I had one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my adult life yesterday: taking my daughter to the doctor to get an exam and a prescription for the Pill.
Marian and Ross have been spending a lot of time together, and sometime she winds up staying overnight at his house, and I just thought it was better she be prepared. I don’t think anything has happened so far, and we did have a talk awhile ago about how this option would be available to her as needed, and yesterday she had a doctor’s appointment, anyway. We’d talked earlier in the week about her irregular cycles and how she would probably need to go on the Pill to correct those, anyway. We had the appointment, she got the prescription, and I was pretty much doing okay until, while we were waiting to pick it up in the grocery store, she said: “I just wanted to get some condoms to go along with the pills.”
I told her we wouldn’t discuss it often, but I just wanted her to know that I wanted neither to encourage casual sex nor to discourage her from intimacy if she determined it was right. I also told her the pills and condoms could protect her body but not her emotions from the risks of sex, and that she should try to be sure she and the chosen person really cared about each other. I told her ultimately it was her decision, that I neither wanted to pressure her TO have sex or NOT to have sex, and I just hoped to provide appropriate protection and guidance, though I’m damned if I really have a clue as to what that is.
And I’m wondering desperately why I now feel so sleazy and slimy about the entire thing.
My mom NEVER had a sex talk with me (as far as she was concerned, there WAS no sex) and I didn’t want to repeat this with my own kids. But now, I can almost understand now why our parents didn’t talk about this at all with us, because it seems to have stirred up a whole range of unpleasant emotions for me that I’d rather have avoided. Probably a lot of it is because, in spite of being a teenager in the late 60s when we thought we were so liberal, I was brought up a devout Catholic with conditioning (hangups?) it is still impossible really to shake. Part of me feels as though I’m pushing and condoning my daughter to have sex before she may really be ready. She did say, when it was all over, not to worry, because “just because I have all this stuff doesn’t mean I’m going to run right over to Ross’s and have sex.”
The doctor commended me for discussing this with her, but I can easily say this was one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life. I didn’t have to go through that with my older daughter, as she’s had only one serious boyfriend that I know of, and I was down in Texas at the time, so if she was ever contemplating having sex, or actually had sex, I didn’t know about it.
I guess I’m just looking for reassurance that this was all the right thing to do. Because right now I'm amazed at how crummy I feel.