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Open Letter to SP Staff and Sparkers Everywhere

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Last week SparkPeople removed a blog written by __________. It was a hurting, angry, and despairing blog. It had to do with abuse of all kinds by an alcoholic and prescription-drug-addicted husband. There was nothing inappropriate in that blog, unless, of course, a reader is offended because of being guilty of the same.

I was dismayed when I learned that the blog had been taken down. Among the comments was a particularly good one by someone who cared enough to list all kinds do possible help resources for this woman. I only hope that Sparker will send that information to her by SparkMail where it cannot be deleted by an unthinking and/or uncaring staff member.

This blog was about the pain of abuse, pure and simple. She did nothing wrong by writing this. She did not name names; she simply wrote about her own experience and suffering.

Until we who are abused can speak out witout fear of being silenced, this culture that covertly condones abuse even while supposedly being against it WILL NOT CHANGE.

It's similar to when a commanding officer looks the other way about servicewomen who are being raped. It is becoming clearer every day that the military brass foster the climate where rape thrives. It is no different with any other kind of abuse. Silencing the blog written by _____was flat-out wrong in my book. We who are victims of any kind of abuse are done a grave disservice by those who allow the climate of abuse to grow and flourish.

I have since learned that, although a coach from SP says it was not removed by them, it was. And not to silence the writer, but because she referenced a link that was against policy. (Not sure why, because I've seen similar links before)? So I need to tone down my diatribe in the above paragraph, but I still stand by part of it. It's still true that if we choose to pretend that abuse of any kind doesn't exist, we are (by inaction) supporting it.

Many of us who were abused in one way or another chose to keep silent for days, months, or years. We had our reasons. But when we are ready to point out what life is/was really like, we deserve to be heard.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow: powerful and courageous blog. Thank YOU for speaking out on an issue that deserves and requires the light of day.

    I hope that the original blogger who made the cry for help saw this!
    1667 days ago
    emoticon Hope that person gets the help and support they need. It really helps to share what is going on - especially in a blog where you feel safe to share.....I think it could have been handled better - couldn't SP just delete the link or send a message or warning? But to remove an entire blog - gasp! I have never heard of them doing this! Thanks for sharing - that is eyeopening.
    ! Team
    1696 days ago
    I agree. I don't think blogs should be removed. If the contain too much profanity, those words can be deleted or erased. If a picture is too graphic, it can be removed, or a warning added to the title about graphic photos. Personally, I think if someone has a problem with a blog, they need to exercise their right not to read it, rather than denying others that right, or the right to express themselves.
    1696 days ago
  • COOP9002
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We should be able to talk about our hurts and pains in our journey.
    1697 days ago
    emoticon for posting this.
    There are some support groups for this very topic and such info is shared without any member clicking the 'inappropriate' button so that SP staff take a look (or just delete because they are busy)
    Inner Healing is one such team
    1697 days ago
    I did not read her blog either.
    I for one - speaking for myself lived in silence for 53 years never saying a word about an abusive mother. Not a single person other than my sister whom endured the same behavior knew. Not even my best, closest, and dearest friends knew!
    You smiled and lived your life in silence and fear at every move not knowing which one would be wrong. Wondered what the mood was like. You sat in the first row at church, the perfect family, no one knowing what was going on in your life even as you sit there with a hand digging nails into your arm if you didn't stop fidgeting.
    Sometimes it takes 53 years for us to come out of our shells, to free ourselves, to know we are not the ones that did anything wrong. Maybe we think it's safe.
    Perhaps this person needed help and was afraid. Maybe she wanted someone that has been through the same thing to offer suggestions or a safe place to fall.
    You are right. They were wrong to remove her blog. They were wrong to silence her.
    I am glad you wrote. emoticon For caring enough. More people should be like you.
    I thank you deeply.
    1697 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/3/2013 10:51:55 AM
    I did not read the blog but reading this blog i have to agree it should not have been removed. it could have help another sparker who is in need of support and help we being abused. Something came to mind
    we all can't like the same things but stop and think about it may not be for me but some else may be in need just move on to the next blog. i have started reading some and felt this is not dealing with something need help with and i just move on no need to get my panties in wade as they say. another thought is that they saw something of them selves in the blog be it being a abuser to being abused them selves and are not ready to face it yet. thank you for being brave and sharing you thought. emoticon

    This a issue the Catholic church tried to hide for many years and look at the mess WE are in this sis something that needs to talked about and help given to both the abused and the abuser hiding it and not talking about it is not the answer
    1697 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/3/2013 3:25:28 PM
    as someone who has experienced abuse herself people feel that to share such personal things is taboo . I agree the blog should not be taken down at all. it's supposed to be your own personal blog, your own personal story. you have to talk about these things to heal. perhaps if enough people comment on the wrong of this being taken down the staff will apologize to her . I used to be a member of another weight group they were the same way towards my blogs. I am very sympatheic. I would suggest she use word press and invite people to that blog put that link up in her signature.
    1697 days ago
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