Tuesday, March 6, 2012

This Is Courage

Four years ago, when I started this blog, it was important to me to not moderate or delete the comments left here. And, regardless of some of the accusations I have received, I have stuck firm to that belief, deleting only one comment in all these years. A comment that was one of many “drive-bys” being left by an individual to attack an adoptee. One that had absolutely nothing to do with the post it was left on.

In the beginning, I’ll admit, I allowed some of the comments to affect me. Sometimes there was anger and I’d be screaming at my monitor as if the person on the other side could actually hear me. Sometimes there were tears and I would wonder if it was all really worth it.

And sometimes there was just a much needed glass of wine to get me through.

But, never once, in that time, did I reconsider my decision to leave my comments unmoderated, to let them stand and not delete them.

Never once . . . until last week.

Until I received this from Just Another Mom on my post Danger Ahead . . .

- - “I know your story and I am saddest most about the fact that your son didn't even get a good enough birthmother to save him from abuse but got one that continues to abuse him as well.” - -

It crossed a line I wasn’t prepared to handle. Hit harder than anything that has ever been said to me or about me personally.

This went after my son, after his experience, in an attempt to hurt me. And it was so very wrong and about as low as a person could go, in my opinion.

When I first learned of my son’s abuse, there immediately became two sides to be told. One side was my own personal experience with it – how I learned of his abuse, how it affected me to know what he had gone through. I could share that side here on my blog because it was my story to tell.

But the other side to my son’s abuse – the personal experiences of exactly the kind of abuse he went through, the details of how he was treated – was not my story to tell, was not my right to share.

That side exists on my blog because of my son. Because of his belief that if his experience helps even just one adoptee know that they are no more deserving of abuse just because they were adopted . . . just one First Mom know she isn’t alone if she is dealing with the truth of what her child went through . . . then it’s worth it to share his experience, what he went through.

And yet, even with what I share here, it is not everything. It is what he feels comfortable having known. What he is okay with strangers reading about his personal life.

So to take that experience, and his belief in why it is important to share that experience, and use it as a weapon to try and shut me up, is the most disgusting thing a person could ever do. To decide it’s okay to use his abuse for your own advantage gives a clear insight to the kind of person you are, to the lack of heart, understanding or even care you have to your fellow human being.

It was a hard hit to the gut to come face to face with such cruelty and my first reaction was to completely change how my comments were handled. I struggled with the decision, sought the advice of some of the best bloggers in the world of adoption, before coming to the conclusion that I will not moderate comments but I will reserve the right to delete comments as I see fit.

Unfortunately, though, that decision brought me to another realization. As long as my son’s personal experience is shared on my blog it will always be open to those like Just Another Mom to use in whatever way they can. There will always be those out there who see nothing wrong in taking what has been shared here and using it in the worst of ways. There will always exist that extreme desperation that makes others believe they can do whatever it takes to try and hurt me in hopes of silencing me, even if it means falling to the lowest level of using my son’s abuse to make that happen.

And so from that I decided to go back through all the posts on my blog and delete anything that shared my son’s experience with abuse. I would take away anything that left him vulnerable to others being able to use him in the way they had.

But then my son reminded me what true courage really is . . .

Because he said no. Don’t do it.

He told me that removing the posts about his abuse let those like Just Another Mom win. It gave them the power to silence those who dared to share the hard stuff, the far-from-happy truths that nobody wants to admit exists in the world of adoption.

It was an eye-opening reminder of where the line is drawn between those who have the courage to speak out and those who are so cowardly they resort to low-handed tactics to try and silence them.

My son is one of the bravest men I know. He stands shoulder to shoulder with the many adoptees who face the same attacks on their personal experience, the same ugliness launched against them because they dare to share what they aren’t supposed to. Dare to stand up with the belief if it helps even just one, it’s worth it.

He, and the adoptees like him, are the heroes we should look up to, want to be like, because they are the reminders of what it truly means to face the worst in others and yet still find the strength, the ability to go on, to continue to speak out and make a difference because that is what matters. That is what it is all about.

I am proud and so honored to be blessed with such an amazing, brave man as my son. I am forever grateful that, against all odds, he is a part of my life that I will never, EVER give away again.

And I am happy that he stands in company with so many other wonderful adoptees who face the same fight, day after day, but never give in. Never allow the evil of others to take away from the courage they have to share their stories, their experiences, because it is the right thing to do.

22 comments:

  1. (((Cassi and son))) You are both taking your power back from those who would use it against you to hurt you.

    People like JustAnotherMom are nothing more than sewer rats when they lash out and use their words to cut so low against another person. But in doing that it revealed SO MUCH MORE ABOUT HER than you or your son.

