Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Reaksyon TV5 Interview on Childless Marriage

I've been crying on and off a lot lately. It was triggered by the interview I had recently with TV5 na BAKIT NGA BA WALA PA KAMING ANAK? Most importantly, WHY DON'T I WANT TO HAVE KIDS?
It was around 10 am two weeks ago when TV5 Reaksyon texted me and asked me if I'm willing to do an interview with them about having a childless marriage. Since I already did this with ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda before, I decided to say YES. It was 5:30 pm on the same day when they got here at home. For the first time, the interview was done at our front yard. Usually, when TV networks interview me for various things (see my other TV interviews on my sidebar under SEXY NOMAD ON TV!!!), we do it in our lanai. So this one's a bit different, at least location-wise in our house. Hehe.
Some shots were also done while I was playing with my drums, playing with our foosball, upstairs while working and in our bedroom but I was already too preoccupied at that time. 
Thank you, Renz Ongkiko for the fun interview and I swear, kamuka mo talaga si Hayden Kho! And thank you Journal Fabella for producing a great segment. :)

So when I got interviewed by Reaksyon TV5 a few weeks ago, I mentioned some things that I didn't get to tell ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda back in February when they also interviewed me (see videos below)... But still, I felt like I wasn't able to answer them fully. I had this lingering knot in my stomach that I felt I'd have to get to the bottom of. WHY DON'T I WANT TO HAVE KIDS?

You see, my husband, Peter, and I are 35 years old. We've been married for 11 years. And though our original plan was to not have kids (which I told him when he courted me back in 1999 because I didn't want to become a mom), I kind of hoped that my feelings about it would change. My friends told me that the "mother in me" will eventually kick in. I kept waiting and waiting for the feeling, the craving to have kids, but it never came. Every time I'd have a pregnancy scare, waiting for those lines to be positive or negative would always turn out to be the longest and scariest minutes of my life! I'd break into cold sweat, my knees would shake and my stomach would knot as if a million worms were eating my insides! 

The experience was always that terrible for me. And every time the pregnancy test turned out negative, I'd be washed over with HUGE relief! Then thoughts of doubling our condom use would pop into my head, or perhaps, not having sex at all would be the best solution. It's crazy, isn't it? I am crazy.  

Through introspection and counseling help from Peter, this NOT WANTING TO HAVE KIDS all boils down to my negative relationship with money. Here's what he said: 
"Ganito kasi yun Jen. You grew up na namumulot ng bote para lang makakain. Yung baon na binibigay ng mommy mo sa daddy mo para sayo, pinangsusugal nya. Yung mayaman mong lolo, pinagdadamutan kayo. Yung step lola mo, ninanakawan kayo (meaning yung budget na dapat para sa mga anak ng lolo mo, sa mga kamag-anak ng steplola mo napupunta). Scholar ka buong buhay mo kasi kung hindi, pano ka mag-aaral? Lahat ng bagay na meron ka noon at ngayon, pinaghirapan mo. Walang bigay lang sayo. Kaya rin hindi madali maging generous for you. Kasi wala namang naging generous sayo. Pinagdamutan ka nila so ang effect nun sayo now is hindi madali for you mag let go ng pera. Kahit na alam ng utak mo na di dapat ganun, it's a psychological trauma and u need some help to overcome this. Like kahit na first instinct mo is to give, nao-overcome sha nung negative relationship mo with money. Naalala mo nung namili ka ng mga regalo para sa teammates mo sa Etelecare? But on the day of the party, you ended up not giving the gifts to your teammates kasi nahiya ka na baka di nila magustuhan? Dahil yun sa step lola mo na ang hilig magbigay ng gifts na walang kwenta pero ang sama-sama ng ugali sa inyo. At kaya mabilis ka mainggit sa iba kasi iniisip mo na wala kang mga generous na tao sa buhay mo. Na buti pa sila, di pinaghihirapan ang mga bagay na nakukuha nila. Samantalang ikaw, halos mamatay kakakayod, mabili lang gusto mo. Kaya madali ka madepress pag wala kang pera. Oo, your mom has a more easygoing relationship with money kahit na laki sha sa hirap. Pero tingnan mo nangyari. Nabaon sha sa utang na hanggang ngayon tinutulungan mong bayaran. Nakita mo ang effect of pagdadamot sa pera (from your lolo), pagwawaldas ng pera (from your mom) at di tamang paggamit sa pera (from your dad). So ikaw ngayon, dahil nakita mo yun, ang gusto mo lang basta may money ka. Kaya rin di mo alam what you want to be talaga in your profession while you were growing up. You went with the flow. Kung saan may pera na di ka mashado mai-stress, dun ka. Kaya yun ang ginagawa mo ngayon. But Jen, you have to understand na you still are blessed. Na you have me. Kaya naman pag may extra tayo, I just want to keep giving you things. Alam ko you need more time from me, pero sa ngayon na di ko pa maibigay yun ng todo, I do my best to give you what you didn't have before... a sense of material wealth. Tinuturuan din kita how to not feel bad pag gagastos ka. Because money you enjoyed spending, is money well spent. The cost of buying something is equal to its monetary value. The happiness you feel when spending your money, priceless." 
So there. I posted this on my Facebook  And I thank those who showered me with positive and encouraging comments and private messages. I really appreciate those people who took the time to give their thoughts about what I have gone and still am going through. Though it was hard for me to share this (coz I normally avoid posting anything too negative on my wall as part of my trying to overcome my numerous traumas and psychoses), I just felt compelled to share it for some reason. And it was a blessing indeed. One of the best people I know in my life, Carelle Mangaliag, the pioneer of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) practice in the Philippines suggested that I attend their workshop next month. It's called BREAKING THROUGH BARRIERS. This seminar will teach its participants to achieve the changes they want for better results in their life, work, and relationships. I need this. I have to do this! 

