Friday, April 20, 2007

Burden of proof

I have started and discarded this post several times now. At first, I assumed it was that I was busy with the end of my term in school and the proposal that I had to write.

Then I contemplated that it might be best to say nothing - let it all die down with no comment. Not only is that not my nature, but it is hardly the nature of TWC. I can't recall a time when I have said nothing - even when saying nothing would have benefited me more than saying something. The curse of the assertive chick, we call it in my family.

And yes, I have talked with people who are dear to me about this. Each confession becomes a part of me - I feel protective about each person and the space that I create with them. I may not love what they say, but the space in which they say it is intimate to me, for me.

I suppose the only thing I can say is that I regret it. I regret that it has happened here, but I do not believe that it is the norm. I honestly do believe that 99.99% of these confessions are real and true at the time the person wrote them. That is not to say that I do not believe that we are reading unmitigated 100% truth, for there are always multiple sides to every story, but that it not what we are here to do - judge if one thing is more true than another.

I have not been shy to talk about my postpartum depression. I have not been dishonest when I said that I considered killing my child, for I was very ill and in the depth of the depression it felt as if I was trapped in something so terrible, so inescapable that I had no choice. It was her or me. While I did not reach psychosis, I did skim it. I idly planned. I day dreamed. The thing that held me back was my fear of being caught - not the wrongness of the action. I thought "Perhaps if I crash into a tree, then no one will know that I meant to kill her...but if she dies..."

When my therapist and I finally began to unravel what had happened to me, the saying out loud of that thought was earth shaking. I was saying the worst possible thing a mother could ever, every say. I cried through many sessions as I came to grips with the real-ness of what I had thought, what I had more than once dreamed about. I still get a little teary as I look at the on-the-verge-of-adolescent girl laying at the foot of my bed. I am grateful for therapy and modern anti-depressants for returning her mother to her.

I can believe that someone could plan and/or cause the death of their infant. I can believe that they could be very ill and have made a decision that, in a different time and place, they regret deeply. I can believe this, because I was very nearly that person.

Perhaps this willingness to believe that people have places and things which lie under the surface of the faces we show the world allows me to treat each confession as real without many questions. Perhaps my burden of proof is low because I have been to places inside myself which I never believed were possible, and certainly did not fit into my image of myself as smart, successful, confident wife, mother, daughter and woman.

Perhaps this makes me naive. I prefer to think of it, instead, as being very receptive to a wide range of life experiences.

So, I will not block. I will not censor, I will not edit. I have faith in the community of confessors and readers. I defend this space that we have created together, but I will not police it.

I apologize for the time it took me to respond. It took some time for this to come together for me and I wanted to be sure of what I wanted to say. Keep sending in confessions. Only we can determine what we want this space to be.

55 comments:

That Chick Over There said...

*applause!*

Anonymous said...

thank you Dawn, i have felt comfort in both giving & reading confessions. your space has kept me sane some days, by 'letting it out' or finding others who worry, fear, think as i do.

Kel said...

excellent response dawn, thank you for providing this space for us

cristinah said...

I love reading this site but a child could have died at the hands of his mother and your not going to do any thing about it? what if she has other children? I don't think I can read a site that would do nothing about this incident

bird said...

Kudos to you, Dawn. I have confessed three times on here. All three times have enabled me find release, take a step back, get some perspective and move on.....towards being a better partner and a better person. Whether it's here or in a therapists office I believe all people (men and women) need a place to speak freely what is in their hearts and minds. There are two kinds of secrets: those we keep from others and those we keep from ourselves. Both need to have daylight showered upon them. I feel for all of the women who post here. I may not agree with all of them but I feel and I never judge. We all have different lives to lead. Thank you for providing a safe place.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this site and check it obsessively. I admire the honesty and feel the pain. I too have sent in a confession or two. Please never doubt what you have or have not done. It does no-one any good and if we are to be real with ourselves, we have all thought about ending our own life if not another's. Most do not tell though. Please keep this forum open and damn the bad press.....the rest of us LOVE you!

Anonymous said...

To Dawn Kudos and keep on going. If you ever need any help just ask I'll be glad to help you with anything on this site.
To cristinah.
What should she do? The internet is a place where anything can be said and you have no idea if they are telling the truth or not. If it was true I'll feel sorry for the kids but will feel no guilt because I read the confession nor should dawn.

cristinah said...

she could try to do some thing sometimes they can trace it back to the computer they used

Anonymous said...

Responsibility goes both ways here. Which holds more priority? Women's confessions or a child's life? hmmmmmm........huh Dawn?

