Friday

Adoptees wanting to control the adoptee narrative

"*Sorry Campbell, I won’t be reading or responding to your comments on this issue. I see your name and hit trash button."

It's so common to read about adoptive parents wanting to control the adoptee narrative and sometimes the accusation is justified. Other times, it's so not. In fact, something happens the other times that is far worse. Adoptees wanting to control other adoptees' narrative.

It's an adoptee that said what I've quoted above, an adoptee who said my thoughts aren't worth reading or responding to, that just seeing my name is reason enough to consider my opinion trash.

I wasn't entirely surprised, or rather shouldn't have been. I was told what I had to say in defense of yet another person being very publicly and maliciously maligned by this particular blogger would be removed and that's fine, it's her blog. She is entitled to censor as she sees fit, just as I'm entitled to address the hypocrisy in her doing so.

Over the past while I've watched someone I respect and admire be raked over the coals and have said nothing. It didn't sit well with me and even though I know Mary Anne is more than capable of speaking up for herself, she didn't. The juicy little morsel that set off the missiles of hate directed toward her this time was her comparing Primal Wound THEORY to alien abduction and Big Foot sightings while she was involved in a discussion on counseling approaches. Personally, I understand the comparison. It is the same thing. You would think that people who believe in something that isn't common place would be supportive of others who also truly believe in something that not everyone experiences but no, again the dismissed dismiss the dismissed. They're crazy, but I'm not. What I believe is real, don't compare me to those nutters.

Anyway, time goes on and I stay away from the fray. Others pick up on it all, run over Mary Anne, put it in reverse, back up and run over her again. I stay silent along with the others who are silently cheering her while cringing each time the force runs over her again, making horrible, personal assessments of her, all the while repeatedly putting her full name in print, just to make sure the tread marks leave a permanent scar.

Most recently, a discussion on rights and needs takes place on a blog where one of the authors made claims that adoptees who aren't curious have lower IQs, a claim she never takes responsibility for or backed down from. She isn't taken to task by her adoptee supporters, something that I for one can't comprehend but the venom is instead focused on another woman. A mother whose daughter is adopted who at one time had adoptees proclaiming their love for her, "I love you O Solo Mama". Of course, adoptees' love is ever fleeting. It's all dependent on how tenderly you kiss our adopted asses. The minute you look away and have a thought that is contrary, some of them slap your face, put your name up in lights, and publicly declare war. Nothing is off limits. In the instance I refer to in this post, the blogger goes so far as to say that she herself is more protective of Jessica's daughter than Jessica is. As I said in my trashed comment quoting the blogger, THAT is "some serious fucked-upness". Protective is beating the hell out of someone's mother? Protective is making false derogatory comment after false derogatory comment about a child's mother publicly online? Just because she defended Bastard Nation's position that knowing your origins should be an entitlement guaranteed by law but may not be a universal psychological need?

I've gotten to know Jess and Mary Anne quite well and can assure you they are fine parents. They are intelligent, reasonable women who have contributed greatly to my and others' awareness of the need for adoption reform.

We don't always see issues in exactly the same way but here's a newsflash, that's normal. What's not normal is throwing a tantrum and very publicly attacking good, decent people just because they happen to have balls enough to put their true identities out there.

There's still time to grab some balls of your own and show some support for these fine women who you may not agree with all the time but you know are good caring people who not only support all adoptees' rights but also support and take great care in loving and supporting the adopted persons that are in their personal lives.

Anonymous comments are necessary recommended welcome and your identities protected, as always. I will not however publish anything negative as I will be controlling the narrative on this one.

68 comments:

  1. I have been MIA as my kids bask in the sun and my power company (DTE energy) can not seem to keep my neighborhood supplied with power this very hot July. I feel like I need a recap, 'cause I have apparently I have missed a lot.

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  2. Sunday, you may have missed a lot but certainly nothing new.

    Stay cool!

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  3. I read that thread of FMF and largely agreed with the point Jess and the anonymous poster were making. But I didn't bother to respond because the thread pretty much cemented my desire to separate myself from (or more accurately, never join) the online adoption "community". I have never found it to provide any kind of meaningful discussion or support anyways, but some of the behavior that is allowed to go on in the name of adoptee/first mother pain or rights is absolutely ridiculous and completely unacceptable.

    (To be clear and fair, though, I did think those comments by Maryanne were needlessly inflammatory and disrespectful).

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  4. "I see your name and hit trash button."
    Funny, I have the opposite reaction. As always, thanks for sharing your experience and insights, though I hope next time has less cause for outrage.

