Empathy

I’ll be honest, I’m still a bit rattled by some of the reactions to the vlog, “What to Say.” What got me were the comments that basically went like this, “Hey, former rich lady, quit your crying a lot of people have it worse than you.” The line that really got me was, “I don’t feel sorry for you.”

I have exposed myself more than I had EVER planned to when I started on this blogger path. I think I was a tad naive about the boundaries here. Since there aren’t many. I really only wanted to do amusing videos and help moms feel less isolated. But one can’t always find the humor in life. And after many months of saying nothing, I did decided to reveal on Cool Mom arguably the most traumatic thing that ever happened to me. And NOT just me, but my stepchildren, my husband, some of their relatives, and my own children. As all moms know, it’s one thing to have something happen to you, but when something affects your kids, it hurts much more.

On Momversation, there was recently a discussion about Jon & Kate Plus 8. Some have criticized the parents for exposing their kids to the TV glare, that everyone will have seen their divorce unfold on TV. Well, at least in LA, it was quickly known that my husband was invested through a feeder fun with Bernie Madoff. So, my children will grow up with their friends knowing more details of our personal financial life than most ever share. My stepchildren have had people come up to them, “Sorry about what happened to your family.” etc. And yes, that pisses me off. I’m sorry that will be a part of their personal biography. But as I often tell myself, one can’t control others actions, one can only control how one RESPONDS. So, that is why I thought, well, let’s try to find the silver lining here.  And I don’t mean the obvious, “Hey we have our health.” But all the people who are going through financial turmoil can reach out to each other and not feel alone, not feel isolated. Again, isolation is a theme here.

The other aspect of the comments that irked me was after having our money stolen and having to lie to my daughter about why we are moving was to have people say, “You don’t have it that bad.” Or in a sense what at least one person said, “I never had that kind of money to lose, so shut your yap.”

In 2001, my friend Nina and I were robbed at gunpoint. The man said, “If you scream, I will kill you.” We gave them what we had and they let us go. We called the police immediately. They arrived and never did catch the guys. But as we stood there shaking, one of the police officers said, “You are lucky they didn’t rape you.” I sort of feel that was what was being said to me again, right here on this site.

When a friend has a parent die of a heart attack, do you say, “Well, my dad lingered in a cancer ward for months; be glad you never had to see you dad whither and die like I saw mine.” No, that wouldn’t be kind. You will have 1) taken the opportunity for your friend to express their grief and 2) made it all about yourself.

But one might say… “I’m so sorry for your loss, at least he went peacefully and wasn’t in pain for long.”

It’s very slight the change in speaking one has to make to say “the right thing.”

At the same party where I said to a stranger, “Well, we lost money with Madoff” who then abruptly replied, “I know.” (slap) Another person handled it more artfully. She knew I had moved out of the ‘hood and asked where we were (indicating she already knew why). She started telling me about how badly some of her families investments have gone recently. I put my hand on her shoulder and said, “It’s very nice of you to share this with me,” knowing she still had her big, pretty house and all. She said, “Well, that’s why I shared it. I didn’t want you to feel it’s only you.”

That’s why I speak about what happened to me. And if you don’t like me or don’t like that Yes, I do mind having to sell my house, lose my retirement, to have the money my husband earned after building a successful business where he worked long hours and stood on his feet for years being stolen from him, then GET LOST. My setbacks, my challenges are mine. If they aren’t good enough for some, well, too bad. I have way too many other things to worry about. My son needed me to nurse him today, my daughter needed me to hear her feelings about her day, I needed to prepare for my TV job the following day. Not to mention I needed to give my husband some love and figure out when I could visit my dad in assisted living. Instead, I was preoccupied by the critical remarks I had read. Sorting this all out.

Please don’t leave me a nasty comment about this. The old axiom if you don’t have something nice to say… then just move on. Go to another blogger. I’m too raw about this issue. I’m trying to hard to move forward and not look in the rear view mirror. I had hoped to to create a forum of sorts for everyone to share stories about what they are going through. This is an unprecedented time in most of our lives.

“Please my friends be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting their own hard battle.”  Plato

54 thoughts on “Empathy

  1. It reminds me of those who have said to me, upon learning about my pretty desperate financial situation, that I’m not really poor because I have a roof over my head and food to eat, and the poor in other countries often don’t have that. As if such statements are helpful in any way, or take into consideration the fact that the cost of living in the U.S. is so much higher than it is elsewhere, as is the standard of living. People lose their kids in the U.S. for things like not having milk in the refrigerator (I kid you not).

