4.6.13

THE STORY OF HOW THIS BLOG ALMOST ENDED AND WHY I WILL KEEP GOING


I haven't posted in a few days because I had to spend some time thinking about the pros and cons of this blog and if I should continue. A few days ago, a blog reader felt that I was a threat to Lauren's safety because of my depression (which, I will point out has improved so much since last summer!). Though this person has, for all intents and purposes, never met me and never in her life met Lauren, the words "police" and "child protective services" were thrown around. All because of a blog post where I was doing nothing  but posting with honesty about my experience and feelings as a mom.

After that traumatic night I stepped back to look at why I write this blog. First and foremost this is a record of Lauren's early life, which, praise the Lord, is still going on. This is also a place where we document the miracles that we have seen and continue to see in her life. I also use this as a way to reach out to other moms who might be feeling a little overwhelmed by the fact that motherhood is not all unicorns and roses. I try to keep everything totally honest and open. I believe that it is still considered shameful in many ways to have depression but that so many of us suffer from it. The more conversation that occurs, the more we will have healing because things kept in the shadows are often things that we find need to be kept hidden for a reason. From the stories of people who have contact me, I know that I'm doing good things here.

This blog has been a place where I can be totally honest and share what I am going through so that the people in my life can understand me better and try to understand the journey that we have been through as a family. It is something that very few people can understand. You can't really understand if you haven't had a child. You can't really understand if you haven't watched your child limp and lifeless as her little body is pounded by doctors doing CPR. You can't really understand if you haven't spend 7 weeks of your life in Children's Hospital, through 3 heart surgeries. But I love those people who try to understand!

Many people have it easy with their kids. They make messes, do naughty things and take up all of their time...and all of their hearts. My kid does all of that too, but we haven't had it easy.

To share a glimpse of my struggle and have someone who has never seen me interact with Lauren suggest that there might be any malice, intentional or otherwise, was so discouraging. So I would like to state for the record that there is no reason to call Child Protective Services on me. I have never, ever laid a hand on my daughter and I never will. Am I dealing with depression? Yes. Am I dealing with a toddler? Yes. Is this the best time of my life? Yes. My daughter is loved and cared for by, not just myself but also by Matt, Elysha, the rest of our extended family and many friends. I will do anything and everything I need to do to protect her. And it will never, ever be me who does something to hurt her. Ever. You don't do everything you can to save the life of someone that you are going to hurt. That is my baby. She is my love.

So I have decided that I will continue this blog. Some days the posts will be about days filled with glitter (not real glitter because that is too messy with a 15 month old but symbolic glitter) and some days will be coloured with a black crayon. But that is life. I don't want to keep secrets about anything we've been through because I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Have I ever done anything to hurt Lauren? Absolutely not. Is there the possibility that I will? I would kill myself first. But no, you don't have to be worried now that I'm suicidal. I'm going to spend as long on this earth as I possibly can with the two people that I love most.

15 comments:

  1. I can attest to what a PHENOMENAL mother you are to Lauren, as can anyone who knows you and has seen you with Lauren. I appreciate how you write and what you share with others, with such open honesty. You do so much good and can just imagine how many people you help through your writing. It's a gift.

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  2. Wow that must have felt like a punch in the gut. People can be so mean when hiding behind their computers. I am glad you had time to think about why you do it and I applaud you for not letting others (who know nothing about your life or Lauren's) try to judge and intimidate you. I love the blog, I love seeing how Lauren's doing and the silly things she does. But most of all I love it because of your honesty.
    xoxo

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  3. I'm sorry to hear that somebody hurt you with reckless words and unfounded opinions. I think your blog a tangible outpouring of your love for your daughter, and I think it will be a treasure for her to have when she is older. My opinion is that honesty and vulnerability about your feelings and mental health are so valuable to your own journey of healing, and you are also a source of encouragement for people who might otherwise feel isolated in their own similar struggles. Silence only creates shame and stigma, and I applaud you for your courage in sharing what you are learning in the midst of struggles with the world.