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  5. Thanks Dawn and I am.

    Dawn, you're, as is everyone, entitled to have on opinion on what Mary Anne says. What people shouldn't feel entitled to do is, over and over again, verbally and specifically beat the shit out of her.

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  6. Thank you Campbell for speaking up and affording me the opportunity to have a voice. I can be counted among those who sat silently by while witnessing the blogging carnage occurring in the adoption community in recent weeks. It literally left an ill feeling in the pit of my stomach. If something like this had taken place in the real world where I work, I could have immediately enlisted the assistance of professionals trained to deal with the perpetrators who participated in various ways in the events you are referencing. Instead, I felt like a helpless bystander in a virtual world where I lacked the knowledge and resources to help.
    Although I don’t know either Jess or Mary Anne on a personal level, I do know of them through their written work. In this capacity, I have found their contributions to be very useful and instructive in providing me and others I know with a better understanding of adoption. I’d like to take this time now to acknowledge both of them and to say “THANK YOU” for all that you have done.
    On a positive note, I read an article in Monday’s paper that Facebook and Time Warner are ganging up on bullies and are planning to use their clout to raise awareness among today’s young people as it is becoming widely recognized that the online networks are increasingly being used as an outlet for harassment and attack as was done to Mary Anne and Jess. Additionally, for those who might be interested, I left an article over on Suz’s blog (writingmywrongs) under the communications post. The article was entitled, “Don’t be a jerk” and provided some noteworthy stats.

    Gail

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  7. The blogger who went after O Solo Mama says she doesn't hurt children, but her attack puts the lie to that one.
    She's out to cause harm and doesn't give a damn who gets caught in the cross-fire. Not even if they're children.

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  8. As you can imagine I have a number of views on this one.I'll confine them to this.No-one knows adoption like adoptees do, each in a quite unique and individual way.I do find it offensive when those who have never and will never suffer the primal wound assert it does not exist.
    Here in Aus much damage has been done to relations between mothers and adoptees by a small group of mothers asserting that they are the experts on adoption.Very sad. Von

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  9. Unfortunate you felt the need to confine your number of views to only that one, Von, since it's not what this post is about. Thanks anyway.

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  10. Von, I do not agree with the Aussie mothers, never have. Don't group me with them. I have never said I know what it feels like to be an adoptee. I am as entitled as anyone to have an opinion on a theory,which does not mean I am denying anyone else's reality. I might be wrong. I admit that. I do not hate or disrespect adoptees. No one person speaks for "adoptees" as a group; Campbell is an adoptee too with a different view from those who personally trashed me for having a different opinion.

    The "Bigfoot" analogy was unfortunate, but the punishment, which was excessive, personal, and cruel did not fit the "crime". It was bullying pure and simple. Do you condone that if it is done by adoptees? I do not condone the actions or ideas of the more extreme birthmother groups like Aussie Origins.

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  11. Thanks Campbell for sticking up for me and especially for Jess and her young daughter. It means a lot. Also thanks to Gail, Dawn, anyone who left supportive comments. Some of you know first hand what it is like to be the target of cyberbullies, and it hurts.

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  12. "No-one knows adoption like adoptees do", except of course for Nancy Verrier, non-adoptee and adoptive parent.

    "I do find it offensive when those who never have and will never suffer the primal wound assert it does not exist."

    I find it more offensive when those who never have and never COULD (Verrier) suffer "the primal wound" not only assert it exists but go even further and claim it's inescapable. Now that's messed up.

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  13. Campbell, I want to thank you for writing this post and setting the record straight on a couple of things. Your ability to see beyond particular individuals to the issues themselves (in this case, free thought and speech, civil disagreement, and ad hominem attacks) has always been refreshing. Your words mean a lot to a lot of people.

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  14. No need for thanks Mary Anne, Jess. I'm just sorry this kind of thing happens.

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  15. "The juicy little morsel that set off the missiles of hate directed toward her this time was her comparing Primal Wound THEORY to alien abduction and Big Foot sightings while she was involved in a discussion on counseling approaches. Personally, I understand the comparison."

    Just because one *understands* it doesn't take away the emotional impact of being dismissed.

    Understanding something intellectually and feeling something (that pretty much everyone works to convince you doesn't exist) are two different things.

    Even Dawn mentioned that the comparison was insulting.

    I do not like slander (who does?) but that comparison was just out of left field, IMO.

    "I read an article in Monday’s paper that Facebook and Time Warner are ganging up on bullies and are planning to use their clout to raise awareness among today’s young people as it is becoming widely recognized that the online networks are increasingly being used as an outlet for harassment and attack as was done to Mary Anne and Jess."