    We each have our struggles, and such a loss as you have experienced IS a struggle. It changes you, it throws you into a place that you’ve never been, and makes you have to adjust in ways you never thought you would. The people who are trying to tear you down need to get over themselves.

    *hugs* You WILL get through this. Ignore the idiots with the big mouths, and remember the LOVE that you still have.

  2. well said Daphne!!! It will take time to heal over this crappy situation because you are mourning the loss of your well planned dreams about your future.

  3. Daphne,
    I said at the time, and I still think this, that you were very courageous in deciding to share with us about your experience as a ‘Madoff victim’. Thank you for trustng us with your feelings.

    I really hope the cruel reactions and comments on your previous post don’t make you feel as though you can’t trust us as a readership. Please continue to post, and tell us about your life and opinions and tell us funny stories and, God forbid, tell us sad stories, when you need to.

    One day I was really upset and missing my boyfriend who lives 250 miles away, and a ‘friend’ said, ‘Well, I don’t see what you’re crying about, my boyfriend lives in a different country altogether’. Of course I felt bad for her, but we can only relate our own sufferng to our own experiences, and whilst she obviously was upset and has a harder time seeing her boyfriend, it didn’t mean that the distress I was feeling was any less valid or painful.

    Just keep on doing what you’re doing, because you are awesome. Full stop.

    Sadie :)
    PS. ‘Full stop’ is UK English for ‘period’.

  4. Rock on girl! You were very strong to divelge that much about your life to us “online” friends. Obviously those that don’t respect that are unhappy in their own lives and make themselves feel better by degrading someonelse’s harships.

    Hickory

  5. I think it brave of you to share. You could just blog like everything is perfectly fine and dandy. When its not.

    *hugs*

    No matter what my complaint is on my blog, someone always has a “well at least……”

  6. Thank you all for this. it’s really helping to get my day going as I head off to work.
    Sadie, you wrote about me trusting my readership. honestly, I was thinking yesterday..”maybe I’m not cut out of this and just exit the blog world”

    Oh Gwynne, I’m sure that was galling. Yes, we do not live in a failed state. We are not in Somalia so everyone who is reading this…could count themselves in the lucky column. What does it cost us to empathize?
    As a mom I sometimes hold back my sympathizing wtih Vivien because I worry that the “mommy i have a sore on my finger.” when there is nothing there will become a constant source of attention getting. Many times I say “let me kiss it!” if I think she needs that. But, when there is no hurt I say, “shake it off.” I don’t want her to be a damsel in distress. Not sure I’m doing all that right…
    Granted we have all had a malcontent friend in our lives, so maybe people say those things because they worry about you being one of them. It’s like I said in the intro that didn’t get published.. are people afraid of catching whatever is the problem? money, death, etc?

    Listening is a loving thing. I have to bite my lip ALL the time not to insert myself in someone else’s woe. Not in a one upmanship, but “here is how I handled it.”. sometimes that’s helpful and sometimes people just need to be heard.

    It is scary time. yes, it’s good to have context. But, man sometimes you also have to go to bed!

    of course if my people had a family crest it would be, “when the going get’s tough, the Brogdon’s go to bed.”
    with a picture of person reclining with a newspaper next to them.

  7. People don’t understand that it’s not about how much you had or how much you lost. It’s that something was taken from you. Something that you worked for. Someone came in and stole it from you. They stole it from your husband. They stole it from your step-kids and children. It doesn’t matter if it was $1000 or if it was $100,000. Someone violated your trust and that hurts.

    Yes, you still have a house to live it…your family…your health. But that still does not take away the bitch-slap in the face you received when Madoff reached into your pockets and stole your livelihood.

    And people don’t understand that they are continuously bitch-slapping you in that same sore spot every time they are rude or inconsiderate.

    Hang in there! I appreciate your honesty and you reaching out to others who might be going through the same thing.

  8. I missed those comments, Daphne but am HORRIFIED that people would say those things to you. Screw Them! How is that for blunt? I say kuddos to you for being real and sharing your feelings and you don’t have to defend them to anyone.

    You Rock!

  9. I am usually a lurker. But I had to comment after all of this and say I am sorry things have been so difficult. For Daphne and her family. And for others, too, whose suffering is so great they’re either unable or unwilling to be sensitive to someone else’s pain. Pain a family is understandably(!) going through while dealing with the loss of a home and hard-earned money which represented both future security and past sacrifices necessary to MAKE and SAVE such a sum. Pain is pain, people! It feels the same, no matter how small or large your struggles may be by comparison. And it’s not a zero sum game….recognizing someone’s right to their pain in no way diminished your entitlement to your own suffering.

