This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Blogging is abusive?

Kids and cousins wrestling in Grandma's yard.

So many fellow mommy bloggers with special needs kids have stopped blogging. Sometimes just for a short time and sometimes forever. Quite a few have gone private. Many of these moms have stopped because they are being persecuted and threatened.

Recently an amazing mom raising adopted horrifically abused special needs kids, had child protective services remove 3 of her children and came back with vans for the rest on Veterans Day (when everyone she could appeal to was closed for the holiday)! Her crime? Blogging. Seriously.

The reason they were removed, get ready for this, I have used poor judgement by blogging so the kids are in immediate danger. Seriously. I’m dangerous because I was blogging, have since shut it down, signed an affidavit that I wouldn’t do it anymore, and another to say I won’t video tape my kids. I couldn’t make this stuff up. Our other children are now also at risk for removal because of this.

Two amazing moms had to fight off cyber bullys who threatened their family. This group managed to find out the moms' personal info which they broadcast over the internet with lots of lies, and threatened to make false reports of child abuse. The group's goal was to have their daughter removed and put back in foster care.

Most of us use pseudonyms for our children, eliminate any identifying information, some don't include photos of our family, and some bloggers only post what their children give them permission to share. So many good parents are worried that someone will take the extremes that we sometimes have to go to in order to parent our extreme children and use it against us or our children.

Why do I blog? I've posted why I blog before. Basically it's a chance to:
  • Vent without overwhelming my IRL (in real life) support group, and do it when I have time (you know, 2am or 2pm). Most of my friends are working and super busy so I'm limited in who I can talk to and when.
  • Track - reminder of where we've been and how far we've come. Sometimes I'm just as guilty as Bear of forgetting the past, and if we forget the past, we're doomed to repeat it - or at least have it negatively affect our future.
  • Support - a way to find and connect with other people who "get it," and keep connected to those who aren't nearby.
  • Advice - getting advice from people who "get it" and have BTDT - been there and done that, and a chance to get new perspectives from others who maybe don't.
  • Share - Keeping friends and family posted about what's going on in our lives without having to write a million e-mails, sitting on the phone for hours, or send out a ton of pictures. Also don't have to worry about the kids overhearing.
  • Helping - I like helping others and I hope that my blog and experiences do that.
  • Verbal Affirmation - My love language! I don't get a lot of praise or reassurance IRL, in fact it's quite the opposite with my kids.
Reasons to stop blogging:
  • I spend a lot of time on the internet, reading blogs, forums and list serves. Time I could be spending with my family, sleeping, or doing things for my family, work or myself.
  • Bear is using it as an excuse to not talk to me because I'll "put it on my blog and share it with our neighbor and people in Africa." (of course I'd share it with our neighbor anyway if she had time to listen).
  • Maybe I'm putting too much into the blog and not real life.
So for now I think I'll cut back on some of my other internet activities and keep blogging.


Kristina P. said...

I think there is a very tricky balance. As a former DCFS worker, I don't think I would be very happy to learn that a foster mother, who didn't have legal rights regarding her foster children, was blogging about their story. And add in HIPAA laws, it becomes tricky.

At the same time, I think it's a completely knee jerk reaction to actually remove a child from a home for something like this. If a FP was willing to take down the blog, etc., but they were kind, loving people, I would be OK with it.

Once the adoption is finalized, blog until the cows come home!

Kelly said...

Please don't tell me they removed all of tudu's kids. Please NO!!!!

Anonymous said...

Regarding your concerns at the bottom:
*You probably do spend too much time on the computer. I don't know very many people who don't.

*I can see Bear's point and it could be an issue. It would be a good reason to make this a private or "by permission to view only" blog.

*No, you don't put too much into the blog; it is real life. It's your life.

I keep a diary on my computer. It's just a word doc that's password protected. It allows me to voice all my frustrations, fears and joys in a completely safe environment.

jwg said...

I'm assuming they removed Tudu's kids. How stupid! Can you imagine the harm that will do to those already fragile kids? I suppose there was a vague legal justification for the three new kids but as I understand it the adoption of the others is final. Bet some caseworker took something the wrong way and had a hissy fit. Please keep us posted.

marythemom said...

No, they didn't take the rest of Rachel's kids. She refused to let them in because they didn't have a warrant/ proper paperwork. Here's a place that will be posting regular updates:

Kristina - I don't think she DID post about the 3 kids' story, except that they are biological siblings of a child she's already adopted so I guess if you know the sibling's story then you might know some of theirs. FYI, none of the remaining 10 children in the home are foster kids. She did NOT blog about the foster kids' behaviors. In fact she just said things like. "they're still honeymooning." They hadn't been with the family for long.

She did take down the blog, but they came after they took her kids (they've changed reasons for taking the kids several times).

I can imagine some of the pain she's going through. We did go through something similar when we were being investigated for child abuse. That made much more sense than this does. Still it was horrid for all of us.

Another scary part for Rachel's family is that they don't know if the 3 are together, and if the other kids really are put in foster care there are too many to go into a single foster home so they would have to be separated.