    You are telling your story and your son is telling his through this blog. If people cannot handle that courage to speak out then their words speak for the cowards they really are.

    You are both courageous. I have seen nasty, ugly comments time and time again left here and yet you respond with care and compassion which shows you really are so much more than they could ever dream to be.

    Much love to you both xxx

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  2. Thank you for taking the time to write this. I am an adoptee and hearing what your son may have gone through touched my heart. I'm in my 20's now and have had to endure a crazy amount of pain that stemmed from my adoptive family (no disrespect to my mom she could not control it). It took me years to get over the pain and begin to heal. However, your son is right. We must be strong and not let anything or anyone break us. These stories and experiences have to he shared to help others cope and know that they are not alone and they too will get through. I remember the first time I was slandered by people on my blog and on Facebook. It shook me up. In my mind I thought all I was doing was trying to help people and here goes this crazy lady cursing at me over the computer. I have learned that some people just want to hurt people because they have been hurt. But we cannot let that defeat us. Keep living for your son. You both are amazing!

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  3. Please keep telling your story, speaking the adoption truth that you and your son have experienced. It is a truth that others do not want to hear.

    The deeper they try to wound you just proves that you are getting to them. They would love you to shut up and go away. Isn't that what many if not most of us natural mothers have been told. "Just be good and go away now."

    I am sickened that still I read people on forums asking "Is it okay for me to contact my natural mother, my son, or my daughter?" They are still asking permission. There has been so much brain washing done in the name of adoption and I applaud and honor you for speaking your story.

    When they hurt you it is because you are hurting their control. Keep it up- if they are not attacking you then perhaps you are not speaking loud enough.

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  4. I cannot even begin to tell you how much love I have for you and your son right now. What we do here in adoptoblogland is very dangerous- it exposes the TRUTH. It exposes the most painful truth that many people cannot deal with. It's ugly, it's raw and it's real.

    Some react to the truth in a compassionate way, others, like Just Another Sewer rat, (thanks Myst) react in a most despicable way. Consider it a victory, even though it cut you to the core. I think many of us have battle scars given to us from others like this "mom".

    You are making a difference.

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  5. Sadly, the assumption that you could have stopped the initial abuse was not only a symbol of the ignorance out there, but the crass behavior of a person that believes they are better than others.

    As far as talking about it, you have been very respectful of your son. For this, I have to say I agree. While my daughter claims that I "tell too much" she forgets the simplicity that I have never, ever told the entirety - it isn't my place. As you say, it is her story, not mine.

    Some days it is not worth bothering with the ugliness of others and you can't educate the unwilling.

    Keep blogging, keep being who you are.

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  6. Someone who can't realize that your son is an adult who consents to what you share on your blog and furthermore thinks his conset as an autonomous adult is "abuse" does not "know your story" as well as they think they do.

    (((Cass)))

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  7. Clearly the problem is not with you or your son, Cassi. The problem is with JustAnotherMom. She had nothing of value to contribute other than nasty comments written with the specific intent of hurting another person.

    The truth, as they say, hurts. You and your son are sharing and speaking your truths which happen to go against the happy dappy vision people want to have of aodption. Your son did not recieve the "better life" that adoption was supposed to provide. And some people, like JustAnotherMom, find that reality to be threatening to adoption's image. As she should.

    Keep sharing. Keep speaking your truth. Because it is THE truth. Adoption is a dirty business. Nobody knows that more than you and your son.

    (((((CASSI)))))

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  8. Cassi, your son is a wise man, stay strong. Continue to speak your truth. What you say about your life reflection on you, what others say about you is a reflection of them.

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  9. I remember reading that comment and being shocked that she said "he didn't even get a good enough birthmother to save him from abuse but got one that continues to abuse him as well.”

    JustAnotherSewerRat, this woman's son can speak for himself and does. No where have I ever read that his natural mother "continues to abuse him". He and so many others are "abused" by adoption and the brainwashing they endure on a daily basis, my own child included. My child's adopters have brainwashed him so severly it is downright disturbing and heartbreaking.

    We are a very threat to all they try to control they so desperately, the thought process and lives of children that are not theirs. That is why they are here and elsewhere spewing their hatefulness and coldness towards the women who lost while they gaines. That say's everything that needs to be said about domestic infant adoption.

    Keep 'em coming, JustAnotherSewerRat and all like her. We need you to prove what cold, hateful hypocrites you really are...

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  10. A question for JustAnotherSewerRat and others of similar opinion:

    What exactly does it mean that
    "he didn't even get a good enough birthmother to save him from abuse...?"

