When someone regrets circ... - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-04-2007, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
vermontgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Northern Vermont
Posts: 2,078
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I cant help feeling the way that I do. I wish that I didnt feel this way...
but when someone has their child circumcised and they feel just oh so guilty about doing it I cant help but feel for the child and not the parent. I cant offer very much support to the mother because I am too busy feeling terrible for the little boy that he went through so much pain. This makes me angry at the parents. I wish I could be more supportive but I cant seem to get to that point.
Does this seem wrong? Is there anything anyone can say to me to give me a better perspective on this?

Joyful mama of 3.
vermontgirl is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-04-2007, 11:46 AM
 
MCatLvrMom2A&X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: With Vin Diesel ;) YUMMMM
Posts: 14,210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I feel most sorry for the boy as well. If the parents had the boy circed without knowing and the advice they got from Dr or whoever said it was right then I feel horrible for them.

I am having a hard day today on this issue. 2 threads have really put me in a really low mood today

 
SAHMlady.gifread.giflovin' trekkie.giffan intactivist.gifwinner.jpg to loveeyes.gifenergy.gifDD 10/00 & superhero.gifmoon.gifDS 10/04 ribbonpb.gifIf your ds is intact, keep him safe, visit the Case Against Circ forumnocirc.gifCirc, a personal choice, Your sonsyes.gifbrokenheart.gif11/98brokenheart.gif6/99ribbonbrown.gifanti-tobaccoribbonyellow.gifThyroid cancer survivor. With cat.gif& goldfish.gif & (Boxer)dog2.gif wishing 4 whale.gif&ribbonwhite.gifsigncirc1.gifselectivevax.gifdelayedvax.gif

MCatLvrMom2A&X is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 11:55 AM
 
wawap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 1,368
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My son is circed & I feel insanely guilty. But the guilt I feel pales in comparison to the heartache that comes from knowing the pain & torture that my son endured because of my ignorance. I don't expect anyone to feel bad for *me* - ever. I'm just glad that I know better now & will never let it happen to another one of my children. I can't turn back time, now. But I sure can yap to anyone who brings up the topic of circ as to why it's a huge mistake.
wawap is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 12:12 PM
 
dynamohumm6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,787
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I guess what bothers me about it is that 9 times out of 10, they feel guilty because they literally had no idea what circumcision entailed, or what is lost during it. I understand that doctors give misinformation and so on & so forth, but it annoys me that many times, parents spend more time researching what sort of stroller to buy than they do researching a surgery that removes part of their newborn's penis. That's probably why I have a hard time mustering up much sympathy.
dynamohumm6 is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 12:23 PM
 
BunnyMcFluff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 297
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I circumcised my first son, I truly had no idea that it was something that was optional. I was young. I lived in a place with a NINETY percent circ rate. My (ex) pediatrician never said that it wasn't recommended by the APA, nor did he discuss the risks, or discuss the fact that it was cosmetic surgery. I just had no idea.

When he was a bit older, I started finding out more about circumcision and I was heartbroken. Absolutely ripped apart for, literally, months. I cried at diaper changes. I wasn't upset for me--I was horrified at what I'd done to my child. My heart was aching for what he'd gone through, and for what he lost.

To be quite honest, *your* judgement/lack of support/etc wouldn't have made the slightest bit of difference to me because I was wracked with guilt and pain for what I'd done to my child. And I'd never have expected sympathy for me to begin with. My son was the victim of my poor choice.

I know better, now, and I made different choices when my other children were born. Truthfully, I'm glad for what I went through after the choice I made--it erased any possibility of that 'well, the first one's cut so the rest might as well match' mentality. But some mothers don't get to that point right away. When I'm talking to other mothers, I work really hard to not come from a judgmental place because I want women to be open to the information that I'm able to give them.

If you're really interested in changing your perspective, then maybe you ought to focus on doing what you can to make those mothers feel supported, so that they'll be open to information that will help them make better choices in the future. The only other option is to judge and alienate, and who are we helping then?

Cami, wife to a guy and mom to some kids. Expecting someone new in Februrary!â¢â¢â¢â¢5â¢â¢â¢â¢10â¢â¢â¢â¢15â¢â¢â¢â¢20â¢â¢â¢25â¢â¢â¢â¢30â¢â¢â¢â¢35â¢â¢â¢â¢40
BunnyMcFluff is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 12:47 PM
 
nd_deadhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Vermontgirl, I certainly understand your feelings. My twin boys are 12 years old, and without any research at all, DH and I felt that circumcision was unnecessary cosmetic surgery - a social tradition that we did not feel the need to perpetuate. So I have a hard time relating to folks who "never gave it a second thought".