Anonymous said...

On the previous thread, someone came forward and said "I posted fake confessions including Deathmask Wife, Porn Man, and the woman who said her child's death was no accident."

I don't know if that poster was telling the truth, but the fake confessor has apologized for upsetting everyone.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I applaud you.

I will continue to email my confessions as the truth as I see them. What everyone else does, well I have no control over that and neither does Dawn. But I want this site to be where I can vent about my husband (who is 95% of the time the most wonderful man who ever walked the earth), so I will make it as such.

Dawn created a space where people can write confessions. She posts them. Her duties or responsibilities end there.

I am a mental health professional, and if the woman who confessed that the death of her child was no accident, there still would be nothing I could legally do. That relationship has the privelage of confidentiality. So if my hands are tied and I do not have the responsibility to report to the authorities that a child was murdered, why would Dawn?

Christine

Anonymous said...

Because Christine, you took an oath of ethics as a health care professional. Dawn did not. You have something called privacy and client privilege. It is the law. This website doesn't and I can't believe as a professional that you would even imply that it is the same with the same duties and responsibilities. Shame on you. I hope I never set foot in your office with your fucked up priorities on this. Wow! I can't even believe that you would comment like that and say what you did being a PROFESSIONAL and all. Sheesh, so your saying that Cho could have come to you and 32 people still would have been killed. You're a sick bitch, hon. I want to know when a website and Psychiatrist-client privilege became the same.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with anon poster above. It is totally not the same. If Dawn is going to be webmaster, she DOES have some responsibility.

SUEB0B said...

I love you, Dawn.

Anonymous said...

If it were at all sensored and people persecuted, then it would not be the same freedom of speech that it once held.

You may be completely angered by that, but privacy is privacy. If it were your own brother that murdered someone or daughter or someone dear to you that did something like that would you confess to the police that you know?

I'm sure some of you would not. Think about it that way. It is not your place to judge the actions of another. They confessed, accept it and move on, it is not your place nor mine to judge anyone, for you never know when you will be the one judged, or when you will be in that person's shoes.


Good work, Dawn. Keep it up.

cristinah said...

I belive in freedom of speech but a child could have been murdered here You should do every thing possible to get her off the streets

Anonymous said...

Dawn, you have blood on your hands. That confession goes way beyond "wife" stuff. You have a responsibility to do something, none of this bullshit "freedom of speech" stuff. Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

She can do exactly what you can do. Why aren't YOU doing anything?

"Oh, I don't know where the confessor lives." Well, neither does she. Confessions come in on email. How would you go about tracing email?

"Well, I know they can do something." Who is the THEY, exactly? How do you find them? What do you tell them?

"I'd tell them that this anonymous confessor said she killed her kid."

And then you'd have to add, "Well, yes, she came back and said she was posting fake stuff to get a rise out of people ... No, I don't know who was confessing ... No, I don't know where she was writing from. No, I don't know if she was telling the truth. But do something!"

You have exactly as much power as Dawn does to report this. Why aren't YOU doing it? Personally, I don't think the report was true. But if you do, then you have the blood on your hands if you don't figure out a way to report this.

melissa said...

sorry dawn I don't agree. she did not sound like she was kidding and, that being the case, I do feel like you have an obligation to find out the truth.

if this woman actually killed her child, she can't just be allowed to continue in her little wonderful love life. she needs to be confronted and talked to. I'm sorry, dawn, I know you're doing your best, but this crosses a line.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:56, you are so full of shit! You can trace ANYTHING on a computer. Especially IP addresses. How do you think the cops do it? Why do you think they confiscate computers? There is nothing private about putting your thoughts on a computer for billions to see. Free speech and murdering a child don't even come close in comparison. Some of you have some soul searching to do. Especially you Dawn.

jenner said...

I 100% believe that it was made up (the child thing)

If you've read all of Jane Doh's posts, she gets a kick out of writing strange confessions and then reading & endlessly responding to the various comments.

And the very first post in which she "exposed" herself, she included the child story. ie, no one asked her "Hey, was it YOU that wrote that child confession?" It was included with the death mask and another confession right at the beginning.

So yes, I 100% believe that it was fake.

And if it isn't - well, I have no idea what should be done from there.

But yeah, IMO - 100% fake.

BTW - I'm not being sarcastic or argumentative or anything when I say this - but I have a feeling that because of all this, Dawn will just end up shutting down this site.
Which would be a shame. But I wouldn't blame her one bit.

jenner said...

PS - Jane Doh got EXACTLY what she wanted. A whole lot of attention to feed her strange sick mind.

