Right now, I am going through a difficult time. I just found out a few weeks ago that my mom had her tubes tied after I was born. Her second child died of a rare condition days after the birth and the doctor told her that her risk of losing another child or doing harm to her own health were increased if she had any more children. She inadvertently mentioned this when I was talking about the evil of contraception. I brought it up a few days later to get some personal closure as to why she would mutilate herself. She got annoyed and said that it is none of my buisness, that I’ll never understand, and see everything “black and white.” Today, after morning devotions with my Catholic housemates, I asked them to pray for her, and found myself suddenly grieving. Can anyone relate to this in any way? Am I wrong to feel this way about a decision that didn’t involve me, but nonetheless hurts anyway? God Bless.
I can kinda see why your mom was upset…yes, she mutilated herself and went against the teachings of the Church (which she maybe didn’t know it was a sin at the time) but she also suffered much in losing your sibling and being told that she would lose more children if she were to become pregnant again. Remember, science and the general population didn’t know as much then as they do now. I think using the term “self-mutilating” is correct but extremely harsh sounding to one who probably is still grieving the loss of their child.
Your Mom cant undo what she did and quite frankly i dont think it is any of your business. I also dont think it was appoptiate for you have your hhousemates pray for her unless you did it in the most general of terms.
Sounds like your mom may be defensive and upset at being judged for what may have been a sad and unresolved decision. Years later it is brought up and it dredges up old emotions. I agree I wouldn’t have strangers praying for this if it requires you to divulge such private information.
Some issues she may be dealing with are unresolved guilt, grief for a child she lost, the fear that made her consent to a surgery knowing it would mean never having any future children. Your mom may have wanted more children. It still sounds like this is painful for her. She may have been given bad counsel from priests and doctors. Medicine and NFP has come a long way since then.
And yes, it may be dawning on you that you lost the chance to maybe have more brothers or sisters and that can be upsetting.
Just pray for your mom. Talk to her and let her know you aren’t judging her for something that can’t be undone. Ask her what you can do to help her heal from this. And pray for her. But don’t judge her. Watching a child die from a rare disease is punishment enough. That alone could be a huge mitigating factor in her culpability for the medical decisions she made afterward. There is no pain like a parent grieving a child’s suffering and death.
I find both your comments to be honest, but at the same time lacking a charitable tone for something I am personally grieving (except the last comment)
I am disappointed that I would come to this forum and then be rebuked.
Should one have to silently suffer? I was not maliciously condemning her, but speaking my heart…that I am concerned for her well being and somewhat personally devastated that she had this procedure done after I came into existance. I told my housemates that she is a good woman, who does many good things for other people. Try to understand, I am not judging her as a soul made in God’s image, but judging an action which harmed herself, harmed me; a ‘medical’ action (so-called) which continues to devastate the very fabric of life which is the family. I am disappointed, and had it been you and not me, I would have chosen my words a little more carefully.
Since she brought it up, I don’t necessarily think it was inappropriate to comment on it or react to it. You were likely caught off guard. It’s not like she sent you a letter, where you had time to think and formulate a response before saying something. Sometimes, things we say don’t come out in the best way when we’re on the spot.
I also don’t see anything wrong with praying for her or asking your housemates to pray for her.
Since she’s Anglican, she likely sees nothing wrong with being sterilized. So, I don’t think it’s really going to change anything if you bring it up again. I’d advise not doing so.
As for feeling a sense of loss, yes I think that is a normal reaction.
Thank you Ike for your understanding. I believe this is a normal reaction as well, and your advice for not bringing it up with her again is well noted. I love my mother more than words could convey; she is a beautiful soul who has always looked out for me and taken care of me, being a tremendous encouragement. I suppose that is why it hurts so much. It caught me off guard completely.
I hope the OP wasn’t thinking I was being harsh. I was just simply trying to explain what the situation looked like from a distance. And to ask her not to judge her mother, who is obviously in pain from this even after many years. She did not say in her first post that her mother was not Catholic. That does have bearing on this. Her mother made the choice operating under different rules than we operate under.
I know it’s difficult to have news like this dumped on you, and it hurts to think one’s mother made a wrong choice.
I think someday when the OP has children herself, she will come to view her mother with a little more understanding. Moms make mistakes, and most of them are not made out of viciousness or cruelty. I think the OP doesn’t yet understand how the thought of going through the illness and death of another child could cause her to do something like she did.
“I think someday when the OP has children herself” … I am a guy just to let you know…Cameron is a unisex name of sorts so it’s understandable. As for judging her, I never judged her and made that clear in our dialogue. As for doing this out of viciousness or cruelty, I am quite aware of this fact as my mom is a gentle soul. Going through the death of a child is devastating, I understand that, but that doesn’t detract from the pain it causes in the end for the whole family. Sure it isn’t the same kind of turmoil as losing your own child, but it hurts nonetheless to know your own mother had this procedure done after you were born. Try to see this from my angle…did she mean to have me or not? These questions haunt you after making this discovery. I wish she had never mentioned it to me.
I guess not since I’m a guy. As for judging her, I never judged her and made that clear in our dialogue, but judged an action which is another thing altogether. As for her doing this out of viciousness or cruelty, I am quite aware of the fact this wasn’t her motive as my mom is a gentle soul. Going through the death of a child is devastating, but that doesn’t detract from the pain it causes in the end for the whole family whether admitted or not. Sure it isn’t the same kind of turmoil as losing your own child, but it hurts nonetheless to know your own mother had this procedure done after you were born. Try to see this from my angle…did she mean to have me or not? Why did she have this ‘procedure’ done after I was born? These questions haunt you after making such a discovery. I wish she had never mentioned it to me.