At the same time, I have nothing but respect and compassion for parents who circumcise their sons, and later admit that they made a mistake. So many parents circumcise and never give it a second thought - EVER. They refuse to learn about what they did, and get extremely defensive if anyone questions their actions.

So when a parent who could just as easily cling to their reasons for circumcising (whatever they might be) takes the huge step of admitting that circumcision is WRONG, not just to themselves but to strangers on the Internet, I can't help but admire their courage and strength.

My sons are intact, and I never considered circumcision. I can lecture about it until I'm blue in the face, but I don't think my words have nearly the impact as those from a parent who says "I did it, and I wish I didn't".

As far as I'm concerned, those who circumcised their sons and regret it are our loudest and strongest voice.

If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

nd_deadhead is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 01:25 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Lost in a good book (in San Diego)
Posts: 4,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have no idea if it's normal that I came to the conclusion to not circ (b/c I am the type to research things and learn about them, and not just strollers and bedding sets! I hear ya on that type of parent to be!) or if I was just d@amn lucky that I stumbled upon mothering and the CAC forum. But I can tell you that the info out there is so skewed, even some parents who THINK they've researched it can be mislead by the really awful info out there. But I still totally get this. I still wonder how you could decide to do this even with the skewed info. And I still feel more for the kid than the parent.
St. Margaret is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 01:47 PM
 
Houdini's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Searching for Jason Bourne
Posts: 3,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vermontgirl View Post
I cant help feeling the way that I do. I wish that I didnt feel this way...
You can help the way you feel. You can work on understanding where the feelings come from and then go from there. You can try to understand the perspective of those who have made the choice to circ without the knowledge it was an option. You have the ability to change your views towards mothers like myself....you choose not to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vermontgirl
but when someone has their child circumcised and they feel just oh so guilty about doing it I cant help but feel for the child and not the parent. I cant offer very much support to the mother because I am too busy feeling terrible for the little boy that he went through so much pain. This makes me angry at the parents. I wish I could be more supportive but I cant seem to get to that point.
I honestly don't know what to tell you about being more supportive. You choose to shut the parent off, then you choose to shut off the possibility that they may change their stance on circ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vermontgirl
Does this seem wrong? Is there anything anyone can say to me to give me a better perspective on this?
Yes, this seems 100% wrong. You have to willing to change your perspective and be willing to hear what others have to say if you want a better perspective on the topic.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
Houdini is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 01:49 PM
 
Lula's Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 4,412
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I really understand how you feel. I feel so much sadness for the little boy in such a situation, and I just want to lash out at the people who are responsible for his pain. It's a gut reaction, even while knowing intellectually that it's not that simple. And not wanting to add to their pain, even though I am angry. So I fall back on "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

~*Kristi*~
Tallulah Dare 8-01,  Marcos Gael 12-04, Cormac Mateo 9-09, Leonidas Ronan 11-11

Lula's Mom is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 01:52 PM
 
Paddington's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Happy ;-)
Posts: 8,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Vermontgirl~ you did the same thing I did! I needed to come vent too.... I wish it were normal to come to that conclusion... I don't think it is in American Society. I don't think it is because we have so much false information fed to us and the information we need is buried. My issue is actually when someone tries to makes the parent feel better by saying it does not effect them and its no big deal... How upset would we be if you heard that a parent stopped breastfeeding at 4 weeks and started giving cow's milk or something and then said it wasn't a big deal? I'm just saying...

I mean, I truly know the parent is in pain over hurting their child but that is something that they can't get back later so it just makes me so incredibly sad... But a parent who has regrets can make an awesome advocate if they educate themselves. And they can teach their sons and maybe we can end the cycle.... :

Ange. Mama to boys. Yup. All Boys. All Intact. A bunch of other NFL, crunchy credentials too.
Paddington is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 02:26 PM
 
Cassandra M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 882
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would feel very sympathetic for the parent. Very horrible to have to live with that guilt. And I would give them kudos for seeing their wrong, and changing it for future sons, and also speaking their new knowledge to other parents, helping to educate people.

I've been in enough other parenting situations to where I wish I would have handled situations better, so I'm humble in the judging.

Unfortunately, pro-circ parents are only a small part of the problem with circ-ing today.."educated" health professionals advocate, encourage, perpetuate, and perform this terrible procedure and they to be addressed to make all RIC illegal in this country. Health care reform is in need more than anything, IMO.

I do think it's wrong and cruel to judge parents for making this mistake in which they deeply regret and repent. I have seen many instances in which a parent who has circ'ed and realized their mistake become the biggest advocates against circ, and I think little boys in our country need them. Therefore we should encourage and support them, not ostracize and judge them.
Cassandra M. is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 02:35 PM
 
dynamohumm6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,787
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassandra M. View Post
I would feel very sympathetic for the parent. Very horrible to have to live with that guilt. And I would give them kudos for seeing their wrong, and changing it for future sons, and also speaking their new knowledge to other parents, helping to educate people.

