Wednesday, December 22, 2010

LDS Woman on Dr. Phil

I haven't watched many "Dr. Phil" episodes. At home as I was growing up, my TV viewing time was very limited. In my facility, we see enough real-live bombastic anal orifices masquerading as mental health professionals, so most of us wouldn't go out of our way to watch Dr. Phil or anyone like him on TV. My mom DVRed n episode of dr. Phil because she thought it might interest me, though. My first though was along the lines of "Why in the he!! would I be interested in that?" but it was nice of her to have recorded something becuase she though I might like to watch it, so I gave it a look. As it turns out, my mom was correct: I was very interested in this episode of "Dr. Phil."

Among other things, the episode featured a Mormon lady from Alaska named Jessica Beagley. Ms. Beagley, or Sister Beagley if you're Mormon as she is, is a roughly late-thirties mother of six children, three of whom were reportedly adopted from Russian orphanages. Ms. Beagley is reportedly a Stake Primary President. "Primary" is the LDS children's organization, and "stake" is the next level up from the local congregation, or "ward" level, roughly the equivalent to a Catholic dioceses, although a Catholic diocese is typically larger both geographically and in terms of the number of members served. In any event, Ms. Beagley would be considered a prominent Mormon lay leader in her area.

Ms. Beagley allegedly sent a videotape to Dr. Phil's show deatiling her creative methods of disclipining one of her three adopted Russian orphans. The taaped was allegedly sent to Dr. Phil because this mother felt that she had things to teach the rest of the mothers out there in TV Land. The footage was shot by Ms. Beagley's 10- or 11-year-old daughter, and starts before she even begins her attempt at disciplining the seven-year-old former Russian orphan. The child was in trouble for having piulled three disciplinary cards at school and for having lied about his behavior at school. For having pulled the cards, the child was made to take a cold shower. For having lied about his transgressions, Ms. Beagley poured hot sauce in the little boy's mouth and forced him to swish it around inside his mouth as she yelled at him.

I almost wish my mom had not recorded the tape. It positively sickened me. I can understand that adopting a Russian orphan and then having to be responsible for him until he reaches adulthood isn't easy in most cases, but I seriously doubt anyone forced this child on Ms. Beagley. Furthermore, anyone in his or her right mind knows in advance that taking in such a child cannot possibly be a walk in the park. I doubt that I would ever try it. I admire those who are truly up to the task and do it well; I just don't feel particularly called in this area. I know my own limitations. So do my parents, apparently, as I don't see any Russian orphans living in our home.

Ms. Beagley reminds me of some of my LDS relatives. Some take in foster kids and don't treat them nearly as nicely as they treat their biological offspring. Other LDS relatives don't treat even their biological children as well as children should be treated. One particular set of LDS relatives agreed to care for me when I was sick and injured in late spring, and then left me in their attic to fend for myself when I was incable of doing so.

I don't think Mormons have a monopoly on bad parenting, as I know of some LDS parents who do an excellent job of caring for their offspring, and my mom has told me tons of stories of non-Mormons who neglect and abuse their children. However, one side of my family is predominantly LDS while the other side is not. The LDS side consistently does a sub-standard job of caring for children in their custody.

I was thinking about whether I would prefer to spend a week in the custody of mean Ms. Beagley or in the custody of my aunt and uncle who took such horrible care of me a little over six months ago. All things considered, I think I'd choose Ms. Beagley and her hot sauce over my crazy aunt and uncle. That does not speak well for the quality of parenting that goes on in my dad's side of the family. Perhaps Dr. Phil should attend our next reunion.

Rebecca, I hope you are recovering. I look forward to hearing from you.

Matt, I hope you are enjoying your very British Christmas season.

10 comments:

  1. I've read a little of your blogs. From reading, I know that you are 17 and are not LDS but have LDS family whom you're not fond of and are not fond of you.

    After reading some of your writings I can understand why your LDS relatives do not like you. You are abrasive, judgmental, and a know-it-all. Trust me. We've all been 17. Some of us even thought we were as smart as you think you are at 17. Someday you may learn just how wrong you are and just how little you know.

    I took particular offense to your most recent blog. I KNOW Jessica Beagley personally. She is an outstanding mother. What do you, a 17-year-old misfit, know about raising a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder? Adopt an orphan or two or three, and then cone back and tell Jessica Beagley what is wrong with her parenting style. I suspect you would be begging for Jessica Beagley's advice after living with an adopted child for just two days.

    You need to learn when to keep your mouth shut.

    Bridget

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  2. Dear Bridget,

    My initial plan was to ignore your comment, but I can't. Sorry. As long as I do not violate existing laws or school rules if i choose to venture into school territory with this blog, I have whatever freedom of speech my parents allow me to have. If you have a huge problem with this, you probably shouldn't read my blog. I don't want your blood pressure to be adversly affected.

    If you ignore my disclaimer and continue to read, do so at your own risk. I may occasionally criticise someone you know, as I did with Ms. Beagley. I may take shots at things you hold sacred and dear. Please understand that I'm not doing so deliberately. I'm not lying awake at night thinking, "What will offend Bridget most if I blog about it?" It's just that if you're LDS, chances are that sooner or later my words here will offend you. Read at your own risk.

    You probably think you're mortally wounding me by calling me a misfit. If someone I knew well and whose opinion I esteemed called me that, I probably would be hurt. You, however, have never met met, have never even seen me for that matter, and know nothing about the degree to which I fir in with my family, my peers, or with other groups. You may come here and sling insults as often as you desire, but that will not change anything about me.

