Still Thinking

I am still getting responses about my post “Hair?”. Most of them are thoughtful, some encouraging, some criticizing. There are some that are downright nasty. I have come up with my own working definition of troll (see previous post). I am comfortable with it. I will no print comments from trolls.

I have been thinking how that little post and the comments seemed to take a life of their own. A lot of them had nothing to with how I taking care of Hope’s black hair. For those who’s questions concerned black hair and decisions made (and not made), please read this post:

For others, it was the physical assaults we live with, or what a lousy mother I am to Hope. I most certainly can and need to to better with Hope, but I am not a lousy mother. I am also not a selfish bitch, or most of the adjectives thrown my way. One of the comments resonated with me so much that I am going to reprint it here.

Marianne Milton said:

…I believe that one of the best gifts we can give our children who have experienced severe trauma and abuse—and are lashing out in physically destructive and aggressive ways—is to create and keep a home for them that is safe, loving, and free from violence. They are often intimately acquainted with a world full of anger, loss, distrust, abuse, neglect, and aggression. We must be the doorway into another life, I believe—where they can experience a world that is generous, peaceful, kind, and connected. Their journey through their doorway is rarely straightforward, understandably. But it does our children no good to avoid naming what they are doing as violence and aggression and destruction. And when a child is leaving bruises, breaking bones, drawing blood, and/or causing internal injuries on family members, the accurate term for that is “domestic violence.” The important lesson here is that that child deserves to live without that violence in their lives. One crucial step in the path is to name what they have experienced in their past, so that they can grasp that it is not simply life-as-it-is-lived-by-everyone, but a particular form of family experience that is not what all families are about. “This family—right here, right now, the one that you are a part of—is not about domestic violence. We lived differently before you moved in. And we will continue to live differently than what you have been accustomed to in the past. And eventually you will live differently, as well. And you will come to know that your past is not how you have to live out your future.” Even letting go of an ugly past is a loss—and a challenge. I know that. But loving, healthy parents must be firm enough about their values and the peaceful home environment that they have created to insist that no other behaviors are acceptable. They are certainly understandable, but they must stop. Naming the unacceptable behaviors is one step towards teaching a child what they must let go of. But when you take a weapon away from a child who has only known the world as a war zone, it can feel terrifying. And it can take an excruciatingly long time. Still, I believe with all my heart and all my experience raising two daughters “from the hard places,” as Karyn Purvis describes it, that helping my daughters make that internal shift from living in a war zone to knowing that they live in a peaceful zone is the core work of their healing. Now, if I ever need to be protected against any menace, I know where to turn to for back-up: LOL! My daughters will always be able to access their internal Ninjas in a split second: they learned how to survive amidst atrocities done to them. But I want them to learn how to love and relax and realize that the world—*their* world—is full of loving, generous, kind-hearted, thoughtful, caring, healing people who they can lean on and love and trust. I think you and I want the same kind of world for all children, …

Mariane said so well why Hope’s violence can not be tolerated. I don’t try to tolerate Hope. I love her. I try to contain the aggression, so Hope can stay home and our family can be a safe, secure environment for everyone. I tell Hope the biting, hitting, etc are unacceptable and will not be allowed in this house. I do not tell Hope she is unacceptable.

After the shock all the anger and emotion that arose from that post subsided, I started wondering why I even bothered blogging- and if it was worth it. I decided it was.

  • I blog to record our days. It is always good to go back a period of time and see what I was thinking, feeling, and doing.
  • I enjoy writing and writing helps me process feeling and organize ideas.
  • I get to know interesting people, both like me and unlike me, some of which have turned into IRL friendships.
  • Even when I was starting out and only a few people were reading, my readers gave me perspectives and ideas that I would never have had if I didn’t blog. Thoughtful, civil criticism is a gift. I will give it my time and energy.
  • The blogs of others let me know that other people had situations and feelings similar to what I was experiencing. I would like to do that for other people.
  • Some of my posts are just me sharing my hard won knowledge of various things, such as the special education system in our country.

So I will continue to blog. I don’t expect or need everybody to agree with me. Friends disagree at times. This is a good thing… one of me is enough. Trolls, do not waste your time commenting. I will never see your comment and they will never be published. Most of my posts are written on a particular day, with specific events occurring. Please, if you stumble upon a post do not assume you know enough to pass judgement on my life. If you don’t like what you see and can’t be civil, move on. You will not be missed. I promise. To my friends: agree or disagree, I love you.



8 thoughts on “Still Thinking

  1. I love your blog and am amazed at what a terrific mom you are. I cannot fathom what prompted people to post some of the comments you printed. You go, girl!!

  2. Please don’t stop blogging because of a few haters and trolls like “Grace” and “Emily.” IMHO the same person wrote those two comments. Whoever she is, she’s nasty and trifling and not worth your time.
    As for the hair thing, my first thought was — Seriously? You’re trying to heal your child and keep yourself from getting beat up and people are criticizing the way her hair looks?
    They’re idiots. Ignore them.

  3. I don’t know you, but I’m so sorry that people feel they have a right to judge you. No one else is in your shoes, even if they have RAD kids. No two experiences or children are the same. Hang in there!

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