Friday, November 25, 2011

112511 Perhaps I should have stuck with blogging...

As some of you may know, I have converted my blog into a book in the hopes of:

  • Spreading the word about the long-term effects of child abuse
  • Giving hope to others in the same situation
  • Making a dollar or two to help pay for therapy, raising two boys, and someday retirement?
        I've been fighting the feeling that I've been some sort of sell-out. The other day I heard that an online social worker magazine might be willing to review my book. I cheered and fist-pumped and called out to Abel, "Hey, it looks like the book might be reviewed."
        He grinned as he passed through the living room. "Oh, so you're happy about making money off my pain?"
        That stopped me dead. When he came back in the room I said, "I know you were joking, but is there even a small part of you that means what you said?"
         "I want you to be happy, Mom, and I want the book to be a success, but I just don't want to see you happy about it, okay?" and he walked out.
         I have explained to him time and again--and he has agreed--that his story can help other people. He has been on board since the beginning... except he hasn't really. It hurts him and confuses him.
          I do think that sharing stories is valuable to other parents with traumatized children. But, is it worth the pain that I might be causing Abel?
          One of the reasons this is coming up today is that something else happened. I have been attempting to market the book online by going to forums and chatrooms to talk about it. One of the places I discussed it was in the forums of I've been a member there for several months, long before I published the book. I also received some wonderful feedback from forum members that RAISING ABEL had helped them with their own situation. So today, I was a bit shocked and embarrassed to receive a message that I have been permanently banned from the forums for "advertising" there.
         So, I'm having a crisis of conscience. I want to share this story. I think the book is a good way to do it. I could really use the income, if the book ever sells more than a couple of dozen copies. But, am I using my son's pain to make money and "selling out"? I don't know.

Monday, November 14, 2011

111411 Trouble getting started

I'm not sure why, but I've been having a terrible time getting started on this new phase of the blog. When I finished the book, a very positive event had occurred which neatly wrapped up our story. I think now, I'd like to believe it still is neatly wrapped up, with nothing more to tell, and no more challenges in our lives.

Unfortunately, life does not ever wrap up neatly.

Abel has started to live in a pig sty again--never a good sign. I have to nag him to shower and blackmail him to bring his clothes down for the laundry. There are dishes with rotting food in his room. He's staying up all night playing online games and sleeping all day.

  • And yet, he comes down regularly to tickle Jacob and chase him around the house. 
  • He always follows through with his chores of feeding the cats and the dogs. 
  • If I ask him to take out the trash, he does so without argument. 
  • Last night, in the middle of the night, he went down and did the dishes in the kitchen. He was so pleased with having done so, that at 3:30 this morning, he told me about it when he heard me heading back to my room after a trip down the hall. I think he'd been waiting anxiously for me to wake up so that he could share his achievement. 

And this in itself shows progress. It's a little boy thing to want to tell your mom what you've done, but in the past, he wouldn't have been able to wait until I woke on my own. He would have come and woken me up, regardless of the time of night.

Perhaps that's a good example of what to pay attention to when you're raising a child/adult with special needs. Abel is 21. He has a wicked sense of humor and an adult view of many things, but when it comes right down to it, he's still a little boy in many ways and I must not measure his achievements with an adult yardstick. I have to make an Abel yardstick, and try to always remember to use only it, and to avoid any other measuring device.

Well, that wasn't so hard. :) Perhaps in the next blog post I can start getting into the more difficult subjects.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

111011 My first interview

If anyone is curious about how I sound, go to and listen to my interview with Kate Walton. I swear it doesn't sound like my voice, but it must be. Kate has a wonderful site where she interviews people about why they do the work that they do. She's interviewed some fascinating people: a man who caretakes Koko the gorilla (the sign language gorilla), the founder of Devo, and a doctor who gave up medicine to pursue her passion for music.

The link for my interview is:

I don't want to make this blog into a marketing tool, but at the same time, I do want the word about my book to get out. If you can help spread the word, that would be great. If this starts to be too much, please leave a comment and let me know.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

53. Published

The book is up now on Amazon. I've had mixed feelings about putting it up and taking down all the blog entries. I've fought with the idea that I'm being a bit of a sell-out. When I published the blog, I deliberately didn't go for any of the advertising gimmicks available, where you get paid by the number of views or clicks. I wanted this to strictly be a service for the foster/adopt community. However, the truth is I have two boys to raise and one of them still needs therapy.  I'm hoping the $3 cost for Kindle version and $16 for the paperback won't be too much of a hardship for readers who are interested in the story.

Thank you, all of you, for reading "Raising a Traumatized Child." At this point (November), I've had a bit over 20,000 pages views from literally all over the world. It's been an astonishing experience.

My plan is to now continue the blog from where the book leaves off. The feedback I've received shows me that there is a lot of interest in making the transition from special-needs child to special-needs adult. Abel is doing very well in many regards, but he still faces challenges, and therefore, so do I. When we're young, and think of parenting, it "ends" at 18 when our enormously well-adjusted child leaves for the college of his or her choice. For an ordinary family, that just doesn't happen; when you have a special needs child, it almost never happens. Perhaps through talking about it here and other places, we can help each other find a way for us and for our kids through the transition.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

52. Publishing!!!!

Hi everyone!  Thank you so much for reading my blog. It's been an honor and such a rewarding experience doing this.

I am about to publish this story on Amazon, perhaps even today! The title is "Raising Abel," and as I mentioned previously, the pen name I'm using is Carolyn Nash. First, the Kindle version will be out, and then in a few weeks I hope to have the hardcopy version available.

If you have read all the blog entries, you have read most of what will be contained in the book. I have added a few things plus an update of some current happenings.  After the book comes out, I will be taking down the first 50 entries on this blog, but I also will start posting again to continue the story of Abel, and Jacob, and me.

Thank you again. Your reading and your comments have been an inspiration for me to get this story out.

AKA Carolyn Nash

What an adventure this has all been!