I salute you all for ripping open your hearts and letting them bleed in this thread. I know the price this kind of raw honesty costs. I know the tears that have been shed over this thread. I know the screaming to the heavens that this thread has caused. I know the terrorized panic cleaning this thread has caused.
I have no answers. I have only my whole-hearted belief that the only cure for fear is love so I will say I love you one and all. May God bless us and the whole world-no exceptions.
Post by creativechaos on Apr 14, 2009 19:09:16 GMT -5
wow, this thread is still going strong! much food for thought here as we uncover layers of this and from all angles. i'm still in empathy with the squalorous mother for her mistreatment by the police and the media and their bungle-job sensationalist smearing. regardless of the truth of the situation, that woman needs help not punishment. i also empathasize with hh and bf for having lived as children of squalorers, and the horrors and hurt they must have experienced.
this is a volatile topic and some people here are beginning to polarize into an "us against them" stance. to clarify my position; blame of anyone on these boards was not the intention in any of my posts, and it still isn't. i respect all points of view, even while being triggered by some of them. i admire and respect that despite having emotional triggers and strong feelings about this article and squalor, we also have a genuine desire to understand the viewpoints of others and each other.
it is unanimously agreed on this thread that the children should be safe from harm and live in a decent environment. children should be safe from squalor, domestic violence, and abuse trauma. that being said, i still disagree with any black-and-white thinking that happens when any one of us "personalizes" this story, because every story is different and one must take the whole situation and all the possibilities into account in every story; the "grey areas".
all of our concerns are valid. because this is an open forum, i have concerns as to how some of this discussion *might* engender fear in lurkers and members on our boards who are in deep squalor, especially parents. it's imperative that these boards remain a safe place for everyone. we all come here of our free will. i believe the reason why the people here are so kind is because our being here is volitional; we really WANT to be here. yes, there are plenty of parents and mothers "outside" who do not *seem* to love or care for their children. but our children are often great motivators for us here; we want better for them and for ourselves.
i, too, very much believe in personal responsibility. however, just to propose a possibility: if the young woman who was arrested was in deep depression or had some untreated mental illness, how could she have been in a position to TAKE personal responsibility? she would have been INCAPABLE of making the types of decisions she needed to make, and PARALYZED with fear, even terror, if the abuser had threatened her life and that of her children. she may be in such deep despair that she is frozen. it is a widely known statistic that, on the average, it takes a female victim of domestic violence NINE attempts before she can leave the abuser for good. NINE! that is, if she lives to do it, she might be able to stay gone after 9 times. those are mighty odds.
for those of us who ARE ABLE to choose personal responsibility, that is great and highly commendable, and it is so supportive to come here and read how each of us takes personal responsibility in the big and small steps we make. but what about the others of us here who truly are not able? would we say that they don't deserve to be here? for those of us here who found these boards because we WANT to choose differently, shouldn't the DESIRE for a better life be enough, no matter how long it takes, and even if we "fail" at making the choice of personal responsibility time and time again? failure does not mean we don't love our children or want better for them and for ourselves.
i think we all agree that everyone suffers as a result of hoarding and squalor; parents, children, mates. here at sos we have a common purpose, and so there are people for whom a level one is too much squalor, and people in a solid level 3 or 4. we all belong, whether we ever completely "recover" or not. our desire to be here is all we need for membership. how fortunate we all are to have this forum!
i still believe that arresting or jailing any victim sends the wrong message. this young woman no longer has privacy or dignity: the most horribly humiliating aspects of her "outer" life have been smeared across the news, and nothing much said about the abuser or her inner situation. i guess my question is, does this mean that her mis-handling by the police and media is "justifiable" because she was "caught" unexpectedly? no matter what her squalor level was, this story and the police response was mis-handled and will cause that mother untold humiliation and grief. if she's lucky, she will get help because her story is now public and some influential person or organization may see it and get her the right kind of help. i sincerely hope so.
what gets tricky here on the boards is when we start misunderstanding each other and start attacking each other, a victim, or someone with different sensitivity "buttons" than ours. of course the children are the most helpless of the victims, nobody argues that. empathy for the mother does not exclude empathy and concern for the children by any means.
