It was brought to my attention that another blogger used my family and a specific post as an example of what not to do. I am not providing a URL or name because neither matter. I have never been someone who monitors how other people are viewing my life. At 55 years old, I have no interest in starting now. The author just released a revised edition of her book and her whole post, including the part about me, was a sales pitch.
That is all the energy I am going to spend on that person. I promise a real post tomorrow.
Dear Troll Annie,
All of my children had birth parents who couldn’t or didn’t want to care for them or never knew of their existence. Hope was adopted by somebody else who couldn’t/wouldn’t deal with her severe mental illness. My kids had been screwed long before they were mine. My oldest RAD (26) also has FASD. We may not meet your standards, but we meet our commitment. 20,000 to 30,000 teenagers age out of foster care every year, with no family to fall back on. The last thing society needs is more kids aging out of foster care with no support. My children are not neuro-typical. Fortunately, they have someone who makes sure they get the services they need as adults.They have love, treatment, and a family that doesn’t disappear on their eighteenth birthday.
That may not seem like much to you, but compared to the children never adopted, they have it all.
To those you have shown so much kindness and caring; Hope has been on edge but so far we have managed to keep things contained. Hope enjoyed her picnic at school today. GB loved her end of the year gymnastics and Hope held it together for the whole 40 minutes. A success for today.
Being a Trauma Mama is hard. I am 55 years old and I have done some hard things in my life. I live with constant physical pain. I have lost friends to all kinds of cancer. I buried my brother and father within 2 weeks of each other. I nursed my mother for the next eight months and buried her too. I have started over in places where I knew nobody. I know my sister and I have the same genetic disorder that killed my mother. Being a Trauma Mama is the hardest thing I have ever done.
I love my children. It does not make parenting trauma easier. It makes it harder. Not only am I dealing with the fall out of a child who can’t change his/her behaviors, but at the same time I am watching someone I love in excruciating pain and I can’t stop it.
Most of my family truly don’t understand what my children have experienced before I brought them home. They try to be supportive, but their faces give them away. Children who have experienced severe trauma need a parent 24/7. It takes a lot of experience to change the expectations of a child who already knows parents can’t be trusted. I give up a lot of “me” time. The Dad and I give up a lot of couple time. My children require that each day be modified so that they can experience success. There are many days where my needs don’t hit the radar screen.
I plan time for myself and I plan couple time. Is it enough? No. I am more stressed out then is good for anybody. My marriage is periodically ultra-stressed. I chose this life. The Dad chose this life. We feel called on to help children who have survived things no child should have to survive, heal. We do it with our eyes open and knowing the cost.
It is easy for the outside world to judge us and our children. IRL, people do it all the time. Hope’s new school therapist was sure through September, October, and most of November that we were projecting our problems on to Hope. Then Hope’s honeymoon with him ended. Neighbors, acquaintances, and even people we considered friends are sure if they took my kid for two weeks, they would have no problems.
Then there is the internet. I blog to share what my life is like, so that other parents on this difficult road know other parents share the same struggles. There are readers who judge me lacking. I am far from perfect, so there are times they are right. Then there are those people (commonly known as trolls) who have never tried to live my live, but spew crap all over me. The worst of them hide behind “Anonymous”.
I have had a lot of practice dealing with these people and they rarely get me riled or fuel my self doubts.
It bothers me when trolls and “anonymous” leave comments on other Trauma Mama Blogs and hit them when they are struggling. To all my Trauma Mamas, I want to remind you that people who judge without knowledge, or worse, hide behind “Anonymous” have nothing to give to you. Judgement is never that easy.
Not all trolls post comments. I have several trolls that send nastygrams, disguised as emails. I cut back on my posting while trying to figure out what to do with my private trolls. None of them are interested in dialogue. All of them make judgements, projecting me into their life experiences. Some of them seem to be good people who are in a hard place. Some of them are bitter and angry at everybody. None of them know me. Most of them don’t even want to know me.
It took me over a week, but I have decided how I want to deal with them. I have a spam filter of my email, and I added my trolls sending addresses to my list of spam. Since I never go rooting through my spam folder, in thirty days, when it automatically empties, my trolls will be gone. Best of all, I will never even know they have been here.
I was feeling overwhelmed when I wrote my last post. Just to make my day, one of my all time favorite trolls left me a comment. Some of what she said was true. I have a hard time taking her seriously, though. The header on her site says, and this IS a quote, “My home, my blog, my opinions. I will not post any pro-adoption comments. This is not a forum for debate.” Nothing like a closed mind to start a discussion.