I was reading a post over on another blog and began thinking about sharing "too much" about our kids. I have been kind of "chewing" on it ever since.
This parent is the adoptive parent of a pretty difficult kid. They fought a removal notice and successfully adopted their daughter. During the process, the child began displaying some rough behaviors to deal with. The writer opined more than once that she should not adopt this child. She didn't really want to adopt her. She was pretty honest. She knew that it would be a hard road, but her spouse insisted. She acquiesced and did the deed. She regrets it. She is constantly writing about how long it is to her birthday. To be perfectly honest, I don't read that often because it really is a drag. It makes me sad, sad for them, sad for the child and sad in general. I will not link to her because I don't want to draw negative attention her way. She is hurting and I respect that (and to some extent respect her), but I struggle with it to be quite honest. . . and well, this is my blog so I can say so.
What got me chewing is that she is always talking about telling this person and that person about her child's negative behaviors. The neighbors, the school, friend's mothers, a friend who is a social worker(not the child's), the teachers, friends, old friends she just reconnected with, etc. Some of these people are even brought in to give the child "the business" about her behavior.
I suppose I need to say that I understand it is her blog and she can vent how she chooses just as I do. I understand that some of these people do need to know what the child is capable of so they can stop some sort of manipulation that may be happening. I get that sometimes "it takes a village" to raise a child. I also understand that I air all my dirty laundry on here as well. I suppose that is why I am asking, for myself as well, "How much is too much?"
I want to educate the world that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a "hidden" disability. I want to spread the word that drinking during pregnancy can and will cause organic brain damage. I offer my child as a prime example of a child who has lost the chance of a "typical" life because of the selfish choices his mother made. I want to shoot that from the rooftops. He knows what he "has". He knows what his mother did. I say it in front of him. I have heard him more than once say, "I am special needs." I am okay with that. This hidden disability makes it hard for people to understand he is different. Is that too much to share?
I share that he has schizophrenia with close friends so that they can support us in the hard day to day work it takes raising this child. It explains why we cannot let him out of our sight at gatherings and why he is a danger to other children if left alone with them. We share that he is moderately mentally handicapped and that means he has a low IQ. We share that he is more like a 5 year old than the 15 year he appears to be. Is that too much to share?
We share with family that he was severely physically abused and sexually molested in his past. They need to know that he could and has made false allegations against people. They need to know that neighbors have made allegations after hearing some severe flashbacks he has had. They need to support us and act as a back up in the vent that we need a break. No one else can watch him. Is it too much to share?
I am by far anonymous on here. I was turned into city code enforcement after a post I made on here late last year about a door lock. I was unaware it was against code. Someone decided to turn me in instead of telling me that I was in violation. It was a turning point for me. I have struggled to blog since. I was in a store not too long ago and Dustin was with me. He was being quite rude and really pushing the limits. Those of us who deal with this know there is a short window of time to reign that in before it becomes a full blown, wallowing on the floor, ugly screaming, running fit. I was in his face and adamant that he straighten up. A lovely woman approached me and told she was a blog reader and was happy to meet us. I was mortified. I was embarrassed that she had witnessed that and I was honestly frightened it would look bad. Then I realized, if she reads here she probably understands. But did she? Was it too much?
I worry that the good (allowing people to better understand our kiddos) I am doing putting it out here, is not outweighed by the bad. I struggle to make sense of whether what I am doing is good for my son or not.
I do know that if I had not found the blogging community I am not sure Dustin would be with us today. I am fairly certain he would be in a residential or institutional setting. Had Kari not found me and commented here, I would've taken a lot longer to realize there are so many of you out there. While our children are very different, we all have similar struggles. Jo's dear son is very much like Dustin. We share similar experiences. We commiserate on facebook quite a bit. Lisa has the best ideas and is willing to try anything with her girls, and has one miracle and one more in the making. I cannot wait to meet her face to face in 30 short days. Linda and Mary never give up. In the face of great challenges, they plug away day by day and still find joy in small things. Linda, Theresa, Claudia and Cindy have large size families that have many behaviors we deal with and I am amazed at what they go through. Essie and Mom in the Trench have kiddos who don't always choose to control their bodily functions. Essie has a wicked sense of humor and Mom has a great faith. Reighnie, who struggles with her adopted nieces and nephew while dealing with her quadriplegic husband, boggles my mind with her strength and her grit. Barb and her great struggles with her oldest send me screaming for the hills and yet she endures. Torina is dealing with a transitional plan for a very tough daughter and has great taste in music. Yondalla raises much older boys, but always has a kernel of knowledge for everyone. Atlasien is looking to add another child into her home and I applaud her patience. And of course the lovely Christine who has a wonderful outlook and great hair! I am sure there are more of you out there I have forgotten.
I would be remiss not to mention the ones that has disappeared and I still miss, Antigone Lost, Bumpy Road to Motherhood, Baggage and Bug, Princess Shine Pages, and Journey to the Heart. I learned something from all of you.
I would not be where I am without you all. So I suppose I share more than most, but not as much as others. I guess I can be the only judge of what to share and what not to share with those in our lives. I will try make those decisions for our family the best I can.
Down to the River
2 hours ago