    That's not surprising (the first part). Cyber bullying happens everywhere.

    On the second part, do you mean spaces other than blogs?

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  16. "I find it more offensive when those who never have and never COULD (Verrier) suffer "the primal wound" not only assert it exists but go even further and claim it's inescapable."

    I believe in it. I also believe that there will always be others who tell me I have deluded myself into believing it. *shrug*

    I believe that there are wounds which don't heal given time. I believe there are some things which are so painful people cannot heal. The Primal Wound may be indicative of this.

    However, I also believe *despite* the Primal Wound - whether real or not - there are people who can function good lives with loving families, decent jobs, and have successful lives even if they have the Primal Wound.

    ... which contradicts the Primal Wound theory in itself, doesn't it?

    You see, Maryanne wrote a fallacy - that those who believe they have the PW "tend" to have several broken marriages, can't hold a job, and blame it all on their adoption and birthmother.

    What about adoptees who don't have broken marriages, have held many successful jobs, and still believe they have the PW?

    No category for that one?

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  17. "I am as entitled as anyone to have an opinion on a theory,which does not mean I am denying anyone else's reality."

    Except that you have, by saying it's theory and since there is no basis in fact for physically proving *exactly* how it's real, then it must not exist because it is based on psychological quantification.

    I believe in the PW. I also believe that adoptees can live good lives and be functional in spite of that.

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  18. I've published your comments Mei Ling because you're entitled to your opinion.

    I take it that you're of the opinion that the reactions I'm addressing in this post are warranted since the only thing you say about them is you don't like slander, who does? Obviously some do and plenty of others at least endorse it with their silence.

    Lastly, I believe it's Verrier herself who used the term theory and why won't anyone ever speak to the fact that she isn't an adoptee but has a free pass in knowing the experience? It's so contradictory. People must realize that it looks as if it's because she has said something some adoptees and first/birth mothers want to hear. I just don't get it.

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  19. "You see, Maryanne wrote a fallacy - that those who believe they have the PW "tend" to have several broken marriages, can't hold a job, and blame it all on their adoption and birthmother."

    If I said something like that, it is not what I meant or what I believe, certainly not as generalization about all PW believers. I have many adoptee friends who believe in PW, and they do not think I am a terrible person for disagreeing. I would imagine that most adoptees who believe in PW have good and happy lives, good marriages, good jobs etc, just like those who do not believe in it. Also, those who have very troubled lives may or may not believe in PW. A few who have troubled lived have blamed it on PW. They are a small minority of adoptees.I did not mean all or most adoptees who believe in PW.

    I did not deserve to get personally trashed for my opinion about a theory. Saying something is a theory does not mean it is not true. Ever hear of the theory of gravity, the theory of relativity, or evolution ? A theory is an explanation for a phenomenon. In some cases it can be proven, in others not. Saying PW is a theory is not saying it is not true and does not deeply effect the lives of those who believe. It is clear whether caused by PW or not many adoptees suffer deeply from being abandoned by their first mother. My only argument is when they first realize this, in infancy or later life. I cannot define your reality as an adoptee. Neither can Verrier as an adoptive mother. Only you know how you feel.

    Adoptees are not the only people on earth with feelings and fears. Disagreeing does not always mean dismissing or disliking the person.

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  20. I cannot count the number of times I have seen you take the time to calmly explain that Mary Anne. Thanks for doing it once yet again here. Your point of view could not be stated any more clearly.

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  21. Anyone who brings up PW here one more time? Read the post again. It isn't about that.

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  22. Maryanne and O Solo Mama are not the only ones who have been maligned and abused by bullies. A few adoptees who dare to say they are not "primally wounded" have been savaged too.

    None of these are people who are attempting to "control the adoptee narrative". What better instance of someone who is doing that than Nancy Verrier herself? She is a classic example of an outsider attempting to impose her definition of their experience onto adoptees.
    Disclaimers, like "Not everybody will feel this way", ring hollow because she is at the same time sending out the message that adoptees who deny being "primally wounded" are out of touch with their real feelings, and if these infidels were to be honest they would acknowledge the depth of their hurt and embrace her "theory".

    Whoever

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  23. Feeling sick = short comment.

    "I would imagine that most adoptees who believe in PW have good and happy lives, good marriages, good jobs etc, just like those who do not believe in it. Also, those who have very troubled lives may or may not believe in PW. A few who have troubled lived have blamed it on PW. They are a small minority of adoptees.I did not mean all or most adoptees who believe in PW."