I've been in enough other parenting situations to where I wish I would have handled situations better, so I'm humble in the judging.

Unfortunately, pro-circ parents are only a small part of the problem with circ-ing today.."educated" health professionals advocate, encourage, perpetuate, and perform this terrible procedure and they to be addressed to make all RIC illegal in this country. Health care reform is in need more than anything, IMO.

I do think it's wrong and cruel to judge parents for making this mistake in which they deeply regret and repent. I have seen many instances in which a parent who has circ'ed and realized their mistake become the biggest advocates against circ, and I think little boys in our country need them. Therefore we should encourage and support them, not ostracize and judge them.
While I totally understand what you're saying, and basically agree with all of it, the way I feel about it internally is quite different than what my external reaction might be.
While I can usually encourage and support a parent when they realize they have done wrong in circing, internally, I'm thinking that a mistake is snapping at your toddler, forgetting to put a hat on your baby when i's colder than you thought outside...circumcision is far, far worse than a "mistake".
dynamohumm6 is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 02:36 PM
 
Houdini's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Searching for Jason Bourne
Posts: 3,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassandra M. View Post
I do think it's wrong and cruel to judge parents for making this mistake in which they deeply regret and repent. I have seen many instances in which a parent who has circ'ed and realized their mistake become the biggest advocates against circ, and I think little boys in our country need them. Therefore we should encourage and support them, not ostracize and judge them.

:

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
Houdini is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 02:36 PM
 
Houdini's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Searching for Jason Bourne
Posts: 3,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassandra M. View Post
I do think it's wrong and cruel to judge parents for making this mistake in which they deeply regret and repent. I have seen many instances in which a parent who has circ'ed and realized their mistake become the biggest advocates against circ, and I think little boys in our country need them. Therefore we should encourage and support them, not ostracize and judge them.


Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
Houdini is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 02:38 PM
 
Quirky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 11,770
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One of the things that has helped me is becoming friends IRL with several mamas who circed one or more boys, and realizing what wonderful, awesome, loving mamas they are. Better than I am in many ways at being gentle and present with their children (I am very easily distracted by things that I want to do rather than being present in the moment with my children). Honestly, I have nothing but compassion for these mamas because they honestly, truly didn't know any better, got crappy advice (or the "it's a personal choice") line from doctors, and had dhs who wanted boys to "look like them." I can understand where they were and how they got to the position of circing, because honestly, in our culture it's so normal and so accepted that it's like vaccines -- it's a "health" decision that everyone accepts as necessary.

I also try to be humble because I recogize that there but for the grace of God go I -- my father was circed as an adult in the military during the Viet Nam War, before I was born, so all I knew growing up was that foreskins were dirty and dangerous. I had sex with one intact man once before marrying dh, but it was with a condom, so I wasn't even aware until later that he was intact. Circ was my normal. I am so thankful I found MDC and this forum while I was pregnant with ds, or otherwise I too might have been in the ranks of "circed and regret it" today.

The mothers who get the truth on circ but do it anyway, like my SIL? Screw 'em, they don't get my compassion (or my forgiveness). But mamas like those who posted in the sticky, or my friends, whom I KNOW are wonderful, loving mamas who would do anything in their power to go back and undo their sons' circ? I can support them. Yes, it's their sons who suffered, but they suffer too.

Come visit the NEW QuirkyBaby website -- earn QB Bucks rewards points for purchases, reviews, referrals, and more! Free US shipping on great brands of baby slings and carriers and FREE BabyLegs or babywearing mirror on orders of $100+. Take the QB Quiz for personalized advice!

Quirky is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 02:53 PM
 
Cassandra M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 882
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamohumm6 View Post
I'm thinking that a mistake is snapping at your toddler, forgetting to put a hat on your baby when i's colder than you thought outside...circumcision is far, far worse than a "mistake".
Well, they weren't operating under the same knowledge that you have or that they have now. They live in a country in which health care professionals minimize the effects and overemphasis on supposed benefits of circ, so they are led to naively believe they are offering a benefit to their son.
The people who ARE educated and HAVE seen circ done before, who still advocate for it are the ones I can't understand. I can't wrap my mind around the idea of doctors who KNOW this isn't a necessary procedure, and watch the newborns in pain going through it, who still perform it for the sake of $.
Cassandra M. is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 03:02 PM
 
liseux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: washington d.c.
Posts: 1,216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I feel sympathy for the moms because my own mom was like that. She circed my brother in 1976 and never questioned it, but then he was brought back to her screaming in a way no newborn should scream. He cried at every diaper change and she knew she would never put another baby through that.

