Friday, February 11, 2011

You Have No Right

I’ve sat on this one for a few days.

I’ve learned from past experiences, when something strikes a nerve and I go at it full force without giving myself time to sit and digest what is bothering me, I can end up throwing punches where none are needed and spend a lot of time apologizing for what I’ve said or done.

But I’m not so sure, this time around, sitting on it and waiting is doing much good because the longer I think about it, the angrier I get.

So I’m just going to try my hardest to jump in and make some sense of what is bothering me without, hopefully, rambling on, or taking too many unnecessary punches.

There is a recent post on the blog, Paper Pregnancy 2.0, titled, The Other Crazies Out There…(Part 2). And though the post itself definitely generates some very strong opinions, it is part of a comment made by the author of this blog in response to an adoptee that has had my blood boiling for the last few days…

- - ******* writes ad nauseum of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her adoptive parents, which is, needless to say, a tragedy. But she also functions as evidence of the adage that victims of abuse grow up to be abusive themselves, and clearly it’s not passed genetically. - -

I know that some might not understand why this bothered me. Why reading her words kicked me swift and hard. But they did to the point where I was cursing at my computer screen as if she could really hear me on the other end and have been gnawing on it and flipping it around every which way since I first read it.

So I am going to do my best to try and explain in a clear, calm voice that gives no hint to the roar of anger that first swelled when I read what she had to say.

But before doing that, I want to make one thing clear, I don’t accept “passcards.” In other words, when someone says something like, “which is, needless to say, a tragedy,” as they are saying something so vicious and cruel, does not, in any way, to me, give them an okay or a “pass” for what they might have said before or after such a statement.

To me, in my mind, if someone truly thought it was, “a tragedy” then they would have never even dared to say such a thing in the first place. It never would have even entered their mind to use such a terrible thing like abuse as a weapon against another human being.

Just my opinion, but one I firmly stick too. You, plain and simple, don’t get to do such things and get an out because you at least thought enough to back it up with your false sympathies.

And, for the record, I did respond to Ms. Paper Pregnant on her blog but, as of now, she has still refused to allow my comment to be displayed. So I will instead use my own blog to not only respond but go into much more depth about the reasons why I find such a comment from her not only completely wrong but also as an act of revictimizing those who have already suffered through so much.

Ms. Paper Pregnant says . . . ******* writes ad nauseum of the abuse she suffered.

Ad nauseum” really?!?! Have you ever been abused? Have you ever been violated, beaten, left alone and unprotected, discarded, by the very people who are supposed to protect and defend you? Have you walked in those shoes, ever understood what that is really like?

I never have. I don’t know such a terror. I can’t imagine what that is like. What such a complete violation can do to you, change you, affect you. But I do know that I am “on my knees” thankful for those who do go through the painful process of talking about their abuse, no matter how terribly painful it is to relive.

When I first learned of the abuse my son suffered it was adoptees who had also been abused that helped me in so many ways. They relived painful experiences, reopened wounds, relived some of the worst moments of their lives to help me and to help my son. They hurt, they bled and they suffered. Never for themselves, but for me and for my son. So that I could learn how to help him. Could find a way to reach him and let him see that the abuse wasn’t his fault. That he didn’t deserve it. And that he wasn’t alone.

These amazing men and women relived their own hell for another’s well-being.

Do you not understand how hard it is, how much work it takes, to even be able to admit abuse, much less talk about it? Do you not know how very painful it can be to open old wounds, to relive such dark, terrifying memories?

EVERY single victim of abuse who speaks out about what happens to them should be hailed as a hero, because that is what they are. They are facing their demons. They are standing up to the horrors they faced, the fears inside of them, and they are speaking out, sharing their experiences, and helping those who have been there and need to know that they are not alone.

One of my most poignant memories is when my oldest son, after living with us for a few months, was on the telephone with another adoptee who had been abused. In his efforts to help her, he was sharing some of his most painful memories and the grief and pain was in his voice as he told her what had happened to him, let her know she wasn’t alone, and encouraged her to realize it wasn’t her and that she deserved so much better than what she was getting and how she was being treated.

It hurt him, there was no question about that, to give of those most painful memories he had. But he did it, he shared and opened himself up, because he believed it was what he needed to do to help another. To give them the understanding and care they weren’t receiving in their life.

To claim that anyone who has the courage to do this is “ad nauseum” is one of the worst, most demeaning insults one could ever launch against another human being.

Unless you have been there, lived through such horror, you have no right to make such a statement. Absolutely no right!!

Do you really think it’s just so easy, so “no big deal?” Something you can so easily mock because it means nothing?

I can’t imagine that pain, that horror to not only live but then relive, over and over again, such a terrible violation of everything you are.

We should be supportive, stand behind each and every victim of abuse that has found their voice and is able to speak out about it. There is never too much said or shared when it comes to such a horrible act against children who should never, EVER, be a part of such a vulgar, disgusting act of abuse, in any way, shape, or form.