    You realize that once an adoption occurs the natural mother has no right to the child whatsoever. She has no right to receive information or provide input on childrearing, education, healthcare, religion, clothes, food, hairstyle....NOTHING, ZIP.

    She does not even have the right to know his whereabouts or his NAME. So how exactly would a "good enough birth mother" save her child from abuse?

    This should be viewed as a cautionary tale for young expectant mothers who are being seduced by the adoption industry. You have no way of knowing if you child's adopters will be abusive regardless of how they present themselves during pre-birth matching.

    I'm sorry Cassi had to read such ugly comments here. She is a class act in the adoption community.

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  11. I've read your blog for about two years since I was pregnant with my daughter and considering adoption.
    Yours and some of the other ones you have listed in your blog roll opened my eyes to what adoption really is and gave me the strength to say, hell no to adoption and keep my baby and I am so thankful everyday that I did. She is everything in my life.
    So I'm kind of an outsider looking into adoption now since I never went that way and I read alot of what is said still and I think some of the worst attacks I've ever seen are from birthmothers and adoptive mothers who don't like if anyone says something that isn't all good and wonderful about adoption. And I think they get mad for themselves because they want everybody to like them for what they have done and they get mad and start attacking like justanothermom did to you.
    When you come from my side and read all this stuff it really does look like people are desperate to shut you up because you don't love them and tell them they are so great.
    Of course that is just my opinion.

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  12. Wow, Thankful2You did her adoption homework and decided to keep her baby! That is exactly the impact I hope this blog and many others have on expectant mothers.

    I'm glad she still reads here and continues to explore the underbelly of adoption. It sure ain't what they portray in the brochures.

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  13. My daughter was raised by a pedophile adoptive father. Her memories are repressed but he was arrested for crimes against young girls so were sure he abused her. But hey he was MARRIED so he got her and I didn't. Ya our kids got robbed and We are to remain silent. Go Cassie!!!
    Rita

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  14. Exactly, maybe. Thankful2you, I am so glad you didn't lose your daughter. Reading your comment is what makes this all worth it. Enjoy your sweet baby girl!!

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  15. Thankful - I am so happy to hear that you are raising your daughter. That is the best news I have heard all day.

    I hope you are enjoying all the wonderful moments of motherhood.

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  16. Thankful2You, you are so right! That is exactly why people try to shut down Cassi and all others who speak up about their experiences. It brings up uncomfortable issues within them they would rather not deal with. It was refreshing to read your comment from the perspective of someone 'outside looking in' as they say.

    Also, thrilled to read a comment about a mother and child who have avoided the trauma adoption often brings! As Cassi said, may you enjoy all the moments motherhood brings - the good and the not as good moments :)

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  17. I saw that comment. I read it as desperate. I once had an adoptive father write something incredibly vile, suggesting of sexual violence on my blog. The JustAnotherSewerRat reminded me of that.

    Desperation. It is not pretty to watch control freaks lose their shit. Her "opinion" was just a sad scream.

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  18. @Thankful2You,
    I am so happy to hear that you kept your daughter and that our message is getting through. It makes all the slings and arrows worth it. Another first mother had once posted that her agency had these types of blogs on a blacklist. Well, I'm glad we got through to you and that you were open to our message about what it's really like to surrender a child and to be adopted.

    @Cassi,
    I hope that you are your son will never be silenced. You both have such important things to say and we need your voices.

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  19. LOL Robin!

    I am still waiting for my badge for the blacklist. I think it is one many of us would be proud to put on our blogs.

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  20. Thankful - since I don't receive an email address when someone leaves a name only, I was wondering if you would be willing to email me.

    CasLWard@aol.com

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  21. I'm coming late to this post but any of us who write about our personal experiences sometimes get hit with garbage. It hurts but that's the price of our reality. Not long ago a truly nasty attacking post came from someone who knows someone in my family.

    I so admire you and your posts and your courage and your son's too and I know where he got it. From his mother.

    Keep up the good work.
    XXX

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  22. I just started my blog recently, and one of my good friends became immediately concerned that people were going to judge me. That people wouldn't understand the decision my husband and I ultimately made regarding our experience with adoption. But the bottom line is that I have to be comfortable with myself. Plus, the best I can do is be honest. And in doing that, in writing the truth, not just regarding the content of what happened, but in terms of how I felt about it, I think people might be moved to think about some of the issues regarding adoption that most people don't admit or think are taboo topics. I think if you are getting some hostile or heated responses, it probably is a testament to the fact that you are doing something right!

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