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  4. Wow Amanda!!! What a thing to have to go through. I appreciate that you are still writing the blog. I especially like that you are willing to be honest to start a conversation, to let others know. It struck me the other day that I am way more open about having MS than I am about having depression. MS I'll ask prayer for from the church. Depression I haven't because of the fear of the stigma attached and the judgements and labels people put on a person. I have no doubt from the way you write of your absolute love and dedication to Lauren. Having a toddler isn't easy at the best of times. I've had lots of moms talk about how hard it is. Thanks for your desire to continue. I also enjoy so much hearing about Lauren, her achievements and every day going ons. I want to be able to cheer her on for a very long time.

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  5. Amanda, I am sorry for the hurtful words. I would like to let you know that this blog has been such an encouragement to me. I was led here by a friend asking us to pray for their friends (your family). Since then I have been following and reading each post and sharing with others. I have an almost 2 year old daughter, and we have been blessed to "have it easy" with her. And everyday I read your blog posts, I am encouraged and more and more thankful that you are sharing. So be blessed!

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  6. I personally applaud your honest and open views on motherhood and depression. When I battled depression I was fairly truthful with people, and sometimes I too received backlash. Apparently I was unaware that when you are depressed you are supposed to hide it and tell nobody! The only way people heal is to know they are not alone. So thank you!

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  7. I was led here by a Facebook status that Cam posted while Lauren was undergoing one of her surgeries. Since then I have continued to follow your blog and pray for your family. While you struggle with depression and may feel inferior at times, God has given you the STRENGTH to share it. Nothing can stand against the flood of His power. I encourage you to continue bearing witness to God as you journey through raising your little girl. For if she ever reads these posts she will treasure your honesty.

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  8. Amanda,
    I am addicted to your blog, not because of your witty writing, and your uncanny ability to draw in the reader, but because of your honesty and vulnerability that you place into your posts. What you do may be beneficial for you, and cathartic in a way, but know that you also have the ability to reach others and make a profound impact on those around you, even those who you have not met. Clearly God has a plan for you, and there's a reason that He's giving you the strength to share your struggles and journey on this earth.
    Keep doing what you do best, which is be the most amazing mother and wife, and know that you have 100,000 readers (well, at least 10 of us, who read you about 10,000 times:) who will support you in this journey. That one reader can go ahead and contact CPS and know that you have nothing to fear, as you are what is best for Lauren. Then that reader can go and hide behind his/her computer, and learn to keep their mouth shut, or we'll send the wolves on him/her:) Know what's more powerful than your blog??? Angry mothers.
    Courtney

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  9. There is one in every crowd......and then MNAY more who love to read your blog and applaude your honesty .....Lauren is one of the cutest babies and your story should be told

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  10. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement. It is nice to have so many people backing us! Your emails, messages and comments have all given me strength.

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  11. Wish I could 'like' this post, and all the comments above of support. thanks for keeping it going! thanks also for being vulnerable and real, that is what makes this blog so awesome! I'm sorry for that added stress, fear, worry and anguish some unthinking or just cruel person in the world of the internet decided to load on you. Anyone who has read your blog in it's entirety, or even half through will know that Lauren would not be alive today if God hadn't give her YOU as her mother. That she would not be thriving or doing anywhere near where she currently is, if not for your parenting of her. You are a wonderful mother!

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  12. What an incredibly hurtful thing to say. I wanted to comment on this post because I too had a negative comment on my blog recently, and though it clearly wasn't even close to the hurt you would have felt, it certainly bothered me. I dwelled on it for a while, but it hit me that every novelist and professional writer will have critics. I suppose it's inevitable that a blog would too... especially with the safe blanket of anonymity that is the internet.

    I applaud you for writing the way you do. It's so important to spread awareness about depression. Just as our comments have given you strength, I'm sure your blog brings strength to others you may not even know. I'm glad you decided to keep writing, as I'll be sure to keep reading.

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  13. Amanda,
    I continue to pray for you and your family. You are a total inspiration to me. I am thankful for your honesty in your struggles and the wisdom you share as you learn. Don't give up. Too many people are learning from you and perhaps even without realizing it, counting on your upbeat, amusing, witty writing despite struggling with depression. You are living testimony of the text: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13.

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