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!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Biomom response

The following is Biomom's response to my letter regarding my discovery that someone from her hometown had begun reading and commenting on the blog around the same time Bear found the blog.  A lot of people recommended I not send the letter in the first place, but I do have a relationship with Biomom that I want to maintain and I hoped she would have some influence with Bear regarding accepting what he'd read in the blog.

First, I would like to say, I am not the one that responded to the blogs, I have been reading the blogs for many years {*EEK!*) and I have never responded, because I enjoyed reading them, this is way my way of watching  the kids and their progress.  I never told you because, I didn't want you to do what you did, block me from reading them.
However, Mary I must admit there are many things in your blogs that have bothered me for years!
For instance, I know that you could never love the children like I do, they are a part of me,my love is unconditional, just like yours for your two children is unconditional,  but when I read on there that you can not stand the kids, that hurt, I trust you with the kids. I wanted them to have a better life!  Clearly, you also, have many issues that need to be dealt with, how can you have such mental illnesses and be able to take care of the kids?  In order to help them, you have to help yourself.
Second of all I know you have supposedly never bashed me in front of the children!  However, on your blogs, you have said many things about me that IS NOT true.
I recently read in one of your blogs that Kitty has melt downs when it came to cleaning, she has always been that way!  My house was always cleaned, and if I was a "welfare" mom how did I afford to go buy new clothes instead of doing laundry.  {This was in reference to a post from last year in which I mentioned my kids birthmom when responding to a hateful video about welfare moms.  It was not based on facts, and I've apologized and included a note to that effect on the post.)
I was NEVER on drugs with my children!!! There has been many blogs where YOU suspected that Kitty has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, I never DRANK when I was pregnant with my children.
I have noticed in your blogs, how you try to make me sound like I am a person who would be a typical person who gives up their children.  But let me tell you something, the State of Nebraska Sucks!!!!!! I had fought with the children for many years with their behaviors, and I know you believe I gave up on them but the deal was this!  And I am not telling stories to make my self look good, and I know you think I am full of crap but, when it comes to these kids, I do not tell stories.
We had the caseworker,  family support, counseling, and a guardian en lit em in our home, my kids were a safety issue to the other kids, and I WAS TOLD THAT IF I DIDN'T DO SOMETHING DRASTIC THEY WAS GOING TO TAKE ALL FOUR OF THEM. My decision to let them go was based on that, I was afraid of losing all of my children and that would have devastated me, could you imagine losing everything in your life that you ever cared about?
As far as the issues with my friend J, the night that she supposedly slapped Kitty in the face, it was about midnight, we was outside, I was not with my husband we was separated, Kitty was upset and started screaming as loud as she could, all J did was grab her face and told her to stop yelling she was going to wake the neighbors!  What you don't understand is that the kids controlled a big part of my life, pretty much like they are doing to you!  They are very manipulative and want everyone to feel sorry for them. They have not been held accountable for their actions!  Yes, bad things happened to the kids, but some of the things that they believe happened never did!
I understand how hard dealing with the issues these children have, and I feel sorry for you but EVERYTHING you are dealing with are the same things I dealt with, as far as reading your blogs, I noticed that they put you through the same things they did to me!
Yes, I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, however, with borderline personality disorder, it was explained to me different, people with this disorder, tend to push people away, and then pull them back in, they have many trust issues, and have terrible relationship issues.
There are many other things that I have read that I have had issues with, and I have been very hurt because YOU don't know me!!! Only based on what the state told you or what the kids believe!!!
I am not saying that I gave the children because of their behaviors, I am saying, I did what I thought was best for all of us.  I see now, after I visited with Bear when we came to Texas, that he still has a problem with the word NO, and with Kitty, I understand that she has issues with J, but she handled herself very well with the visit!
Before a person jumps to conclusions, maybe they should get all the facts straight, like you said the kids have a black and white thinking, they don't remember things happening the same way they actually happened.
So please before you post this email on your blog, please don't delete anything out of it, because what I have told you is true and my feelings are, yes, I gave up my children because I had no other choice, I was going to lose all four of them, and because the state of Nebraska sucks!!!
So now I know you think I am full of crap, but I do love the kids and want them to do well, and if you think that dissolving the adoption would be best for you and your family, I completely understand!  Bear is old enough to be on his own, and even though he is failing at many things, when I was 18, I was on my own, and this is how you learn your mistakes and take from that what you can and move on.  NO ONE IN THIS WORLD IS PERFECT, WE ALL HAVE TO LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES, EVEN IF IT IS THE HARD WAY!!! Sometimes us being parents, have to let go and let them learn.  For example, a baby bird doesn't know how to fly, but when it is ready the mother bird will push it out of the nest, sometimes, they make it and sometimes they don't.  That is why when we push our kids out of the nest, we have to be there for them, and pick them up and let them know we love them no matter what. 

