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The commentary is always the same and I know that it will find me. At preschool pick-up. In the check out line.

There is no return policy.  Children are not dogs.  Adoption is for life.  Did she think it would be easy?  How dare she?  Awful.  Selfish.

What part of forever don’t these horrible people who adopt children and give up understand?  What part of parent don’t they understand?

No part. I understand too well. I understand parenting one child to the trauma and detriment of another.  I understand choosing between the needs of one child and another.

How could I give up?

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I will try and paint it for you. If you will try to keep in mind that I am shaking as I write four long years later.

The sun shone in the windows and for the first time in two months, I felt a fragile peace. My traumatized, institutionalized five-year-old son with valid grief, with understandable rage and abandonment issues, actually leaned against me to see the story that I read. The tentative, warm touch of his arm against mine made it difficult for me to focus on the words. He had chosen to touch me. Months of screaming tantrums set off by nothing and rages and incidents with our little ones that I tried to ignore faded away, melted into nothing at my feet. I could do this.  I could do it if we could have these moments. If I could see the progress. If I could have something to give me hope that I was on the right track and he might someday love me and trust me enough that I could breathe.

My one-year-old son, my healthy, untraumatized child toddled back and forth from the bookshelf to us, carrying offerings. He asked to sit in my lap and I pulled him up, but he cried and fussed and I set him down. He leaned against me from the floor and then started to cry and crawled away. Maybe eight or ten times, until I wondered if he was sick, but the fragile bond with my oldest boy held  and so when the baby found a quiet game to play on the far side of the room, I read books and snuggled with him as long as I could.

Shadows fell. I kissed my son and got up to start the evening routine. I sat on the ground to change the baby’s diaper, pulled off his pants and pushed up his shirt. Angry red welts scattered across his stomach. One on his side. One on his back. My heart leaped to my throat. An allergic reaction? Hives? They weren’t raised. They weren’t itchy. In the middle they looked bruised.

I knew, then. I looked up and met my oldest son’s eyes and I knew. The hard, angry heart-breakingly familiar set of his face. Defiant, daring, asking. What are you going to do now? Do you still want to be my mother now? The price for my peace. The price for my oblivion and my quiet and my desperate need to have everything work for just one afternoon. I could see my older son’s rage splashed in vivid red on my baby’s stomach.

I could see the price and it was too high for me. I knew he needed to learn that he would be loved no matter what. Trauma, anger, grief, some part of my brain whispered to whatever small part of me remembered to be his mother. I know. I know. I know. I knew and I still shook with rage at a five-year-old boy. There’s no easier way to say it. I shook with rage at a five-year-old boy.

I took his hand and he writhed and screamed and fought and bit and scratched and I don’t blame him. Pure survival instincts. He sensed the danger as well as I did. I pulled him up the stairs as gently, but quickly, as I could, protecting myself as best I could and I put him in his room and I locked the door.

It wasn’t to keep him in. It wasn’t to contain his tantrum which raged inside, turning over furniture and ripping apart bedding and kicking and screaming.

I didn’t lock the door to keep him in.

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I turned the lock because I didn’t think I could open a locked door to hurt a child.

And I didn’t. But I wanted to. I wanted to go in there and spank him until I couldn’t lift my arm. I wanted to hold him down and hurt him like he hurt my baby.

I stood on the other side of the door with my head against it and all my education, all my love, all my good intentions, all my reading, all my preparation, the time with the social workers, the words of the attachment therapist were nothing. Nothing. There was nothing and no one there to help me and I have never been so angry, so on the edge of out of control, in my life.

That’s where we are, these parents the world condemns. That is what the bottom looks like.  Imagine that you stand at the top of a dark well, looking down at a parent, sitting at the bottom with her head on her knees. Would you try to throw her a rope, or would you spit on her? Which do you think helps the child?

I will tell you what helped my children. A family that wanted a child. A family with only teenagers. A family that had parented traumatized, reactive attachment disorder children before. A mother who on the day that my oldest child became hers said to me not only, “we can do this; it’s okay to let go,” but also, “we understand why you can’t.”

They didn’t throw me a rope, they built my whole family a staircase and it was in the best interest of every single one of my children, my oldest son most of all.

What can we do to help? What can we offer in the place of judgment, instead of scathing commentary? We don’t have to be the whole rope. All we have to be is a thread.

It is a painful reality that a child can be so damaged in the first few years of life that he becomes a terrifying and heartbreaking impossibility for the parents who have opened their hearts and their homes to try and love him.  But each and every one of us can be a thread in the rope for change and healing.

How about this? The next time you see a mom “with a horrible kid” “losing it” at the playground, take a deep breath and instead of commenting on the “terrible parent doing nothing while her daughter screams,” think:

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Maybe this is the twentieth tantrum today;
Maybe she was up all night;
Maybe the situation is ten million times more complicated than I realize;

And then meet that mother’s eyes and smile at her.

Because maybe, just maybe, an hour ago, she walked away from that child’s door. And maybe, just maybe, for the cost of a smile, you gave her the strength to do it again.

Just like that, you’re a thread in the rope. Now we’re helping children.

About the writer

Stacey Conner is raising four kids and a Great Dane with her husband, Matt, in the Pacific Northwest. She regrets the Great Dane, the rest are keepers. She writes about life’s joys and sorrows, big and small, at Any Mommy Out There.

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famuyiyaoe 3 months ago

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The non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) honest benefit of the synthesis of Daptomycin is encoded by means of three overlapping genes, dptA, dptBC and dptD. The dptE and dptF genes, in a second upstream of dptA, are favoured to be involved in the debut of daptomycin biosynthesis sooner than coupling decanoic acid to the N-terminal Trp.[16 – These tale genes (dptE, dptF ) conform to products that most likely under way in conjunction with a unrivalled condensation specialization to acylate the original amino acid (tryptophan). These and other untested genes (dptI, dptJ) are believed to be involved in supplying the non-proteinogenic amino acids L-3-methylglutamic acid and Kyn; they are located next to the NRPS genes.[16 –
From http://www.tcsindustry.com – TCS INDUSTRY LTD

Amy 7 months ago

This post deeply upsets me because you’re trying to make excuses for abandoning a child which you legally agreed to take care of until adulthood. There are no excuses for what you did.

