Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It's my blog and I can post what I want to.

The other day, one of my sweet twins told me that a kid in their school has a mother who won't let him hang out with them because their dad is "psycho."

My guess is that she came to that conclusion because she must read my blog.

Welcome, uninformed person.

I am not sure where you would get the idea that my husband (who is my soon-to-be-ex) is a psycho.  And what a terrible word to teach your child.  If I were ignorant enough to use that word, I would direct it at a person who teaches their child to discriminate against people who are mentally-ill.

The media has done a GREAT job of making our veterans with PTSD look like savages.  I can tell you first hand, that this isn't true.  Yes, there is a higher rate of domestic abuse, divorce, drug addiction, and other nasty things that can come with people who have PTSD.

But importantly, we are IN RECOVERY from drugs and alcohol  And that man has never laid a finger on me.  I'm the mouthy one here.  For sure.

He wouldn't hurt a fly.  In fact, I have trouble getting him to kill flies.  He won't.  He won't even kill centipedes.  And lets face it, those things NEED TO GO.

In the parking lot at school the other day, I was debating whether I should approach you and educate you.  One of my twins said, "DO IT."  And one of my twins said, "Please don't mom."  Pretty true of their little personalities.

The part that sucks is not so much of how you feel about my husband.  But that you would say that to your son, who is a nice kid, and he would repeat it to my kids.  My kids didn't deserve your opinion.  They have enough on their plates.  They are good kids, ask anyone.

One last thing.  We can say "Oh, he fought for our country, how could you say that about him?"  But really, mental illness for anyone, in any form, is awful.  And we shouldn't be talking about humans like that at all.  Using words like "psycho, crazy, nuts," doesn't do anything to help anyone.  Words like that spread shame, stigma, and are just plain mean.

Your son is welcome at my house anytime.  But I would be cautious of letting my children hang out with a kid who has parents that teach intolerance and hate.

It IS fun having a blog.


  1. Where's the "like" button?!?

  2. I hope she read this! Awesome!

  3. WOW! Way to go teaching ignorance to her children. Betsey , all i can say is what kids are saying these days :haters gonna hate! LOL. Just keep being you and being the awesome self that you are. Your children are lucky!

  4. Really well written. I don't know you or your family - only through your blog and I have NEVER once thought "psycho" about your husband or you. If anything, I think you've stayed positive explaining his illness and how it affects you and your family and that is impressive.

  5. I feel compelled to respond to this blog, as I am the husband of the woman you are speaking of. I will start by saying that all the alleged words, such as crazy, nuts, and psycho were never used in our family conversations. My wife and I would never talk about any person in this manner, regardless of mental status. If our child did refer to your husband in such a deplorable manner, we would like to extend our apologies. However, in the future, I would refrain from using what an eleven year old says as fact, after all, kids will be kids and who knows what compels them to do what they do.
    My wife and I did have concerns with your husband being our son’s chaperone for the Wolf ridge trip and very discretely work out a solution with the teacher. Our concerns were expressed to our son and what the plan of action that was created would be, but there was no name calling or slandering of any kind. We simply told him that we were uncomfortable with Mr. DeGree being his chaperone. My wife and I know nothing about your family and the burdens that they bear, yet it is your blog that has painted a less than flattering picture of your husband which seems to be the problem with airing out one’s dirty laundry on the internet for all to read. People will/do make an assumption, form an opinion, or characterize the person how they see them through things that are written about them. If you do not want people to characterize you or your family in a bad light (this does not mean that we think you are bad people), my advice would be to not write such details that are better suited as private family matters.
    We have talked to our son and stressed the importance of not fabricating a story, or saying such hurtful things. I want to reiterate our sincere apologizes for our son’s alleged actions. This is not part of our parenting style, or daily life in our household. We teach our children to love not hate. We hope you can accept this apology and we can move on from here.
    Best Regards

    1. I know your son and he is a great kid. A great joke teller, and a great piano player. I know he is a nice boy. I don't believe that I have painted a picture of my husband as being anything but tired and over-medicated. Not violent, not mean. Just depressed and sad. He has PTSD. And sleeps a lot. I am sorry that scared you. Getting out into the woods was good for him. I am glad to hear that you didn't call those names to him. He is a very nice man. Anyone would tell you that. Anyone. I'm sure if your son said that word, it wasn't something he understood. But he got the idea from somewhere.

      I will never be private about my matters, because I am not ashamed of them. Shutting up would only say that I am ashamed. I am not. And others shouldn't be either. We are not bad people. We are not doing anything wrong. What is wrong, is how people still judge with a negative light. And I won't shut up until everyone understands that this is real, not scary, and happens to everyone. I won't shut up until the stigma is gone. I'm sorry you are too afraid to get too close. We don't bite. Thank you for your reply.

    2. We will be at Valley Fair too. Just to warn you. And also, taking an eleven year old's word was not too far off, since you knew who I was talking about. You are the only people who have ever had this reaction with my family. Just an FYI.

    3. I want to add one more thing. You have every right to your fears and feelings. And what you think you need to do to protect your child. That is your place and I respect that.

  6. Good thing they secretly worked out a solution with the teacher. Refresh me, who is the psycho?

  7. Wow! Just wow. Compassion takes practice and I guess some folks don't want to/are not interested in/or just plain would rather not have compassion. I've learned to just not see them. But that's just me. If I avoid it then it's not really there. I know you get that.