She is a proud intactivist now, she left my second brother alone in 1983 and worked hard to protect him from being retracted. My second brother is an intactivist too, he calls it "our cause" and will talk to anyone about growing up intact. I feel for my mom, she regrets having my 1st bro circed so much. She didn`t even care if there were any "benefits" to circing, she knew in the 80`s that most of the world was intact & my dad agreed, saying
"circumcision defies all logic."

Married Catholic mami : to 5 boys, : 9 6 3 : 5 mo. 5/6/02-6/22/02 (HIE)
:
liseux is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 03:05 PM
 
PixelDust's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 636
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I struggle with this sometimes, too (not regarding circumcision, but other things), so I think I understand where you're coming from. It's hard to feel compassion for someone if you think "they should have known better". But in our society, it's hard for parents-to-be to even get to the point where they realize they don't know much (or anything) about circumcision, and you can't educate yourself if you don't know you're ignorant. Sometimes when I have a hard time sympathizing with someone, I try to remind myself that regardless of how they got in pain, they are in pain. And really, when it comes down to it, suffering is suffering. If a person is suffering because of a choice they made and now regret, they probably feel even worse than the person who's suffering and doesn't carry that self-blame. We don't have to think a person "deserves" our compassion to give it to them anyway, KWIM? We can strive to have compassion for their pain even if we don't understand their actions. I try to think of compassion for suffering as something I do just because it's right, like not lying. When I'm doing it for me, because I believe it's important and makes me a better person and the world a better place, then it doesn't matter whether the person has "earned" it.

--
Let your life speak. -- George Fox
PixelDust is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 03:27 PM
 
pdx.mothernurture's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I haven't read the rest of the thread yet, but in response to the OP:

Non-consentual, non-medically indicated genital cutting hurts everyone it touches. It causes mothers to set aside their fierce protective instincts, and often also causes intense grief and heartache. It often causes otherwise loving and intelligent fathers to insist their son's 'match'. It eats away at the consciences of medical professionals. It irreversibly damages the primary sex organ of over half of male, American babies.

I told a story in another thread about how I inadvertantly left a spice jar of cayenne pepper out on the counter one night after cooking dinner and didn't realize it until the next day when my son's screams caused my body to shudder. He's found the cayenne pepper, opened it, and poured it into a pile on the kitchen floor and then played with/in it, and you guessed it-rubbed his eyes. I rushed him to the bathroom and rinsed him with water, I was so panicked, I rinsed his entire head and his look of terror from having water sprayed over his head and face as he held his breath still haunts me. I worried I'd damaged him for ever...worried he'd be blind...called the ped, whose nurse was reassuring. He didn't require a trip to the ER, but he was traumatized by the experience and was fearful of even having his hair washed for many months.

Fortunately, he's okay now. I don't think he consciously remembers it. His vision isn't effected, and he's back to loving his baths and usually lets me wash his hair without freaking out. I know what happened was my fault. I acknowledge I was careless, even neglectful to have let him stray from my sight although it only took a moment. I still get a knot in the pit of my stomach thinking about it though.

How much worse would I feel if permanent harm-true damage-had come to him? Thankfully, most of us can't fathom that kind of guilt...but we can try to understand it and be sensitive to it.

Certainly, the boy is the one who suffered direct physical pain and loss and he deserves our sadness and compassion but there are moments and intensities of remorse, guilt, and grief that can make parents literally sick with heartache. I think they deserve our compassion too. What they didn't know did hurt their child, and there is no way to turn back time, no way to take it back or reverse it.

The circumcision issue issue is wrought with cultural misperceptions, myths, and misinformation. Parents rely on care providers to be honest with them and to provide them with unbiased, balanced, and truthful information. Sure, they could have (and should have) researched the topic independently and more thoroughly...but circumcision is just so d-mn culturally engrained, still so automatic and assumed: "It's more hygienic. Dad's circed, baby should be too. Better now than later."

Those of us who learned about circumcision before the birth of our son(s) often take our fortune for granted; most parents know disturbingly little about the anatomy & physiology of the foreskin, the mechanics of normal intercourse, the circumcision procedure, it's risks, and it's long-term effects. Think back to how you stumbled across the truth. Were you shocked? Horrified? Outraged? Those reactions only result from learning something profoundly disturbing...a surprising, terrible, widespread secret.

Those of us who learned the truth in time to protect our sons are so, so, so lucky...because it easily could have been one of us who trusted our care provider and circumcised based on inadaquate or inaccurate information or ignorantly succumed to pressures from other directions.

When I read the words of a regretful mother who's hurting, that's what I think: It could have been me. It could have happened to my son. When I think of it that way, I feel sadness rather than judgment and compassion rather than anger---for everyone, all the way around.

The entire situation is tragic.