Debbie 7 months ago

Stacy, you don’t deserve to be a mother. You have traumatized that child. It’s so sad to know that you’re raising other children who will grow up to be as racist, selfish, uncaring, and disgusting as you are. The only thing that’s great about this post is clearly you’re trying to garner support because somewhere in your rotten heart you feel bad for abandoning a child. I think you’re literally evil.

Adopted for life 1 year ago

1. They are not damaged. That’s the wrong mentality to have if them. They are hurt, lost, misguided, angry, sad, looking for love.. unconditional love.

2. There are no excuses for abandoning a child, whether biological or adopted. Stop making them in order to feel at peace with yourself.

3. Agreed that parents should stop judging in the sense that we are human and we all lose our cool. It does not justify lashing out at our children just because we couldn’t keep it together. it does show empathy as we’ve all been there.

4. People who choose to adopt need to research research research. If the adoption is merely to fill the adopter’s wants/ needs without  putting the adoptee’s  needs first, then don’t adopt.

5. Adopted children are not pets. We are not here to be your child’s toy or entertainment. we are not things to be returned if it doesn’t work the way you thought it should. treat them as if they were your biological child. I could never adopt as I know that I would never love them “as my own”.

rebecca 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing. We just had our seven year old foster daughter moved yesterday. Its not easy to admit you cant handle a child. People have judged us, but everyone has their tolerance levels. My hubby and I both work with behavioral and emotionally disturbed children and just couldn’t come home to it. I know there is a family that will be able to handle her. Sometimes you have to love someone enough and let them go.

LJ 2 years ago

After birthing three kids, we fostered twelve children…and ended up keeping three of them, who all have disabilities due to each of their birth moms using drugs and alcohol during pregnancy. It IS a tough road. It WAS very hard on my older, birth kids. One of the foster kids (who we didn’t keep) stayed 18 months. He had RAD plus had a psychosis diagnosis. He was only five but would threaten to kill us with a knife while we slept. We kept our bedroom doors locked at night. He had been sexually abused by his birth dad and threatened to do the same to the younger kids. He punched his kindergarten teacher in the stomach so hard that it burst an ovarian cyst. She was hospitalized for a couple of days. He was banned from the school bus. He smeared feces on the walls of our home. It was horrible and we tried so hard. We got him intense therapy. His classroom was changed from a regular one to one that dealt with behaviorally challenged children. Things not only did not get better, they worsened. I finally had to throw in the towel. It was one of the hardest decisions I’d ever made. He was our first foster child, and I fully intended to adopt him. But I couldn’t do that to my family. It is now 16 years later and his memory still haunts me. He would be 21 now. How is he doing? Did he graduate school? Did he find a forever family? Is he able to love and be loved? I’ll probably never know. But it haunts me. Thank you for sharing.

anymommy 2 years ago

I just want you to know that I read this, Angela. And you described it perfectly. I’m sorry we both know this pain and I’m glad that writing about it can ease it for both us.

Angela 2 years ago

I am sitting here sobbing after reading your story b/c I have been there and know your complete and utter despair, depression, and horrible feelings of guilt. You explained it with words like no one else has. We just placed our 3 year old son with another family and only someone who has been through it will understand the consequences: terrible pain and guilt, and yet enjoying the peace and calamity at home. I still jump at restaurants and stores when I hear a child screaming. I still have nightmares every night about the violence and screaming. I still look at his picture and wonder what I could have done differently and how MY SON is being raised by someone else. I still cry b/c I miss him and love him so. But, I also don’t worry about him hurting or killing my other children, ruining my marriage, or stealing the joy and happiness from my 7 year old. I’ve been there. I know. I thank you for writing about your story so others can catch just a glimpse of what we go through before we make that agonizing decision. God bless you.

Gin 2 years ago

I faced the same dilemma with my mentally ill oldest daughter. Parenting one child to the detriment of the others. I finally had to let go. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do and I have been judged by many but it was what I HAD to do. For my other two children, for my marriage, and for myself. Thank you for sharing.

Marta 2 years ago

I had to stop and reread and understand because I didn’t. And then I did. And then I was sad. I’m so sorry that you went through this. I’m so sorry reading so many of the comments how many have been in similar situations. I will always, always, remember to smile.

xoxo

anymommy 2 years ago

Tasha, I understand. I know how hard it is where you are and how difficult it is to find a place where you feel okay that you are parenting everyone and protecting everyone. I wish you love and peace with all of your decisions.

tasha 2 years ago

Thank you for your story. I am a foster/adopt parent. We adopted our first daughter last November. We have a sibling group of 3 that we are currently fostering. I am seeing signs that the oldest (10) is taking her anger out on my 2 year old. I do not have proof but I am watching. A few days ago I noticed a braid in my daughters hair just dangling. I looked closer and someone had ripped her hair right out. I always said I wouldn’t be like everyone else and I would never send a foster kid away. I want to be the adult that is dependable. I don’t know what to do. I keep my dauggter in my bed at niggt until the 10 yr old is asleep. She is not mean to her all the time. I just want to help her amd her 1 and 3 yr old siblings…but at the price of my daughter whom I adopted and had her own struggles before she came to me. I just feel torn and confused.

Lyndsay 2 years ago

Beautiful. I will remember to smile.

Charity 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing. We know not what journey the other is traveling.

anymommy 2 years ago

Well, that is an amazing thing to read. Thank you. And much peace and love and healing to you.

Michelle 2 years ago

Thank you for an honest look at the sometimes hard decisions that have to be made. As a former adoption social worker AND an adoptive parent of two (one who had attachment issues), I know that your journey hasn’t been easy. Prayers for all involved for healing hearts….thanks for sharing your story.

justanothersahmother 2 years ago

{{hugs}} to you. And fancy ones at that. My BFF has a daughter who I believe has oppositional defiance disorder and some days there isn’t anything that helps. I feel for you.

meg 2 years ago

a relative adopted a troubled child, and it did and still does continue to wreak havoc on their lives (even and especially with the natural child, now 31, who stopped speaking with his parents last year)

Dawn 2 years ago

Thank you- I have done a lot of reading since reading your post and my original comment. I really think that RAD is something I suffer from, and am relieved to have an understanding of why I am the way I am. My husband frequently accuses me of not showing him that I love him- not initiating intimacy in any way. I feel bad about it, but have never fully admitted that it was a reality- not just his perception. I always claim that ‘I show my love in other ways- you just don’t notice’. This, in a way, is true, but also a bit of an excuse to not deal with his feelings. You will never know how grateful I am at having read this, as it really touched me and forced me to admit something I’ve never put into context. I am happily adopted, but I feel that it can affect a child internally in a way that is too profound to ever really overcome entirely.
This, again, is my very long winded way of saying thank you. I million times thank you. You have put me in touch with a problem I only sort-of knew was there, but now has the potential to change my entire life and relationships as I know it! Thank you.

