Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Small problems...

Why can't I be contented?  In the grand scheme of things, my problems are so small.  And yet, last night, I was feeling angry again about so many trivial things.

This morning, I read a really sad article about pregnant women in Armenia who are more or less forced to have abortions because their husbands and mothers-in-law dream of them having sons.  I remember this was an issue when I lived in Armenia.  Boy children were much revered by their families.  I believe most parents loved their daughters, too.  But there are still significant numbers of people who prefer to have sons over daughters, at least as the firstborn child.  And so, Armenia remains a place where a lot of sex selective abortions take place.

In the article I linked, a woman using the pseudonym Gayane explains that she was forced to have an abortion when it was discovered that the fetus she was carrying was a girl.  Now, years later, she has trouble getting pregnant and her husband and his mother would happily settle for a girl if she could only get pregnant and stay that way.

A second story is about a woman using the pseudonym Zhanna, whose husband and mother-in-law forced her to choose between abortion and divorce when they learned the baby she was carrying was a girl.  Zhanna chose divorce and now she's broke, her ex husband is dead, and his family will have nothing to do with her or the baby.

I remember when I lived in Armenia, I met a couple of women who had endured multiple abortions.  One friend had seven of them.  Another had sixteen.  Abortion wasn't thought of as a serious problem in Armenia, which had a strange mixture of people who were dedicated to Christianity and others who were atheists, as the Soviet Union demanded for as long as it existed.  Armenia was the first country to openly accept Christianity as its official religion and many Armenians are very proud of that fact, but when it was part of the Soviet Union, people were not allowed to openly worship.  I'm not sure if that's why so many people are okay with women having repeated abortions.  I only know that twenty years ago, abortion wasn't really considered a big deal.  And yet, I read about the women in the article I linked whose husbands' families bullied them into unpleasant choices.  Abortion was a big deal to those women.    

When I lived in Armenia, I was in my early to mid 20s.  More than once, a person told me that I'd marry an Armenian.  That always struck me as unlikely, since I am way too outspoken.  Besides, many Armenians are very proud of their heritage and want to keep the bloodlines pure.  I didn't see myself tolerating a situation in which I had to live with my mother-in-law and accept her dictates over my body.  And yet, a lot of Armenian women, especially those in rural areas, are expected to do just that.

Last night, I told Bill that at this point in my life, I hoped I'd be living in my own place.  Of course, I also hoped I'd have a career and perhaps a family.  Things haven't turned out the way I envisioned them.  But can I really say things are bad?  No...  of course not.  I don't have to live with a mother-in-law who demands that I have an abortion because I'm pregnant with a daughter instead of a son.  Bill's mom would never treat me with that level of disrespect.  She's a wonderful person.  But even if she did, I am married to a guy who doesn't value his mother over his wife.

And... we do at least have a place to live.  It's not the greatest house in the world, but it beats a cardboard box or a hotel room.  We have running water and power, two things I regularly went without when I lived in Armenia.  Our rent is cheap, so we'll be able to save up for the house I dream of buying someday.  It doesn't have to be big and fancy; it just has to be on a large plot of land with a privacy fence and a locking gate... and my own parking spot.

I need to focus more on what's good, I guess.  I do have it pretty good most of the time.  I do have small problems, even if they irritate me immensely.

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