    Daphne, I have such respect for how you’ve responded to a terrible ordeal. When you first admitted you were a Madoff victim, I was surprised by how much perspective you seemed to have on the situation and by how courageous and GENEROUS it was to put yourself out there for others who might be able to relate, even though it was deeply personal and something you felt somewhat embarrassed by (although the embarrassment belonged wholly to Madoff, not you). You clearly stated your intention was not to turn this situation into a pity party for yourself, and it’s so ironic and unfortunate that what has ensued is a forum for others to be critical of you for being a victim.

    The negative comments are not, at their core, about Daphne and her actions. Instead, they seem a reflection of the commenters and their misguided efforts to manage their own pain.

  10. Daphne, you know I love you, girl. People will continue to astound me till the die I die with their cruelty. I know that for a fact, I will continue to be shocked with my mouth left agape.

    I have 2 neighbors here, who in unison, standing shoulder to shoulder loudly pronounced, “Oh, hello, Alexandra, we were just saying how GLAD we are that our husbands own their own companies so we NEVER have to be in a situation like your husband, depending on someone else for a job.” This said, after knowing that it’s going on 8 months since my husband’s lay off. No job prospects in sight.
    (note from Daphne: oh, that blows. what are they thinking? thanks for kind words)
    Oh, thank you, kind neighbors, for doing as Jesus commanded, “love your neighbor.”

    Screw you.

    Don’t stop vlogging, Daphne, the sad truth on some days is that the ONLY laugh and smile I have all day is from your fabulous faces and sarcasm and in your face no b.s. here it all is, girls, attitude.

    Now, excuse, I’m going to go cry b/c I’m thinking of how much I love you and how you’ve made my world different. I’d miss you too much to tell you here, b/c I think it might scare ya a little. Juuuuuuuuuuust a little.

    Bye, honey…you know it’s the others with the problem, not you, right? Good, just wanted to make sure you knew that.

  11. I will never understand that kind of insensitive response to another person’s pain. The bottom line is, as Stacey said very well, you and your family experienced a loss that doesn’t have to meet anyone’s standards of “bad enough” to be devastating to you. We lost enough that we had to pull our son out of his excellent special needs private school because we can no longer afford the tuition, and that was a painful choice for us even though we realize we’re probably not going to miss any meals.

    Your robbery story resonated with me, too. A friend and I were mugged walking to our cars after work when I was 21. People kept telling us how lucky we were that there wasn’t anything of real value in our purses, but what really got stolen was our sense of security. I totally get that.
    ( from Daphne: right? one should be able to walk to ones car without being mugged. I think crime victims be it a mugging or a ponzi scheme can take on some shame. coulda, woulda, shoulda. And it’s not fair)

  12. I am absolutely appalled at Andrea’s comments. To have someone research your home’s value and then POST it on the internet is terribly upsetting. Just because information is public, does NOT mean one has the right to pass it on. This is human behaviour at its absolute worst – mean-spirited and very, very low class.

    I hope someone can teach this woman’s child kindness, and the difference between right and wrong.

    So very sad for you, Daphne; you bring a lot of joy to us and I hope this doesn’t discourage your blogging.

  13. This comment is specifically for Angie and Alexandra for agreeing with Angie. I never made any personal attacks against you. But since you feel the need to do so to me I will defend myself. Everyone has flaws and despite that my child is kind and knows the difference between right and wrong and he knows the value of a dollar.

    My reason for mentioning the price of Daphne’s home and my home was to show the contrast. If my family can make it with less money and a smaller place than we all can whether we like it or not. That was the point I was trying to make. I never put down Daphne as a person. I stated that I like her. Not everyone always agrees with people they like.

    ( from Daphne: Andrea, it did seem odd to research the price of my home and then you DID make a value judgement on it. And you have no idea how much of the sale price went to the bank. What is the thresh hold that one is suppose to grieve for having something taken from you? Are the decider on that? If we were reduced to go and living with my mother, which is what I initially thought we would need to do, then it’s okay to say “hey, I’m adjusting over here!”. Last time I checked in America we are suppose to succeed and do well. We don’t live in a socialist state where we are assigned an apartment. We have free will, we strive. I appreciate that you have kept your discourse civil and I wish you well.)

