I chose to get sterilized after listening to an interview on NPR with Andrew Solomon, on his interview with Peter Lanza, whose son, Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook killer, had killed 26 people and his own mother before committing suicide.
It was March 2014, my boyfriend and I were driving back after spring break in Miami and Orlando. It was a long road trip, we were on the road for about 20 hours for the last two days, and the news coverage had been completely over the disappearance of Malaysian Airline. So when the interview with Mr. Solomon came up on the car radio, we were craving for something different, so we stayed in the channel.
Mr. Solomon talked about his own experience as gay growing up in a strict and straight family, his new book ‘Far From The Tree’ on raising non average children, and this article in the New Yorker of the interview. I remember that he mentioned, at the end of the interview Peter Lanza told him, that he wished that his son Adam had never been born. I was little shocked on hearing that, and immediately made up my mind on sterilization, because I don’t want the same regret.
I have contemplated getting sterilized before (summer of 2013, when I was 22 and went to the college hospital asking to be sterilized), but not too seriously, and also I was too young at the time, everyone around me told me that I would eventually change my mind. I knew I wouldn’t but decided to wait.
Peter Lanza got a divorce from him wife after exhausted from raising a difficult son, and exited the family. He hadn’t seen Adam for years and didn’t know what his son had become. Where I grew up in China, divorce was still uncommon, and children from single parent families usually received more attentions and gossips behind their backs in schools. And yet still there were fathers and mothers fled away, or went on never ending business trips. I have grown up knowing several children from single parent families, and because of differences in culture and social acceptance in China and the U.S., some of those kids didn’t end up with a good life. Where did all their parents go? Did they ever think about their children afterwards? And why escaping the life they have is so essential that made them left?
I wanted to ask my parents why they didn’t leave.
To my parents, family is something you always choose without a doubt. I cannot be like them. Freedom is too important for me that I’d either be free or I’ll kill myself. Anyone who knows me well would admit that I’m unfit to be a parent. I want to have my life for the unexpected.
Just like that, I made the decision to get sterilized, and started the process as soon as I graduated from college and started my first job. And luckily it was covered 100% by my insurance (Aetna Choice POS II).
(You can read Andrew Solomon’s article on New Yorker here: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/03/17/the-reckoning)