Living With Unstable Children And Parents Who Shouldn’t
I was recently asked to read a blog posting by a woman [screenshot of her blog is at the bottom of this post] who had adopted a girl with multiple emotional, mental, and physical disabilities. It would appear the function of the entire blog is a sort of therapy for her to cope with this “out of control” teen.
Please, don’t misunderstand anything I am about to say to mean I don’t care about the blood, sweat, and tears that go into looking after such a child. I know, personally, that writing about stressful situations is sometimes the best therapy of all, and when it comes to parenting, it is a far greater thing to relieve that stress in rants to others than on your child.
That being said, I was appalled – even to tears – by what I read. Especially when I realized she was referring to a young girl with, among other things, cerebral palsy as a “bitching and screaming” burden.
It, also, occurred to me that this same 13 year old girl could quite easily come across these blogs published on the internet for any Tom, Dick, or Jane to read and post equally as spiteful comments, as many of this woman’s supporters who do not know this family from Adam and Eve have done.
As Rob Taylor said in his comment: Can you imagine coming across a blog posted by your spouse about how they were sick and tired of coming home to you and of your mere presence?
Imagine a 13 year old girl with multiple mental, emotional, and physical disorders, who was in foster care, was adopted by this woman who then adopted more kids when the girl didn’t become the angel she thought she could manipulate out of her, coming across this blog. The heartbreak this poor girl would feel! Back behind the mental iron curtain she would run.
I can assure you this is NOT an effective way to reach a mentally challenged, highly excitable child! For that matter, I wouldn’t care if the girl were completely healthy. You just don’t go online posting how much you hate being around your kid or even saying it in public, let alone feeling it and believing it’s okay. It’s evil and hateful and no descent parent would ever do such a thing.
It’s good to have an outlet to express your stress. There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is that A. You feel it necessary to involve strangers on the internet on a site where your child could easily come across and see it and B. Perhaps if you spent more time working on the child’s issues rather than the extensive hours it has taken to fill that blog bitching about it, there wouldn’t be so many problems.
I have to praise Rob Taylor for reporting this woman to CPS. If he didn’t I would! For a better understanding of why we feel this measure is necessary, look at her other blogs. In particular, how she talks about the lack of care and concern over the girl’s welfare and leaving the ill child home alone for hours at a time.
In the blog I linked to above, the mother mentions how upset her daughter made her after an enjoyable vacation without her child resulted in an “attitude” of sorts upon her return home. The family went to a ceremony for the two younger adopted (or foster) siblings, which the teen daughter was not allowed to attend. They had sent her away for what is called a “respite”.
Respite care is what is offered to caregivers of special needs loved ones. These needs can include the elderly and family members with mental disabilities such as autism, bi-polar, dementia, and RAD: Reactive Attachment Disorder – which is as controversial as ADD and ADHD in that it is the new-age diagnosis given to a child by prescription-loving therapists for any amount of rebellious behavior. This is not to say it isn’t a real thing, as ADD and ADHD are real things. It is to say that it is clearly over-diagnosed and is, therefore, not treated as seriously as it must in the cases of real sufferers.
I won’t condemn or judge anyone for using respite services.
I, myself, looked after my grandmother of 90 for several months. It was not a full time job as there were in-home nurses who came to sit from time to time and other relatives. I can tell you that I could not have done it 24/7, and I adored my grandmother.
On her good days, she was like a kid with me. We watched baseball together – I was always a Braves fan and we watched the World Series together, she cheering just as loudly as I when they won. We played cards together, laughed together, and talked about what others might call “boring” things from time to time.
Her bad days consisted of an unwillingness to want to get up, to move about, to eat, to drink, to take her medicine. She would snap at everything I did and said, and I would just wish for the good day to start again. A little because it was frustrating but mostly because it hurt me to see her this way and I wanted the “normal” Grandma back.