And when Dawn shuts down this site, Jane Doh will be responsible for the end of a very good blog.

It sucks that a twisted freak set out to ruin a blog, and succeeded.

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about, "ruined this blog?" This blog has overcome before. If Dawn is as badass as we should believe, why would this blog die? Are you like pessimistic or something Jenner? We all know that Asshole Jane was probably(seriously hopefully) was a fake. A troll. This blog has been about controversy since day uno. What is so different now? Now, I personally think that Dawn should get some professional, legal advice on this one. But shut her down just like that. UHHHH, a little extreme don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Women confess everyday about things that are against the law. Rape, physical abuse, the abuse of their children...........

Jane Doh said...

I know my apologies don't merit anything but rebuke. But I am heartsick over what I did and don't want it to hurt Dawn, any of you, or her site further. I wrote Dawn a more in-depth apology privately and provided her additional information. She is already in possession of sufficient evidence to know no child was killed and I am prepared to provide further proof if required to preserve her site.

Dawn should be treated as a journalist or priest and should not be expected to reveal sources unless there is iminent danger. There was no such danger in this case because the supposed murder had already been committed. If the confessor had, instead of professing "her" guilt and shame, voiced thoughts about committing murder again, then Dawn perhaps needed to act - but not otherwise. That was not the case here either legally or morally.

Most trolls would be reveling in what I've accomplished. I know, because it used to be my job to stop them. I feel like shit. Either way, whether you believe that or not, none of you do Dawn or yourselves any good by sniping further about this.

If you believe the man who wrote this is now lying and indeed jumping for joy at this course of events, keep doing what your doing and that man will be rewarded. Is that what you want?

Anonymous said...

Listen Asshole, that's a crock of shit. "The supposed murder had already been committed blah blah, so there's no obligation blah blah." Totally untrue. Do you know how stupid you sound? And have sounded all along? Quit talking out your asshole(which would be your mouth, huh?) and spare us. You obviously don't know the law.

Anonymous said...

I think asshole Jane has opened a can of worms and is now scared. Kind of regret fuckin' with us women huh? Dickhead!

Jane Doh said...

To 3:26 - And you know the law? Pray tell us your wisdom. And if you're such an expert and so concerned why don't you forward the posts in question to the police and see what happens. Stop pointing your finger and take action into your own hands if you're so self-righteous. You're an even bigger loudmouth and blowhard than me.

3:30 Poster; I'm scared for Dawn and the site not myself. If I was otherwise, I wouldn't have posted further. It just leaves more traceable evidence.

Anonymous said...

If a child did die... at least it died young and was spared the torment and pain of adult life.

Anonymous said...

all of you that keep saying it's easy to track the person who did it. Explain to me how you track someone down who lives in say Chicago and goes to a public library and uses their computer? With the plethura of free web-based e-mails it's easy as pie to do something like that and not be able to be traced. Sure they can find out what library, and maybe even exactly what computer, but how are you going to find out exactly who was on it??

jenner said...

anon 2:16

LOL no, not "pessimistic" at all. If I was running this blog and suddenly people were telling ME that I have blood on my hands and shame on me and I'm responsible for the murder of a child and I should get the law involved - when all I wanted to do was run a simple blog - well, I'd have to think it wasn't worth it at all. I mean, as awesome as this site is, when it comes down to it it's just the internet and none of us know each other and no one owes anyone anything - and if it becomes WAY more trouble than it's worth and yeah, people are taking the extreme measure of basically condemning me to hell and calling me an accomplice to murder....

I can imagine her (or anyone) thinking "Fuck, I just wanted to provide a space to help people, and THIS happens?"

Not worth it. But yeah, maybe Dawn just has a lot more patience for idiocy than I do...so OK, maybe I AM pessimistic......but I think of it more as just having a low threshold for bullshit...LOL

Anonymous said...

Dawn; I've posted several times, and each time I've felt the peace of unburdening my soul. You've created a safe place for those of us who seem unable to have a voice in our daily lives. For that, and for your obvious passion and understanding heart, I applaud you. It's my sincere hope that this blog continues to live and to provide women with the opportunity to explore their deepest and most private thoughts, desires and pains.

To those who would abuse the privilege of this site I say shame on you. To others still who have shamed Dawn for not policing the site, shame on you too. Until you walk down another womans spine you have no right to criticize her.

God Bless all who've honestly posted here at TWC. ~ Lola

Anonymous said...