    If you really do know Jessica Beagley (anyone can say anything on the Internet; just because you say it doesn't guarantee that it's true), your time might be better spent somehow helping her. She needs all the help she can get.

    Alexis

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  3. "She is an outstanding mother"

    No, she is not.

    Bridget, I saw that show. She got her 11-year-old daughter to video tape her abusing a little boy.

    Outstanding? Mother? In what warped version of the space time continuum is she outstanding or a mother?

    Is this in some weird parallel universe? It certainly isn't this one. The one real people occupy.

    "tell Jessica Beagley what is wrong with her parenting style"

    OK, I'll bite. She is an abusive, feckless nogood who adopted children that she could not raise and had no right to adopt, under those circumstances.

    And anyone who encourages their 11-year-old child to videotape their adopted sibling being abused by said mother really should have all of their children removed from their dubious notion of parental care.

    You need to learn when to keep your mouth shut

    You need to follow your own advice, Bridget. After all, boasting that you know someone who thinks it appropriate to use cold showers and hot sauce torture as control methods on a child really says a lot about YOU. None of it any good, sadly.

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  4. Matt, I'm so glad you saw this. I'm so afraid Bridget is going to delete her comment and no one will believe me that a crazy lady replied to my blog. Thanks!

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  5. I can fix that, Alexis!

    This is what LDS and proud if it said:
    LDSnProudOfIt said...

    I've read a little of your blogs. From reading, I know that you are 17 and are not LDS but have LDS family whom you're not fond of and are not fond of you.

    After reading some of your writings I can understand why your LDS relatives do not like you. You are abrasive, judgmental, and a know-it-all. Trust me. We've all been 17. Some of us even thought we were as smart as you think you are at 17. Someday you may learn just how wrong you are and just how little you know.

    I took particular offense to your most recent blog. I KNOW Jessica Beagley personally. She is an outstanding mother. What do you, a 17-year-old misfit, know about raising a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder? Adopt an orphan or two or three, and then cone back and tell Jessica Beagley what is wrong with her parenting style. I suspect you would be begging for Jessica Beagley's advice after living with an adopted child for just two days.

    You need to learn when to keep your mouth shut.

    Bridget


    Now she cannot delete it! :oD

    And yes, we are enjoying a typical British Chirstmas. Though generally we do not get this much snow! ;o))

    ReplyDelete
  6. I apologize in advance for screeching in caps...

    Alexis! If you really are only 17, may I commend you for a wonderful, insightful viewpoint at such an early age. Most adolescents/young adults are not focused on anything (other than themselves). Please keep up the good work. And yes, Jessica Beagley needs some help. I'm not convinced from the videos that the child has attachment issues--unless the witch caused them. From my research: it sounds to me like she's bonded with Kristoff's twin, but not Kristoff. Sounds like she's also getting some help from Dr. Phil (anger management training, for one). Sounds like her husband may be in some hot water (no pun!) for being a law enforcement officer and not handling/reporting this. (I hesitate to point fingers, but most LDS men have bugger-all to do with helping the 'women folk' raise the kids. Jessica needs either less kids, or more adults helping her.)

    Not since I watched "Schindler's List" when I was 19 have I been so filled with anxiety while watching a video. I sobbed like a baby when I read Kristoff's story and saw the video. He will never forget that feeling of dread--I remember my mother screaming at me and shunning me for mild infractions when I was 7 years old. Believe me--I've NEVER forgotten it. I do my best every day to curb any such behavior towards my own son.

    And BRIGET, you silly cow, please tell me how cold the 'cold' water is coming out of a tap in Anchorage AK in November??? Pretty damn cold or what? Better yet, why don't you TRY it while someone else works the controls and screams at you and THEN render a decision on it being abuse? Why don't you try to hold hot sauce in your mouth (DON'T YOU DARE SWALLOW IT!!!!) for as long as Jessica forced Kristoff to hold it. Then get back to us.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Adopt an orphan or two or three, and then cone back and tell Jessica Beagley what is wrong with her parenting style."

    I am an adoptive mother of two young adults adopted transnationally, and will tell you exactly what is wrong with Beagley's parenting style: It is child abuse, pure and simple. She has been charged for that reason.

    Beagley may be an outstanding mother in other situations, but in this instance she failed, horribly. Any attempts to paint the incident as justifiable or justified is wrong.

    I also question the decision of the adoption agency who allowed these twins to be placed in a home that already had four children. Although Beagley may have believed she and her husband could handle the challenges, clearly they cannot.

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  8. Shanduh and Margie,
    I just read your comments. I'm really seventeen, though God knows I wish I weren't. Thanks so much for taking the time to provide the most insightful feedback.
    Alexis

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  9. I remember when that episode of Dr. Phil aired, but I didn't see it because we were living in Georgia at the time and had no access to TV. I saw clips of it on the Internet and read Jessica's blog before she blocked it from public access. From what I've read, Jessica Beagley originally sent in tamer tapes but Dr. Phil's producer's told her they wanted something more interesting. If that's the case, then I think what we saw was even more damning. Why would you deliberately hurt your child just so you can be on Dr. Phil? The man is a gigantic wanker.

    I'm glad she was eventually found guilty of child abuse... though I'm also glad her kids didn't end up in foster care. I don't think foster care is always a better solution.

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  10. I, too, am glad both that Sister Beagley was charged and convicted and that her children were not placed in foster care. I share your concerns about the foster care system

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