Haters Gonna Hate
Last Friday, The Washington Post’s Jo-Ann Armao wrote an emotional and beautiful article which told the story of what happened to my son. It also included the joys of my daughter. To the surprise of nobody, trolls came out of the bowels of the Internet to shine their hate on a story that was meant to tell a story of tragedy and hope. Some folks think that I have asked for this attention. Let me assure everyone that if I could change my story, and make it less like a bad lifetime movie (particularly the part about my son being murdered by his own father) – I would in a heartbeat. Nobody wants to have something like this happen to them. That said, I will make no apologies for my decision to use what happened to my son to try and change the system and protect other children. I will also never make any apologies for my decision to keep living, and pursue a happy life despite the pain I have (and will continue) to endure.
Several of the trolls stayed along the lines of all too typical victim blame, noting that because I wanted to settle down and have a family (and chose to try online dating) I somehow deserved to run into a serial killing psychopath. The other trolls chose to preach their troubling agendas with all too familiar attacks on single motherhood. These nasty, judgmental, and flat out ignorant comments serve as a sad reminder that many Americans are still stuck in the dark ages where alternative families are shunned, and women are pressured into living through abuse for fear of becoming a pariah in society. To demonstrate what I am talking about, I thought I would highlight some of the most ignorant comments. This is not to give a platform to the ignorance, but show why there is a need for more successful single parents to speak out and call bull shit on some of this trash.
Things Folks Actually Said: ( I couldn’t have made up better examples of hate/ignorance/buffoonery if I tried)
1. “You made a terrible choice in your partner, now you want to fill your inner void with another child? I don’t get the psychology here at all. As someone said earlier, yet another public tab we have to pay for. Maybe we need to offer child parenting classes in high school, along with the academics.”
(Note: This “genius” assumes that every single parent is on welfare and will eventually force the public to pay for their child. I would like to note that I am an example of someone who has a very good job, and can afford my child all by myself. Thanks for the offer to help pay for my kid though. This person also assumes that single parents are not educated and that we need parenting classes in high school. I have a Master’s Degree in Education. I think I will pass on your offer for parenting classes as well.)
2. “Single, out of wedlock parents don’t do well historically, and for her to do this to make herself feel better, is sad. She will likely place too many expectations on this child, almost a switch in roles, from her as mother to her as child who needs to be cared for. It is of concern that this type of story with the clear message of support of out of wedlock parenting is on the front page of this newspaper.”
(Note: This person believes that all children born to single parents (or those born out of wedlock) don’t do well. He even tries to make it appear as though there is some sort of historical evidence to this claim. I guess this person didn’t get the memo that our current President was raised by a single mother. This person also must be psychic because without even knowing me, he/she seems to think it’s possible to predict my future merely based on the fact that I had another child after the loss of my son. This person seems to suggest that every parent who loses a child should never have another child for fear that this child will somehow need to take care of their grieving parent. I think there are millions of people who would disagree on this one.)
3. “Why didn’t she adopt? There are many children in desperate need of homes, particularly bi-racial children for whom this family would have been a good match. Though that child would not have had 2 parents, with McLeod’s extended family he or she could have had a real chance at a normal home life. THAT would have honored Prince.”
(Note: I agree that there are many children who are in need of being adopted. If we all listen to this person’s theory, however, we would all agree to stop having children until all of the children in the world who need homes are adopted. This person believes that if you are bi-racial like me you should always choose adoption first because there are many bi-racial children for whom your bi-racial family would be a good match. I don’t think I need to go into how racist this comment is. I have many friends who have adopted children outside of their race, and their children were perfect matches for their family regardless of ethnicity.)
4. “… its terrible to purposely bring a child into a single family home. Not wanting to come off as judgemental, but it is fact that it is more difficult to raise a child by one’s self. Have many single mom friends, and not one of them did it intentionally, and all of them, to varying degrees, have issues with the lack of support, whether its presence, money, support, or all three… Not sure why someone of sound mind and clear thought would purposely do this.”
(Note: Mr “not wanting to come off as judgmental” is coming across as just that – judgmental. This is the type of person who thinks he knows what it is like to be a single parent because he has “single mom friends.” He also seems to think that all single parents are in need of financial support, and none of us have family support around to help out. Since Mr. “not wanting to come off as judgmental” can’t seem to understand what it is like to be financially independent and have a strong family support system as a single mother, I would suggest that HE (or she) never try it.)
I don’t expect everyone to follow in my footsteps, and I don’t claim to have lived a life without mistakes. That said, my daughter isn’t one of them. I often hear people argue that there are all these “statistics” of how poorly children do in single parent homes. Those who make this argument, however, feel perfectly comfortable painting all single parents with the same brush. There are also ugly statistics showing that prisons are made up of a disproportional amount of black men. Does this mean that we should all assume that every black male will become a criminal?