It's always been my dream to heal myself which is why I studied psychology in Ateneo in the first place. Some days I feel fine, but some days like now, it just gets too much and all those bad things that happened to me in the past just keep dragging me down.

BREAKING THROUGH BARRIERS will be held on Sept. 14-15, 2013, 9am-5pm at Unit 302 3/F Magnitude Building 186 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Quezon City. You can call them to inquire if you're also interested. Their numbers are: 437-0128 to 29. Or email them at

I'll update you when I can about this, if it will indeed help me live a better life and perhaps, finally have that maternal instinct that I've been lacking since birth. 

Again, thank you for taking the time to read my rant. I'll try to post something travel-related next time... as soon as I feel better. Enjoy your week and stay safe and dry!


R is for Rogue said...

Dearest Jen,

I think that I am lucky and blessed to have you as a bestfriend. You are truly amazing. I beg to differ on your statement when you said that you are not generous. You are. You are generous with your wisdom, your love and caring and your thoughtfulness. You are truly a compassionate person. Although I know you don't want kids and for reasons that Peter eloquently stated and what you told me before, I have a feeling the reason you battle on with this emotional ride is that maybe, a part of you actually does. Maybe you are looking for affirmation that not having kids is what's best for you. Maybe, this will silence that voice within you that wants to have kids.

I am grateful that you have Peter in your life. He does well in helping you with any emotional struggle. I just want you to know that it's okay not to want kids. You have pointed out so many times that a lot of happy and successful people are childless. The stigma of your past may be something you have to overcome and this is something we are all here for you. However, if that small voice within cannot be silenced, don't fret. I believe that you will make any child proud if you are the mother. Mainly because of what you have experienced. Your pain, hardships and struggles are great examples of teaching a child how to be a good person. Because you know the importance of education, financial stability and values like discipline, compassion and temperance, I think those would mold a child to be honest, loving and happy.

Now, life has done quite a number on all of us but the best thing I learned is that you can weather anything on your way. You have this ability to adapt to new changes and make the most out of nothing. Be at peace, my bestfriend. You are always in my prayers and know that if children are not in your life, maybe God has something better for you. I love you always.


Jennifer Adams-Juan said...

Hi Mer,

Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and encouragement. Sometimes I am baffled by your unconditional love for me. It always blows me away and leaves me speechless, like now...

I am doing much better now than a few days ago. Having friends like you who understand me and encourage me inspire me to be a better person each day.

Someday, I'll overcome my neuroses and psychoses and who knows, I might even want to start having kids. But really, since I was a young child, like maybe 4 or 5, I already knew that I don't want to be a mother and my traumatic experiences further fueled that lack of maternal instinct in me. Even as a 2-year old, when my newly born brother was brought by my mom from the hospital, I already threw tantrums shouting at them to bring that kid back where it came from.. So funny. Even as a 2-year old, I was already that selfish.

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you're right that at the bottom of it all, I might really be wanting kids. But for now, like I always believed and felt, motherhood is really not for me. I think I am still too selfish and busy taking care of my own well-being and psyche to have any more energy left to take care of another life. But we'll see. God only knows. If it happens, Peter and I will do our best to raise a child the best I could. For now, I'll just keep getting better and filling my own cup, live life to the fullest the best way I know how and to the best that my energy, time and resources will allow me.

I love you too, Mer. Always.

Mitchteryosa said...

Having known you for a while now, virtually, I would have to agree with Mer. You have that generosity inside you, and it comes out naturally without you knowing it. I know, I have been your online customer before.

No matter how long it would take you to finally have that courage to have a kid, I know for sure you'll be a great mom!

Jennifer Adams-Juan said...

Hi Mitch,

Awww... that is really so sweet... what you said. Reading those words encourages me and gives me hope that maybe, someday, if it does happen, at least I have that innate generosity in me to make it work.

Thank you so much Mitch! You are one awesome mom yourself. Kudos to you! :)


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