    Look, this is what you wrote:

    "Belief in PW is like sincerely believing you were abducted by aliens, saw a ghost , met Bigfoot in the woods, or subscribe to some of the more extreme religious beliefs."

    If you didn't mean to be dismissive, then why write it that way?

    "I take it that you're of the opinion that the reactions I'm addressing in this post are warranted since the only thing you say about them is you don't like slander"

    My opinion is that the Bigfoot comparison was dismissive. If they've been harassed in other mediums, I wouldn't know.

    "Anyone who brings up PW here one more time? Read the post again. It isn't about that."

    That's what this post was based on - the people who dismissed people who feel they have the PW. It was based on the comparison over at the blog posts and the recent posts over at FMF... which of course tend to focus on PW from time to time.

    If Jess & Maryanne are being harassed through forums or Facebook or Twitter, I would have no clue.

    I did witness the debate on Dawn's blog and over at FMF. I assumed that they are being harassed on places *other* than those blogs because that is where most - if not all? - of the heat took place.

    Anon @ 1:24: Yep. You're right on that.

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  24. Sorry Campbell, I realize I'm hijacking your blog, but I have no way to contact Maryanne. To be honest, she confuses me. A lot.

    "In some cases it can be proven, in others not. Saying PW is a theory is not saying it is not true and does not deeply effect the lives of those who believe."

    But those who don't believe in it want proof based on quantitative measures? Like, actual X + Y = Z in all cases?

    Honestly, I still say the problem with all of this is that the PW tends to be a generalized statement.

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  25. It's fine Mei Ling.

    I am confused as to you being ignorant on where Jess and Mary Anne were so unjustly maligned. In my memory, you were one of the commenters on the blog. I could be wrong in that though.

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  26. Wow,

    I have been in the foster care crap as a kid, do not have a child, am not adopted, am not an adopter, am just a female.
    I do know that I am aware and quite knowledgeable about Jess and her 'kid'. I knew 'the kid' since she popped off the plane and greeted her at the airport...I am not a kid person either, but am /have read some of the adopted/adoptee stuff. Lots of whining and bitching, for sure...Anyhow, my main point is that people should be open to opinions from individuals and not necessarily agree or accept what others say. It is not a pissing contest. People get adopted and want to adopt for happiness in the long run...to try making a family. I may be stupid, but isn't that the object? To supply (hopefully) loving atmospheres for each other?
    I went off track...Jess' kid...she is amazing. She is brilliant, she is very warmhearted and incredibly caring. Her values are far superior to that of some of you out there.
    As for Jess, I have known her over 20 years now, in many capacities, and she is not mean, she is opinionated, she does love a constructive
    debate, (I hardly ever win)and she also is a caring, logical and realistic person. She has never said anything without knowing her facts first. She will not say things to deliberately hurt or demean others. I can't say I am of her caliber, but I do think we should be more patient and understanding. There will always be people in negative mode and want to stir up shit or be holier than thou...I also know that in the world there is always negative thoughts for any positive thoughts. Same as there isn't always a good story or happening in the world of adoption.
    Let's all grow up, get some 'balls' and be more responsible for what we say.

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  27. Thank YOU Britsky! Now that's a comment applicable to this post. Yayy

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  28. You mean the blog posts that were written saying "MAC you are a mean person"?

    Do I think she was a mean person? Well, subjectively... her comments were mean and dismissive. The action was being mean. Her, as a person? I don't know.

    Even so, she contradicts herself online as shown above, or at least comes across in that way (I did quote her directly to point this out). She said she didn't intend to dismiss anyone, which is why I'm so confused.

    I mean, it's like me saying this:

    Me: Adoptees suffer trauma from adoption.
    You: But *I* don't suffer trauma!
    Me: Well I didn't mean to say you suffered trauma, obviously not *all* adoptees do.
    You: You said adoptees suffer trauma. That's dismissive of folks who feel they haven't suffered anything.

    One doesn't have to type "all" or "most." It is just assumed and then people get defensive and dismissive from that point onwards.

    Speaking of Maryanne, she is completely welcome to contact me personally on this matter if she so desires.

    Ok, seriously, I have rambled enough for someone who claims she is sick - going to go eat dinner & watch a movie now.

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  29. Just want to clarify something about the most recent post from the Blogger in Question (henceforth known as BIQ). BIQ has raised a number of interesting points in her new post, including BIQ's thoughts about "constitutional law" and "the culture of New Jersey". However, the discussion on FMF was not about any legislative initiative in the US. It was a general discussion of rights and needs as understood western democracy. Strictly speaking, it was not even about adoption per se.