In my opinion, you are wrong, so VERY wrong, to ever have anything negative to say about anyone speaking out and creating an awareness of abuse. I don’t care the situation. I don’t care how “bad” you think someone treated you. To come back with such a degrading, belittling response to someone who has been a part of horrors you can never imagine, just shows me that you are so desperate to lower another human being to another level, that you will even sink as low as to degrade them, mock them, for speaking out about what is, often times, the worst experiences of their life.

And if that isn’t enough, you go on to claim that . . . she also functions as evidence of the adage that victims of abuse grow up to be abusive themselves, and clearly it’s not passed genetically.

And this is where you revictimize someone who has already been victimized in the worst of ways. You lower her, and all victims of abuse, to nothing more than “doomed to abuse themselves.” And all because you didn’t like, or took offense to what this particular adoptee had to say to you.

You took the easy route, the sure way to lower her to a level beneath you, to raise yourself above her and prove you were better, more powerful, more controlling, than she could ever be. Because she was flawed. Messed up beyond her control. And so much less than those who perceive themselves to have the power.

Which is exactly what abusers do to their victims over and over AND OVER again. They condemn then. Lower then to a level beneath them. Predict they are bad, worthless, deserving of punishment, all in the attempts to make themselves better. Insure they are right and make sure they hold control over their victim who they shame, humiliate, weaken and try to force into remaining silent with their attempts at trying to convince them that their actions, whatever they might be, are the reasons why they deserve such punishment and are “doomed” to be SO bad.

I can remember, so clearly, when my son would talk about the abuse he suffered. It always came with the added on . . . but I did this.

In other words, when he told me about his mom locking him out of his house and refusing to give him the inhaler he so desperately needed because he is asthmatic, he included it was because he had poured a bottle of her tequila down the drain.

When he talked about her throwing him repeatedly into a wall, it was because he had gotten into her stash of Hershey bars that he knew she didn’t want him to touch.

And when she would leave him for a week or more without food or money or any means to provide for himself, it was because he had said or did the wrong thing to make her mad.

He was lowered to a level where it became all about his wrongs that “earned” the abuse he received. He was degraded, belittled and stomped on all in an effort to give his adoptive mother the right to do and say as she pleased against him.

And that, Ms. Paper Pregnant, is exactly what you did when you made such a statement, insinuating that the adoptee you were speaking to was just so bad because of whatever you perceived as her wrongs. You lowered her back to that defenseless child who somehow, in some sick way of thinking, deserves whatever abuse you pile upon her. Because the problem is her. Because what she receives is her fault, and she deserves it.

And you are so wrong! And you are so low, so unethical, so uncaring, to ever do such a thing to anyone who has ever been abused.

How dare you! How could you!

I don’t care how desperate you are, how bad you feel, how much you are sure you have been wronged by something someone else has said to you. You NEVER, EVER go so low as to revictimize someone who has already been abused and terrorized enough.

You never bring up that pain, use it against somebody for your own gain, your own need to feel right and superior over another.

What you have shown, what you have given, is a complete disregard and total lack of compassion for those who have been victims to such terrible actions. Who have been cheated out of what we all should have in our childhood years, the knowledge that we will be loved and protected and saved from harm.

You have wielded your ugly wand and come down in the most cruel of ways against everyone who has ever had to suffer through abuse. You have ignored and negated the very real pain they have gone through. You have taken what is one of the worst horrors a child could ever face and lowered it into nothing, all for your own personal gain. Your own ability to say you are better than another.

Ms. Paper Pregnant. You are wrong and you are, in my opinion, cold and uncaring. Whatever you might try to say that would hint at you being enlightened to anything adoption related, is lost on me and will never be heard. Because you showed your true self, your true ability for human kindness and concern the minute you used another’s abuse as your own weapon to lower them to whatever level you deemed them worthy of.


  1. BRAVO Cassi, bravo!!! This woman, for me, is proof of how adoption brings out the very, very worst in people. Because Christina challenged her on something that she had written which was clearly out of line, she decided to throw all her venom at her and dismiss her. The fact she has the nerve to call Christina abusive showed me she is one of the crazies she speaks about in her post and hence why I never bothered posting. She choses to live in a bubble where she is right and everyone else is wrong if you do not agree with her. But what can you expect from adopters who call their blogs "Paper Pregnant"? All I can say to her is thank you for proving my view of those who adopt. Thankfully not all are like you and actually know what morality and ethics are.

  2. Thank you Cassi, you are right, that was stunningly low…beyond low.

  3. Thank you Cassi for standing up for Christina and for all of the rest of us abuse survivors. I read that same post was horrified - it left me worldless and as you know, that doesn't happen very often. God bless the mama bear in you.

  4. Firstly people who are abused do not become abusers themselves, except in some exceptional circumstances where there may have been no intervention and support, blanket generalisatons are unhelpful, incorrect and very harmful.They are also ignorant and cruel.
    The blogger you refer too seems to be one of those who likes to throw out some adoption myth crap and see who pops up in order to be abusive, rude and retaliatory for some reason as yet to be defined.
    Name calling happens in playgrounds and is of no help if there is to be advances made in adoption and the reform that is necessary for adoptees to claim their identities and history.
    It always seems a shame people waste their time when there is so much to be done, particularly for adopters, who don't yet seem to realise all adoptees don't have their rights in America, not just adults who were adopted.Surely they care?
    Fair call Cassi, I know you're writing from the heart and I applaud you for speaking out.