"You do what you know, and when you know better, you do better."
-Maya Angelou

Parents who circumcised and later learn the truth and process the guilt and grief make some of the most experienced, passionate, and effective intactivists.

Jen
pdx.mothernurture is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 03:45 PM
 
pdx.mothernurture's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Margaret View Post
But I can tell you that the info out there is so skewed, even some parents who THINK they've researched it can be mislead by the really awful info out there.
Very true.

Most contemporary pregnancy books have little if anything to say, and if they do they are more often then not moderately pro (written by Americans with circumcised sons themselves, or who actually perform the procedure) or extremely, confusingly wishy-washy.

If a parent looks to the internet, they'll find different types of websites depending on the terms they search for...and could easily end up on Morris's or Schoen's websites or (irclist.

And, let's be honest---pregnancy and childbirth are riddled with decisions and choices from what brand of carseat to buy, what interventions to avoid or accept, learning about feeding options, etc. A large percentage of mothers these days also work outside the home and the 40ish weeks of pregnancy can just fly by...

I'm really not trying to excuse circumcising parents, just trying to provide additional insight into why the circumcision issue so rarely gets the attention it deserves.

Jen
pdx.mothernurture is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 03:46 PM
 
stacyann21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,473
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
I understand that doctors give misinformation and so on & so forth, but it annoys me that many times, parents spend more time researching what sort of stroller to buy than they do researching a surgery that removes part of their newborn's penis.

Mom to a bright & energetic 6 y.o. boy  blahblah.gif   With my sweetie for 10 years now  blowkiss.gif  Registered nurse  caffix.gif

stacyann21 is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 03:47 PM
 
kldliam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Beautiful Oregon
Posts: 1,471
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Deadhead: As far as I'm concerned, those who circumcised their sons and regret it are our loudest and strongest voice.

Quote:
Paddington: But a parent who has regrets can make an awesome advocate if they educate themselves. And they can teach their sons and maybe we can end the cycle....

Quote:
Cassandra: And I would give them kudos for seeing their wrong, and changing it for future sons, and also speaking their new knowledge to other parents, helping to educate people.

Yes. Yes. Yes!

Dear OP:

I understnad exactly how you feel. I too can't erase my anger when initially speaking to these moms, but I sit on it and keep it to myself. I try so hard to throw them a word or two of support for this one reason alone:

I want them to become an Intactivist.

Regretful Moms make the best Intactivists! They also deserve a chance to redeem themselves through doing some good for other children, don't you think? If I am kind and not alienating towards them, that may help them to get on the road we are on and to help others avoid the same mistakes. That is a good thing and we need them.

I also think of Marilyn Milos (www.nocirc.org). A mom who chose to circ but helped to start this whole GI movement...she has done far more good at this point than harm! She has helped to save thousands of children from this awful fate. I hold her in the highest esteem and she is a regretful mom herself!
kldliam is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 03:58 PM
 
WonderWild's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Procrastination Heaven
Posts: 1,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdx.mothernurture View Post
I haven't read the rest of the thread yet, but in response to the OP:

Non-consentual, non-medically indicated genital cutting hurts everyone it touches. It causes mothers to set aside their fierce protective instincts, and often also causes intense grief and heartache. It often causes otherwise loving and intelligent fathers to insist their son's 'match'. It eats away at the consciences of medical professionals. It irreversibly damages the primary sex organ of over half of male, American babies.

I told a story in another thread about how I inadvertantly left a spice jar of cayenne pepper out on the counter one night after cooking dinner and didn't realize it until the next day when my son's screams caused my body to shudder. He's found the cayenne pepper, opened it, and poured it into a pile on the kitchen floor and then played with/in it, and you guessed it-rubbed his eyes. I rushed him to the bathroom and rinsed him with water, I was so panicked, I rinsed his entire head and his look of terror from having water sprayed over his head and face as he held his breath still haunts me. I worried I'd damaged him for ever...worried he'd be blind...called the ped, whose nurse was reassuring. He didn't require a trip to the ER, but he was traumatized by the experience and was fearful of even having his hair washed for many months.

Fortunately, he's okay now. I don't think he consciously remembers it. His vision isn't effected, and he's back to loving his baths and usually lets me wash his hair without freaking out. I know what happened was my fault. I acknowledge I was careless, even neglectful to have let him stray from my sight although it only took a moment. I still get a knot in the pit of my stomach thinking about it though.

How much worse would I feel if permanent harm-true damage-had come to him? Thankfully, most of us can't fathom that kind of guilt...but we can try to understand it and be sensitive to it.

Certainly, the boy is the one who suffered direct physical pain and loss and he deserves our sadness and compassion but there are moments and intensities of remorse, guilt, and grief that can make parents literally sick with heartache. I think they deserve our compassion too. What they didn't know did hurt their child, and there is no way to turn back time, no way to take it back or reverse it.