I was not a catholic when I had my tubes tied. I was exauhsted with three small children 1 month, 2 years, 4 years, and my oldest son has a disability. I was on bed rest for 4 months with my last child and had many complications. My dear melissa almost didn’t make it. I had BAD gestational diabetis and although I did not know it at the time my thryroid was shutting down. I was told that any more children would put my life at risk. I talked with my bishop (lds) and it was a no brainer for everyone. When the doctor asked me if I was sure there was no question in my mind. I WAS SURE that I couldn’t handle any more children and I couldn’t take the pill and IUD’s seemed wrong. Then I became catholic. Sure baptism washes away all sins and I am not required to reverse but sometimes I feel guilty. I did not feel at all guilty before I became catholic and would have torn any ones throat out that suggested I had not made a correct decission. I will freely admit that I have trouble sometimes believing that tubal ligation is a sin as there are circumstances where I (incorectly) believe that it is a lesser sin than ceasing marital relations. What can I say I am still a young catholic and stil transforming myself. I can identify with your horror. My mom just let it slip that she is assisting in performing abortions or as she calls them “early births” and believes this to be a mothers choice. I know that my mom is not ready to hear what I have to say. I however do not back down when she brings it up. Notice she brings it up, I don’t. I know she is aware of my beliefs and does not share them at this time.
Cameron, I can relate to your pain. As a small child, I was always asking my mom for more siblings (I have 2, but we were not really close during childhood). She kept telling me she was “fixed” ("…like the puppy is fixed…"), and couldn’t have any more. I was so sad every time. I think I even asked her once if she could fix getting fixed.
When I became Catholic, I became even sadder, sometimes angry, but I have never said anything to her (she’s a non-practicing Protestant). It does hurt, though, and I imagine it’s worse if you’re an only child. What you are feeling is totally normal.
My mother is a Catholic and has had her tubes tied. She had it done when I was relatively young but it caused her to have so many problems that by the time I was in the 6th grade, she had a hysterectomy. For YEARS she lied to me and told me she had cervical cancer. So when I found out that I had cervical polyps, my doc and I both freaked, based off what my mother had told me, I felt I had a really big concern to worry about. I was CRUSHED when I found out the truth. I am really glad my mother really didn’t have cervical cancer, but was really crushed that she had lied to me all these years. I understand feeling bad about our actions (I’m not so proud of some of my own) but to lie to me about it…
I do pray for my mother as I think she’s made some choices that I think she struggles with. I struggle knowing she’s pro-abortion, she promotes contraception and I’m pregnant with #4 and she’s INSISTING that this is my last one. I can’t help but feel she uses my family as a tool for recognition in her parish because “Lookie me, I’ve got GOOD Catholic children!” yet she’s telling me no more children and that I need to be fixed or my husband needs to be fixed.
Otherwise… it’s hard when we first learn of something our parents have done. I wish I could say that my mother has true regret but she doesn’t see anything wrong with going against Church teachings if she thinks it benefits a lifestyle she wants. I don’t talk to my mother anymore about stuff like this as it hurts my heart that someone that claims to be a very devout Catholic could so blatantly go against Church teachings.
Anyway… enough of my sob story. It’s obvious I struggle with having a mother like this. So I will just say I will pray for you in your journey in praying for your mother. As the Kyrie states 'Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world GRANT US PEACE" I am always seeking and praying for that peace. :console:
No. Does that mean I am oblivious to the circumstances at hand? I know what you are getting at sir. You’ve already rebuked me once quite coldly and you continue to press me. Did I ask for your “blatant opinion”? No sir, I asked that you be mindful of your choice of words, tone etc. Other posts have been more balanced in approach as well as the other traits I have mentioned such as the use of charity. Sadly this is a lacking element in your responses. Again, it is quite unnerving to have someone poke at you, especially in times like these. Now to answer the implications of your question.
One does not have to be a parent to feel the detrimental effects whether at a lesser degree or not regarding the preventing of life. Mother Teressa, for example, wasn’t a parent and she stood up at the National Prayer Breakfast and condemned abortion and contraception among other effects of so called ‘family-planning’. Surely there was someone there who had their tubes tied or went through with an abortion, a parent perhaps? She even went so far as to assert she wouldn’t put a child up for adoption to any family using any form of contraception. Was she wrong?
The fact is Estesbob, that she wasn’t wrong in standing up for life and speaking out of concern. When I discussed this with my mother, I wasn’t some monster trying to break her down. In the end, we agreed to disagree on the issue of contraception. As others have said, she brought it out of the dark very unexpectedly. Therefore, I find no harm in asking close friends to pray for her wellbeing. Did I bring back bad memories? Perhaps, but when you decide to mutilate yourself, which is exactly what it is (sorry but true medical science doesn’t take something beautiful and destroy it with the possibility of complications in the future), your child, especially the one born before the ‘procedure’ was performed is going to bring it up at some point when it is mentioned. She made it my buisness by bringing it up and that was no accident.
God bless you for your transparency and prayer. I have one other sister, a beautiful talented woman soon to be 27 years old. We love and support one another very much as siblings. She is a blessing from God. Let’s continue to pray for one another’s healing and the healing of our beloved mom’s.
Please note that the question "Are you a parent" was addressed to 1KE-not you. I expressed my feelings to you in our private email exchange-an exchange i will be glad to post to this group if that is your desire.
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