Kat 2 years ago

Sometimes, when I get frustrated with something that my kids have said or done I forget to be grateful for all that is right in our lives. I am truly thankful though for two healthy, “normal”, well-adjusted kids. Reading a story like yours increases that thankfulness a thousand times. You are an incredible woman for your strength and love for children and being able to make the hard – and only – decision that was best for your family. Next time I see a mom in the store with a screaming child, I’ll remember to give her a smile of commiseration rather than a scowl of judgment

Reema 2 years ago

I had to write after reading this. I completely understand your rage. If someone had hurt my infant, I’d feel the same. That you kept your head and chose to lock the door…. Well, that makes you a good mom. It may not seem like it, but that’s what it was. You didn’t react like he’s used to and maybe that will change just a little something in him. And maybe that little something will be enough. But, even if it isn’t, you did a good thing. You did the right thing.

Kathy 2 years ago

That is the exact analogy I have used having a RAD kid in my home. It is like having a biting dog in my family. You adopt them, treat them nice, feed them, love them and keep them safe and they bite you every day. The dog bits out of fear and past hurtful experiences, so does the RAD, BUT the dog will eventually learn that you love it and become a grateful, loving member of the family; a RAD will not. I agree, not every home is right for a RAD. And yes, I would never allow a biting dog near a baby until it had healed. I would never let a RAD around a baby either. By the way, I have a houseful of rescued, adopted dogs. They are here for life.

Gingersnap 2 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing this, and thank you for locking the door and not opening it until you were ready.

Gina Moore 2 years ago

I can so relate. Mine is 17 now – will be 18 at the end of this month. The trauma and hurt he has left in our family will take a long time to get over. He is no longer allowed in our home. We adopted this boy, my biological nephew, in hopes of giving him a better life. What we got was constant struggle and pain. He seems bound and determined to ruin his life, with no remorse for the people he hurts in the process, nor gratefulness to the ones that have helped him thus far.

With FAS, ADHD, ODD and a mood disorder (bipolar) and his compete refusal that he has anything wrong with him, he is going to have a hard life. But the safety of my younger children (my biological kids) is paramount now.

Caught between the motherly instinct to protect them, but also to protect the other children is a hard place to be.

Hugs to all that are here at the bottom of the well… We will survive.

Caroleann2 2 years ago

What if you adopted a dog and the dog bit or mauled your baby? Would you still keep that dog “for life,” even at the risk of your baby being harmed? You’d have to consider that yours is not the right home for that dog, and that this dog needs to be in a home without young children. No one said the dog was disposable nor the adopted child. Sometimes life comes with extremely painful and difficult choices, unfortunately.

Caroleann2 2 years ago

That’s such a scary story. So sorry you and your family had to go through that fear and sorrow. I am not convinced that your brother is “cured” now and I am afraid for his wife and kids. Best to you for a safe and peaceful life away from him.

Caroleann2 2 years ago

Wow, thanks for sharing your story. Your writing tells me that you’re a very bright person, so that no doubt helped you in your struggles. You had the advantage of your intellect to help you find the light at the end of the tunnel and build a good life for yourself. Best of luck to you.

anymommy 2 years ago

Dawn, fwiw, you sound wonderfully self-aware, which usually makes for incredible parenting. We don’t have to be perfect. Thank you for sharing your side of the story; it’s so important.

Heidi 2 years ago

Wonderfully put! I am a foster mom who is adopting child 2 and 3 on Monday. It is hard for people to understand taking care of children who have had their hearts broken in the beginning of their little lives. We are put here to hold those pieces in our hands until we can mend it back together the best we can! God bless you!

Sarah 2 years ago

Truly one of the most powerful pieces I’ve read. Thank you so much for sharing this deeply personal story.

anymommy 2 years ago

It’s unbelievable how far it can go. Thank you.

anymommy 2 years ago

And a very misunderstood, judged voice at that. Thank you, Lori.

anymommy 2 years ago

Your perspective is so incredibly powerful for me, Amanda. Thank you so much for sharing it. I feel shaken by it, honestly, and the knowledge that all the pain and trauma I saw into the future for my other children could have been a reality. I hope you have someone helping you heal.

anymommy 2 years ago

I’m so sorry you are dealing with this pain, Vondell. I don’t have any answers, but I hope it helps to know that you are not alone.

anymommy 2 years ago

I just wanted you to know that I read this, Janie, and I am not a therapist, but I can listen if you need to talk.

Lori Gertz 2 years ago

I am awe inspired by your courage and your strength! Having been a mom on the outside of the door, I can totally and completely identify. We are only one voice in a sea of many until we we support one another….

Amy K. 2 years ago

I am so happy you got to say that out loud!!! Hopefully it made Ms. Judgy think twice, but even if it didn’t: YOU SAID IT.

Amanda 2 years ago

This article struck me deep in my gut. My older brother
(no biological connection) and I were both adopted at birth. I spent my entire childhood bearing the full brunt of his undiagnosed attachment issues and mental illness. On a daily basis, I endured physical and emotional abuse and am still, at 33 years old, deeply traumatized. My mother was the mom on the other side of the door, but instead of addressing my brother’s emotional and physical outbursts, she remained in complete denial that our whole family needed professional help. In turn, I suffered…and still have physical scars to prove it. I applaud the author for making the choice she did. I now work with families who voluntarily place their children into theraputic foster homes (Proctor homes) so they can protect other children in the home, while the child recieves the additional support the need to live productive lives. Some kids remain in procor care for a few years, others for their entire childhood. Some ofthe the kids are adopted, some are biological. The choice is never easy for any parent.

Vondell Savage 2 years ago

The dark side. Should unconditional love really be unconditional? Is it possible to not hurt a child that is hurting other family members and himself. I have a 17 year old son in this very complicated situation. For the first time in 17 long desperate years I regretted having kids, and prayed to God that I didn’t care if he died. I felt numb to love. I hope God understands. No I haven’t hurt him. But the pain inside my soul is unbearable.

Liana 2 years ago

I just want to say thank you. Beautiful and powerful piece. It made me cry while I was reading it. It also makes me feel for all those women who are dealing with difficult kids. Best of luck to you, you are my role model!

