I want to be able to date and love him the way I want, which, yeah, means intimacy. We use protection until we decide to stay together and get married. I want kids but may not be able to bear any due to the abuse, mental issues, and the possibility of the baby not surviving. He wants kids too, but we’re both willing to accept that having bio kids may not be possible although adoption could be, so not all hope is lost in raising a child.
The problem is I don’t want him in trouble for dating me, and the family member threatened to get him locked up. I don’t want that — he means too much to me. Is there anything I can do? Please help us… Mostly me because even if it’s not him, there will be another guy/girl I date, and I’m tired of losing people I get close to because of my family. I want a normal life. Or as normal as possible. — Not Fond of Many People
I must admit, your issue is out of my realm of experience and expertise, though I can certainly sympathize with your wanting to have a normal life, with a happy and healthy relationship. I wonder if your family, even despite their past terrible treatment of you, might be concerned about Aaron exploiting you. When you say they have threatened to have him “locked up,” is there any merit to that? Are you under-age? If not, I’m not sure what recourse they could have, and I’m wondering if they are exploiting you with these threats.
I suggest reaching out to support groups who specialize in helping people with intellectual challenges. They would have the knowledge and appropriate advice for you. I’ll share some names and links below, but first I wanted to commend you on using birth control, to encourage you to continue using birth control not just until you decide to get married but until a doctor gives you the go-ahead to try to get pregnant. And should you never get pregnant and never adopt or become a parent, I want you to know that you can still have a well-rounded life, with time and energy to pursue hobbies and interests, and plenty of time to invest in nurturing a loving relationship with whomever you may choose to build a life with. I understand that you don’t like people, but you’ve found at least one you seem to like, and I think, with some counseling and maybe distancing yourself from those who have hurt you in the past, you may find additional people whom you can learn to trust and with whom you may build warm and caring friendships. To have such relationships is one of life’s greatest pleasures and gifts — as much or even more than becoming a parent, for some. I hope that you will consider opening yourself to that gift, with the guidance of experienced and trained support people.
Here are a few organizations to reach out to who can get you on the right track toward owning your own life and establishing the freedom of choice and independence you crave. I especially like the sound of this one:
The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. We encompass all ages and more than 100 different diagnoses including autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and various other developmental disabilities.
And here are a few other organizations to check out.
Finally, the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), is an organization that is “dedicated to ensuring that people with disabilities have opportunities to make their own choices, contribute to society, have supports to live independently, and live free of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.” You can find your state chapter here.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.