Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

June 15, 2010

mom is a pathetic nobody

At 19, Salome lives at home with her parents and while she is devoted to her father, with whom she discusses her medical research career, she openly denigrates her mother as good for nothing apart from housewifely duties.

"My mother lives for her husband, home and children and has no personality or life or interests of her own," says Salome, "and when we all leave her, as we invariably will, she will wither and die as a pathetic nobody. I don’t want to end up like that."

"Married women are losers - housewives or superwomen freaks - and they’re pathologically afraid of facing themselves in freedom," laughs Salome. "I aim to be a winner, and to be a winner I need to remain single and childless and I am only staying at home because it’s convenient and I enjoy discussing my work with my father.”

"I had a clear and very early desire not to be burdened with children and a permanent partner," explains Salome, "and while I don't have a desire for celibacy I appreciate that a lot of women do."

"Many young woman choose the single lifestyle until a ticking biological clock propels them into wedded bliss," adds Salome, "and many more older women make single life a permanent lifestyle choice after experiencing a miserable marriage or relationship."

"Basically," says Salome, "single independent women differ from other single women in that they are not looking for a partner. I’m not, and if that makes me selfish and hedonistic then that's too bad. I'm simply making a rational choice for my life."

Salome also sees the difference in terms of personal fulfillment.

"I have so many things that I want to do with my life that love, children and marriage just don’t figure in my life at all - now, and in the future," says Salome, "but, who knows, maybe a fast ticking biological clock will change my mind down the line. I'll think about that when I get there!"

At 19, Salome is still living at home with her parents. This fact, in itself, could delay her development but she is devoted to her dad, particularly, and sees no reason to live alone when she has such a loving and supportive homelife with her parents.

"Yes, of course," says Salome, "I’ve experienced being in love, but I don’t see it as a precursor to marriage. It’s something to be enjoyed for the brief madness that nature intended it to be. I say ‘madness’, because when I was in love I was totally irrational!"

"No matter what the superwomen say," laughs Salome, "there is no way any woman can be a good wife and mother at the same time as pursuing a rewarding and challenging career and making the most of herself."

"Often," explains Salome, "girls look at their middle-aged mothers and say openly, or quietly to themselves - ‘there’s no way I want to end up like that’."

"Either they see a woman -- very likely to be single through desertion or divorce -- who is struggling to make ends meet on a paltry income from a menial job and whatever dreams these women had will remain dreams forever." says Salome. "Or, they see a woman who is dominated by a man and has no personality or life or interests of her own."

"My mother lives for her husband, home and children," says Salome, "and when we all leave her, as we invariably will, she will wither and die as a pathetic nobody. I don’t want to end up like that."

Salome admits that she is only staying at home for as long as her father lives. When he dies, she would not want to live with her mother and become burdened by caring for the old woman.

"The worst type of mother, though," says Salome, "is a chemically controlled superwoman who thinks she has it all together and yet is a borderline schizophrenic because of the double life she leads."

"This type of woman is feared by all at home and work and her performance on both fronts leaves much to be desired. I don’t want to end up like that, either!"

For a girl to choose single bliss, Salome feels that her primary role model - her mother - almost always falls within one of the above three caricatures of women.

"There's the loser, the housewife and the superwoman freak," laughs Salome. "I aim to be a winner, and to be a winner I need to remain single and childless."

Also, for a girl to choose the single independent lifestyle, Salome feels that the girl herself must have a very strong personality and sense of self.

"I know what I want and what I don't want," says Salome, "and I go after one with determination to succeed and the other with determination to avoid at all costs."

"And, yes," admits Salome. "There are costs."

"Choosing a single independent lifestyle is not always a piece of cake," confesses Salome.

"When choosing wedded bliss a girl understands, or should understand, what the costs are - the main one being her freedom to do whatever she pleases, whenever she pleases, with whomever she pleases."

"Similarly, when choosing the single independent lifestyle a girl understands, or should understand, what the costs are - the main one being loneliness later in life. Also, in a coupled society, a single girl - especially when she gets older - can suffer social ostracism, a feeling of not fitting in."

Seeing so many of her friends married before they were twenty and divorced within a few years - some with little children dragging them down - gives Salome additional reason to stay blissfully single.

"Single women with a couple of children in tow are not exactly living the type of life I want," says Salome, "yet there is no reason why a woman cannot enjoy independence from men at the same time as enjoying motherhood."

And lesbians?

"Sexual orientation doesn't matter," explains Salome. "Lesbians are either attracted to coupled bliss or single bliss just like heterosexual women are. And single bliss doesn't mean an absence of a good sex life. It simply means that sex does not take precedence in my life."

"If this means that single independent women are not highly sexed then that may very well be true," she laughs.

"More likely, though, they channel their drive like I do into a far more productive and fulfilling area than the bedroom."

Salome is a student medical researcher working on the cutting edge of bio-technology. Her work is contributing towards a massive change in the quality of human life, and it’s something she could not do easily with a husband and a baby in tow.

Her decision to remain living at home is very much tied up with her work. She doesn’t have time to keep a place of her own. It’s convenient to stay at home. And she likes coming home and discussing things with her dad, too.

"Basically," says Salome, "single independent women enjoy their work and enjoy their own company. I work and study for hours on end all by myself. I’m either looking at books or looking into microscopes. I have to be focused to do what I do."

Despite living at home, Salome is self-sufficient. She is perfectly capable of taking care of herself and she is rarely bored.

"Yes, of course," admits Salome, "I do get lonely just like everybody does - even married women - yet I know, just by looking around me, that the unhappiest women are those trapped in straightjacket marriages."

Nothing is more important to Salome than freedom.

"If this means that I am selfish and hedonistic or, perhaps, pathologically afraid of losing myself in relationship with another, then this could very well be true, too," laughs Salome.

"Yet, if this is true then married women are selfless and boring or, perhaps, pathologically afraid of facing themselves in freedom."

Frightening logic, isn't it?

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