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  30. "That's what this post was based on - the people who dismissed people who feel they have the PW. "
    I suppose that depends on what you recognize as your base. iI seems to me that either you have no inkling of Campbell's base, or you are deliberately avoiding her point.

    "If Jess & Maryanne are being harassed through forums or Facebook or Twitter, I would have no clue."
    "*Would* have no clue"? Who said anything about forums or Facebook or Twitter?

    Whoever.

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  31. We'll have to agree to disagree on Mary Anne being someone who contradicts herself. It's been obvious to me since I first started reading what she has to say on various blogs that she isn't hysterical, hypocritical, or contradictory. In spite of the loss she has experienced in adoption, she looks at the topic reasonably, practically and with an open mind. She's also been a great help to me in navigating reunion with my biological mother. Let's get real, the only reason she incurs so much venom is because she doesn't believe in pw theory.

    I was referring actually to the post about Jess, Mei Ling. I was under the impression you'd read and commented on it.

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  32. Do "disagree" and "dismiss" have the same meanings? Evidently to some people they do. Does disagreeing make one fair game for attacks on their integrity, their reputation, their personal life and children, not just opinions on the subject at hand? That seems to be the case for some.

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  33. Lets' all just sit down for a heavy duty game of Scrabble! Whaddya say?

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  34. I don't usually respond to these types of posts, I prefer to stay out them, BUT, I'm in a cranky mood today soooo. . . .
    I have to wonder a couple of things:
    Would she dare say anything to you or the people she bashed, to your faces?
    Does she realize what a hypocrite she really is?
    Cherylp

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  35. "That's what this post was based on - the people who dismissed people who feel they have the PW. "

    It should be perfectly obvious to anyone with an ounce of decency and sense that this post was not based on the P.W, nor on anyone's feelings about Maryanne, such as whether they like her or not, what she has or has not said, nor even about what constitutes an "activist" or any other similarly diversionary tactic.
    It was clearly based on the way BIQ and BIQ's cohorts have publicly dragged the names of those who have offended them through the mud, solely to satisfy their pathetic thirst for revenge. The only reputations that have been irretrievably tarnished are their own.

    Whoever

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  36. @whoever. You are so right.

    For someone who claims it doesn't affect her BIQ (& cohorts) are still hitting it pretty hard today.

    I really should just ignore this but I am so sick of watching BIQ (& cohorts) cyber-bully people who have a difference of opinion. They've been doing it across several forums for years.
    They act like a pack of jr. school girls with their "I'm a bigger activist than you posts." Seriously they are doing more harm to adoptee rights, why would anyone want to support a group whose members act like this??
    Okay I'm backing away from the computer now.
    Cherylp

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  37. Clarifying the purpose of this post:

    Main idea: BIQ, along with her feeders, have been and continue to be engaged in a malicious bully episode that began on July 7th. Here is a very small sample of what they have said about Mary Anne and Jess that has been taken from just one of the several posts.

    They (Jess and Mary Anne) are invested in ridiculing.
    Jess is going to control us. She wants to own us.
    Ms. Canadian Obtuse (Jess) thinks we should bow down to her.
    They want to dry hump our legs.
    They have done jack-shit to support us getting parity
    Jessica (last name stated by BIQ) is a wanna be pedagogue
    Answer to yourself bitches
    They are lazy armchair activists
    They’re assholes
    They’re fucking robots
    They wouldn’t know an emotion if it bit them in the ass.

    If you can stomach more of this, visit BIQ as there is much more available. Sadly, it doesn’t stop here. Another blogger continues the attack on another blog. I ’m not typing the comments here because they are disgusting. The most revolting one accused Mary Anne of letting her son rot in foster care.

    Does it stop here? No, another one of BIQ’s followers has a hissy fit and now wants to let people know what Campbell thinks! And guess what? She gets it wrong. And guess what else? Campbell is perfectly capable of thinking for herself.

    If we in the adoption community tolerate the type of behavior highlighted in this post, it hurts all of us both directly and indirectly.

    Shannon

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  38. @Cherylp, mmmm, the history of BIQ's "activism" is well-known to those who actually get things done.

    For a taste read

    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=10878&post=44411&uid=189996890311#topic_top

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  39. @Sassy Kwatch, thanks for the link, as always very interesting.
    Cherylp

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  40. Again thanks for the supportive comments, all who made them, known and unknown, and especially for detailing some of the more horrid ones I could not bear to read in their original setting. I think that should make it clear that this is not about ideas but about attempts to mock, intimidate and destroy anyone who disagrees with BIQ and pack.