Choosing single parenthood is becoming something that many women choose to do. There will always be people for whom this decision is intimidating. Single parenthood isn’t easy, but neither is co-parenting. Parenting is challenging. Every child, regardless of their family dynamic, will have to face challenges in life. If you ignore that reality just because you happen to have two parents living under the same roof with your children, your child might soon become one of those ugly statistics that you rely upon when launching your judgements against single parents.
And to all my fellow single parents, whether by circumstance or by choice, don’t listen to the trolls of our society. There are just as many successful people in the world who were raised by single parents as those who had two parents. Children need a loving and safe environment. They need to know they are special, and they need to be allowed to grow into healthy individuals. Just because you are a single parent, doesn’t mean you cannot create a healthy environment for your child. Just because you have a spouse, doesn’t not mean you have automatically created a healthy environment for your child.
If you don’t have haters, it means you aren’t being loud enough about what you believe in.
As politely nasty these ignorant statements are, you handled them with poise and grace. Unfortunately, because of the time period we live in, people will always be able to air their ignorance due to the fact that their is no consequence at this time for being judgemental and insensitive. Thank you for your blogs and your posts on Facebook. seeing your daughter grow and watching you grow with her is inspirational and strengthening. Thank you.
I can’t believe someone would have the nerve to judge you like that after what you’ve been through. Just seems like a situation where, “if you don’t have anything positive or uplifting to say then, STFU!!” I think the moral to the story is an education is the most empowering thing you can possess. Sadly, it’s also the ONLY thing in this world that can’t be taken from you. I bet these four trolls couldn’t piece together a Liberal Arts degree between them. Only a weak minded person would think that it’s ok to attack a grieving mother.
I think your doing a fantastic job and I believe you made the absolute RIGHT decision. Your a hundred percent right when you say “if you don’t have haters, it means you aren’t being loud enough about what you believe in”. Great job.
May God Bless you and your precious daughter. I was touched by the story of you and your son
and as the mother of three little boys, I can’t imagine how it felt to go through what you and your family have been through. Your strength is an inspiration and wish for you and your daughter to have a great life with your beautiful son looking down from heaven as your guardian angel. Ignore the negativity and continue to live your life as the good mother that you know you are.
Very well said! I have also been the target of much victim blaming after leaving my abuser. I’m thinking it happens to all of us who finally break free.
Every time I read a story like yours I have just stopped reading the comments because so many ignorant people do love to blame the victims. Last year a woman was murdered by her abusive ex in my town and the local papers had lots of articles written on the web about it. The first comment below the article said “I wonder what she did to provoke him to make him so angry and do such a thing”. From then on I decided not to read the comments because it it so frustrating.
Like you said haters gonna hate. Some people are so close minded to the truth that they can be reached no matter how obvious it is.
Your daughter is beautiful and very blessed to have you as her mama.
People are asinine. They take any opportunity to victim blame and spread discord while pretending to be caring. How can they possibly make judgments of what kind of mother you are, or even person you are from one single article? People and situations are more complex than that. I hope for each troll there were many people supporting you and giving you encouragement.
Glad I’ve finally found sohmietng I agree with!
I applaud you for your continued strength, it’s exhaustive dealing with ignorance of clueless individuals. Bottom line…you have brought to public attention that the family courts are severely broken. Your son, like many others have lost their lives due to the “system” who would rather risk a life than use common sense in their judgement. My children are living with my ex husband who attempted to take my life, when that didn’t work he hired someone to do it for him…he still walks the street while my kids and I serve a life sentence of control and abuse. Reprehensible! To those of whom leave ill comments, don’t hate… participate and buy a case of clue.
Sandy, one of the reasons I continue to speak out on this issue is because of families like yours. People all across the country are truly suffering. Children are stripped on their Civil Rights on a regular basis. I believe that children are treated similarly to that of how slaves were treated in this country. The only difference is that if you kill a child you will go to jail (while you could kill a slave during slavery with no jail time). That said, I have heard cases where children are killed or beaten within inches of their lives and the parent serves only a small amount of jail time. Then there are those children like yours who are forced to live in abusive situations. I will continue to speak out until this crap ends. I am very sorry that you all are stuck in this terrible system.
that we should fovgire and forget’. Even if this were actually possible, we are certainly not required to even attempt anything like it if they are unrepentent and likely to offend again on the same serious way. We are entitled to say within ourselves something like: whilst I have handed calling you to account over to God, and whilst I pray that you will see the light, understand what you have done and repent, and apologise so that we can safely be reconciled, I now know you and what you are like, and I choose to guard my heart and the hearts of those under my protection, and (for the time being anyway) to love you in absence.By doing this, as well as protecting ourselves (we are not called to continually cast our pearls in front of swine’) and giving ourselves time and space for our own healing, we give those who have done us wrong the chance to experience that we no longer seek their company, but at the same do not carry any resentment towards them. If it is God’s will that we should be reconciled to them and resume an active friendship, then this course of action can have a powerfully positive challenging effect. If it does not, then it is better that we let them go and enable God to give us something/someone else instead.We hope you find this reply of help.God bless and guide you.