  14. My husband lost his job 5 months ago. Unemployment runs out in one month. He’s applying to a grocery store to make minimum wage. We don’t know if he’s going to get the job, since he’s overqualified. His actual occupation is a CAD designer. We’re down to nothing. The only thing we haven’t used up is our retirement. It was severely depleted throughout the economic crises, but I’m loathe to take the money out because the tax hit makes me physically ill. We’re lucky in one way – we rent a house from my parents, and they own it free and clear. I doubt they’ll toss their grandchildren out. So, there’s that. What’s my point in all this?

    Daphne, I get it. I understand. Loss is loss. It totally sucks, it totally hurts, and it totally makes you feel insecure about how to provide for the future when it can all go so readily up in smoke. It doesn’t actually matter how much you had to begin with.

    Having to move, not choosing to move, is awful. Actually moving for any reason is stressful. Having to rebuild something that took years and years is awful. Having to explain to your children some facts, is awful. It doesn’t matter what you started out with. You already know you guys will make it somehow. You have to. You know that. That doesn’t make living through it any less sucky. When your life turns on a dime and goes in a completely different direction – It’s bad. And you’re allowed to grieve the life you don’t get to have anymore.
    ( from Daphne: Michele, this made me choke up. I’m so bummed about your husband’s job prospects. I know many husband’s of friends who are not working. They say this is a male recession. that it has affected men’s job more. thank you for your kindness.)

  15. I totally feel you on this one. Yes, you are still doing better than most, but that doesn’t take the sting out of it. My husband and I are in a similar situation, and I don’t feel like I can talk to anyone about it because while we aren’t going to lose our house or our cars, my husband worked many many years to get to where we were. Hang in there :)

  16. daphne,

    i think you’ve been very brave to expose yourself and share what all has happened. unfortunately, you got hit by what every blogger has been hit by (nasty commenters) and i wish it had happened about something you could laugh at instead of something so profoundly personal.

    As others have said, it’s not the amount of money, it’s the violation. But, i also think, yeah, it was a lot money, that they EARNED, and now they have figure out a way to compensate for it being gone. I can’t imagine having to completely replace my retirement funds.
    ( from Daphne, well said. I will never forget the kindness of the friends who helped me pack or held my son while I did so.)

    and i’m a huge proponent of responding to my friends’ hardships with “I’m sorry! I love you! Can I help in anyway?” This is what i say when i can’t think of what to say, and it’s really the core of what I’m feeling anyway. I don’t you can offend your friends by telling them you love them. :-)

  17. I, for one, would like to thank you for putting your financial problems/situation out there! I am going through my own financial hell and it’s nice to know I am not alone. In fact, it is the FACT that I am not alone that gets me through this. It is the fact that I didn’t make a stupid mistake, but that hundreds if not thousands of people make the same decision which we all thought was good at the time. I would like to meet a person who is not going through a tough financial situation right now and who can get on their high horse and look down their nose to everyone, me included. Okay, so I didn’t have a lot of money to begin with and I didn’t live in a nice house in LA . . . so what?!? Just because you started “higher up” on the totem pole than me doesn’t mean that hitting rock bottom hurts less for you or me. It sucks, plain and simple. And most people don’t like to talk about it and instead let it fester and burn in their minds until they crack. But you decide to open yourself up and say “Hey everyone, I’m here too, you are not alone, everyone’s dealing with this crap, I’m here to tell you it’s okay . . . ” and you get criticized? How awful!!!

    I am so sorry that you have had to go through this difficult situation. I am so sorry that you have to worry about negative people and negative comments.

    Thank you for being honest and open. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate you! I hope you have a nice day! Now go give your adorable kids a hug and forget about all this! :-)

    ( from Daphne : Thanks! :) originally my husband and I thought we were in a boutique feeder fund –lie- and when we found out it was world wide and smarter folks then us were duped, made sound bad, but it did help. I also have a dog, money pit condo in Florida that I bought years ago. again, one of those, seemed like a good idea at the time. The TRUTH is we all got “caught”. )

  18. I was surprised to see such a comment because-to me- you have always seemed to be aware and understanding of your good fortune, like in the momversation about working from home, you were the one who brought up that it was a luxury that many women would like to have.

    I haven’t commented before, but I just want to add my support and appreciation. I really like your blog, your honesty and you!

    ( from Daphne: Thank Mary and thank you for commenting today.)

  19. I loved this post! Daphne, its posts like this that people relate to Also, as much as it ached to read the posts about Rex being in the hospital (a while back) I truly enjoyed that you were open and sharing something personal like this that many people can relate to, and it’s great in that sense. I remember checking your blog at least twice a day to see how Rex was doing.

    I do like the “video” aspect of your blog but I feel when you write something out it has more soul to it.

