I would probably get an A on my report card for how well I can make judgements about other people. I know, this isn't something to brag about. I'm actually working on this and realizing how often I really do judge strangers and friends alike for their choices that are different from mine. Frankly, nothing positive is happening when I'm passing judgements. Bad blood flows. In my head I begin to pinpoint their wrongs based on my bias. This can quickly turn into a distaste for that person and ultimately can lead to a lost friendship.
Parents make decisions every day and I have never seen two sets of parents do things in exactly the same way. There are similarities, of course. But everyone has different circumstances and different sets of toes and fingers running through their homes.
I can understand in my non-understanding. Does that make any sense? It does to me.
* * * *
I know that I am judged constantly. Defensiveness pops up whenever I am questioned about any parenting choices I make even if it's over something menial. I know that I make bad choices. Nobody needs to tell me that I'm a sinner and I have personal issues to work through. I also know that there are a lot of people who love me and want to see our family succeed.
But then my best friends called CPS on me behind my back. Yes, we had family issues. Yes, it felt scary a lot of the time. Yes, we were being counseled. Did my best friends do something wrong in calling social services? Not necessarily. What made it wrong was when they snuck around and made a judgement call without consulting a list of close friends and counselors we already were seeing, forget about talking to Mr. Sexy and I. My best friends got scared. Instead of talking to me about it, instead of giving me a hint of any kind, they made a judgement call that devastated our family of 3 months.
Then the witch hunt began. I took up blogging as an outlet to the daily fight of being a decent person. I was struggling through deep and dark feelings. The friends I made through blogging were huge inspirations. They only knew what I shared on my blog and what they had to offer was encouragement and praise for every small victory I had.
But anything positive can be warped into something ugly. Instead of seeing the progression of my posts and the victories and the smiles and the happy times, all one person saw was every negative thing I wrote. She put all of it together and showed it to anybody who would read.
Soon I went viral. My family, my friends and me were all receiving hate mail via facebook or any other social network they were on. Strangers from across the country called CPS on me. Multiple blogs and web pages popped up on the internet to discuss me and what a terrible person I was. "Terrible person" is the nicest word these hunters had to say about me.
Some even requested I give Marie up for adoption. I guess they thought she would be happy in an orphanage for the rest of her life versus in a home surrounded by love and yes, me, the step-mom who still struggles to find that love. I quit blogging for a year and it took weeks for the emails to stop. CPS and the police were very understanding although there was nothing anybody could do. For the haters or for me.
As you can see I'm back now. I blog the same why I did before, although I have taken obvious measures to hide identities. With the internet, however, people can find just about anything. I understand that what I put on the internet is basically there forever. It's smart to be careful and to be aware. One of these days I will probably add a copyright to my blog. I'm not sure what it takes to make that happen but it would be a smart move.
The difference you will see in my writing now is that I've grown a lot in the year I took off from blogging. My family grew a lot. The way I write is the same, however. But the heart that I write from has changed and continues to change.
A short while after the blogging mayhem I was confronted by my family pastor. A few people had called him to express concern for my family. Once again, judgements were made, actions were taken, and my family was hurt. My pastor didn't tell me who called him. I may never know and that's fine. He did advise them scripturally that next time they need to talk to the person first before addressing a third party. I'm incredibly thankful he did that.
What if my best friends were able to talk to me?
What if that one person had sent me an email?
What if those people from church had invited me to coffee or a play date?
I can be difficult to talk to. I often feel defensive. But give me some one on one attention, ask a question and sit back. I will talk about my struggles through anger, learning how to love and coping with down syndrome.
This was a hard subject to tackle. I hope I did it justice. If anyone does have questions or concerns, please contact me personally. I can promise you 2 things when you do this:
1. I will be honest.
2. We will both be blessed.
This is the A-Z blogging challenge so go ahead and read the introduction and see a list of all my A-Z posts.