Sunday, October 16, 2011

When Blogging Hurts

I’m not a recruiter for CABF.

I’m not a psychiatrist or therapist.

I’m not an advocate for pharmaceutical companies.

I’m not brainwashed, unevolved or the source of a serious parenting problem.

I am a mom.

I’m a mom who’s fighting for her son’s life.

I’m a mom who doesn’t have all the answers and often feels ill equipped.

I’m a mom who’s disappointed that the research isn’t farther along.

I’m a mom who’s terrified of possible side effects.

I’m a mom who’s questioning everything our doctor suggests.

I’m a mom who’s frustrated by all the controversy.

I’m a mom who’s offended by all the accusations.

I’m a mom who’s making the best decisions based on the direction of our medical team.

I’m a mom who cries because we’re not doing enough.

I’m a mom who worries because we’re doing too much.

I’m a mom who’s experiencing hope thanks to medication.

I’m a mom who realizes that hope doesn’t always stick around.

I’m a mom who’s watched her son lose touch with reality and is terrified of what could happen next.

I’m a mom who’s scared that her son will end up in prison if he doesn’t have treatment.

I’m a mom who’s sickened by thoughts of finding her son hanging in his room because he stopped treatment.

I’m a mom who’s worried that her son will become addicted to drugs and alcohol in an effort to treat his symptoms on his own.

I’m a mom who’s bled from the hands of her own son.

I’m a mom who’s watched her other children tremble in fear while their brother raged.

I’m a mom who’s seen her 7 year old boy cry while frantically hiding sharp objects from his brother who wanted to kill himself.

I’m a mom who’s seen her son desperately begging for help.

I’m a mom who’s witnessed the devastation of real mental illness.

I’m a mom who hurts, as others throw stones at her for the decisions she’s made.

I’m only a mom... speaking my truth.

* * *

Recently I participated in a discussion on another forum and was hit pretty hard by the words of a few.

I think a reader who visited the conversation put it best when she said:

“ is kind of like a car accident, you drive by and can’t help looking at it. I tried not to go back to that blog but I did, and it was quite awful what they were saying about you.”

I tried to share my story, but I found that there are people that will always assume the worst of me because I medicate my son. I can’t change that. I’m sharing this with you to show you what moms like me are up against.

Here is the conversation (comment section), but remember, I warned you, it ain’t pretty...


  1. And you are a mom who is awesome in so many ways.

  2. OMG I am fuming right now at how ignorant those those those....oohhhh can't think of a good, strong, appropriate word for those idiots.

    Mama Bear, I suffered needlessly for years as a child due to my mental illness and my parents lack of effort to seek out treatments for me. They didn't have the time or money. (Okay I am soo ranting blindly right now. Sorry.) But my point is that I really suffered with suicidal thoughts as a kid. What kind of 8 year old should fantasize shooting herself in the face? A mentally ill unmedicated one that is who.

    You are being proactive in your child's health and Thank the Lord above for that. Your son is experiencing joy in life...thank God for that. He is on medication...Thank you for that and it is working. I work with kids whose parents do not medicate them and I fear where those children who will be future deviants in 10 years. Don't listen to the haters Mama Bear for they are as biased as the news in my opinion.

    Instead look at your son while he plays with his siblings and take satisfaction in that medication is making much of that play possible.

  3. In the Pink -
    Just a question - why do you think medication would have helped you, over, say, intense forms of psychotherapy? How would medication have helped you deal with your problems? You say your parents didn't seek out therapy because they didn't have the time or money, so it sounds to me like you got no help at all. You also said you had suicidal thoughts - did you let people know you had them or did you keep them to yourself?

  4. As parents, we make the best decisions for our kids based on what we know at that moment. The blog world is just a microcosm of the real world. In the real world I avoid toxic people and I do the same thing in the blog world. You are a good person, doing an awesome job with a difficult task. Now that you know those people are toxic, you know what to do. {{{Hugs}}}

  5. First and foremost, I want to say how sorry I am that you went through this gang mentality. I also want to let you know that the internet is not a hotbed of mental health. When ever we show an opinion or a slight piece of character color, there will be people who jump around like rabid dogs. Few have the ability to disagree without calling names etc. I have a blog myself and have been a member of so many internet support forums for various reasons, this occurs at all of them. Many of the perpetrators have mental illness themselves that was untreated. I just had to actually block a woman from my FB, web site and email.

    I wont say the usual "If they haven't lived it, they won't understand" because so many people who have helped and supported myself and my child haven't lived it. The amount of paranoid thinking and conspiracy theorist out there is scary. My child hallucinated daily, that is NOT a contrived story. It is a noted fact. My child stopped having gory and frightening hallucination when she was given certain medications and three times a week therapy. She is no longer terrified in her own bed trying to block out voices and images. Se no longer wants to die daily. If giving her a med that has those kinds of effects will save her life then I will damned well do it and the first person who tries to steal her new found normality (or commonplace) life will have to go through me first. It is my job to protect her and if she was diabetic and someone tried to take her insulin I would fight them tooth and nail. To remove her medication is to sign her life away.

    Do not despair, many people who do not have the brevity to comment to understand. You are very brave.

  6. Mama, Stephany and Stan have are both crazy and have made it their full time job to be on the internet trying to prove people like you wrong. Stephany has taken most of these meds herself over the years and also has a daughter that was in psych hospitals for most of her life and Stephany is convinced it is all the doctors' fault. Her own plight as well as her daughter being hospitalized for years and medicated even though we all know that as parents we have to consent to everything doctors do. It's always just easier to blame everyone around us. You will never convince them you are right or that responsible parent and patient participation is a part of medication use. And, that after a certain age (13 in our case) doctors won't even give teens or adults meds that they don't consent to using so it's hard to blame pharm companies for force feeding people these meds.

    Use your energies on your kids and just speak your truth on your blog.

  7. sorry mama bear ,but i have to say that medicating my child just made him worse ,it was when i took him off it that he got better,now my son has a balanced diet ,plenty of sports ,got a shadow teacher to help him at schooll ,the side effects of this meds are horryble it can damage them more because the brain is still developing in such a young child ,i have to say its not easy i put all my time on my kids 24/7,and by the way i have 3 boys each one has a lerning disability but my hard work is paying of without meds!

  8. Rosa Forbes~I have had way more than my fair share of much so it makes me cringe to think of going back to the therapeutic couch. When I was 18 my father died and left me some money which I used on years and years of therapy without medication. I was in Bikram's Yoga, taking vitamins, living on my own, and slowly going insane. One day my roommate came home to me in a trance on the sofa with a knife cutting up my arms. There was blood all over and I knew then I needed medication. Therapy can only do so much but when you are really mentally ill and not just pretending to be ill then therapy won't work. Yes, my parents did know I wanted to burn down our home and they did send me to therapy as a child but they never sought to medicate me which I needed so badly. God bless the fact I am medicated now. Otherwise I may not be here to tell my story.

  9. Mama Bear - your post is a sad/beautiful truth. I'm sorry you put yourself through that prolonged interaction - some people are just venomous, and clearly not open minded.

    Judgement never helps, it only serves to divide and hurt. I had one person phone and give me hell for allowing Lily to be medicated. I knew this person socially, but she was completely out of line. We simply don't speak anymore.

    Be good to yourself, and recognize that you can't change someone elses mind if it's already made.

  10. Wow...major LOLAS to you mama bear for putting yourself out there. Now, be strong and move forward with what you know is your truth for today and move forward. No need to allow anyone's toxicity to pollute your journey.

  11. Mama Bear, try to look at those who post such drivel with compassion; they do not have a similar set of experiences as you. Yes, some kids have "problems" that can be alleviated with therapy. Great for them. If you were a parent to one of those, you would know it by now. However, some of us have kids whose problems either need relief afforded through medication, or we will bury them. In my house, there is no choice. I've had many well meaning people suggest to me "other" options because they think medicine is wrong. You and I did not choose this as our first option, or second or third for that matter. We got here because the disease is so dangerous, and powerful that the only option to HELP our child is to medicate. I'm grateful so many parents of children with "issues" feel we are in the wrong, because that means they haven't been through the hell we have. I WISH we had a choice about how to help our sons. But, as I said before, my choice is to treat it with medicine (and therapy) or bury them. P.S. My children have a genetic illness - the same as their birth mother, and a birth sibling being raised in another home. It is not a product of their environment. I don't even try to explain this to the nay-sayers anymore, because it is kind of like religion - it is not my job to tell a person what they should believe. However, it is my job to figure out what is TRUTH for me. Carry on, my friend.

  12. This is an amazing post! How eloquent your words are.

    Medicating our kids is such a personal thing and I see from the exchange you shared that there are way too many people taking your choices for your family personally.

    As a parent, we try whatever we can to help our children...we must remember that many times its the trying that counts, not the specific task or strategy.

    Hang in there. I personally would feel a big loss if you didn't share your story.

  13. Thank you everyone for your comments, tonight I’m reminded that as much as blogging hurts, it also heals.

  14. I am angry over this! I can relate to every single sentence you wrote about being a Mom and what you have and are going through with your son. We have a son very much like yours but have had so much trouble getting the right meds and help. I feel for you and you are never far from my heart. I read this blog regularly but only comment from time to time.

    Hang in there.