    Hope this comment makes sense. 5 month old has been teething and not sleeping :-s
    (from Daphne: thank you for your concern for Rex. I don’t sleep much either! I hopefully can not put this much pathos in all my posts. Think I would be a sob sister! And I really want to make people laugh. Buster Keaton or Chaplin had sad, pensive moments in their films, but their was always still humor in them. I don’t claim to be their heir, but they are idols)

  20. Very well said Daphne! It is scary that people of today are so cruel and ignorant. You put yourself out there and do not deserve the comments of people that are only trying to hurt you and make themselves feel better – which is a sick way to do that. Many good thoughts to you and your family as you struggle through this very tough time.

  21. Leann, I don’t believe anyone was attempting to make Daphne feel bad (not myself nor Andrea). We were simply stating opinions which is what the comments section is for on a blog – I believe.

    Also, I would like to see Daphne’s blog become more mainstream with more readers/comments which is why I would think she’d appreciate the feedback – which should notto be interpreted as criticism.

    I do admit to being a bit blunt at times, but it’s mainly because I now have an infant and not much time to type.

  22. I’m pretty much a lurker and I’ve never commented on anyone’s blog but after reading what you had to say, I felt compelled to say something. I don’t make much money working at a job I really don’t like. I manage to save a little every month by sacrificing things I want. I’ve been following your story for awhile now, and I just wanted to tell you that, despite our vastly different financial situations, at every turn I have felt nothing but sympathy for you and what you must be going through.

    People are crabby, especially in this economy, for a wide variety of reasons, the extent of which I can’t even begin to contemplate. If they can’t sympathize, then I feel nothing but sorry for them and their inability to support someone during a time of hardship. I’m going to go back to lurking now but I would like to commend you for your honesty and bravery. Keep your chin up.
    ( from Daphne: Amelie, great name btw. thanks for stopping in! It blows to work at a job you don’t liked. I wish you the best.)

  23. Dear Daphne,

    First your blog is a hoot! Your vlogs almost always put a smile on my face. Thank you so very much!

    It is horrible what you and your family are going through because of some idiot and you have my deepest sympathy for your losses. Life is a series of choices and many things that happen to us are outside of our control and when those things are flung in our face, they sting. Unfortunately we have few options… a person can become bitter and anger and ruin their lives as well as the lives of the people they love, a person can crack and jump out a window literally like many did in the 20’s or a person can chose to pick themselves up live through it, which is what I see you and your family doing and I applaud you.

    My husband and I experienced our own version of a “Madoff Scandal” and it is devastating to see the life we had built, go up in smoke…and it doesn’t matter what life you have built up until then, the point is it is your life. Within that life contained the sum total of who we are and it held the definition of our hopes and dreams, our accomplishments and our hardships, our victories and our sacrifices all rolled up along with all the material items we have obtained along the way.

    Once we got our breath back and stopped our body from involuntary shaking somewhere deep in our core…. we realized we could figure it out as long as we had each other, our family and our faith. I wish I could say we learned this right out of the gate, but it took sometime for us to get here. Matter of fact there are still days we struggle with healing from the whole ordeal and how it has changed our life buts those days have dwindled over time. What we have learned is a hopeful attitude, one that can still experience genuine empathy and joy for others and one that still can produce a good ole belly laugh can get us through just about anything!

    Thank you for sharing your intimate struggle as it gave me pause to have empathy for another human being and served as a reminder to me, we are survivors.
    ( from Daphne: you are a good writer!! bless you)

  24. Bravo Daphne! It is a horrible situation that you are in and I want to thank you for sharing. Everyone has a battle that they are fighting and no one has it completely made. I wish you and your family nothing but the best. Enjoy a good strong drink tonight, you have earned it!
    Lisa

    (from Daphne: LOL I was thinking I WOULD have one tonight. Sadly, post Madoff I do think I drink a tad more)

  25. Oh, Daphne, some people just suck. I’m sorry. Maybe people lash out because of pain or bitterness or frustration, but it’s still no excuse. Your problems are no smaller to you because they’re different from someone else’s, and…I don’t know. I can’t imagine saying those things, and it must really suck to put yourself out there and get a slap in the face. My own financial situation is far from affluence, but I’ve read what you’ve written and listened to what you’ve said and felt for you all the same. I’ve admired your attitude about the situation, being grateful for what you still have, dealing with an awful blow with grace. Good luck to you and your family.

  26. My heart is fuller with all these good wishes for my family. And I really want the best for all of you. If this experience doesn’t teach me greater empathy it would be a loss of another kind.