Kathy 2 years ago

THis is so true of raising adoptive kids, but you lost me when you talked about your dog like he was disposable. When you adopt an animal, it is for life too. If that is how you feel about your dog, do him a favor and find him a better home.

Sheila Blanchette 2 years ago

That was so beautiful and honest. Thank you so much. Some of us deal with biological children who are also difficult and so often others judge or criticize instead of offering a thread. The worst is when so called friends say awful things about the child you love, thinking this is somehow helpful. I needed to read this. Thanks

tracy 2 years ago

Oh hon. You are so brave. I love you. xo

Kevin Cullis 2 years ago

Oh, and here’s a site that shows how our food supply may be causing some of the issues I read here. Maybe it might help someone here: http://www.forksoverknives.com

Kevin

Kevin Cullis 2 years ago

I have a question for you ladies with difficult children: I read of a new mother of twins where one was fine and the other turned “ragey” (tantrums that grew worse over time). Ended up that her baby was allergic to gluten, i.e. food issues.

Has anyone sought out help with trying different foods to see if they’d help?

Just trying to see if I can add something positive to the situation some.

KC

P.S. I teach High School Junior Achievement and my last class there was one boy that his parents could not control his school bullying and did not know where to turn. They were at their wits end as to what to do.

Cindy 2 years ago

I too have been there. Your story is my story. Thank you for sharing something so deeply personal. Your voice gives freedom to many.

Cat 2 years ago

Ty for sheer honesty

Robin @ Farewell Stranger 2 years ago

Beautiful and valid and hopeful and true. xx

Nicole 2 years ago

Thank you for writing this. I am one of the “survivors”, a sibling to a terrifying individual, my brother. My mother was never able to protect us, and despite my step fathers best intentions to “beat the problems out of him”, it just made my brother more vicious. At night he would take it out on the youngest, who now in his early 20’s has just in the last year told us about the horrible physical and even sexual abuse. No one outside of the 6 of us know. I know my mother tried, there are plenty of court records, and she had him removed when he was 16… But it was way too late. He tortured and killed animals, he lied pathologically, I can’t begin to describe the constant fear we all lived in. In case anyone is wondering how he turned out, now he is an all American poster boy. Gorgeous wife, beautiful children, Mr. Successful. He reminds me of Christian Bale from American Psycho. My sister, and I are successful, my youngest brother is a mess but trying to pull it together. It’s so hard to feel safe, even after all these years. Is my other brother a monster? I don’t know, you never get to see past the mask now. From my perspective you did what you needed to do so that all of your children are safe. I hope that’s enough to get you through the pain, blame, and guilt. You clearly love your children, maybe one day even your oldest will thank you for protecting them all.

Virginia Llorca 2 years ago

My sixteen year old grand son was just admitted to a psychiatric hospital two days ago. I had him for nine years. Then his mother got a home and took him back. I had arranged counseling and support services when I had him. She broke those contracts, lost the services and abandoned her son. I understand your feelings of wanting to help but at what cost.

Katie 2 years ago

Thank you for being brave enough to write and share this.

Jessica Smock 2 years ago

This is the risk that we take when we judge other mothers and other families: we simply do not know the whole story. We make snap judgments based on incomplete information if we look at a situation from afar and judge. I love the suggestion that you make to make eye contact, connect, and smile. Perfect.

Annalisa 2 years ago

I have been on all the different sides of this fence! I haven’t had to make the hard choice you have, but I live with a child that is so up and down all the time I start feeling like I am the one with the disorder not him. I appreciate your honesty.

janie 2 years ago

I’m lost. My oldest is autistic & nonverbal& has been hurting others to deal with anger or protest. My 5yr old daughter is often hurt for no reason. I don’t have the resources to help him. My family’s future scares me.

Alie 2 years ago

We had a foster child for almost six months who would hurt my son and who hated me. We finally had to place him with another family where he was the youngest, the mom was more experienced, and he thrived.

The hardest part was the system blamed me. We are banned from ever adopting a child from our state because we couldn’t let this child hurt our son anymore. Despite evidence of severe mental disabilities and the fact that our son ran a 103 degree fever for months because of the stress. I was young, the system was broken, we had very little support, and no one who knows us blames us. I think about him daily, and my son, who we now know is autistic, still wishes he were his brother. It was one of the hardest and worst times of my life.

Lena 2 years ago

Love your piece. This is why I cannot adopt-I just can’t, out of fear that I would wind up with a child like this. I couldn’t handle it. There is not a doubt in my mind that I simply could not handle a five year old that purposefully bruises a baby. Honestly, he sounds like a borderline psychopath. I know that seems harsh, but that is the first thing that came to mind. You are a stronger woman than I will ever be.

Sandy 2 years ago

My son arrived at 13 months old. He didn’t make eye contact and the fits were horrible. Every time I spoke to him I made him look me in the eye. It turned into me holding him on my lap and holding him. He fought and kicked and I got a lot of bruises but one day he gave up and looked me in the eye and became calm. We’ve had a few ups and downs over the past 18 years. Hang in there! It can be done. God bless you!

Christy 2 years ago

I will admit that I am sometimes shocked and even a bit judgmental when you see the stories splashed across the news. However, what we often do not see are the actual truths behind the headlines – thank you for the reminder.

Elyse 2 years ago

Powerful. Moving. Thanks for sharing. My heart aches for all of you. I can’t imagine being in your shoes and I promise to be better about judging others.

debi9kids 2 years ago

(((J)))

debi9kids 2 years ago

Thanks Holly.

And yes, I totally get the “effect” on the other kids. We see it every day in our home.
To some extent, I am looking forward to the idea of a “normal” home when she moves out and looking forward to everyone getting along, esp considering everyone does except for her.
(but it also makes me feel very guilty to be looking forward to her leaving)

Tammy Graham 2 years ago

I really sympathize with all who go through RAD or any other violent behavioral problems with their children. I am a mom of a child with autism. We went through a rough patch, but it wasn’t that severe and we pulled through (not due to my stellar parenting, just luck of the genetic draw). I saw enough to gain an understanding of those who have a child with tough anger or violence issues. No judgement from me. You did what was best for everyone.

Jenny 2 years ago

You are so brave for sharing this story, Stacey. I am in awe of your courage and your honesty. Hugs.

CJ 2 years ago

Thank you. Thank you for those of us who feel like failures; those of us who have lost friends, family and support; those of us who feel we are alone and those of us who cannot speak up. Thank you.