    It shows real class that first and last real names are not being printed here. No need to sink to their level. Cherylp, you are right that this kind of blogging is hurting adoptee rights, not helping. Jess and I are not the first or last targets. Anyone who dares disagree is vulnerable. It is a horrible experience to be virulently hated by people whom you have never met and who know nothing about you except some blog comments.

    I'm not posting a CV because nothing I could say matters to closed, hate-filled minds, but I have attended my share of adoptee rights demonstrations, one with Jean Paton, founder of adoption reform, with Florence Fisher, one in Washington DC, one in the pouring rain in Chicago, at the Liberty Bell in Philly twice, a candlelight vigil for a little adoptee killed by her illegal adoptive father....and more. I have gone to my share of legislative offices, testified in my state capitol, to federal hearing on adoption, written letters, made phone calls, sent emails to legislators and countless letters to editors. Whether you like me or not, I have paid my dues for adoption reform activism and adoptee rights.

    But this recent spate of attacks has made me wary of commenting anywhere on the internet with any personal details or using my real name. I never thought I would say that, but it is how I feel now. Yes, intimidation and bullying works, if the goal is to silence anyone not in total agreement with your agenda.
    It does not work so well for attracting people to the cause of adoptee rights, when those who have put themselves in charge behave this way.

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  41. Where the hell's the *like* button?

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  42. Yes, publicly targeting people does have a variety of negative consequences and hurting the adoption reform movement is certainly one of them. Here's a relevant article with some supportive stats.


    Don’t Be a Jerk! Survey Says People Tune Out Disrespectful Dialogue Online
    By Clyde on June 25, 2010 5:15 PM
    It’s not just nice to be nice–a new survey suggests social media users ditch people, sites and communities online that aren’t.
    Released by Weber Shandwick, Powell Tate and KRC Research, the incivility study, conducted online in April, looked at how uncivil behavior impacts the ways people view and participate in social media. More than 1,000 were asked about the issue–34% reported “tuning out” of social networking sites, and 39% reported “general tone and level of civility” as a major reason why.
    Uncivil behavior has led social media users to defriend/block someone online (45%), stop visiting sites (38%) and drop out of online communities or fan clubs (25%).
    It doesn’t end there. Respondents reported deciding not to buy from a company again (56%) and advising family/friends not to buy a product (49%) due to a lack of civility.
    And between blogs, social networking sites and Twitter, blogs were rated the most uncivil. Blogs came in at 51%, social networking at 43% and Twitter at 35%.
    Gail

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  43. "But this recent spate of attacks has made me wary of commenting anywhere on the internet with any personal details or using my real name."

    Slightly? off-topic, but... why wouldn't you have used an alias or something instead?

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  44. I always think it's sad when people waste their time being mean instead of supporting each other. It's disappointing that there are people out there who enjoy attacking others and their opinions.

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  45. Mei Ling, I used my real name because my blog was something that also established professional connections and ties. There was nothing to hide. I rarely discussed the personal comings and goings of my daughter, certainly not anything remotely private without creating a private post. Regretting at this stage that I trusted a certain individual with the password. Live and learn.

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  46. @ Mei Ling: Why should she have to? Plenty of bloggers, even within the adoption blogosphere, use their real names without experiencing the same attacks.

    And if a space has become so toxic that one has assume an alias to disagree without the fear of harassment or reprisal, well, that really brings us back to Campbell's original post and what the other posters have said.

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  47. MeI-Ling, you are correct that there are good reasons for people not to use their real names. I discovered that years ago. But it shouldn't be necessary for someone to have to start to do that in order to protect their reputation, especially when, like Maryanne Cohen, they already have a long and honorable history of supporting adoptee rights that pre-dates the internet.
    BIQ has not been slandered on this blog. If her friends, family and business associates were to google her proper name, they would not be brought here.

    Whoever

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  48. What all the others said about using real names! Agree, agree!! I was involved in adoptee rights and adoption reform for many years before the internet. I used to edit a print newsletter, and have a lot of stuff out there that I am proud of with my real name on it. As a mother against mother's anonymity, I did not want to be "anonymous" or have a screen name. I learned the hard way how much good that does.

    I use my real first name "maryanne" for my online name because it did not occur to me not to. I do not use my last name because it is too easy to google and come up with random comments that I might make on a blog, but do not want the world in general to read. I would not "out" anyone else by using their full name out of spite, no matter how much I disliked them. Nor would I malign their children or other family members.