    I hope for better times soon for everyone.
    Come on, GROUP HUG!!

  27. Well said, Daphne! I can’t believe people were leaving you obnoxious comments like that. Some people have no tact.

    When I was in junior high school, the leader of a youth group I was in said, “If someone comes to you with a problem, it doesn’t matter how big or small or nonexistent you think the problem is. It is a problem to them, and you should treat it as such.” I have never, ever forgotten those words. I think the world would be a lot nicer place if we all remembered that. It would make us be kinder to one another.

  28. By the way, I do think it’s awful what happened to you. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have my life savings disappear in an instant!

  29. One could argue that your loss is harder than those who have less because you felt more secure. If I had been in your shoes, I would have felt that we were going to be able to go into our golden years comfortably, and to have that taken away would be devastating.

    To lose money really sucks. To lose a sense of security and safety is ground shaking. Keep your chin up. To hell with the insensitive. They don’t deserve your time.

  30. I have never posted before but I think this is an appropriate time to start.

    I’m fairly new but am a devoted follower now! I love your sense of humour and think that we have very similar perspectives on many things.

    Your post today was very well written and I hope that your day is much happier than yesterday.

  31. Daphne,

    I am so sorry for some of the insensitive comments you had to endure. When I first heard you were a Madoff victim, I felt absolutely horrible for you. And you know what, comparing your situation to mine in order to determine my lack of empathy never crossed my mind. My family of 5 lives in a less that 1000 sq ft. home and our home value has 5 digits. But who cares?!?! You are human, you experienced something devastating. I am sure you had hopes and dreams for yourself and your family in that money. And someone took it from you. Who can’t relate or have empathy for that situation?!? I may go to my grave with questions like these:)

    It reminded me of when I experienced a miscarriage a few years back. I was heartbroken, truly devastated. And someone said to me, “well, at least you were only a couple of month along.” As if that made it any better. I had plans for that baby, big plans. And it sucked big time to have them taken away. So anyways, just my long, rambling way of saying, I am sorry for what you are going through. I wish for better times for you and the ability to block out others insensitivity.

  32. Amanda – having experienced 2 mc and 1 ectopic pregnancy, it amazed me each time the STUPID and even cruel things people said to me! How about … “I’m sorry this happened and I am here for you”. Duh

  33. I have to say I’ve always thought bloggers were brave to share their lives with often anonymous readers. I’ve always particularily enjoyed your blog because of your humour and your sharing. It makes me sad that people aren’t responsible enough for their comments to realize that they can impact your day and your mood when you’re so brave to share your struggles with us in the first place. Learn to be respectful people, please!

    I think it was tacky and invasive for Andrea to research your home’s value. You choose to share your thoughts with us but that doesn’t mean your private life isn’t private.

    The details are private. The emotions and reactions are what you’re choosing to share and regardless if the conversation is about finances, relationships, health, etc I think the point is universal – we all react to events in our lives in our own unique way but for those of us listening, we need to listen respectfully and hear what our friends and bloggers (LOL) and loved ones are saying.

    I was sorry to hear that your family was taken advantage of and I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling and I wish you and your family all the best during this journey. Thanks for sharing and continue to dream!

    A loyal reader :)

  34. ah thanks so much for these very well written and thoughtful comments.
    Beth, that is something for me to remember as well! don’t ever minimize.
    Amanda and Lou if you haven’t watch my vlog “what not to say”. I got the same kind of comments when I miscarried.
    Jo, maybe we are nuts.. starting to think so.

  35. Lou – Ugh, yes, so frustrating. Sorry you have also had to experience that. If I knew you, I promise “I am sorry this happened and I am here for you” is what I would have said:)

    Daphne- Yes, I did see your vlog “what not to say”. It was very well put. A great PSA, if you will.

  36. ugh. Maybe they think they’re helping by playing dueling sob stories, but what are you supposed to say? “OMG, your life sucks sooooo much more than mine!! Now I feel MUCH better! Thank you, loser! I think I’ll go have some pie now!”

  37. People are so rude and disresepectful sometimes! I would like to think that people make such horrible comments because they don’t know how to share sympathy. However, I know, that is me trying to see the good in everyone.

    You are a very special and strong lady to share your life and family with the world! Thank you for being such an inspirational example to other moms and families that are struggling with similar situations.

    I feel confident that you will, as a family, find much happiness and success in the future.

    Thank you again for sharing your world with us so honestly!