Trisha GAnner 2 years ago

Your story touched me for I raised three children who came to us very damaged at 6,7,and 8. There were so many moments so similar. We felt that we had no choice for state was NOT supportive in those days. The youngest was placed in residential therapy off and on for years but with great condemnation. I know it was best for the other 4 kids in the house. It has taken years to come to terms with that decision for the idea of always placing siblings in same household was the “vogue”. He would have done so much better had that been an option. You were brave and should be allowed to be proud you were allowed to make that decision! Blessings! Trisha

Angie M. 2 years ago

Thank you for your transparency. I am not in your shoes and so won’t pretend to understand what you have been through. It must have taken superhuman strength to simply say the words “I can’t”. Thank God there was someone there for you who said “I can” – what a gift that family has! It has always gotten under my skin to hear someone rant about a parent who won’t ‘do anything about their screaming child’. Especially when they have no children of their own. At least as a mother, I can identify in small part with the anxiety and weariness that comes with motherhood anyway… but to have a child with accelerated needs on top of everything else… I can’t imagine. My heart goes out to you, and others moms in your position. Thank you again for telling your story. God bless you.

Carisa Miller 2 years ago

You presented so powerfully a circumstance where, as parents, we are required to be extra-human and keep from letting our own instincts lead us to harming a child. You are strong and beautiful. I look forward to sharing a smile with you at Blogher13.

Alice 2 years ago

Bless you for writing this. I adopted my daughter at 7 and now she’s 12. She’s not violent, but she’s destructive, and also oppositional, though only at home. It’s our dark little secret. To the public, to our friends, she’s a little ray of sunshine. At home, she can be that or she can be quite the opposite. Nobody knows the other side, so nobody understands my frustration. They think I’m being high-strung, or they shake their heads and blame it on me being pre-menopausal. OR, they say, “She’s just being a pre-teen.” Yes, well, I have all the pre-teen crap to deal with, too. AND the oppositional behavior, AND the destructive behavior. The therapist isn’t sure how to help her except to keep trying. If I had other children that she was abusing, I think I would have to make a change. But that’s not the case, so I keep bearing the brunt of it.

Stephanie 2 years ago

I’ve had this feeling with three well-loved, well cared-for children. And I don’t judge since I had my own. You truly never know. Wonderfully written and so powerful.

Carolyn 2 years ago

Carla, I wholeheartedly agree! Stacey you will stay in my prayers. I tried to picture myself in your place while I read and felt just torture and heartbreak… And I was so blessed and blown away with how this was resolved. Thank you for sharing this.

Kari 2 years ago

I have been exactly where you have been. I understand. And I thank you for being brave enough to write about it.

Donna McBroom-Theriot 2 years ago

Thank you for opening the eyes of many.

Mama and the City 2 years ago

Yeah, I have been there too. Getting the odd look at Sears when my non-stop crying baby was in the stroller, this 70 old lady wanted me to pick her up or she would accuse me to the cashier.
Yeah, that’s how I operate, right?

misszippy 2 years ago

You have my utmost respect and admiration. Beautifully written, too.

Jill Smokler, AKA Scary Mommy 2 years ago

I think you may have somehow read an entirely different post than presented here, because I can’t understand that reaction to it.

Abbe PB 2 years ago

You are right, adoption is for life. And if you had thoroughly read the entire post, you would have seen that everything she did, tried, went through, and ultimately decided, was FOR THE LIFE of her older son, her younger son, and herself. She chose a life for her son that she did not have the resources to provide otherwise. She chose a life for him to ensure he had parents who were able to give him what she could not. She chose a life for her younger son that did not entail further abuse from his big brother.

It may not be what you mean, but it is what she did, and for that she is to be commended. This was not a “return,” it was not an “exchange,” it was a choice to provide the best life possible for everyone involved, and that can only be done by a loving parent.

Erica 2 years ago

I lived this with my sister and now I’m re-living it raising her child. No judgement. I get it. I send you nothing but love.

Observacious 2 years ago

Thank you so much for your bravery in sharing this.

Holly 2 years ago

So sorry Debi,
I say from experience that the hurt does not go away, almost two years later and the pain and hurt from losing Tyvonne is still there, some days as fresh as the day he left.
We are just now learning about the hurt that he caused Brian and the effect that it has had on his life, I feel eternally guilty that I was not more aware and proactive in this situation.
Love to you, feel free to call/text me even if it is just ot vent.

Jester Queen 2 years ago

Your honesty is heartwrenching, and I can feel the love you still hold for that little boy who needed a different mother.

Rebekah 2 years ago

You are so brave. Thank you for sharing this.

Karen 2 years ago

God bless you. I am angry, very angry at the biological parents who are responsible for traumatizing these children.

Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli) 2 years ago

Big hugs. I am so sorry you went through that and I can only imagine how much hurt you have been through.

Debbie 2 years ago

Thanks Stacy for sharing a heart breaking story. My hat goes off to you for the strenght and love you have in your heart.

It does break my heart to know that there are many mistreated children in this world. All a child wants is to be ‘LOVED’.

When i see a mother in a store having a problem with there child I will smile at them and ‘It can be rough sometimes, hang in there’.

You can not judge another mother until you have walked in there shoes. Unless of course it is a veryyyy badddd mother or father.
Thanks again for sharing and God’s blessings to you.

Jenn Pidgeon 2 years ago

FYI Adoption is for life…and that means dogs too. No return policy.

Chelsea Grooms 2 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing that. Tears are streaming down my face. We have had days like that in the past and I’m sure there will be more. We try every day and we don’t give up. I’m so glad you found someone who could help you and your son.

Scarymommyfan 2 years ago

He may never admit to you, but he will always appreciate what you tried to do, and what you did do, because you made some kind of a difference, planted a seed. There are some people who washed their hands clean of me, and never believed I’d get any better – but they were wrong. I was very strong willed. It may not be the outcome for all, some of them end up on the streets on cocaine…or in gangs (sorry! I also have a habit of being blatenly honest!) and there would have been nothing you could have done to change that because it’s their will – like I said – I was very strong willed and I knew inside of me I could be better if I tried really hard and accepted help. If they really want to they will live a fairly functional life, but it takes dedication and an ongoing plan to stay well and have healthy relationships.

anymommy 2 years ago

I think possibly your own anger and feelings on this subject have caused you to read the essay a little quickly. I in no way imply what you suggest, we gave our son up to a second home where there were no younger children he could harm. We went through family court to terminate our parental rights and were derided and chastised by a judge who felt we should not “give up” despite testimony by therapists and a family with experience parenting rage-filled abandoned children waiting to take him home. I try very hard to remember that we never understand all of the circumstances. Maybe you should try a little harder to read carefully before you judge.

