Monday, May 03, 2010

Adult Responsibility

I think the thing I hate to hear from anyone, when someone has been rude, crude or cruel is "that's just the way he/she is" or "he/she is damaged by (adoption, traumatic potty training, seeing grandma naked)." Those comments might very well explain their actions, but they don't excuse them. There is no excuse for hatred, bigotry, cruelty and pure rudeness except, perhaps, advanced senility or severe mental illness.

We all suffer or have suffered. If I had been given a choice, I would have chosen another father. But I got what I got and I had to grow past it. No infant, raised OR surrendered ever has a choice about anything, so that particular whine is irrelevant and laughable. Should we be taking surveys in the hospital nurseries or perhaps we should get the opinion of every ovum and sperm cell?  I  have been abandoned, molested, raped, had my children taken from me, been through poverty, divorce, the suicide of my stepson and homelessness. Oh, and my sixth grade teacher, a real psycho, slapped me. Gosh, does that mean I can be nasty to people and it will be OK?

Right! It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? Every time I see a TV show where the psychiatrist says, "tell me about your mother," I want to barf. There comes a time in our lives when we, not our mothers, fathers, adopters, neighbors, siblings, or anyone else, are totally and irrevocably responsible for our own behavior. It's called adulthood. How we treat others is OUR responsibility and to say that we have a right to call people nasty names or denigrate anyone because of something that happened to us as a child or infant is whining cowardice. If you are going to be an asshole, then OWN it. Don't blame mommy.

People point to some one's childhood, say a person whose parents divorced when they were young, and say that this is why they murdered their neighbor. How many people had divorced parents who DIDN'T murder their neighbor? They used to use this one, the single parent, as a yardstick with generalizations about how the children of unmarried mothers grew up to be felons. They didn't include the children of long-married parents who landed in the slammer. Statistics can be skewed just like Bible verses and made to prove any point you think needs proving.

This "MeMeMe" attitude is getting old. I cannot say how much I appreciate people who can be civil, agree to disagree and not feel they have to blame all their snarkiness on something from the dim past and other people they don't even know. If you are going to place any blame, make sure you get the facts and the person right. Don't just throw it out at everyone that bears a faint resemblance.

I have a friend, not connected to adoption, who has read some of the items where we mothers are blamed for everything from hangnails to Uncle Joe's drinking problem. He called what he read "emotional masturbation." I call it childish and inexcusable. To any who want to "give the other side of things," or "add perspective" or "participate in lively debate," let me say that the negative posts that have actually come into my comments box are anything but these things. I either get excuses for how these people behave, or I get nastiness. One mother, one I thought of as a sister in this situation, posted me one of the most gratuitously nasty comments I have ever read. She's blocked. So, it's not just our children.

I want to be able to state the case of the Senior Mother with respect (well, not to the industry) and receive that same respect in return. We have valid issues as do adopted people. They do not have to be mutually exclusive and we have as much a right to be heard as anyone else.

So to the Snarks, Hissers, "Birther"Haters and the just plain mean-spirited, either back off or grow up.


Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Paragraph three was brilliant! Could not agree more, and thank you for your ability to tell it like it is!

Sandy Young said...

AMEN! WELL STATED and about time! This sums it all up in a nutshell for me.

Anonymous said...

Children fundamentally do not control their beginnings. Young pregnant women of a particular era in the US, Canada, and other parts of the world fundamentally did not control the giant machine designed to suck up their kids and place them with "solid two-parent families". You'd think a little empathy might be in order.

Paragraph 3 is a keeper. So is Paragraph 2.

Campbell said...

I don't get it.

No matter how one looks at adoption, I believe there is one truth.

Even though I detest blanket statements and generalizations ...I do believe that there is not one woman who's lost or given up a newborn to adoption that did so in an effort to be injurious to the baby. And I do not understand the term abandoner when the baby was not abandoned but rather adopted. I hope this is not an offensive comment.

If it is, please feel free to abandon it.

Lori said...


WELL WRITTEN! We have the right to be heard. We have the right to polite and often lively debate. But we don't have the right to call names and be ugly.....

I do love this post - I wish children actually beieved that - my niece and nephews in particular!

(I hope I was not the one that set this off!)

Anonymous said...

kitta here:

excellent! In the 1970s, there was a move to support single moms..and then, suddenly single moms were demonized....and their children, it was predicted, would grow up to be criminals.

But, I have read some of the history of crime in the 30s and 40s. Of course, most criminals came from married families back in those days, and divorces were harder to get. Single mothers were usually widows if they existed at all.

A criminal can grow up anywhere.

I wonder if anyone recalls the bias that existed against the 'rich" in 1950s. I remember that children who came from "rich families" were thought to be neglected by parents who were self-indulgent and often drank too much and worked too much.

Obviously, that idea went out the window in recent decades.

And don't forget organized about close family connections...!! And usually they were married, too!

I think that psychological and gov't "researchers" just like to look for people to blame, especially when they can take the kids and sell them for adoption.

Celeste Billhartz said...

wowowow! well said, friend ... well said ....

Mandy Lifeboats said...

Great Post Robin!! Thank you...

And tell your friend I am most thankful to learn the term "emotional masturbation". Quite descriptive and telling for a lot of people...even at times for myself!!

Robin said...

I loved that term and I have done a bit of that, myself. He also said, "they are getting some kind of perverse pleasure out of this." Doncha just love smart people?

Mandy Lifeboats said...

""Doncha just love smart people?""

Yes, I most certainly do..the truly 'smart people'. These are the people who I have learned from, not only in Adopto-Land, but in many other areas of my life. The problem is the *not-so-smart* people, keep touting themselves as *smart*, when in reality, they are not. The *not-so-smart* people who truly believe they are among the *smart-people*..usually sound like bullies and outright obnoxiousness and insulting. Too bad their *smartness* doesn't tell them..Maybe they should check their level of *smartness* once in awhile. They just might surprise themselves!

Me...not so smart, in many ways..but I am willing to listen and learn from others...without all the shouting, insults, bullying, whining, blame-games, my ouchy hurts worse than your ouchy, I wrote a book thus am smarter than you, etc..rhetoric, that sounds like a broken-record..which then begins to sound like..blah, blah, blah!

Proven Smart People..I can really listen to and learn from..and I thank them. Even if I don't always agree completely with.