    OK Mei Ling, I admit it was flippant and even disrespectful of me to use the Bigfoot believers comparison. Dawn chided me on it, that should have been the end of that. I was naive, it was a bit of sarcasm better left unsaid.

    I never expected it to go beyond the blog comments on which it was said. I apologize to anyone whose feelings were hurt.Now can the witch hunt end and the "activists" go back to being active in some positive way?

    No, I do not want to engage in a personal debate with you. I do not trust you or your friends at all. Why should I?

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  49. Just reread the original paragraph for which you've apologized Mary Anne. I still see the analogies as accurate in the context they were used. Its been blown way out of proportion and is still serving here as a way to deflect and justify.

    I have been extremely offended many times when reading adoption related blogs. I am adopted. My experience has been compared to slavery, Stockholm Syndrome, kidnapping, just to mention a few. I have been called directly and indirectly delusional and thick. I read posts that say as an adopted person I am more likely to murder my parents than non adopted persons, that say adoptees who aren't curious about their heritage have lower IQ's.

    Does this entitle me to write posts naming the offenders and discuss their children and parenting abilities? Call them names and misrepresent people I don't even know? Am I entitled to write mean posts about strangers by virtue of having been adopted?

    The answer is no of course but even if it were yes, I wouldn't. And neither should anyone else.

    Jess, your blog was one of the only blogs I could read that didn't turn my stomach and as a result, turn me off to learning about the downside of adoption. I never felt worried for a second about your daughter being in your care. You strike me as a great mom.

    Mary Anne, your words, experience and sensitivity to my personal perspective have been invaluable.

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  50. @oneinchofgrace, it's possible to disagree with an opinion without attacking a person, something this post and these comments are exploring. The problem is with certain individuals who become enraged by the opinions of others if they are contrary to their own or somehow perceived as a threat to their self-worth. Their perception, of course: anyone who interprets a contrary opinion as a personal insult has a big problem. A single word or failure to ingratiate (a tactic employed by certain bloggers to continue being worshipped as adoptees, adoptive parents and first mothers who "get it") can trigger an outburst by any member of the pack. Entitlement may be one reason why the behavior is so brazen and why it is difficult to counteract. Many people simply chose to withdraw but many interesting voices are lost in the process.

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  51. I have learned one valuable lesson out of this mess. Never use analogies when writing about adoption, as they are too easy to misconstrue and direct the discourse away from the subject at hand.

    Primal Wound is not like belief in Bigfoot or alien abduction. Adoption is not like slavery, kidnapping, the Holocaust or death. Yes, some analogies can be drawn, but they are imperfect, and send more people into blind rage than thoughtful consideration of the original subject.

    Civil people can disagree without resorting to personal attacks and character assassination.
    I deserved to be called on what could be interpreted as an over the top analogy by the blog owner, I did not deserve to become the subject of slander and ridicule on BIQ and her friends' blogs all week long.

    July 27, 2011 8:01 AM

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  52. Maryanne, I am so very sorry about what these people have done to you and others. As you and most others know, their actions say much more about their character than yours, Jess's, or Campbell's.

    I noticed that today you said the attack has gone on for a week; however, with today's comment by K*** on a fellow BIQ supporter blog, the time frame is actually 3 weeks (7/7 -7/27). This is beyond blown out of proportion and possibly enters the realm of scary. Just a thought.

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  53. Time flies when you're not having fun:-) That is scary.

    By the way contrary to popular rumour Snooki is in real life an international adoptee, not a mother at all, certainly not an older one.

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  54. The scary part is this hasn't just gone on for three weeks, but those three weeks are just the time frame that this has been in a completely public space.

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  55. You are right Dawn, it has gone on for years. I remember you were a target as well, for one word you used on another blog, and they all took it out of context and ran with it and ran over you.

    It will continue for years, I fear. I try not to read most of it, and hope that fair-minded people take it all for what it is worth and turn away as well.

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  56. Actually I had Dawn in mind when I wrote the tag, "who shall I attack and malign in blogland today" for my post, "This One IS All About You".

    The tag came in handy for this post as well. Same shit, different pile.

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  57. Sad. Campbell you have certainly put up with your share of crap, undeservedly.
    I have stayed away from many adoption blogs lately. I still frequent the ones that are civil because frankly they are the only ones that are worth my time. I don't need to sit in front of a computer and be called a kidnapper or adoptoraptor in order to learn about adoptee rights.

    It is sad that one not-well-thought-out comment (for which an apology was issued) would cause this much fall-out. And really, was the comment really that awful? Maryanne was really just stating her opinion in a sarcastic manner. Are people really not able to handle it? Grow up.