The circumcision issue issue is wrought with cultural misperceptions, myths, and misinformation. Parents rely on care providers to be honest with them and to provide them with unbiased, balanced, and truthful information. Sure, they could have (and should have) researched the topic independently and more thoroughly...but circumcision is just so d-mn culturally engrained, still so automatic and assumed: "It's more hygienic. Dad's circed, baby should be too. Better now than later."

Those of us who learned about circumcision before the birth of our son(s) often take our fortune for granted; most parents know disturbingly little about the anatomy & physiology of the foreskin, the mechanics of normal intercourse, the circumcision procedure, it's risks, and it's long-term effects. Think back to how you stumbled across the truth. Were you shocked? Horrified? Outraged? Those reactions only result from learning something profoundly disturbing...a surprising, terrible, widespread secret.

Those of us who learned the truth in time to protect our sons are so, so, so lucky...because it easily could have been one of us who trusted our care provider and circumcised based on inadaquate or inaccurate information or ignorantly succumed to pressures from other directions.

When I read the words of a regretful mother who's hurting, that's what I think: It could have been me. It could have happened to my son. When I think of it that way, I feel sadness rather than judgment and compassion rather than anger---for everyone, all the way around.

The entire situation is tragic.

"You do what you know, and when you know better, you do better."
-Maya Angelou

Parents who circumcised and later learn the truth and process the guilt and grief make some of the most experienced, passionate, and effective intactivists.

Jen
Thank you so much.
WonderWild is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
vermontgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Northern Vermont
Posts: 2,078
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdx.mothernurture View Post
I haven't read the rest of the thread yet, but in response to the OP:

Non-consentual, non-medically indicated genital cutting hurts everyone it touches. It causes mothers to set aside their fierce protective instincts, and often also causes intense grief and heartache. It often causes otherwise loving and intelligent fathers to insist their son's 'match'. It eats away at the consciences of medical professionals. It irreversibly damages the primary sex organ of over half of male, American babies.

I told a story in another thread about how I inadvertantly left a spice jar of cayenne pepper out on the counter one night after cooking dinner and didn't realize it until the next day when my son's screams caused my body to shudder. He's found the cayenne pepper, opened it, and poured it into a pile on the kitchen floor and then played with/in it, and you guessed it-rubbed his eyes. I rushed him to the bathroom and rinsed him with water, I was so panicked, I rinsed his entire head and his look of terror from having water sprayed over his head and face as he held his breath still haunts me. I worried I'd damaged him for ever...worried he'd be blind...called the ped, whose nurse was reassuring. He didn't require a trip to the ER, but he was traumatized by the experience and was fearful of even having his hair washed for many months.

Fortunately, he's okay now. I don't think he consciously remembers it. His vision isn't effected, and he's back to loving his baths and usually lets me wash his hair without freaking out. I know what happened was my fault. I acknowledge I was careless, even neglectful to have let him stray from my sight although it only took a moment. I still get a knot in the pit of my stomach thinking about it though.

How much worse would I feel if permanent harm-true damage-had come to him? Thankfully, most of us can't fathom that kind of guilt...but we can try to understand it and be sensitive to it.

Certainly, the boy is the one who suffered direct physical pain and loss and he deserves our sadness and compassion but there are moments and intensities of remorse, guilt, and grief that can make parents literally sick with heartache. I think they deserve our compassion too. What they didn't know did hurt their child, and there is no way to turn back time, no way to take it back or reverse it.

The circumcision issue issue is wrought with cultural misperceptions, myths, and misinformation. Parents rely on care providers to be honest with them and to provide them with unbiased, balanced, and truthful information. Sure, they could have (and should have) researched the topic independently and more thoroughly...but circumcision is just so d-mn culturally engrained, still so automatic and assumed: "It's more hygienic. Dad's circed, baby should be too. Better now than later."

Those of us who learned about circumcision before the birth of our son(s) often take our fortune for granted; most parents know disturbingly little about the anatomy & physiology of the foreskin, the mechanics of normal intercourse, the circumcision procedure, it's risks, and it's long-term effects. Think back to how you stumbled across the truth. Were you shocked? Horrified? Outraged? Those reactions only result from learning something profoundly disturbing...a surprising, terrible, widespread secret.

Those of us who learned the truth in time to protect our sons are so, so, so lucky...because it easily could have been one of us who trusted our care provider and circumcised based on inadaquate or inaccurate information or ignorantly succumed to pressures from other directions.

When I read the words of a regretful mother who's hurting, that's what I think: It could have been me. It could have happened to my son. When I think of it that way, I feel sadness rather than judgment and compassion rather than anger---for everyone, all the way around.

The entire situation is tragic.

