:

Meredith said...

Good Heavens, have her children read her book?? What a sad and sorry tale, there's probably many more. Thank Atticus for the heads up, now I won't need to read her book :)

Colleen said...

Stories like this make me so sad. How her statements must hurt our Lord and the Blessed Mother! She is in my prayers.

Becky said...

I saw this in The Globe & Mail last weekend and have been thinking about it ever since.

My main thoughts are

1) I don't think anyone will regret her unthoughtful thoughts and actions more than her poor children will. What a destructive legacy;

2) I'll stick with Edith Piaf when it comes to Frenchwomen -- "Non, je ne regrette rien";

3) It's interesting, n'est-ce pas, how Mamzelle Maier blames the children and the culture instead of herself for failing to raise them properly, into delightful companions. I'm no fan of surrealist art, but I could see having a good conversation with a 13yo about what makes good art. And there's no excuse at all for a 10yo to start screaming in a museum, unless he's been impaled by an artwork.

How bizarre that she is willing to put her own shortcomings as a parent on full public view in a "funny little book".

Theresa said...

Yuck! Just...yuck! That has to be the most repulsive thing I've read in ages. What a vile woman.
And if she thinks "there are no wonderful children" she hasn't met ours, has she Karen?

Leonie said...

I'm hoping she will change her mind - and eventually write a retraction. Perhaps she is in a bad place, a bad season right now? And she'll have a change of heart?

Beck said...

Oh oh oh! I saw this too and was infuriated and saddened - the article I read said that she gave a copy of the book to each of her children, which is the most sadistically nihistic thing I've ever heard.

scmom said...

I'm certain one day her children will be looking for a GOOD psychiatrist so they can get past their childhood. Maybe one day they will pretend they don't have a mother and her wish will be fulfilled. See how much she likes it then.

Alice Gunther said...

Prayers going up for her.

Can you imagine having that much ingratitude for God's greatest gifts?

And wouldn't you think she might consider the psychological ramifications for her children of knowing this book even exists?

K said...

How very sad and unfortunate for her, but more so for her children. She has missed the blessing of the gift our Father has bestowed on her in the form of children. I am praying for her, but I will certainly pray that her children come overcome such an awful tragedy...being rejected by their mother. It can be done, through His Grace and Our Blessed Mother's intercessions.

Goslyn said...

Oh that poor woman's children. Breaks my heart. Can you imagine having your mother write a best-selling book saying that she regretted your life? Oh my. Oh. My.

Mr. Underachiever said...

People please. If this didn't strike a chord with you somewhere inside, then you wouldn't have your feathers so ruffled.

Karen E. said...

I agree -- it does strike a chord of genuine sadness for her children.

Anonymous said...

I know it may seem unfathomable to you, but some people just don't want kids, and maybe they realize it after they've already had them, oh and not everyone believes in God, so enough with the Christian rhetoric about "gifts." Perhaps by writing a book like this the author can convince others, like herself, to not make the mistake too late. I'm sure she loves her kids and one day they will have to come to terms with what their mother wrote, but if it prevents future mothers filled with regret, maybe it's not such a terrible thing. Also, Becky- you sound like a pretentious bitch, n'est-ce pas?

Karen Edmisten said...

"... it may seem unfathomable to you, but some people just don't want kids"

Not unfathomable at all. I was once one of those people. :) Loads more on the topic here.

"oh and not everyone believes in God, so enough with the Christian rhetoric about 'gifts.'"

I use rhetoric that reflects my beliefs, as I'm sure you do. I was once an atheist, and didn't think of children as gifts then either, but I don't think it's unreasonable that we should each express ourselves according to our worldviews.

"I'm sure she loves her kids and one day they will have to come to terms with what their mother wrote, but if it prevents future mothers filled with regret, maybe it's not such a terrible thing."

Maybe it's not a terrible thing for the potential future mothers, but I still felt pretty bad for Maier's kids.

"Also, Becky- you sound like a pretentious bitch, n'est-ce pas?"

You have clearly not read Becky's blog! :) She is anything but pretentious and she's certainly not a bitch. Becky and I don't share all the same beliefs but I love her blog, love her thoughtful and intelligent commentary, and love her kindness toward others. I have a lot of respect for her. I hope you'll take a look at her writing.