Elise 2 years ago

I have nothing new to add to the other comments – there is truth and courage in this post. Thank you for continuing to share – I know every time this post reaches a new person in a similar situation it helps them exponentially.

Mercedes 2 years ago

You have me in tears here!! I am that mom losing it at the park, and no one sees the truth; I’m simply over-whelmed to a breaking point with a child that I’m sure has a personality disorder, and all I ever get is dirty looks. I recently went to get some help for myself, tho, so the future is looking a little brighter :)

Holly 2 years ago

You have total understanding from me.
We are just now learning the effects on my youngest (now 15 year year old) from the abuse inflicted by his older, severly RAD brother. Although the older boy,(now 20) ran away two years ago, this is bringing the hurt out in the open all over again.

anymommy 2 years ago

Oh, thank you so much for sharing. What a gift. I know that you aren’t saying that things are perfect and I ache for all you went through, but it is comforting to know that after all you went through you can look back and see how sometimes change needed to happen or a fresh person needed to take over. One of my biggest fears is that he will remember us only with hate and disappointment.

Alexandra 2 years ago

I think you are equally judgmental. How dare you imply that certain parents who adopt children take the easy way out and hand them back. My friend took a boy in knowing only too well that there were issues but no-one had informed her of the full extent of those problems. After a year, she was terrified of being alone in the house with this eleven year old boy who was writing stories and drawing pictures of how he was going to rape her. His fantasies were elaborate and well thought out. When they took him for counselling, the Psychologist made it very clear that he should NEVER have been offered for adoption as he had a serious disassociative disorder. Another six months of tests and finally the Social Services admitted that they knew there had been issues from the beginning but they were struggling to deal with them and so had offered him up for adoption. It took a Family Court Judge looking at the all the reports and talking to this boy to say …. This should never ever have happened. So to imply that all these children have problems which the parent can deal with given time and patience is utterly irresponsible. Some of these children are not capable of being adopted and YOU do not know the circumstances before you pass judgment.

Hannah 2 years ago

Thank you for putting into words the reason that the supportive looks I got from parents walking past us at the mall as my 5 year old foster daughter beat me, pulled my hair & ripped my clothes…gave me the strength to keep holding it together.

Ezralmom 2 years ago

Although I cannot even begin to say I’ve been in the position you have I do understand a little. My 10 yr old is Autistic and has rage issues. He has hurt his siblings and I had to leave the house to calm down and remember he didn’t ask to be this way. I also heard a story I tell to anyone I see judging a mother in a situation with her children, something that happens every time I take my son out to a store or the park, etc. The story is about a man on the subway who is seemingly ignoring his 3 children while they are jumping around and screaming. The other passengers are all rolling their eyes and exchanging knowing glances. Finally a woman approaches the man who is sitting with his head in his hands and angrily tells him that he should be a better parent and make his kids behave. He looks up at the woman and says “I’m very sorry, we just came from the hospital, their mother died today and I just don’t know how to tell them” That story has stuck with me over 20 years and every time I see a mother or father having a difficult moment with their kids I think of that and know that no one else knows what is going on with that family and therefore we should offer a helping hand instead of a judgement. I admire you for your strength and honesty. HUGS!!!

Jenni Chiu @ MommyNaniBooboo 2 years ago

Thank you Stacey Conner, your honesty, tenderness, and light is always apparent when you write about the dark…

catina 2 years ago

Oh Stacey, I am still crying, I also want to hug you. You are so brave to share your story, I can’t imagine what you went through. I was a social worker long ago and I worked one-on-one behavior modification in the schools with children with severe behavior issue. I would come home from work every day with new bruises, but that’s the thing, I could go home. It was easy for me. I would like to hope now as a parent I could also lock myself out of my son’s room. What strength! Thanks so much for sharing

Dawn 2 years ago

This touched me in so many ways, it’s hard to know where to start. I am a Mom, to a beautiful 18 month old boy, and I’m 27 weeks pregnant with another boy. I was terrified of my first, and slightly more so of the second. I did not have the typical “insta-bond” with my son- I loved him, of course, but it seemed different than what you read about. Your essay has made me understand something in myself that has me reeling- I am the child you described, and another mother commented about. I was adopted, and I was a terror. I have much guilt in my life over how I behaved as a child to my family, but until now, I never ever thought of any of it from the perspective- the perspective that my mother may have felt the need to give me back because of how terrible I made it for the rest of our family… I never felt the attachment to them quite the way I thought I was supposed to, and though I loved them, I never trusted them fully, and could not put their needs ahead of whatever selfish desire I had. I would love to say I grew out of it quickly, but I am only now really growing out it at all. I have lied to them for no other reason than I could- until I was in my mid 20’s even. They have held on, and I have a good relationship with them now- but sometimes my guilt over my childhood prevents me from attaching quite the way I should….

Regardless, I have been that horrible child who hurts everyone, and I am now a mother who is terrified that my ‘issues’ will prevent me from being the mother I should be. I get angry with my son many times, and asides from a tap on the bum, or a too-tight squeeze of the hand, have managed to control the anger that builds in me sometimes— Your words have made new thoughts spiral through my mind of how to cope and make ammends, and I hope with all my heart, you and your family can heal and thrive. You deserve the best for doing the best for everyone

Kelly 2 years ago

Been there… 5 years later all of it still haunts me.. Thank you for being so honest.

Amanda 2 years ago

Your words have formed another thread. Lovely.

Wendy 2 years ago

Wow, my heart is pounding after reading this, it hit so close to home! My biological daughter has a personality disorder. From the age of 3 on she had raging fits, destroying whatever she could get her hands on, hitting and kicking me, sometimes crying for hours, but not letting me hold her or comfort her in any way. It meant she took a lot of my time and energy away from her older brother, too, which made me feel so bad for him. I took her to many therapists, who told me she just needed more discipline and structure. She knew how to behave beautifully in school, and public places, which meant that no one believed me when I described her behavior at home. This left me feeling like a complete failure. She’s an adult now, with a diagnosis, and therapy, and thank God, is doing really well. Both children have come through this as amazingly well adjusted, loving and kind people, but it’s taken me years to forgive myself, and recover from 20 years of struggling with a child I love so much and at the same time just hated sometimes!
I learned long ago not to judge other mothers because I know we just don’t know what’s really going on. Thank you for this!