"You do what you know, and when you know better, you do better."
-Maya Angelou

Parents who circumcised and later learn the truth and process the guilt and grief make some of the most experienced, passionate, and effective intactivists.

Jen
Wow. That is a wonderful post. Thank you so much for your beautiful words.

Joyful mama of 3.
vermontgirl is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 04:59 PM
 
pdx.mothernurture's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vermontgirl View Post
Wow. That is a wonderful post. Thank you so much for your beautiful words.


You're very welcome.

Want to know a little secret? Back when this issue was new to me I became a regular on another circumcision discussion board. At the time, I disliked circumcision but was not pregnant and had no biological children. I worked in a hospital birth center where one of my job duties was assisting with newborn circumcisions. It was my job to set up the room, lay out the circumstraint and instruments, sterile gloves, medicine cup, sucrose, syringe, lidocaine, etc. I paged the doctor, gathered the consent form, and retrieved the baby. I was often the one to unwrap him and strap him down. I was so terribly conflicted. I came from the typical American perspective of believing that it was just a piece of skin and that, "If it was so terrible, doctors wouldn't do it!"

Boy, was I ever wrong.

It was Frank (Frankly_Speaking) who lit the fire under my feet and challenged my misperceptions. He and another now-dear-friend, Ron, provided me with tons of information, links, and resources. I began really researching and what I learned broke my heart. By the end of my time at the birth center I'd begun speaking out about circumcision to some of the nursing assistants and nurses, and had begun refusing to assist as a 'conscientious objector'. I'd also begun to debate circumcision online with others-mostly parents-from an intactivist perspective...and I know I went in with guns ablazing and I'm sure I was pretty brutal.

I was angry. I was horrified. I was disgusted. I was outraged! I wanted to tell the world, inform the public, shout the truth from the rooftops until parents knew better and I was completely unprepared for the defensiveness and venom circumcision-minded parents shot back at me. They felt attacked, so they retaliated; it was a defense mechanism.

I think the biggest epiphany-major, "uh huh!" moment-came when I stumbled across the Stages of Grief...

Shock stage: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.
Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.
Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.
Bargaining stage: Seeking in vain for a way out.
Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable.
Testing stage: Seeking realistic solutions.
Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward.

Suddenly, I saw all of the emotions being expressed by circumcising parents who had been presented with literally overwhelming information about what they'd robbed their children of for exactly what it was: GRIEF.

It's probably important to note that it isn't always wise to play the armchair psychologist in these dealings and announce to parents that they're just grieving, that's why they're so angry and defensive; they tend to perceive that as condescending and patronizing, which only results in more anger and defensiveness. It is helpful though, from an intactivist perspective to know that these aren't generally arrogant, heartless parents no matter how hard the struggle against the truth your sharing. Knowing they're grieving increases our understanding, patience, and compassion. It helps us keep kind and calm even in the face of those who wish to 'shoot the messanger'.

Anyway, I've shared all this because we all journey through these feelings-even as intactivists-at different pace and in our own time. It's okay to be angry! It really, really is. Circumcision is a terrible thing, an awful, damaging practice that permanently harms vulnerable, unconsenting, defenseless children. It's that horror, outrage, love of babies and the men they become and desire to protect them that fuels our passion and revitalizes our efforts. It's not just okay-but essential-that we stay in touch with that and tap into it from time to time.

The challenge is to do our best to not alienate those who are truly ignorant or who are processing grief. We're planting seeds, even when we don't see the fruits and may never reap the harvest.

Jen
pdx.mothernurture is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 05:12 PM
 
Mommiska's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,434
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I haven't read through the entire thread, but I feel huge amounts of compassion and respect for parents who have made a mistake and have admitted it. I can't imagine living with that kind of knowledge.

I think it's worth remembering here that Marilyn Milos has 3 circed sons.
Mommiska is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 05:37 PM
 
Paddington's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Happy ;-)
Posts: 8,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassandra M. View Post
The people who ARE educated and HAVE seen circ done before, who still advocate for it are the ones I can't understand. I can't wrap my mind around the idea of doctors who KNOW this isn't a necessary procedure, and watch the newborns in pain going through it, who still perform it for the sake of $.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quirky View Post
The mothers who get the truth on circ but do it anyway, like my SIL? Screw 'em, they don't get my compassion (or my forgiveness). But mamas like those who posted in the sticky, or my friends, whom I KNOW are wonderful, loving mamas who would do anything in their power to go back and undo their sons' circ? I can support them. Yes, it's their sons who suffered, but they suffer too.
I think because I don't know anyone who regrets it IRL. They just say how they think it looks better or whatever and plug their ears and go la la la when you tell them about people who have restored or try to get them to do some research... It is almost harder for the woman to hear that there is a dysfunction than it is for the men in some ways. Especially mothers who then have to accept that they did allow that to happen to their child.

