Sunday, February 14, 2010

Feeling a little undone

Other than a comment or two on some of my favorite blogs, I have pretty much stayed out of the r-word fray. For those of you not in the Ds community, the r-word is "retard" or "retarded". It is being used as slang to mean "stupid" and its use is increasing at an alarming rate, as far reaching as the White House and as close to home as extended family. Perhaps, in a future post, I will attempt to explain why those words are hurtful, but for now, I just want to vent.

I have an opportunity to speak to the youth of our church about this topic. Not wanting to come off as preachy and irrelevant, I wrote a post on my Christian homeschooling forum asking for advice. I gave a little background on why the word is hurtful and then asked for input on how I could present it.

I was completely unprepared for the backlash that ensued. I am so naive. I had no idea that I would have to defend my position on this board, of which I've been a member for seven years. These people were my online family. They congratulated us on the births of four of our children, including hearty congratulations for the birth of Eon, which I desperately needed. They prayed us through heart surgery and our overwhelming first year with him. I felt safe there.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not shy. I love a good debate...when I know it's coming. This just blindsided me.

You know what? I just went through and reread the entire thread to find quotes to post here and had a startling revelation: 33 people responded to my post. Of those, only 3 had anything negative to say. Thirty people were encouraging, defending, and supporting me. A few people even said that they had no idea those words were hurtful and they will stop using them!

And here I tears. So focused on the measly three, that I could not embrace the support I'd been given by the other thirty. Isn't that just like us? Only focusing on what's wrong and forgetting to celebrate what's right?

Shame on me.


  1. Good for you and your insight, Tara. I had my first blog "hater" this past week. And you know I am sure they figured I would not allow their comment to be posted after moderation. But I did, and I replied to it too. I am right? Is she/he wrong? Does not matter.

    I was supported by many others and that is what I am focusing on and I am so proud your eyes are open today and you too can rejoice in that support and the sting of the objecters is much less I am sure.


  2. I cannot fathom how people don't 'get' that the word is not okay, and that it is related to people with intellectual disabilities. So good on you for fighting the good fight, and hang in there. If we all keep saying something, even quietly, then it all helps :)

  3. Tara, it doesn't matter if it's just one out of a thousand who don't see why it's hurtful. They are talking about our children, flesh of our flesh, heart of our hearts. It hurts. Please don't be so hard on yourself. Of course the support is meaningful, but the negative responses are hurtful. That is a valid response from a mother who loves her children and will defend them and stand up for them against anything.

  4. What a great point you have, most people are so accepting of the requst, but really it is just SO HARD to hear those 3 comments that just sting. What a sweet boy Eon is, and thank you for your advice, how blessed I am to have so many people behind me! What a fabulous journey to be on!

  5. Thanks for visiting Gavin's blog! I appreciate your support and thoughts!

    I am in Love with your little Eon!!! What a cutie!

    I can relate to your nature of being so distressed over those 3 commenters and not focusing on the 30 positive ones! Unfortunately, that is our human nature. Thanks for the reminder to look for the positive side of things!

    I'm happy to have "met" you and your family! I'll be back to visit again! HUGS!!!

  6. I guess my shock is that you got any negatives at all when it was part of a Christian homeschooling group. Hugs to you. Can't wait to hear how it goes with the youth at your church!!

  7. Oh it's so easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the negatives. Good for you for not allowing yourself to get completely wrapped in the negativity. **hugs** All the best with the youth group at your church! You go girl!

  8. Carolyn (kiwiaussie)February 18, 2010 at 8:36 AM

    Wow. I think you are amazing. I would still be getting all riled up about the 3. In fact, I AM, and I don't know any of them!

    But, you are right. We do so often let those who don't matter, matter. And those who do matter, we brush aside.

    Thanks for the great reminder.