Jody 2 years ago

I told a judgey mom once, “I’m genuinely happy for you that you have no idea what I’m going thru”. That felt good.
My son is very difficult but nothing compared to the things you have experienced. All love to you and xoxo

Ariana 2 years ago

I’m so glad you wrote the above. We all wonder what becomes of these children. I’m sure that for every parent that has had no choice other than to give up, you’ve given some reassuring words.

Cindafuckingrella 2 years ago

No judgement. Just loving thoughts and well wishes!

Crystal 2 years ago

Amazingly powerful. You are so brave and so good for all that you did and continue to do. Being a mother is never easy, but I cannot imagine ever being in the shoes you once were. Thank you for sharing your story. I have friends who recently adopted two children with abandonment and attachment issues. I’m going to pass along this thread. It’s something they need to read.

Brook 2 years ago

As I read this tears drip down my cheeks, my heart breaks for you, your family and that little boy. This really hits home for me, as only six months ago my son’s violent outbursts and temper would scare me {he’s only 6}. He never hurts us or his brother, but he did hit his teacher, the principal and other children. It was a nightmare, and I was scared every day to take him places, or have playdates for fear he would have an episode. There were many days where I needed to have him just stay in his room, for fear that my anger and frustration would take hold and not let go. Thankfully we found our threads in caring teachers, friends and medical professionals. We’ve been participating in PCIT and drug therapy and it’s made all the difference. I have my son back. Am I still scared sometimes? Every day, but I’m hopeful too. Thanks for sharing your story of bravery and strength. You did good mama.

Cassie 2 years ago

It’s amazing how much us mom’s go through, thinking we’re the only ones, and condemn ourselves and one another, when we all wish we could just tell people how we really feel and what we’ve really been through. Being honest is difficult, but really, if we were all as honest as you, being a mommy would be easier, because we would know that some of our emotions, reactions, and situations are more “normal” than we think. Thank you so much for sharing your heartbreaking story!

Alexandra 2 years ago

also: “Here.” xo

Alexandra 2 years ago

Speechless. We also have a family story to tell, which I won’t hear, b/c it isn’t mine to share. BUT THIS: “all your education… gone in that instant moment of humanness.”

YES.

Much love to you, for the painful honesty of this. The ugly beautiful, as they say in Spanish. xo

Andrea 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing this.

Rebeccah 2 years ago

I am so sorry for all the pain caused by this terribly difficult situation. Thank you so much for sharing your story – it is the deep, dark awful stuff that needs to be dragged out into the light so that we can understand it. You’re brave and honest and I’m so glad you wrote this.

Scarymommyfan 2 years ago

I’m going to be very honest with you even though it will not look good for me. However, I was that horrible tormented abandoned child and there were a lot of people who tried to help. I had the same screaming rages and hurt children at school, my foster sister etc. However each home I went through promised to never give up on me, and eventually they had to. And I never blamed them. Maybe then I did. Now I don’t. However…Each time I changed more and became stronger…It takes a village to raise a child like me, and your son. I came out ok! Not perfect, but im not on medication, institutionalized and I dont have a criminal record. Have a career and a family. It gets better for these kids…they just need stepping stones..and it may mean many different parents and many social workers and youth care workers in and out of their life. There may be one or two they really bond with. Certain people are safer than others. However these kids…they wear people out. And they are very easy to get attached to because all you want to do is love them and you just hope with as much love as you give them that it will fix them! It doesn’t. I’m so sorry. But these kids are so incapable of receiving love and accepting it. These kids though, face more issues in life. Breakups from boy friends and girl friends are VERY traumatic….one that I really bonded with …ended and sent me to the psych hospital and took years for me to recover from.
Loss of a job is as if they completely failed at life…
They need to be built up so much, and reassured they are doing well, and told they can do it and that they are worth it.
It will still be challenging. I still do some counseling in adulthood when things get hard. I still have terrible days and meltdowns…but when those happens it means action, to make changes and decisions to be well. Its the choice to be well. There is hope <3 And you did the right thing. You really did. I wanted to share a bit of my story…

Suzanna 2 years ago

My now-teenaged natural son has had challenges with anger/rage since he was three. Having been in & out of counseling since then, and feeling like this is somehow because of something I must have done wrong, you have no idea how comforting it is to hear there are others who share in this struggle. For me, parenting has been very lonely, and it’s always reassuring to hear I’m not actually alone, and that it’s not my fault. Thank you for sharing such a touching, personal story.

Michele C. 2 years ago

oh the tears. I cannot imagine how hard that was/is. I just can’t. I am so glad that someone was there to build that staircase for your family, and I admire you for not only taking that boy in in the first place, but for also knowing when things weren’t working and needed to change. That takes more courage and is sometimes more heartbreaking than dealing with the trauma at home. xoxoxo

Beth Ann 2 years ago

Thank you for being willing to share this. Glennon Melton posted a quote this morning from her Ted Talk and said that we save others by allowing them to see us save ourselves. Thanks for allowing people to see this.

Navywife 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing you are a strong person. My husband and I only ran into rage at a child twice where we had to separate ourselves for a few minutes to gain control. Once when a foster daughter tried to molest my 5 year old and told us she’d been molesting her foster sister for the past year even at her former foster home. That once was actually easier for me to handle because no one was in immediate danger and I could set up safety controls. We found her a foster home with no kids and she did much better.
Then again when I had to pull a huge (48 pound) 2 year old off my tiny (23 pound) 2 year old because he was choking him and my little one was starting to turn purple. That was the time that I came dangerously close to losing it. Afterwards I called the social worker crying because I was worried I would beat him if he hurt my little baby again.

Sheila Temple 2 years ago

I understand–have a friend in a similar situation and it looks like the child should go or she will have to! Too much pressure on a family–just finished my book Chinese Take Out–has some similar stories and should be out in the fall. It is not easy–it is like an elliptical workout, keep working or just quit altogether! Every part of you hurts! Exhausting! Blessings, Sheila

AnneB 2 years ago

I can only imagine being in your shoes. No judgment here. Far from it. I am in awe that you had the strength and wherewithal to do what you did without hurting your oldest. If giving him to another family who has better resources to help him makes life better for everyone, then you’re not a bad mother. You did what you had to do for your children. *hugs*

J 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing this.. We fostered our niece.. She is family, of course we would make it work.. But it didn’t and I often feel ashamed and blame myself that we couldn’t help her.. She was only 16 months but too much damage was already done.. We loved her, still love her.. But she’s at a different foster home within the system.. I still face judgements 2 years later..