  38. OH, gee Renee, you are so sweet. feel like you give me to much credit, but I will take your sweet wishes with me.

    Lucy, very funny.
    another “group hug”!!

    maybe people are just awkward. ran into an old friend today who had heard our tale. at one point I said something about my stepkids losing their money as well. He said, “well, good maybe now they can get a job.” I said, F/u my older step children do work, always have and we haven’t chained the 15 year old to a plow just yet.
    I’m actually more irked now then I was in the moment. you know when something takes a while to settle in?

  39. Daphne,
    I just had to say “Welcome to the blogging community!” – you are officially a blogger now. *lol* I remember my first blog slap in the face. As with everything else with the good comes the bad and ugly of people. I think we get too comfortable sharing with strangers that we view as friends. Someone’s mom must of forgot to tell them, “if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all”.
    *Lucy* great comment! *lol*

  40. A bit late to the group hug as I was busy having a crap week of my own…nice to know I am not alone and that is really what this is about. You are right parenthood can be isolating. Not a lot of people know my husband is losing his job as of next month. And I also hesitate to share as we do have savings and a good house and I have freelance income that will help for awhile. Doesn’t make it suck less in my head.

    I sympathize with you. It is pointless to “compare loss,” be it financial or emotional. The only set of measures that matter to any of us are our own. (and for the record, when my mother died rather suddenly someone actually DID say that I was LUCKY that I didn’t have to watch her suffer!!! I’ll never forget it and it has made me watch my mouth even more carefully as three years later it STILL pains me to think of that strange moment.)

    Be strong — as you obviously are.

  41. Daphne,
    Always remember this…. whenever someone says something ugly to you: “Hurt people, hurt people”.

    It’s true.

    Just remember to consider the source when someone says something hurtful to you. I know it’s hard, though.

    And to be honest… I love to write and I’ve been working on my own blog – BUT I struggle over content cause I get so unsettled about putting myself “out there” for the EXACT reason you’re grappling with. I struggle to write funny/interesting things that are safe for me, my family, friends, etc. I marvel over how you do it SO WELL. Seriously.

    You are a fabulous lady, with more courage than most. And I raise my (now empty) wine glass to you, sister!

    Keep on with your storytelling and “shake it off”, girl :) Those jerks need finishing school.

    Anyway…..hey, how are you feeling about the Mommy of two thing at this stage?? Got your groove by now, right? My little guy is now 8 months (late nights are still on the menu… ugh!), my little girl is 2 1/2. She, too, is doing the baby talk thing. I’m thinking it’ll pass if I don’t make too big a deal of it.

    I SOOO enjoy visiting your blog, cause we’re on the same path with all this baby stuff :)

    TGIF!!
    LOVE & xoxo,
    Eileen.

  42. I was a full-time live-in nanny for some pretty loathesome rich women in my day, and while I hated their arrogance about what they had, I never begrudged them for having money. I’m broke as a joke and I felt awful for you. The more you lose, the more it has to hurt. Anyone who couldn’t feel compassion for you and your family is clearly just bitter about their own lot in life. Which is worse, earthly poverty or poverty of the soul? For what it’s worth, I believe with everything in me that good prevails. This will turn around. You have to have faith that it will. All my best.

  43. you are all too kind too me. ( not that I want the barbs) but golly.
    Thanks for saying I’m good at any of this. Always feel like a piker.

    I did just get a very nice note from my friend I mentioned earlier who irked me. He said he was sorry and he was trying to joke. Which I get. Even if it didn’t land..as we say in the biz.
    I am SURE I have said some lame-o things ( and probably will again).
    For the record, I do feel like a lucky person. Although I use to feel super lucky-lol.
    Seriously, my kids are worth millions. that’s the truth.
    Where ever you virtual friends are. courage, love, and a good nights sleep.

    …oh, yeah, I don’t get much of that. but having two has NOT been as hectic as i thought it would. and the heart Does expand.

  44. I wanted to chime in to say that I’m sorry that people’s lack of understanding/tact/though before speech has upset you. I echo the sentiments of other posters who would be so sad if you didn’t have this site for me to check each day.

    Having recently (last Friday, in fact) crawled out from the laid off, unemployed family nightmare, I understand how difficult it is to have your financial security taken away. My hubby was our breadwinner, source of health insurance, etc. and things were beyond challenging. Many of our friends said nothing or pretended everything was fine. Nothing was more irritating than when a friend would call to see if I’d hit the big sale at BabyGap. Uh, no. I’m saving my money to buy food.