Once I recovered from the shock of finding out that biomom had been reading my blogs for years, I sent the following response:

Dear Biomom,
The anonymous commenter was from your hometown  and appeared to start reading and commenting about the time Bear got upset about the blog, so I assumed it was you.
I have not blocked you from reading the blog.  I just stopped blogging and shut the blog down.  It’s been coming a long time – it’s been getting hard to keep up the blog and other stuff, plus I’ve been posting from a more and more negative place, because the kids are in a more and more negative place.  Honestly, now that I’m over the shock that you’ve been reading all this time, I’m tempted to start blogging again (after going back and removing pictures and some of the things I think could be harmful to the kids), but the anonymous commenter makes me nervous.  The person who commented went straight to the blog (not from Google search or something).
My blog was always a place for me to vent, and provide information to other parents in similar situations.  Sometimes I wrote things I didn’t really mean because I was upset at the time, and sometimes there were things I didn’t blog about for lots of reasons.  I’ve tried to be as open and honest as I can be, because so many adoptive parents are going through the same things and need to know they are not alone.  Anyone who tells you their family life is all happy and healthy all the time, especially those with seriously mentally ill children, is LYING.
Yes, I deal with my own mental illness (mild bipolar and recently diagnosed attachment disorder), but that does not make me a bad parent, in fact I think it makes me a better parent for Bear and Kitty.  I know it’s hard sometimes for others, even my husband, to understand why they act the way they do and be empathetic.   Obviously the kids’ issues have brought up things for me over the years, and I have been in therapy and taken medication as needed to deal with them.  Like everyone else, stress makes things harder for me.  You also know that I was only recently diagnosed with the attachment disorder, although it explains a lot, and am therefore still working on coping with how it effects me as a parent.  This is a tough life as I’m sure you know, and even the strongest parents struggle.
I do not think you are “full of crap.”  From the beginning, I’ve always known you walked a hard path, and I’ve always been empathetic about you giving the kids up, even if it’s not something I’ve taken the time to write on my blog.   I know that even with all the support I’ve had, we’ve come close to not being able to keep everyone safe.   I knew it would have been even harder in your situation with 4 kids and no husband or family support.  No one ever told me that you had been told that you could have lost all 4 kids, but since we had the same worry once, I can see that.  It explains a lot.
Of course I have made some assumptions about you over the years.  A lot of my assumptions have developed as I learn more about the kids’ issues.  You’ve been reading my blog, so you know Reactive Attachment Disorder has to start before they are age 3. There has been lots of documentation that you were treated for cocaine and meth addiction in 1997, and I’ve seen other documentation stating that you had been doing drugs since you were 18.  It’s a reasonable assumption that someone addicted to drugs is drinking too, although the kids’ symptoms could be explained by prenatal drug use too (even doing drugs or drinking once while pregnant could seriously affect the part of the baby that is developing at that time).  The info I’ve received over the years has come from Nebraska and the kids, but also other sources.  I try to keep an open mind, but you have to admit that some of my assumptions are the most logical explanation.
I will say that now that I know you’ve been reading my blog, your request that I take care of your other kids if something happened to you makes a LOT more sense.  It seemed a really strange request to make of someone you knew so little about, and I have to say it negatively influenced my opinion of your mental health.
The “welfare mom” comment was uncalled for, and I apologize.  I never believed you were on welfare.  It’s been so many years since I’ve read any of the paperwork, combined with years of listening to other people talk about the birthparents of their children had caused me to get sloppy in what I said.  That particular comment was merely meant to make a point to conservative, judgmental people who are wanting to cut desperately needed services because a few people (like the woman in the video) are abusing the system.
I will admit I do not love Bear, with the unconditional love of a mother.  I tried and tried for years.  He would not/ could not let me love him.  He did everything he could to push me away.  I will admit that any warm, fuzzy feelings I tried to maintain and develop based on empathy for the abused, little boy I know he still is, have been systematically destroyed by him, and that his constant rejection has probably triggered my own attachment/abandonment issues from my childhood.  There was a time when I thought we were finally making progress (he was about 15), but something happened and he pulled back again.  I’ve always wondered if we’d been able to separate him from the birth family like we did with Kitty if he’d have been able to bond with us like she did.  I know his age, the loyalty issues, and repeated rejections (mostly on Biodad’s part) made that pretty much impossible for him.
I wish you could have seen him when he was on meds and living at home.  He’ll always have issues, but watching him spiral down these last few months has been horrible.  I may not love him like a mother loves her child, but I do have a deep, committed love for him, and will always be here for him.
I don’t know what we’re going to do about Kitty.  I got even more negative news from her psychiatrist Thursday {back when all this occurred}, that I have not had time to process yet (I’m just getting over stomach flu).  We won’t be putting her back in foster care, despite the psychiatrist’s recommendations, but I don’t know what our options are going to be.
When all of this first started with Bear finding the blog, I was devastated.  It was one more thing on top of a very tough list.  It took a nasty case of stomach flu, and a few God-placed friends and information to help me make the decision to see this as a positive thing.  I have decided that I’m going to be making some positive changes in my perspective, and I’m going to figure out how to get Kitty what she needs and what the family needs.  I’ll need lots of support in this, but I have that.
I’m sorry if anything I’ve unknowingly said over the years has hurt you.  I’d like to fix this, and have a better relationship with you.
I’m going to leave it up to you if you want me to stop blogging, make my blog private with you invited to belong, or are you OK with me leaving it public?  I’ve also considered removing ALL private information and just leaving up the educational information.  It’s up to you.   I think a positive, open relationship with a birthparent isn’t something people get to experience a lot, and I’d like to share it (without sharing your private information of course), but that’s up to you.  If it’s OK with you, then I’m going to leave anonymous comments open on my blog and I want you to feel free to chime in anytime you want to or you can just e-mail me.  If I do open up the blog, I’d be happy to post your replies just as they are.
Happy Mother’s Day,

So after more e-mails back and forth with biomom and my support network, and some time to recover and edit my blog (mostly just removing 4 years worth of pictures!).  I've decided to blog again.  Probably won't be as often (I know you're all asking how that's possible!), but I get too much out of it.  I need you guys!

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