On every day, good or bad, I had to be there to help her from her bed, to her bed, from her chair, to her chair, to the table, from the table, to the toilet, and from the toilet. Helping her to the toilet consisted of helping her wipe and cleaning up urine and feces when she started before hitting the seat, or from her bed or floor on the days she refused to get up from the bed to use the restroom.
As much as I adored my grandmother (“bestemor” in Norwegian), I hated those days and wished for my 9 hours to be over. Of course, I’m ashamed of that now just as ashamed as I am that I didn’t speak to her more about our Viking heritage when I had the chance. I was only 18, though, and thought more of myself and the friends and fun I was missing.
I understand “respite” and am so happy for its existence for those in situations like this and like the mother of the blog talking about her daughter.
My problem is that with this particular person and those like her, it seems this girl is more of a throw away, a government paycheck, and a way for “mom” to get “it’s all about me” moments with her friends on the internet. “Respite” in this situation seems to be used more often than not, and by a woman who claims she took the girl in with the full intention of “fixing her” (so to speak) and swearing she hasn’t given up (though sends her away while the rest of the family goes on family outings, to special celebrations, to time to spend with the new kids in the household, and for internet blogging time).
I couldn’t help but wonder as I skimmed through her other blogs just when she actually spends quality time with the girl. When my child advocacy colleague, Rob Taylor, mentioned in a comment that spending time with her daughter might do more good than writing a blog bad mouthing her and sending her away so often, he was attacked by her and the other moms posting on her blog who have similar children and seem to also be online bitching and moaning rather than caring for their children.
Of course I understand time with the child isn’t the solution to the entire situation. However, refusing to let her attend a special family ceremony then getting upset that she isn’t “all ears” and thrilled about the brothers’ gifts is just wicked and not at all the trademark of a loving, considerate parent. Then there is the factor that she is your child and not the child of a stranger at the respite institution; therefore, deserves her parent’s time as much as any other child in the house.
Kids with disabilities are not easy to care for. I have them in my family and I know the stress factor. I also know by watching the parents – my brother and his wife as well as cousins – that only a kind hearted, compassionate, devoted parent should ever be responsible for children like these.
People who knowingly adopt children with mental, emotional, and/or physical disabilities are making a promise to that child to love them unconditionally and help them through the bad days, not just be there for the good. Children, especially foster children and adoptees, need to believe in those taking the role of parent – whether by birth or government document.
It is cruel and abusive to treat a child as a lost cause, as a burden, as a cause of family stress and problems. Children scarred by any form of disability as with abuse are constantly seeking an adult who will truly care about them enough to look past those invisible scars and care enough to tear down those defensive walls around their hearts and minds.
Kids like this put up walls just to see if anyone will care enough to tear them down. They need to know they can trust someone with their heart after having it hurt so much by others. They need to know someone is there for the long haul and won’t bail on them when they need them most. We all put up barriers from time to time. It’s heart wrenching when a child, in his/her young life, has been put in situations to do the same.
Sending a child away because they are trouble won’t build trust and break down the walls and show that child you really love them and won’t leave, no matter how hard it gets.
Keeping a child from family activities won’t do it.
Telling them to their face or behind their back they are more trouble than they are worth won’t do it.
Bringing more children into the household because you feel you failed the first time won’t do it.
Showing off gifts other family members received while keeping the child from receiving any won’t do it.
Not only is this behavior cruel and heartless, these are all forms of abuse and neglect.
How could a person treat a child this way? I don’t care how much a kid screams and yells, throws things or argues. No child deserves to be treated like the household pet! And a pet that is unwanted at that!
I know this post is a break from my usual child sexual abuse blogging, but I couldn’t let this go. Not after crying so hard from reading the pure hateful rants of this person and her net friends towards this suffering child. It hurt me so much reading those things, and I’m not even the daughter. I can only imagine what she is told at home, how she is treated, and what happens to her when no one is home to monitor this woman. I can’t imagine how much pain this girl will be in if she ever finds the blog, or how much she is in if she has already.