    Anyway, one thing I quickly realized is that there is a real lack of support for the spouses of those laid off. My hubby had job clubs, career counselors, etc. I had nothing. And, you don’t want to add stress to your hubby by saying all the fears, concerns, etc. to him. Emotionally, it was the most difficult situation of my adult life. Early in his lay off, I started a little blog for myself to vent. It really helped. But, I hesitated to share it with people due to the vunerability of honestly sharing information about our situation.

    Thank you, Daphne for having the courage to share your situation. I know it was a source of strength for me. It helped me to know that others were in similar situations (regardless of how they got there or how much money they had). I feel very lucky to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel and hope that others who are struggling find a quick solution to their situations. It’s a rocky, rough road.

    (From Daphne) Thank you Heather. Yes, sometimes it doesn’t help to vent every fear to your mate. They probably have enough of their own. that’s what girlfriends (or blogs) or for. Best to you.

  45. People never fail to surprise me they are unkind, ignorant and self serving and that’s the good ones…

    Wishing us all peace and strength as we deal with whatever is next because I don’t think it’s over yet.

    Thanks for being so honest.

    Hugs,

    Dorothy from grammology
    grammology.com

  46. Daphne –
    I am a stay at home mom living as an expat in another country. While it has its merits, there is an aspect of isolation that is hard to get past when you are always the foreigner. I found your site a few months ago through a friend and immediately felt relief, joy and near obsession! I had so much to catch up on, and I would sit for an hour and watch video after video, laughing or nodding in agreement. It was like home away from home for me, and I am sure my husband thought I was a loon.

    I identify with so many things you talk about, and always think “I would totally hang out with her”. I was stunned and saddened when I read your piece about Madoff, and am truly sorry to hear that people’s reactions were more about their unfortunate lots in life rather than a simple show of support. Please keep talking about these things – people like me value them and it helps us other moms (and dads) feel like we are not the only ones out there asking questions. Thanks for your honesty and bravery – your kids will certainly be proud of their mom!

    (from Daphne) Thank you Stephanie, wow, such a nice things to say. I do feel a bit less like sticking my head out, so thanks for the support. I do want us to connect.

  47. I love your blog.

    I am astounded at how at least two commenters, however civil, have posted again to justify their comments.

    What don’t they get? 1)You were violated, and you have a right to be mad; the value of your home is irrelevant, it was your HOME and 2)It doesn’t matter if they “didn’t mean to hurt your feelings,” they did.

    Why is it so hard to apologize? I, myself, fired off a hasty comment on another blog that I later regretted, and when the blogger mentioned similar comments, I sent an apology. My intentions were not important, the EFFECT was.

    Let’s be kind.

  48. so true Lauren. gosh, knows I have said things I wish I could retract.
    And yes, I am mad. in comes in waves, ebbs and flows, but it’s such a weird surreal thing to know someone is sitting in jail for the rest of his life for robbing my family and others. Or course others were complicit as well and they walk amongst us.

  49. I’d just like to say that I did make a supportive comment above in reply to this particular post. Because as I stated – when Daphne writes out something versus vlogging it has more soul to it. (posted Thursday, July 16th, 2009 at 1:42 pm) But she replied to my post stating that she wants it to funny, which is great!

    I do like coming to this blog, but if making a comment to state one’s opinion is going to be blasted than what’s the point of having a comments section.

    Also, from what I’ve seen, this post has received the most amount of comments than any of Daphne’s other posts (from what I’ve seen – and I haven’t seen them all) so I’d say that by stimulating conversation such as this, this post was very successful in getting people out to support her and know her true in depth feelings on her situation.

    I truly do wish the best for her family and for everyone else going through tough times right now, because, let’s be real – it sucks.

  50. Daphne – much of what I would say has been said very eloquently by the dozens of comments that precede this one. One thing I MUST say, though, is that you should not doubt whether you are cut out to do this b/vlog. If you vanished from my internet universe, I, for one, would be very sad, and feel like an old friend had died . . .I so enjoy your site. Don’t let your object lesson here be that people can be unkind — rather, let it be that, once again, your site has provided a medium for stimulating discussion and, hopefully, human understanding. Your pain, of course, just a small sacrifice along the way for your readership’s beneift. (I joke!). Shake it off!!! (I love the bit you revealed about being torn about how you respond to Viv – I have a 3 yr old and a 9 week old, and constantly struggle between indulging her nuttiness, out of guilt, and sticking to my guns, because I think it’s right. . . to your issue with Viv, i think you can never spoil a child with too many kisses, so go ahead and kiss those boo boos….she’ll learn more from how you handle your own boo boos than anything you say or do anyway!!!) Love you Daphne Brogan…you make me smile and think and wish we lived close enough that we could hang out.

    xo

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