in sos, we have mostly done well at airing our passionate and diverse opinions about differing viewpoints in this story and others put up on the boards, and that is great. there really is no room for finger - pointing or blaming each other here, INCLUDING people who need to "take a break" from this forum because they don't feel safe because something was triggered and perhaps they felt misunderstood and judged. blaming or attacking them would indeed be violating the moderators' guidelines for posting on these boards to keep it a safe place. (please refer to lioness's post to review the guidelines).
no one denies that many children of hoarders and squalorers suffer greatly due to squalorous parents. i hear and believe those of you who had to grow up with squalorous parents when you say it was hell and abuse. but to blame the hoarder/squalorer parent entirely without understanding depression, mental illness, or domestic violence is another level of misunderstanding, and i know i keep hammering at that but it is also an important piece of looking at the whole. yes, children living in squalor is abuse. it's just that some abuse is volitional and some is not.
we all have so much to learn from each other. we do get triggered on stories like this, depending on where we stand in it based on our own childhoods and life experiences. i would hate to see us lose respect for each other and where we have all been. i hope that here we guard against losing sight of our common purpose and guard against getting into the trap of "us and them", and remember that we are here to address our OWN issues of squalor and offer encouragement to others who are trying to do the same.
I still don't think jailing this woman is going to provide her with the assistance she needs. YES, the kids need and deserve better, and so does she. She doesn't need an abusive spouse, and she probably needs a good dose of self esteem, counseling, perhaps meds, but jail? No. I was more mad at the tv station. They used this woman and children for sensationalism. How does it help her OR the babies to run this story AND to include house photos? The news company gets attention and viewers from this sort of thing, kind of like when you pass a car accident and don't want to look, but you just HAVE TO. If the news people really gave a crap about the kids, they would set up a fund drive at a local bank, or something. The only reason they were there was to get a story. THEY should really be ashamed!!!!
Post by survivorgurl on Apr 15, 2009 0:23:46 GMT -5
This is the exact thing that happened to me. My house was not in as severe condition as the one in the story. Many of you know my story. Most of you have been supportive. It is the most shameful experience a mother can endure. We did have functioning bathroom and many areas were getting cleaned up. I was under so much stress and on so much medication, that I had a seizure while mowing the lawn. My ex husband and abuser stepped in and took all the children. He locked the 2 dogs and their puppies in the house for days, then called the police. Granted, the house was already a disaster, but it made it MUCH MUCH worse leaving dogs unnatended and not in kennels. Many people came to my aid and I had a wonderful support system. I am forever grateful for those people. Yet, to this day (nearly 3 yrs later) I am barely permitted to see my children. If I do see them, it is most often strictly supervised. Everytime the kids and I are left alone, they tell me of the horrible abuse they suffer at my ex's and I turn it in. The only thing that happens then is, I lose my visits. I have never been charged with child endangerment or anything else associated with the incident. I am not a drug addict or alcoholic. My children are still with my abusive ex. Recently after a seminar at school about good touch/bad touch/ mixed up touch, my 9 yr old daughter came forward and said that she had been molested nearly a year ago by my ex. An investigation has been completed and her story checked out. There was no physical evidence, but the ex's girlfriend even said my daughter had reported the incident to her moments after it happened. Ex dismissed it as 'he was trying to scoot her over in bed so she wouldn't fall out.' The investigation was deemed 'unfounded' by DHS. So DHS(CPS) will leave kids in a violent home before they will let them go back to a mother who can't clean. I was a loving mother. My kids had clean clothes, a clean bed, a bath and food each day. Not to mention my love and attention. I took them to art museums, geocaching, activities and dr.,dentist and mental health. They were healthy, clean, educated and loved. Since taking them, they have been kidnapped by ex's gf across state lines, made to clean up my ex's drunken puke on Christmas Eve, molested, brainwashed, put down and emotionally destroyed. My son is quite possibly on drugs now and is driving without a license. My daughters have been forced to cut their long pretty hair off (ex wanted to control them .. it happened right after the molestation.) My 7 yr old boy who was pottytrained by age 4 with only occasional wetting accidents, now soils himself daily and hides his underwear. Then, the entire family 'gangs' up and ridicules him. This is my world. This stuff is real. Some people reading this may comdemn me for it. So be it. I really don't care anymore. Walk a mile in my shoes if you are one of the haters out there. My family is destroyed. So there's my update. This story sparked me to tell mine. I may have rambled, but I got it out. So, for those of you who wondered where I have been, there you have it. For those of you who don't know me, don't judge me until you've walked a mile in my shoes. Sorry to seem cold, but I've been thru alot. Thanx for listening.
