Nadya Suleman, who recently gave birth to octuplets in California with the help of fertility treatments, supposedly loves children. That's what her own mother, Angela, says, according to the "New York Post."
The Post also quotes Suleman's friend, Allison Frickert, as saying, "Her whole life, she couldn't wait to be a mom. That was her No. 1 goal."
Suleman, 33, already had six children, which were conceived with the help of fertility treatment. So now she has 14 children and reportedly an undergraduate degree in child and adolescent development and is pursuing a master's degree in counseling.
Nadya, here's a look inside the mind of a single woman with six children, living in her parents' 1,550 square-foot bungalow, who decides to have eight more children. Since you aren't going to class anymore, feel free to listen.
This isn't about loving children. This is about being completely and utterly lost in your own psychological drama that has absolutely nothing to do with truly nurturing the human beings you are creating. These children, each of whom I pray overcomes the odds and becomes competent and empathetic human beings, are the expression of your own unresolved psychological troubles. I wouldn't presume to make a formal diagnosis, but they may be the product of obsessive-compulsive thinking-an irrational idea that "one more daughter will make me complete" or something as mundane as the idea that "the number six isn't lucky for me." Even more likely, they are a distraction from core, unresolved emotional issues you are hell-bent on not addressing. With enough children and enough chaos, after all, you won't have to wonder if you yourself were well-enough-loved or well-enough-nurtured as a child or whether you developed into the person you had hoped to become.
Using 14 kids to avoid your own thoughts and feelings isn't much different for you than using alcohol or heroin to bury your emotions. The big difference is for the fourteen kids who will grow up trying to make sense out of the absurd circumstances into which they were born-not as products of a loving relationship, but as products of you trying to use motherhood as a drug to distance yourself from your own internal suffering.
Now, your suffering has been multiplied. Your suffering has eight new names to add to the six that already existed. Your pain now has fourteen faces. And all this, rather than looking at your own face in the mirror, into your own eyes and your own heart to find out what was missing, what had been injured, what needed real understanding and real repair, not real reproducing.
How could your fertility doctors have missed the barren psychological landscape from which they were extracting new human beings? How could medical ethics not have caught up with medical technology, to the extent that a single mother can decide to have fourteen children with the help of a small army of health care personnel? Will the doctors line up to pay for the clothing and childcare and education the children will need? Will they volunteer their time to play with the kids and give them the quiet time and undivided attention that will allow them to feel secure expressing their thoughts and feelings? Will they be there at bedtime to read them each their favorite stories? No.
This delivery of octuplets isn't about the octuplets at all. It isn't about loving or mothering or doctoring. It's about doing what each person in this strange drama wanted to do-for herself or himself. It's about not thinking and not feeling, and fertilizing fourteen young lives with the unpaid debt of that emotional blindness.
Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatry correspondent for FOX News Channel and a New York Times bestselling author. His newest book, "Living the Truth: Transform Your Life through the Power of Insight and Honesty" has launched a new self-help movement. Check out Dr. Ablow's website at livingthetruth.com or e-mail him at email@example.com.