Comments for Am I a child neglecter?

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Feb 01, 2008
I MUST address more...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Alecia, I believe you suffer from a very low self-esteem, a self-esteem that was likely battered as a child, a self-esteem that as a result of abuse needs as many "good job" messages that you can possibly get. It sounds to me as though your needs were never met as a child. You never received the positive messages that you should have received, that you DESERVED to receive. That doesn't make you a bad person; it makes you a deprived person.

I am not in your home to see how you treat your children. What I do note, however, are some disturbing tendencies that I feel obligated to address for the benefit of your children.

You say you are your children's best friend. You're their mother; not their friend. Best friends and parenthood DO NOT go hand in hand. One does not discipline one's best friend; one MUST discipline their children. So I hope when you use the term "best friend," you don't really mean it, because if you do, then you ARE neglecting your children.

You admit to suffering from "bipolar disorder/manic depression/anxiety." I sincerely hope you are getting some form of treatment for these conditions; otherwise, your children will suffer the effects of your mental state. Not getting treatment would constitute neglect of your children.

You stated that you "emailed a survey for honest answers to friends...etc...about several issues brought up..." Of course your future in-laws would be insulted. Most people would feel slighted. You did not use good judgement here, Alecia. Running to others, looking for support for your position, at the expense of someone else's self-esteem is not what mature adults do. It's one thing to talk to and vent with a single trusted friend about matters that are frustrating and challenging; we all need that at some point. But good judgement does not necessitate the emailing of numerous people; all for the benefit of having them side with you. This conflict between you and your future in-laws DOES have a negative impact on your children. They need to know and see and hear that their mother and future grandparents get along; otherwise, they will find a way to blame themselves for the conflict, because that is the nature of children.

For the sake of the well-being of your children, you and your future in-laws MUST find a way to smooth the waters. The conflict between you MUST end. Alecia, you are getting closer to getting your degree in child psychology (a tremendous achievement, by the way), so you have to know in your heart of hearts that what I am saying is the truth. If there is any way possible, I strongly recommend family counselling for all of the adults in this situation. It would go a long way toward creating a healthy environment for your children, a healthy environment I believe you truly want for them.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Feb 01, 2008
You are great mother!
by: Linda

I would like to commend you on your dedication to your children. You are not a child neglecter! I would have given anything, for a mom, like you when I was growing up. I would have been happy living in a cardboard box under a bridge to have just a fraction of the love you show your children. Find a way out of that house, with those those people who belittle you. You appear to have a good man for a fiance. Hang in there, You are a strong person, life will get better. Just keep the faith, and finish your education. Remember: You Are A Great Mom!

Feb 06, 2008
A few things to think on...
by: Elaine

Alecia, I read your story, and picked up on some points, and felt that maybe they have some significance for you... it's up to you to work out if that's correct or not. You say you were abused from a young age (your whole life), but try to be strong, holding down a job, meeting your kids' practical needs (food, clothes, etc.), and by trying to improve yourself through your studies. However, I also get the sense that you are someone who feels a need for support. You say you live at your boyfriend's house with his parents. I get the impresion you find it hard to get on with his parents, and feel that they have only negative comments to make about you. Finally, you also say that you have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. You say you talk to your children about whatever is going on, and about problems.

What I sense from your story is a lot of insecurity, and a lot of questions about yourself, and about how other people see you. I get the impression that you want to be strong and self-assured, but that you are also uncertain of yourself and whether you are doing the right thing. I wonder if this has something to do with your Bipolar Disorder?

I am the daughter of a mother with Bipolar Disorder. My mother spent a lot of time talking through her problems with me. I understand that this may be done with the best intentions in the world, but as a parent, you should stop and think about whether your kids can cope with it. Maybe your need to talk reflects a need for Counselling, and is a sign that you might benefit from understanding more about your diagnosis, and effective ways to manage your Bipolar symptoms. I remember that sometimes, my mum's Bipolar Disorder could affect the way she felt, and the way she viewed herself. It affected her confidence, and the way she interacted with other people. However, now that she is geting treatment, and can manage her symptoms, my mum is much more at ease with herself.

Alecia, I agree with what Darlene has said to you. I don't think the issue is about whether you are a child neglecter... The issue seems more to be about who you are as a person, and how comfortable you are with accepting yourself, "warts and all". Remember, you are only human... we all have a history, we all make mistakes. However, we also can all make little changes, learn more about ourselves, get to know our strengths and weaknesses.

I wonder maybe if your desire to study child Psychology has something to do with your need to "understand"... to understand yourself, and other people better? I can advise you that there are many books out there that could help you do this, as could Counselling, but you may know this already. I don't think you're a bad person, if that's what you wanted to hear... just confused. But remember, you can have as many people as you like tell you that you aren't bad and if you still can't believe then you get stuck. Self esteem is 50% about what others say, but 50% about you. Go on, take a chance...

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