“Life in itself is an empty canvas; it becomes whatsoever you paint on it. You can paint misery, you can paint bliss. This freedom is your glory.” -Osho
This is my world. This stuff is real. Some people reading this may comdemn me for it. So be it. I really don't care anymore. Walk a mile in my shoes if you are one of the haters out there. My family is destroyed. So there's my update. This story sparked me to tell mine. I may have rambled, but I got it out. So, for those of you who wondered where I have been, there you have it. For those of you who don't know me, don't judge me until you've walked a mile in my shoes. Sorry to seem cold, but I've been thru alot. Thanx for listening.
That is so tragic of the hell you and your kids have gone through, Lori! I'm sorry you've had to experience this kind of life. It's not fair.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." ~~ Teddy Roosevelt
"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here." ~~ from the poem, "Desiderata"
Survivorgurl, I was wondering how you were, and although not happy to hear how life is for you and your kids now, I am still glad to hear from you. I remember your kids looked like a happy bunch while they were still with you. In shortage of anything better, I am sending you my hugs
Okay, let's be more realistic: is there anyone here who believes that punishment TEACHES?
Based on how self-centered, selfish, and disrespectful many of today's children/youth are, one can easily conclude what message the LACK of punishment teaches. "Now, Timmy, we don't tear up Sissie's toys. Tell her you're sorry and sit and think about what you did."
I think that we all weep in our hearts with stories like these because every one involved is a victim- and we too are victims of sorrow - most folks think that it is because we are stupid or l*** or something- they have not seen in our hearts of who we really are- I hope that this lady even though she was arrested will now have help to become a survivor-- however we have to help the helpless who do not have survival skills which are again pets and children and sick and elderly- that is not meant to be in an order of first- they are all equal- I just listed them as my mind thought them out- I never take pleasure in taking or making sides in a story of horror-- sigh- I think and therefore I weep- I weep for a society that has bogged us down with stuff and exhaustion and depression and poverty- I have never managed to up grade to middle class and yet- I see middle class the biggest complainers- because they do not understand poverty as wrong- we have been poor all our life and now that papa is gone I am even poorer but I would rather be poor than be selfish- some one must have noticed that this lady was in trouble before it went as far as it did- and yet- I too, ask my self- what would I have done for her?? that is the question?? I can talk but talk is talk- action is what counts but what action?? I have helped others and offered to help others and in many times I have been told to mind my old business- so how do I cross the line of what is not my busiiness to help others -- questions and questions I do want you to know that even if I disagree with some of the thoughts here I do not think that I am more right than you are - and I love each of you just as you are what ever your life and thoughts and dreams and squalors are- and I see how much each of us do care for others - be they- friends or strangers- huggles
It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop."
Lori, I have wondered whatever happened to you after your ex taking the kids a few years ago. I had hoped they would be back with you. I can`t imagine how devasting this is to live this nightmare. I just don`t have words to express how sorry I am for what has happened to them and you. I wish I could say keep fighting and things will work out, but I`m sure you will keep fighting best you can, and just hope they know how much you love them.
This is an interesting thread because it highlights a really difficult thing about support groups. It is tough to know how to say "You are okay, but what you are doing is not."
I found this group really comforting and understanding when I first realized I had a problem. At the same time, I have seen people say things that I personally feel are a bit coddling -- that sometimes you have to call a spade a spade.
It is good to see the group can intelligently discuss these things. ___________________________________________________
On the subject of the news story itself, do we know that the mother is likely to actually go to jail?
I can't speak for the American legal system, but I know that in Canada, people with psychiatric problems are sometimes charged with crimes so that they can be forced into treatment, if they seem unwilling to get help on their own. Attempted suicide charges are a good example of that. I hope that's what is happening here.