Civility and the Blog Wars

I dislike Blog Wars. They are divisive and kill any kind of productive conversation. I don’t knowingly start them and I hate to be in the middle of them. I usually just drop out and stop reading. This week’s Blog War left me feeling torn. When two different bloggers have followers that defend them, the danger is that civility goes out the door. Name calling, judgement of people (as opposed to judgement of ideas), and even threats can ensue.

When you write a blog, you put your ideas out for the world to consider, agree or disagree with, or even judge. If you are writing a public blog, not are you only writing to get your ideas out there, you are implicitly inviting others to agree or disagree with all or part of those ideas. If what you want to do is preach to those people who already think like you, a private blog may be a better idea.

That said, there is NEVER any reason to physically threaten anyone, no matter how you feel about their opinions and how they express them. Bloggers can’t control what their followers say and do. I know I can’t. I will also say right up front that I have commented in defense of bloggers who I felt were being taken out of context more than once in the last few months. I am not disrespectful and I threaten no one. And honestly, the people I know who regularly read my blog would never attack or threaten real life harm to someone over ideas.

When blogging stops being about ideas and starts being taken/written personally, it loses its’ benefits and ,for  me anyway, its appeal. Civility is extremely underrated these days.

Two Traumatized Kids

Traumatized child # 1 is making progress. Although we have not had a repeat, yet, of Monday’s most excellent day, we are seeing fleeting moments of real joy on her face. The picture above was taken yesterday while she was swimming with GB. Genuine joy has been unheard of for Hope. On the down side, her latest, and constant, role is the Victim. This is not good. It isn’t good for GB. It also is part of my baggage. Growing up, I was the oldest and my youngest brother was the Victim his whole life. It is a big trigger for me and I need to be really careful how I deal with it.

Traumatized child # 2 is having a very difficult time. When Hope plays victim, she casts GB in the role of aggressor. GB is defenseless. The shrink again repeated that I am not protecting GB well enough and GB is starting to show signs of PTSD. Recently, Hope bit her own arm, starting crying that GB hurt her, and GB was unable to defend herself. Fortunately, I saw Hope bite herself (and the bite mark was facing the wrong way), but  it took way too long to get GB back and calm her down enough that she could process this. And of course, at that point she was pissed. Still trying to brain storm possible solutions.

The girls are getting better at reciprocal play. It happens more often these days and lasts longer. A work in progress.

Adoptive Parent Bloggers

I am an adoptive parent blogger. Some of my friends are, too, and most of my Soul Sisters. I love and appreciate everyone of them. Some adoptive parent bloggers are not part of my support network. They are not my friends and I agree with little they say, one adoptive parent blogger in particular. I am not naming names or providing links, because the last thing I want is for this woman to get more traffic. Repeatedly going after vulnerable people, by name, to make her point is an act of cowardliness.

I am ever so grateful to all my adoptive parent bloggers, my support network, for just doing the best you can, day by day. Having you there makes me a better mother.

A Good Day

The girls had a good day today. I don’t know why it happened or when it will happen again. No rages, no manipulation, no tears. Hope got on the bus with no “help”, they came off the bus smiling. No tantrums because the weather canceled swimming. They agreed on a movie and watched it nicely. They played in their kitchen and took turns.

After dinner, we acknowledged their good day by celebrating Christmas in July with hot chocolate in Christmas cups, topped with ice cream. They went to bed easily. I don’t remember when their last good day was, although I could look it up. I don’t need to. Hope smiled at me and said,” This was my first good day ever”.

Good enough for me 🙂

Good Bye, Sinclair.

There is nobody like Sinclair. He loves God, his family and me. We have been friends for over twenty years. He was born in Jamaica and still has a hint of the accent. When he smiles, there is a bright gold tooth shining. His skin is darker than most, almost ebony. He gives Christians a good name, in a time where there is not enough of that happening.

I remember The Dad being in San Fransisco for a couple of weeks and a pick up order being issued on one of my teenagers. It was almost midnight and the hospital was hours away. Sinclair was the one who volunteered to go with me. I remember the old pastor denouncing my friend and me bursting into tears. Sinclair crossed the church silently and held me in his arms, not saying anything. The service ended quickly. The Dad and I went on a cruise with Sinclair and his wife shortly before we got GB. We had a whole week to talk about nothing and everything. God was always part of our world and part of our conversations. Sinclair was the first one to tell me GB was a gift from God and that I should treasure her. I don’t think I realized up to that point that GB was ours permanently. I still thought the kids were going to get their act together. When GB was about three and going through a jewelry stage, a bunch of us had a yard sale. GB bejeweled Sinclair and he smiled the whole time… right through earrings, hats, necklaces, and bracelets. He even smiled through the picture GB had to have of him looking “beautiful”. Sinclair is an outstanding chef and made a corned beef and cabbage to die for. He is always honest and mostly kind and always knows what is important.

Sinclair retired and started spending part of the year in Florida. He always comes home, though. In May, he was happily looking forward to barbecuing on the 4th of July. It was a tradition. In the end of May, he was losing blood and was admitted to the hospital.

Thursday I heard he was transferred to the oncology unit of another hospital. I decided to skip church this morning and go visit him. The Dad came with me. We got there around quarter to twelve. Sinclair had slipped into a coma last night. He was actively dying. I said my good byes and thanked him for his friendship. I hugged his daughter and his wife. At 1:30 this afternoon, Sinclair passed into his next life. This world is poorer for the loss.

Good bye, my friend. I love you.

I didn’t Want to Know

I saw my new neurologist Friday. None of the news was very welcomed. I am still not on any meds for my neurological problems. He said I have  mitochondrial level  disease that can only be treated by symptoms. He order a sleep study for last night because sleep apnea can make the neurological problems worse and he can treat sleep apnea. The Dad and the girls dropped me off a little after eight last night. I was hooked up to monitors using a lot of wires and some sticky stuff. They came in to adjust wires and connectors often and it seemed like it took me forever to fall asleep. I was suppose to wait to hear from the doctor, but the nice technician  let me look at the raw results. I have sleep apnea (no surprise), but I wasn’t expecting to see that my oxygen saturation levels dipped below sixty percent on four different occasions.  I was so tired when I got home that I took a four hour nap.  Next step is to go for calibration.  Right now, I have two little girls who want to be right next to me.

The UnTherapeutic Parent

Hope raged yesterday morning. Yesterday afternoon, after three days of rages, she stopped. Instead of raging, she played the RAD game. The I-am-so-cute smile stayed on her face. She hit, she kicked, she screamed… but she was completely in control. I find this games very tiring. After being therapeutic for over three hours, I was toast. I stopped playing. Every time Hope made one of her RAD moves, I took myself physically out of the game. I moved away. When she followed me, sticking to be like sweat on a hundred degree day, I firmly told her I wasn’t playing that game any more and peeled her off. The more she tried to engage me, the more aloof I became.  I gave GB attention and modeled appropriate interactions. Once The Dad came home, I completely detached. He had her for the rest of the night. This morning, when Hope came into cuddle, The Dad was already in the shower. She laid down next to me and as I reached to hug her she hit me and smiled her RAD smile. I immediately told her to get out of my bed and reminded her I was not playing that game any more. The Dad did not like my response. I am played out right now.