Something To Love: Fiona's Story

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

That was always an easy question for me to answer. I wanted to be a Child Psychologist. (Yes, I was a weird kid) Or maybe a Vampire. Or both. I never said I wanted to be a Motherthough. I just assumed I would be. All little girls grew up to be Mother’s didn’t they?

Nope. 

Apparently not. I didn’t. And I’m not alone, even if it does feel like I am.

Childless women are a growing group, and it really is long overdue that the rest of the world finds out a few things about us. 

We’re not freaks. We’re not cold, frigid, unlovable, selfish, or child-haters.

Some of us aren’t physically able to have children, or to adopt, or to foster. Some of us don’t actually want to have children. I have a bit of a soft spot for those women. I believe if you don’t want them, then you have no business having them, and good for you for making such an adult, carefully thought out, decision. 

And then there’s the group that I’m part of. I’m childless by circumstance. I just ran out of time. Here’s my story.

I’m 47 years old now, and I’m willing to admit that I don’t always make good decisions. I know that some of the decisions I made in my younger day’s lead to my childlessness. But I thought I had time, you see. I also had some decisions made for me, as often happens in life. But if I could go back and change any of those decisions, so that I could have children, I would. 

The pain of childlessness is indescribable. It’s ongoing, it’s all-consuming and it’s the greatest pain I know I will ever face.

But it’s also my life purpose. Don’t worry, I’m not about to go all preachy on you, but I do believe that we are put on this earth for a reason. There’s something we each have to do. Something we have to learn and something we have to teach. As human beings, we need to make a contribution. This is why my childlessness has always been so devastating to me, I couldn’t understand what I was meant to be doing if it wasn’t raising children. 

Wait…I need to back track a bit. In 2011, the Christchurch earthquakes hit. Wow. That was life-changing. and definitely a topic for another post. (or four or five). I’ve learnt a lot from those earthquakes, like you don’t really need running water or electricity to survive, and not to worry about things you can’t change.

I’ve also learnt that life really is too short to be miserable. You’d think that having to take anti-depressants since my early twenties would have taught me that, but apparently not.  So, once the ground settled, I got married, tried to foster and adopt children, and then I eventually faced up to the fact that motherhood is just not part of my journey this time around.

You know, when I read over what I’ve written so far, it sounds like it was all a simple process really. 

It wasn’t. There was a miscarriage, at least twice I was in a relationship where I thought we were going to have kids, and there were various other children who came into, and went out, of my life over the years. I’m an Aunt to my niece and nephew, and I’m a Godmother to three wonderful human beings, one of which has a child of her own now.

So, I journeyed through all of that until I got to the point where there was nothing else to do but face it. I am not, ever, going to be a mother. I know that the pain of my childlessness is never going to go away. It’s too deep, too much a part of me, too ingrained. 

What do you do with something you can’t get rid of? Well. It seemed to me I had two choices. I could give up. Give in to the pain, and become that horrible, bitter, nasty, old woman on the corner that yells at all the neighborhood kids for cutting across her lawn. Or, I could turn that pain into something else.

The first option would be so easy. I could just give in to it, let it overcome me. If I fully give up, then surely the pain won’t hurt me so much, if that is all I have?

Obviously, I chose the second option, or I wouldn’t be here talking to you now. I think we both know where I’d be. The second option was harder and took a lot more effort. But, Oh My God, it was so worth it.

When I began to search for something to fill my childless void, I was reminded of things I used to love. Before the pain began to take over. I’d lived with Clinical Depression for most of my life, so I had a reasonably full toolbox of things I could pull out when life became too tough. 

Burying my head in a book was one of those tools, particularly Vampire books. I’d loved them since childhood. But back then, it was really hard to get a decent one to read, one that wasn’t just a teenage romance (badly) disguised as a Vampire book. I made myself a promise that when I grew up, I would write my own Vampire book.

I’d also spent the last twenty-five years or so working with people experiencing mental illness. One of the things that we were always telling our clients, was that when things got too hard, they should write it out. Just get all the crap out of their head, and onto a page. 

You know what’s coming next, don’t you? 

I’ve nearly finished my second draft and I expect to publish my debut Vampire novel by November, 2017. This book is my legacy. It’s where I’ve put all the lessons I’ve learned over the years, all the pain, love, and wisdom. It’s all in this book. It’s what I’m going to leave behind, what I’m going to be remembered for. It’s my reason for getting out of bed in the morning, my purpose.

It is why I don’t have children.

Yes, it’s a Vampire novel, but it’s really about what happens to women whose lives don’t turn out the way they thought.  And how women cope with that, why they make the choices that they do.  And at some stage during the process of writing this book, I realized that my journey could help other women.

So, that’s what I do now. That’s why I developed my program, Exploring Passions.  I guide women who are childless by circumstance to find fulfillment and joy in the life they never expected to have. I help them find a way to live with their pain, not try to avoid it, and turn it into something beautiful. By following my program, women find their own legacy, their own outlet for their wisdom and love, their own passion, to share with the world. 

Something to love. Something to nurture. Something to mother, in their own particular way.


{About This Story}

Fiona Tate lives in a small seaside village in New Zealand, with her husband and furbabies. She holds a University Degree in Psychology, and has over 25 yrs experience working with people who are experiencing mental illness. She currently works as a mentor and guide for Women who are Childless by Circumstance and is writing her first novel. You can find more information about her Exploring Passions program at https://countessdrusillasteele.com or by email at countessdru@gmail.com.