Ange. Mama to boys. Yup. All Boys. All Intact. A bunch of other NFL, crunchy credentials too.
Paddington is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 05:43 PM
 
Paddington's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Happy ;-)
Posts: 8,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Jen~ beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing.

And I miss Frank....

Ange. Mama to boys. Yup. All Boys. All Intact. A bunch of other NFL, crunchy credentials too.
Paddington is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 06:07 PM
 
cam&kat's_mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: VT
Posts: 762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I haven' tread the whole thread so excuse me if this is redundant.
I am a mother that had their oldest circed wihtout a thought to it, mainly cause i just figured that is what was done. I regret it now and once i learned better I did better. DS #2 is intact and I will advocate strongly for my grandchildren to be that way as well. NO ONE in our area discusses circ,It's just done. It really isn't even mentioned and you have to specifically say I don't want this done. (at least 4 years ago you did) now they ask. had anyoen told em that it wasn't necessary. I wouldn't have done it. I didn't knwo Mothering existed at that point. I had no idea no-circ existed etc. Honestly I was a different person until i had my child. And brought him home. The dr did ask us wether we wnated him done with the plastibel or cut and we said if it has to be done don't cut him. We never evne thought o task if it was necesary at all. We thougth we were doing the lesser of 2 evils. I can't and won't say he didn't cry or anythign like that.. I dont' know if he cried but he wasn't crying when he returned. ANd as I look back I hate myself.. casue I was SO careful that he never left our sight in the hospital not for a bath for picture s or testing or anything. But I let him go alone with my OB to have the circ done. I cannot beleive that I let him go as I look back cause I was SO cautious that he would be stolen or something. It wasn't until I was pregnant with DD that I even knew not circing was an option. (a friend in another town left her son intact) Until I came to this message board I never knew about no circ. It wasnt' printed in the mainstream crap I read.. until recently. (I no lonmger buy the magazines but if they arive i thumb through) Dh never even knew you could not circ. He'd never seen an intact guy EVER and when I ofund out our 3rd was a boy it ripped my heart apart to thin kthat I woudl have to fight it out since i had learned all the terrible things about circ. But i just told Dh "I dont' think we're going ot circ the baby" and he was liek "WHY??" and then as he learned he started to notice the no circ stuff in places.. anad spread the word.
Sorry for the long post that got off topic.. BUT

I can see where some are coming from in one sense but from being on the other side of the fence at one point and not knowing (never thinking it was a good thing, jus tsomethign that was done) it doesn't help anyone to not express compassion and understanding. Had I never found those that say circ is wrong but still offerd a hug and taught me to figth for little boys I wouldnt' have keep reading and learnign adn DS #2 may have ended up liek #1. By pushing those that circed their first and are upset by it away. It may actually turn them to continue cuircing rather than stopping. Since they already feel less than those that never circed. I know I do. That is why I cannot put the no circ smilie in my siggy cause I feel liek I don't belong displaying that when I have done that.... cause those that do display it tend to be very harsh on those that have circed even if it's only one child and they really never knew the truth about it. ( I've heard snarky remarks form people IRL when i say circing isnt' a good thing. since I did it once)
But remember compassion goes a long way adn can change the minds and hearts of some. Also I'm truly sorry that we all weren't born perfect and didn't make perfect choices for our children. And didn't knwo that there were soem things that shoud have been researched more... pregnancy manuals don't tell you to research circumcision or vaccines or anything else like that. And those that lived in mainstream USA and read while pregnant most likely werent' told to look outside the hospital walls or outside the box. This is getting way rambly .. so I'll stop.
cam&kat's_mom is offline  
Old 01-04-2007, 06:20 PM
 
TypingMJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Eastern Seaboard
Posts: 1,491
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When someone posts about their regret over circumcising their son, I think they're incredibly brave. MDC can be a tough crowd, and it takes a lot of guts to lay yourself bare like that and open yourself up to the criticism that will follow.

I was a fence sitter on the issue from the moment I found out I was having a boy. My instincts told me it was wrong, but I was pressured by my family to do it. I was regaled with stories of infection, discomfort and "stink". I was made to feel like I would be depriving my son of something if we didn't circumcise him.

I lurked in the CAC forum for months, and to be honest the extremism of some posts really got to me. Even though I felt that circumcision was wrong and frankly, ridiculous, the tone and content of some posts made me worry that we'd be marginalizing our son if we left him intact.

In the end, reading the sticky thread about "regrets" made me finalize my decision and never second-guess it again. Those heartfelt messages of regret did a lot more to influence me than self-righteous statments and shaming ever could.

Every day when I change my son's diaper I'm so glad I didn't make the mistake of circumcising, and I thank the mothers who were open about their regret for helping me to make the right decision.
TypingMJ is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off