Emm 2 years ago

Your story is amazing and heartbreaking and full of hope all at the same time. The truth in the last line you wrote truly hit home for me. We are all connected regardless of what our self-righteousness might convince us to believe. Humanity needs more thinkers like you!

Momchalant 2 years ago

This hits me all the way to the bones. I have felt everything you are going through, but in a different way. The act of violence was different, but still violence none the less.

You and your family will be in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing.

Ryan (The Woven Moments) 2 years ago

CHILLS!!!! Love.

Jay {at} Purple Eggplant 2 years ago

There is such truth in your words.

A smile can do so much for another momma // I get you…you are not a terrible parent…parenting a hard…this too shall pass.

Julie 2 years ago

I can’t say that I can begin to understand how you must feel. Thanks for sharing. Hugs.

debi9kids 2 years ago

(((Dawn)))
I understand. Completely.
My daughter is 18 and moving out :(

Tanya 2 years ago

I adopted my son when he was 3 and his biological sister was 18 months. My son had RADS. It was the hardest thing I have every been through. I remember a six month visit from my adoption social worker. She took me aside and said “do you want to keep him.” Even she could not possibly imagine how I could want him. He tried to poke out my eyeballs til I could feel them almost burst, my husband would lie and tell total strangers as he kicked and screamed and bit while we held him that he had autism because it was just an easier answer, he hurt my cats, he would physically destroy any object he knew I valued, he tried to strangle me numerous time when we would cuddle, he would eat til he vomited and then scream for more, and he would have four hour screaming sessions up to 6 times a day. Needless to say, I understand it. We had an amazing amount of support from CAS, with training and therapies. For us it worked out and my son grew to know that love could be safe and love could be for always; but there were moments when my own survival mode would kick in and I often would think it was going to be either him or me, but one of would have to leave. My heart goes out to those who are going through the same and for those who must make that hard desision.

Dawn Murphy 2 years ago

That was amazing! I can totally put myself in your place outside his bedroom door.

You are strong, you are amazing and you are the perfect Mommy. That little boy is so lucky to have you as his mother.

Alison 2 years ago

Heartbreaking and beautiful, Stacey.

Trish Sammer Johnston 2 years ago

Wow. So brave of you to share this.

Hugs and hugs and hugs to you, all your children, and your boy’s new family as well.

Kristin 2 years ago

I’m just sobbing. I have no connection to this other than I am the mother of a 2 year old and I can’t imagine how I would feel to see those marks. Very powerful post.

debi9kids 2 years ago

I know how difficult this must’ve been to write.
I have an adopted daughter with RAD and we have literally struggled for YEARS to get beyond her lies, manipulation, stealing, hatred, etc and much to the detriment of our entire family.

It has caused me to struggle with depression and feeling like a complete failure as a parent and I admit, there are MANY days that I wish I had listened to her therapists when she was a little girl who told us to “give her up and let her go to a family with no other children”.
But I thought our love would be enough.

18 years later and it isn’t :(

She is moving out when she graduates and it hurts.
Her feelings are that it will be better anywhere but here and she isn’t even sort-of attached to us, not even sort-of sorry to leave and my heart… broken.

anna whiston-donaldson 2 years ago

Every time I read this, I get chills. Thank you for reminding us how we can help each other instead of hurting each other as moms.

Jen 2 years ago

Thank you for this. You are amazing.

Kristin 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing. After a morning of trying to hold it together and trying to walk away from the screaming, throwing things, and the “I hate you,” lingering in my mind….. you just gave me that playground smile that lets me know I’m not alone.

Heather O. 2 years ago

Beautiful. I am the parent of a child just like you describe. I have been the parent leaning on the door, more times than I care to think about. I thank you very much for your touching honesty.

Wendy Cuell 2 years ago

Thank you for this post as I know the feeling… my step-son and my daughter. I’ve surprised myself on how instinctively protective and scary I can be when it come to my children, even if I have to protect her from her older 1/2 brother.
I’ve felt ashamed for the feelings and rage I have encountered from a child and it has scared me. How can I be a good mom when full of rage because of one. 1) it’s not his fault for how he’s turned out and 2) he knows right from wrong…
My step-son lives with his mom in another province and I’ve had to instruct my husband he has to go and visit his son instead of his son visiting us because I don’t know how to deal with not trusting him when he’s with us. He’s 9, my daughters are 4 and 2.

Lexi Sweatpants 2 years ago

I ache so much for you and for the trauma you’ve been through, too. I could not imagine being in a position to have to make such an impossible choice.

My middle son is autistic and has rage issues. I’ve had brushes with the thoughts of him hurting his little sister who is incapable of protecting herself. Until I felt even a tiny bit of that, I had no understanding of what parents like you have gone through.

This was haunting to read but entirely necessary. Too many mothers, myself included, judge other mothers for things they have no understanding of. Too many mothers blame, judge and condemn who have never been faced with such a reality.

beautifully written and so powerful. Thank you for sharing.

Nikki 2 years ago

Wow. Both babies hurting, how difficult and trying. I can’t imagine.

Lori 2 years ago

Wow. God bless you. I’d like to think I would throw you a rope because, God knows, I need one myself these days. Thank you for sharing your story.

Janel 2 years ago

Wow, this was an amazing read. Kudos to you for being brave enough to write this. I can 100% identify with your description of the rage you can feel towards your children when you’re at the end of your rope. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

mason 2 years ago

been there. understand. thanks for this essay.

Sili 2 years ago

Tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing this and for the comment about not judging parents because we have no idea what just happened.

A smile can go a long way, can’t it?

Dawn 2 years ago

This hits close to home for me. Although ours is now a 14 year old and she is currently a run away. We have tried everything, even having her committed for 5 months last year, and still there is nothing no one can/will do to help us.

Carla 2 years ago

Oh Stacey, I want to hug you. This is such a scary story to share. Your heart is so tender and full of love. Your oldest was lucky to be in your care, with someone wise enough to stand on the other side of that door instead of walking in. I can’t imagine the emotions your family has endured. Much love and strength to you.

Tobi 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly.