Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dear Anonymous...

I decided, maybe against better judgement, to share the comment I received on the post announcing my pregnancy. (Note - this is my second post today. Read the previous post for all kinds of happy stuff!) After reading it, I had a knee-jerk reaction. I deleted the post from view...and then I disabled all comments. I've calmed down - well, only a little - and decided to allow comments, but they will first be sent to me for review. I feel bad about this - I don't like censorship. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. But - this blog is more than a "blog" to me. And that is what this person, man or woman, seems to not understand. First, I'll let you read the comment - and then I will respond. You might want to put on your big girl panties now....
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Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Too Good To Be True?...":

Don't you think you are jumping the gun on this. I have been reading your posts and so much of it seems to be about you. Do you take care of your kids or does everyone else?? Many many people do this on their own every day. Now, if there are 3, how are you going to spend the little time you do with all the kids?? Isn't this selfish? You may want more siblings to take care of Gavin, but is it worth the torment and agony you put yourself and your whole family through. Have you stopped and thought of what you have missed out on going to doctors appointments or blogging. How about doing the normal wife/motherly things we all do for once, without needing help. If you need help now, how much more will you need with 3 kids. You are on the cusp of being a munchauser...how disgusting.

I grew up with a brother with handicaps but my parents did it on their own and fought with schools to get him services because there were none back then. They learned how to help him, there were no services in the house, they created services in the school district. If they had had any more children, the effort that they put into getting him what he needed would have been sacrificed or we younger kids would have been forgotten about. Grow up, your kids need you now!!!! You will regret these selfish actions later!!!

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Dear "Anonymous Poster",

Please tell me who you are. It would mean the world to me if you did. I mean, you seem like a pretty brave person with a lot of guts. I'm sure a selfish, disgusting person like me could learn a lot from you. Let me learn how to be a better person from you. Reveal yourself. I know my life and how I lead it is important to you, so let me run through your comment and answer all of your questions and respond to all of your well thought out comments.

"Aren't you jumping the gun" - I assume you mean by announcing this pregnancy? Well - yes, I am! I even admitted that. But this blog is about our journey - and I have really never left anything out. With so many losses under my belt I figured the more prayers for this baby from the moment of conception - the better. But if you think there's harm in that - if you think I should have kept it to myself for a specified amount of time - I'll try to take it back. But first I need to write to all the women that have written to me that are struggling to conceive...women that are in similar situations as me...women that appreciate my candor so they don't feel alone. If you give me a week to take care of that - I'll then do it your way.

"I've been reading your posts and so much of it seems to be about you" - Well, it is my blog. I do write about me, about Gavin, about Brian, about my husband - and sometimes I write about my feelings. But if I bore you, might I suggest following a more exciting blog like this one? I mean, I want you to be thoroughly entertained. I'm sorry I didn't measure up in that department.

"Do you take care of your kids or does everyone else?? Many many people do this on their own every day". - They do? I can't imagine doing that. I have never taken care of my kids. As a matter of fact, when my helper leaves I typically put them in a closet so I can watch TV. I mean I feed them dinner and put them to bed - but there's a few hours in there before that. Ha - funny story...one day Ed went to work with the closet key and I couldn't reach him. Poor kids were in there all night. But on the bright side, I did get to catch up on my shows that have been on the DVR for a week!

"Now, if there are 3, how are you going to spend the little time you do with all the kids?? Isn't this selfish?" - Totally selfish. But I do have to ask - how do you know how much time I spend with my children? What do you think I do all day? I'd love to know. And I'd love to know if I should judge other people the same way - because you seem to have it all together and I want to be like you.

"You may want more siblings to take care of Gavin, but is it worth the torment and agony you put yourself and your whole family through" - So, did you think I was trying to "create" caregivers for Gavin? You think that's why we want a third? You must be new here so I'll let that one slide - even though the tone and judgement in your statement makes my blood boil. And what exactly am I putting my family through? Did you talk to them? Ask them? You have no freaking idea what you're talking about. I use this blog as a personal journal a lot of the time. I always have. This blog - and my previous journal - have been the one thing that I've done for myself every day. It's been an outlet for me to get out all of my anxiety, frustrations, anger, sadness, and joy along the way. (Hey - maybe you should try it! It might help with your obvious issues!) I don't filter - I just write. But if you think what I write on a bad day defines that day - you're wrong. As a matter of fact, ask anyone who has been in my house, it's pretty rare to see me sad or mopey. That's because I pour it all out in my writing. What I ask in return is for people to read with an open mind and an open heart. I can't count the number of comments and emails from people (people that are NOT like you) that have said "I'm struggling with the same feeling" or "I would never have admitted that - but it's just what I'm going through, too" - and that makes it all worth it. To make people feel less alone.

"Have you stopped and thought of what you have missed out on going to doctors appointments or blogging." - Wow. No, I haven't. You know all those pictures I take every day of the boys? Little known fact - I hire a photographer so it looks like I'm present. You really don't know what the hell you're talking about. It takes me about ten minutes to start and finish my blog. And much of the time the boys are in bed when I write. But if you think that's inappropriate, I'll stop writing. As a matter of fact, maybe I'll delay their bedtime until midnight - just so I can spend more time with them. That's a great idea. As far as doctor appointments? You don't know how many appointments I have - how long I'm gone - when I schedule them. But it's still a great point - I think I'll cancel my upcoming dental and OB appointment. I might miss something and that would make me a terrible Mother.

"How about doing the normal wife/motherly things we all do for once, without needing help" - Amen! My husband has been hoping I'll turn into a normal wife for a long time. He'll be so happy you pushed me towards that. And the boys will be thrilled to have a normal mother. Oh wait....what is the definition of normal wife and normal mother? I'm sure it's your definition - and I only want to be like you. Please - enlighten me and the rest of my readers.

"If you need help now, how much more will you need with 3 kids." - Holy cow. I didn't think of that. Crap. Probably a lot. Are you available?

"You are on the cusp of being a munchauser...how disgusting. " - Well, first of all - I wouldn't be a good friend if I didn't point out that you probably meant to write "munchausen" as "munchauser" is not a word. I looked it up - and it basically means someone who is dramatic and is an attention seeker. I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but DUH!!!!! I write a BLOG! About ME! And I promote it so people will read it!! OF COURSE I'm an attention seeker! That pretty much defines ALL bloggers. But if you are implying that I make things up for attention - like maybe when Gavin's eye was sutured shut? Yeah...that was totally fake. I should be a Hollywood make up artist. And my daughter? Complete act. That was a doll I was holding. And all those therapists that are here for Gavin? Hired actors!! I know....I'm good. I do appreciate the psychiatric diagnosis though. Spot on.

"I grew up with a brother with handicaps but my parents did it on their own and fought with schools to get him services because there were none back then." - That is great! Your parents sound wonderful. I bet if you asked them, they would say that it's so different now. That there is so much more "help" available. That they wouldn't have felt so alone...or had to fight as hard. They may even tell you that if they had been offered help - they might have taken it! But, are you implying that I don't do things on my own? That I don't fight for anything for Gavin? I'd be happy to send you my "Mother of Gavin" resume. It's pretty long, but it makes for an inspiring read if I do say so myself. (There's that pesky munchausen syndrome popping up again!) That being said, if you're saying I should do the motherly "martyr" thing - not accept help, do it all on my own, be superwoman, make myself sick from running myself into the ground, not take care of myself and then bitch about how I have to do it all on my own - that does sound like a better, healthier way.

"They learned how to help him, there were no services in the house, they created services in the school district. If they had had any more children, the effort that they put into getting him what he needed would have been sacrificed or we younger kids would have been forgotten about." - Well, here's where I want to say something very rude to you, but I won't. What I will say is this: if you don't think that we are doing everything that we feel is best for Gavin, then you're misguided. I could have sent him to school last year. But I fought to keep him home. Know why? Because the one and only school that he could have gone to was NOT suitable - was NOT the best for him - was NOT acceptable to me. I now have all of his therapists and teachers - pretty much every therapy that's available - come to the house. He gets MUCH more attention at home. And having someone to help me? Do you know that THAT means? That when Gavin is getting his therapy - Brian can have his needs met, too. Gavin has thrived this past year at home - and I'm very proud for what I did as his Mom to fight for him. Someone like you can't make me feel otherwise. I'm sorry your parents struggled and had so many obstacles. But...listen, if you think I should do things the way THEY did it - just because it would make me a better Mom - then why don't you tell me step by step what my path should be. Clearly your parents did a great job with their children - I mean, with you being such a kind and compassionate person and all. They would be proud of you for sure if they read the comment you posted 'anonymously'.

"Grow up, your kids need you now!!!! You will regret these selfish actions later!!! " - My kids have me now. Every day and night. I barely go out. I don't shop. I make all of Gavin's pureed food. I read to them every night. We rarely watch TV. My kids have me now. This journal has always been a very personal account of our life. I have trusted my story and my struggles with the world and, to be honest, you are a minority. More people have been inspired to pray for my son's healing...and a lot of their prayers have paid off as they watch him defy the odds. Lots of people have seen themselves in my day to day struggle and, in turn, we have all felt less alone. And many people have sent me great ideas and tips and support that have helped me as not only Gavin's Mom - but Brian's as well. This blog is so personal - and your single comment makes me realize that the only thing I regret is not having a bouncer at the door. If I could kick you out and deny you the privilege of ever reading anything about my family's journey again - I'd do it in a second.

What makes someone attack another person - implying that they are a bad Mother because they don't do it "the right way". What makes someone attack another person? Hate. Jealousy. Anger. - I'm sure there's a psychological diagnosis to fit this type of person. I'll leave that to you, Doctor.

Sincerely,

kate.
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p.s. - this post won't remain forever. I do NOT want this hatred and ugliness in the story of our life. This is like a daily journal of my children's lives - something they could read in the future. You will not be a part of our history.



14 comments:

  1. AMEN, Kate!!!!!!!

    Hugs, Barb

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have never been prouder of anything I've seen you write Kate. That was well though out and absolutely perfect! As furious as it made me to read what she wrote to you, you should know, I am currently cleaning Diet Coke off of my desktop after it shot out of my nose when I read this: "If you need help now, how much more will you need with 3 kids." - Holy cow. I didn't think of that. Crap. Probably a lot. Are you available?
    You're amazing, I admire you and I love you and your family from afar.

    Sincerely,
    Kati Rose ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. p.s. - this post won't remain forever. I do NOT want this hatred and ugliness in the story of our life. This is like a daily journal of my children's lives - something they could read in the future. You will not be a part of our history.

    Amen, I love it, good job Kate, this was the BEST way to end that!! You are a great mother who does amazing things for her children, if any mom deserves to be blessed with another child you do.... Hold your head high and please don't give her another thought, she isn't worth it....

    LaRae

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, that person obviously has some very deep seated issues.It's even more sad that they have to hide behind anonymity rather than own what they say. I'm sorry you had to read such hateful comments. I'm not sure if this is distasteful exactly, ( I'm sorry if it is) but I have to say I laughed aloud at some of your responses to the anonymous commenter.

    Thank you for sharing this post, and leaving your blog open to comments after dealing with this situation.

    I hope you and your family have a nice weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kate,
    I am so incredibly sorry that you have to defend yourself against this obviously angry, ignorant person. I cannot help but wonder if her issues come from some deep seeded resentment that she feels because her parents had to take care of her brother at her expense. Please don't stop sharing your story and the journey you and your family are on. You are an inspiration to many, many of us and it would sadden me greatly if the words of one hateful, hurtful person kept you from writing this blog. I am sure that I speak for many when I say that you have NOTHING to defend!! :)

    Stephanie from Portland

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, Kate!

    The things I think when I read your blog:
    ...how the hell does Kate manage to retain any sense of 'self' each day as she pours herself out so completely for her kids?
    ...wouldn't it be wonderful if all kids/families who need them had the resources Kate's managed to provide for hers (the commentor is right about one thing... there are many out there who manage situations similar to yours, and care for their loved ones every day, without the support and resources they desperately need)?
    ...how does Kate manage to keep such an orderly and lovely home, AND do all she does for her kids (I fail so miserably in this department)?
    ...I must require more of myself... LIKE KATE (it's working... the bar is slowly rising once again in my house... I had allowed illness and adversity beat me down).
    ...could I be as cheerful and positive should I have to walk in Kate's shoes (I doubt it... but I'm also learning that being flat out honest about my life creates synergy and frees me to be better)?
    ...I wish Kate had been MY mother... I wish for all children a mother like KATE.

    I can only imagine that the commentor is blinded by envy and resentment - clearly her needs have been unmet for some time... and I pray for her healing.... I actually hope she begins to blog about her experience, whatever that is - she might finally find a way out of her own self-perpetuated prison... I'll never understand the mentality that would deny/attack another's well-being, so they can feel 'more' (incidentally, I think there is a very fine line between Munchausen's and 'martyr'... so glad you don't lean in that direction, Kate).

    For myself, I'm going to keep reading and rooting for your family, rejoicing at the successes, and praying for your well-being.

    Love,
    Ramona

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kate,

    You definitely handled your response in a clear concise manner. I probably would have been pissed off and then just ignored it. Instead, your response made me smile, laugh and cry. You're a wonderful mom and wife and you do the best you can for your family. This "anonymous" has no idea what you've had to fight for, and are still fighting for so Gavin isn't dropped by the system. What ever happened to putting yourself in the other person's shoes or as my daughter says, "If you don't have something nice to say, then don't say anything at all." Go Kate! We're rooting for Team Leong!

    Tammy, Nick and Marianna Milatos

    ReplyDelete
  8. Kate,
    I have been following Gavin's/your family's story since last year on his Caringbridge page.
    You and your family are inspiring and wonderful.
    Simply wonderful.
    Keep doing what you're doing and don't let one person get you down. Also, I have a good feeling about your pregnancy. I always include your family in my prayers, but the other night I prayed a very special prayer for this child and I felt so at peace all of a sudden, like never before when praying.

    -Ashley

    ReplyDelete
  9. Kate,
    WOW! Where did "Anonymous" come from! How sad, to come to someones blog and criticize how they raise their kids. You and Ed are amazing parents! All you need to do is look at the pictures you post of the boys and look at those happy little faces! That will tell "anonymous" what kind of a Mother you are! As always, you have my Prayers and Positive thoughts! Rock on Kate! And baby Leong too! :)
    Love, Dawn

    ReplyDelete
  10. Kate,
    I am not sure you should delete this post. (And no, I didn't write the comment in question here! I am however, another blogger, who uses my blog to keep a daily journal of my family's life...) I think the way that you have answered it is a testamony to who you are as a person, and somnethign your boys may appriciate looking back on when they are older.

    As far as how much help will you need when the 3rd is born? I know I was concerned when I was expecting #3...and none of them were/are differently abled! It was also a challenge with #7, when I had 3 NON-WALKERS 3 years old and under for 2 months, lol!

    Brian will be such a good helper at that point and so self sufficient! Gavin is getting noticably more independent, almost by the DAY! (I am blown away with his chewing/eating skills lately! Way to go Gavin!) Things will be so different with how everything is going at your house by the time this baby is born...and I think there are those times when many moms find out they are expecting again, and the idea of how will it all work out crosses their minds (at least I hope others feel this way, because I sure do, lol!)...but it always works itself out!

    I kind of have 'built in helpers' with my 10 1/2 year old twins...but if I could get an adult here to help with therapy activities each day, I would take it in a heartbeat!

    -Michelle (Callie's Mom)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Kate, you are a great mom doing the best you can for those adorable little boys. Don't let anybody ever make you believe otherwise. You need somebody to help you out everyday? So what. You are extremely busy doing everything you can to ensure both boys reach their full potential. It isn't easy, but your doing a great job at it. And if you didn't do all that, Gavin probably wouldn't be doing half the things he does. God chose you to be his mommy for that very reason, He KNEW you would fight for him and do whatever it takes to get him what he needs. And look, your doing a great job!

    Also, if there is a school that you feel is better for Gavin within your school district, it is your right to request the he attend that school, and the district should grant that request. Just throwing that out there for when you do want him to go to school.

    And I applaud you for your humorous response to such a hateful comment. I wouldn't have been so nice about the whole thing, but then again, your a much kinder person than I am.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have been a lurker since we were in the same ivillage forum. My daughter is about to turn four.

    I have RA, and I have had 3 losses. Your blog is so wonderfully human, I just want to thank you for including a bunch of strangers on your journey. I have laughed and cried my way through the years with you, and that is the majority, I'm sure. I'm rooting for you and your lovely family!

    Paige

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well written Kate! I love how you responded and the great ideas they will be getting from one of my favorite Mommie bloggers. Hopefully Anonymous will take your advice and want to help others! Ha! LOL--I just can't believe some people! Geez!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow. I am new to your blog but have found myself captured by it. I want to say so much but I will just say this. Please don't delete this. This response will make your children all the more proud of who they are and where they came from. Let this be a lasting part of your testimony as their mother. What grace you write with. It's obvious you are a true believer because only by His indwelling of His Spirit could your love, peace, and joy flow so freely. God bless you and I'm praying and believing with you.

    ReplyDelete

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