    Kris

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  58. I wasn't planning on coming back to comment, but I did want to respond to Kris's question:

    "Maryanne was really just stating her opinion in a sarcastic manner. Are people really not able to handle it?"

    Answering it about the sarcasm, not the "Maryanne" part here - the other issue is that sarcasm never (well, rarely?) receives as intended on the Internet because there is no way to decipher tone. (Hence emoticons)

    Sarcasm is difficult to interpret online especially among individuals whom do not know each other in real life.

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  59. ? Either I have a really poor memory or you may have me confused with another Dawn (I'm not Dawn Friedman, if that's who you were thinking of?). My comments are usually just ignored.

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  60. I've lost count how many times have I read where BIQ and gang have told others to "Put their big girl panties on" when they've been called out for sarcastic/over the top comments. Maybe they should take their own advice.

    I don't know MaryAnne at all and was able to read sarcasm in her comment. Considering the number of times BIQ and gang have posted on there blogs (before this comment exploded) about her I would think it would be more obvious to them she was being sarcastic.
    I guess real discourse is not what they wanted from the original discussion.
    Cherylp

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  61. Haha oops, sorry dawn! I did think you were another dawn, my apologies. Hopefully your comments usually aren't just ignored here. Ahh gotta luv the Internet.

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  62. Mei-Ling said "Sarcasm is difficult to interpret online especially among individuals whom do not know each other in real life."

    Thank you for the lesson. Perhaps we should take BIQ and friends as role models because they are never sarcastic, but always so straightforward and respectful.

    Whoever

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  63. I am reminded of how so many civil rights movements (the woman's movement, Asian rights, Latino rights...) have been slowed down or stopped in their tracks due to infighting within the movement. The same thing is happening to the adoptee right to open records movement (or some may lump this into the more general term "adoption reform," which is short sighted in itself. Adoption Reform is about so much more than just open records, but I digress)

    In any case, the actions of The BIQ and her minions only serves to hurt the movement and slow everything down. It makes me furious, and polarizes the issue to the point of immobility.
    As for their blatant hating and defamation of individuals and groups, yes this has been going on for some time now. Don't be confused, The rampages of BIQ and her minions are not about reform. They're not about adoptee validation, they are not about equalizing the discourse. It is about power pure and simple.

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  64. dawn, I too mistook you for Dawn F. Sorry! But yes, your comments are welcome here and will not be ignored and you have made good points, even more so as another person who has noticed the problems with BIQ independently.

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  65. Hi, I have just read through this whole post and comments, and have read a few other posts as well. I would like to say that I have enjoyed reading this blog. I am an adoptee, and I have not seen the other blogs you are mentioning.

    I do however use Facebook regularly, and when I heard about the Australian Senate Inquiry into adoption, I started to converse about adoption issues on the internet. This was around the same time, during June and July this year.

    I was vicously attacked by some of the natural mothers on the FB site, and was subsequently removed and blocked from it with no warning or real explanation.

    I did receive some letters of support, but was targeted and bullied by certain people on the FB site. I found it so upsetting that I am now terribly afraid of talking to any natural mothers about adoption, particularly the Origins group. I admit that some of the things I said were also coming from a place of hurt and anger, but it all happened because I was triggered by outrageous and cruel comments. It is very easy to speak before thinking about how it will affect others, when on the internet.

    I would like for everyone to try and respect that we all have different opinions and that it's not about comparisons. I get angry, I say the wrong thing, I do that all the time. But I do believe that the way I was suddenly banned from having any input into that forum was extremely cruel and unfair.

    I do believe in the Primal Wound, but I have not read the book yet. I do believe that I've been severely affected by adoption. I dared to say that there was some choice involved in the matter and that I was not kidnapped, and was cut down and bullied for saying that.

    I hope that as we move forward into the future, we can all learn to talk about adoption without vilifying others. Many of us are still angry and hurting and that was bound to emerge on blogs and Facebook. I usually use my real name but will remain anonymous due to what happened earlier this year.

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  66. Thanks anon, talking without vilification would be great, wouldn't it.

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  67. Neither here nor there, but I'd be careful using the word theory when it comes to scientific terms (even social-scientific terms), because it holds a different meaning than it does in common usage. A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not "guesses" but reliable accounts of the real world.
    I believe the word you're looking for when referring to the "Primal Wound" is a hypothesis, making it the "Primal Wound Hypothesis".

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  68. I like that! "Primal Wound Hypothesis" works for me.

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