  5. While I know you are talking about adoptees, I want to thank you. As a foster child who was abused..... for speaking.

  6. Lori,

    I believe it was wrong and crossed the line for ANYONE who has been abused as a child.

    I usually try not to let the "bullying" that goes on distract from the message I want to send, but this time, I just felt like it had to be addressed. And even if the author of the blog never reads this, I hope others will and have more awareness.

    Abuse isn't something you toss out there against anybody who has lived that horror!

  7. Another not-adoptee survivor of abuse who just wants to say thank you for speaking up about this and for all of us. It means alot to me and many more I am sure.

  8. TY Cassi.

    Some of the worst moments of my life were caused by the abuse from my adoptive dad. I know abuse is not limited only to us adoptees but I have found that, too often, people want to disregard or disrespect my experience because I should at least be grateful that I was adopted in the first place. We need more people like you who are willing to stand up to such hurtful responses and let everyone know it isn't right.

  9. you know she really kinda deserved it right?

  10. Anan, who are you talking about? If you are talking about he author of the Paper Pregnancy blog then yes, we are in agreement. If not, then no you are wrong and you know where you can go.

  11. Nope, not about the author, I'm talking about the adoptee who caused such a ruckus. I think she kinda deserved it by riling up this woman in the first place. Just my opionion but honestly I don't know how this writer of this blog can defend abuse when I think what Christina isn't that her name did was abuse too. Maybe its just because she has decided to believe her child was abused to.

  12. Thanks so much for this post, Cassi. The emotional pain it cost you to write it really came through, but it's something people need to keep hearing.

    And the way you talked about "passcards" so clearly named a pattern that's been bothering me in adoption blogs I've read recently.

  13. Wow Anon, you are a coward if you need to lurk behind a screen so you can spit out nastiness.

    The fact you think anyone deserves this kind of behaviour reveals your true colours... as an individual completely repellent to empathy, compassion, care, kindness or any emotion which would show you are a decent human being with any moral fibre.

    As for attacking Cassi, don't even go there. You do not know a THING about the author of this blog except what is posted here and you need to know that people who blog do not lay out their entire life stories; just certain aspects of it so don't think you can judge her.

    I think you are just someone who likes to go around looking for people to upset and lash out. It must be a very lonely world in your head.

  14. I cannot even express how angry that comment made me. I replied to it over on her blog but she was too much of a coward to let it through moderation

    I was angry For Christina because she's a friend of mine but I'm also really angry that those of us who tell the truth about adoption are labelled "abusive"

  15. An A-mom and child abuse survivor--

    What the Paper PG author wrote on her blog about abuse survivors becoming abusers WAS and IS inflammatory and incredibly insensitive. She should be ashamed of herself.

    There was absolutely no reason for her to write what she did about abuse in response to Christina's comments on her blog. Completely out of line and insulting to so many people who have suffered, dealt with, and recovered from child abuse.

    I was completely shocked to also read that THAT person is an educator! God help us all if this is the average emotional-intelligence level of the people educating our next generation.

  16. Thank you Cassi. It means a lot to me that you'd stand up for me and all abuse victims.

    Anonymous...with all due respect, feel free to come to my blog and comment on the specific post that I wrote in regards to PPregnancy and tell me what exactly I said that warranted the utter hatred that was thrown my way.

    I quoted her and then quoted some friends who had commented on the blog post in question.

    To say to someone that because I disagree with them that I am an abuser and a bully is just crap.

    Again, thanks Cassi...and Myst...and everyone who can understand what I'm all about. Love you.

  17. That was one sad situation. Good for you for this post, Cassi, and for calling the author on it.

    To the one who said "I think she kinda deserved it by riling up this woman in the first place."

    Any (prospective) adoptive parent who thinks a good blog name is "Paper Pregnancy" and wants to park in expectant parent parking spots has a llooonnggg way to go before she should be dispensing adoption wisdom across the internet.

  18. Anon,

    I don't even have to give a second of thought to my answer . . . NO! She didn't deserve it. NOBODY deserves to be treated that way, for any reason. It was low. It was cowardly. And it was wrong.

    As for my son and what he went through, you don't even deserve an answer to that one!

  19. Reena,

    I agree. It concerns me that this woman is part of the education of our youth. There are so many wonderful teachers out there, but this one I would worry about being a part of guiding my children into the future.

  20. Ms. Paper Pregnant obviously doesn't know the first thing about abuse... talking about it is the first stage of healing. And, you are so right, Cassi, her words are triggering, no one should be so cruel. She's clearly attempting to use passcards. My biggest pet peeve is, You were abused / suffered a trauma / etc, so you can't speak rationally about the topic (ie. not have a view or opinion).

  21. Another powerful and much needed post. Like others, I wanted to say, as a (non-adopted) abuse survivor I thank you and applaud you!

  22. Paper Pregnancy is probably an abuser herself by the sounds of it. How else can one with good conscious, say the things she did? Insanity maybe? I dunno...just my 2 cents