Although it seems I am posting this about one particular woman about one particular situation, I am not. It is merely a springboard for addressing any parent (biological or otherwise) in this situation in the hopes you realize what you are doing to your child should you behave in these ways.
Sometimes when life is really chaotic and wearing us down, we don’t realize our actions and how those actions affect others. I’m laying it out right here for you to understand your actions do have consequences and children with disabilities are intelligent enough to know when they are unwanted and seen as nothing more than burdens.
If you feel the ways this woman feels and speak of your child the way this woman does, please seek counseling before you lose your child forever and they become yet another statistic on the evening news.
A child is a child is a child. They did not ask to be inflicted with their problems, and as adults taking responsibility for their care, it is a parent’s responsibility to let that child know it is not their fault, they are not burdens, and they are very much loved every single day. If you choose to give birth to or take in a child with mental, emotional, and/or physical inflictions, remember that it was your decision – not the child’s . You have no right taking your regret out on that child.
You can see more on this story at Red-Alerts.com by Rob Taylor.
(click for larger view – I am posting this screenshot because she has her blog set to private now due to Rob’s assessment of her parenting skills and the fear of his report to CPS. I post this screen shot because it is in all fairness that you are able to see both sides of my post and make your judgment accordingly. I don’t tell one side – my side – if I can help it.)
Oh, yes, it’s such a nightmare to come home to a child that was sent away because she wasn’t good enough to join in a family milestone and the adoption of the new kids to take her place.
Rob’s first comment is posted on his own blog. After he was attacked by the Mothers Who Don’t Give A Damn squad, accusing him of not knowing anything about children with disabilities, not knowing how to contact CPS (lol It would blow their mind if they knew the full story on just what kind of contacts we have in our dealings with child abuse and abusers), and even calling Rob a pedophile (slanderous but Rob is above that – good news for them), I had this to say:
“Any good deeds you have done that were mentioned by SMP were just negated.”
I particularly like how Annie reveals they leave their special needs child with a sitter … while all the while through the comments she and others are complaining that they can barely be around their child and dare anyone else to for even 5 minutes. Please, do let CPS know the name of this sitter so they will better pair deserving parents up with these children in the future!
If this is how they treat a concerned citizen and a comment by an internet stranger, imagine how they must speak to and handle a mentally and physically challenged teenager in their home!
For their information and those reading who are wondering, we looked through all of this woman’s blogs as well as those of some of the commenters. Not just Rob and I but several others, like Legally Kidnapped, who are invested in child advocacy, as well (thanks to Sue from Warriors For Innocence for the numerous screen captures).
Unfortunately, we were unable to gather as many screen shots as we wanted before she made her blog private (though CPS has legal access through Blogger, itself), so you cannot see both sides. If she wants others to believe we are not telling the whole story, she simply needs to open her blog back up to reveal all of her past postings that we report are brazen attempts at attention and “poor me” syndrome behavior.
Of course, it would also reveal how much time she and her net buddies spend online bitching about their chosen motherhood to unwell children rather than with their disabled kids. I don’t think they want that. It would “negate” all the defense they’ve poured over Torina.
It is quite clear to us that these women spend most of their time on the internet and very little with their special needs kids, and much of that time is taking them to respite homes.
Why do I make this seemingly rude statement? In the years of investigating online predators and pedophiles, I’ve also blogged in my free time and come across these very same people. We all have. The type, I mean. You can tell they live on the internet because they panic and go into an irrational uproar when one person upsets the delicate balance of their manipulated internet friends’ ass kissing.
Not to mention my IP tracker has been in a fury since early last night with some of the same visitors coming at 1AM, 3AM, 6AM and still arriving (time is now 11:48AM). Where are their special needs kids while they are hovering around my blog for over 12 hours straight?!?!
You’re damned right we’re calling CPS, anonymous in Boston, Mass! Get off your damned computer and tend to your child! Pathetic excuse for mothers, the lot of them!