Hera, I can’t put into words how I’m feeling now that I’ve read your blog, so I won’t attempt to.
However, I want to wish you and your daughter all the best in your life together.
I know you will honour your son’s memory by being a great mother to his sister. She is a a lucky girl to have you as her mum and her role model.
Thank you Sarah. 🙂
Amen Sarah. God bless you and your children Hera xx
Hi Ms.Queen. I wanted to comment on your post to let
You know that I was moved by your story about your son.
I’m also impressed by your response to the ” trolls”. I’m happy
For you to have this blog to help yourself and others. I think you
Are an amazing women and i will continue to follow you.
I wish you and your babies bright and happy Christmas and
A wonderful new year.
I read that article and it was what lead me to your blog. I thought my ex was being described in the story. You know what is right for you and your child, not all children born to single moms end up in bad situations, I am sick and tired of that stereotype. Don’t worry about these people, they don’t matter.
Hi Hera. I’m a neighbor of your parents and I feel so bad that we didn’t know what was going on for you, your Mom and Dad. You have been thru an incredible ordeal and I’m so pleased to read through your blog about these awful awful people who have left you these comments. Unless they’ve been in your shoes, they have NO REASON to comment. You go girl and congrats on the birth of Stela!! My daughter was born 16 years ago on the 26th of Oct. GREAT month!!
my name is david n I was his cell mate the man has to be diagnosed schitzo n bi polar he is beyond a sociopath im so sorry for your loss I would like to ask you a few questions if u could email me it would be appreciated
It took me all day but I just read all of your blogs. You are truly an inspiration. So sorry for what you have had to endure but what a way to celebrate your son’s life. You are making a difference in peoples lives. I congratulate you on your daughter. There is so much more I could say but I am not even sure where to begin. I thank you for all that I have learned from your website. I will continue to follow your story. Thank you again for sharing your story.
Thanks for your kind words Lesli and welcome 🙂
I stumbled on this site after reading Daddy Doin’ Work’s site and feel I have to add my two cents.
I am a 25 years old, third year law student with a Masters in Forensic Science and Bachelors in Biochemistry. I am also a twin. Our father kicked my mother out when we were 2 weeks old, they had been married for 6 months (you can do the math).
We were raised by our mother WITHOUT welfare or food stamps. My sister and I grew up to be great people, neither of us have ever been in trouble with the law. My sister is now a single mom herself and doing a GREAT job, again without government help. And I am achieving a ridiculously awesome education that my mom pushed me to reach.
Yes, there are some single moms who have a rough go at it, but to generalize as those readers did is appalling and inaccurate. I applaud you for being able to continue to seek happiness in your life after a tragic loss. You are a strong woman who is handling your haters very gracefully. 🙂 God bless!
Hera, I am in awe. I read your entire story about a year ago as one of my friends shared it on Facebook and immediately understood that purpose of your blog:to honor your son and to prevent others from falling in psycho traps. It’s so disturbing that some people have gone out of their way to judge ou on your decision. I can understand what you’ve been through, but I cannot relate or judge unless I had gone through something super similar. BLAH, people. Anyways, congratulations on your new baby daughter! Children are blessings, and the fact that you’ll have an extent of yourself in this world is already a sign that life is good!
May God bless you and shine on ladies!!!
I’m not sure if the commenters think they are trying to be helpful, but I found those comments are annoyingly hillarious.
My husband is a psychopath and we have three kids together. I have been following Hera’s story since before the unfortunate event happened.
Yes I also made a terrible choice in a partner, and am now paying the price of having kids with him. I am not free from him yet, and I bet A LOT of people also judge me for still staying with him. What I know for sure is:
– I was hoodwinked big time but I take the responsibilities of doing my best for my kids. For the time being, I am choosing the lesser evil.
– Being a single mother is better than being a mother married to an abusive leech
– Babies WANTED by their single mothers have it better than babies UNWANTED by their married parents
– Capable single mothers are better than inept married parents