Yes, asshole Jane, I do know the law and if there was an easy way to track you, I'd tell Dawn to do it. I grew up with the law, in a court room and on the front seat of a police car with my dad. So fuck you,you piece of shit. Go post on some other site. We don't need your bullshit here and how dare you get mad at anyone here. You started this. And they CAN find out who you are. Trust me.

Jane Doh said...

To last poster.

You must have missed one of my posts above. I've written to Dawn privately to apologize and she has sufficient info to confirm my claims that there was no murder etc. I am perfectly traceable (even though I know how to avoid it). It is ridiculous to harp on that further. I don't care if you heap abuse on me - I deserve it. But people should stop telling Dawn she's done the wrong thing. She has the facts, you don't.

Anonymous said...

For all of you who want Dawn to report to the police any crimes that may have been committed, I urge you to set up your own site. Nothing is stopping you. But of course you'd have to say that reports will be made to the authorities outright, otherwise you'd have violated the writ of habius corpus, and of course you'd have to take into consideration the laws of the state that govern where you are located, along with the laws of the state where the anonymous poster is located. But I'm sure that you have that all figured out.

Anonymous said...

All of you who say Dawn has blood on her hands: YOU REPORT THIS. Otherwise you're even more complicit than she is. She thinks the confession was a lie -- you think it is the truth. You are morally obliged to report it. GO ON. NOW.

If you don't, then you're in the position of everyone who heard Kitty Genovese dying slowly (look it up) and said "Oh, something's wrong. Well, *someone* will report it. Shame on them if they don't."

So it's easy to trace computers, ISPs, use Whois, find out identities from email accounts? DO IT.

Either quit bitching, or quit sitting on your butts. Go ahead, report it. DO IT.

Anonymous said...

I'm 12:33 up there -- in case you cant' figure it out, I have the utmost contempt for anyone who would say "This is terrible! It should be stopped!" instead of "This is terrible! I'm stopping it now!"

You really believe something bad happened? Fix it. Otherwise you're helping it continue.

Anonymous said...

Quit shifting focus here asshole Jane. Not once did I say Dawn did anything wrong. She hasn't, YOU have. How the hell can Dawn have blood on her hands when all she did was open her inbox. And again to open her inbox to find out what a worthless piece of shit YOU are, fake confession or not. Nobobdy gives a rats ass if you apologized. Your damage is done. And to anon 12:33, Your pissin' on the wrong pole honey, because, had that confession come into MY COMPUTER you would bet your ass I would at least explore my obligations about the situation. But it didn't come to my computer, did it? So take your, "trace it, do something about it," and apply it where it needs to go. Otherwise, take your advice and give it to those who want it.

Anonymous said...

Spare me the tough talk. It IS in your computer. You and Dawn both have seen someone confessing to murder. Dawn opened an email and thinks it's fake; you opened a blog and think it's real. Because of your belief, if you're not "exploring your obligations," you're sitting there thinking someone committed murder but saying "It's not my problem."

Anonymous said...

Don't put words in my mouth. Not once did I ever believe that was real. That's not the issue for me. It was not sent to MY inbox, it was sent to Dawn's. Period the end. It is her website, her responsibility. Seems to me like you can't handle what you've started.

cristinah said...

as i see it dawn has made up her mind and I have wrote what I thought and can't do any more, and jane doh if you made up that post about killing a child you need help. there is a lot of things you could have fake confessed about that just crossed the line. I see alot of your points and I didn't mean to be in an arguement. i just wanted to state my opinion. And I never said dawn had blood on her hands

Anonymous said...

I can't handle what I've started? What did I start? I pointed out that if something bad happens in the neighbor's backyard, you can't just say "It's not my backyard" and pretend you didn't see. Whatever you're seeing on the screen, it seems to me that *you* can't handle it, from the from the 50-mph backpedaling I'm seeing suddenly.

"*I* never received the email. I saw it, but I didn't, you know, click it to open it."

"I don't know how to intervene anyway. Well, yeah, I could always dial 911. But that would take ... time! And trouble! I'd have to talk to someone who'd demand ... proof! A child might have been murdered, but it's a lot easier to yell at someone else to do something. Never mind."

Anonymous said...

So you are saying that because I read something in the Newspaper it becomes my responsibility and not the Journalist? Dude, You are whacked and you are fighting a losing battle here at TWC. I'm sorry for all those that think Dawn has blood on her hands. But I don't believe that. What I believe is that she had the responsibility to check it out. There is no backpedaling here. Just an ass who has gotten himself in waaaaaaay tooo deeeep. Get a life dude.

Anonymous said...

I agree, there is no way I could have seen that email in Dawn's box. She's the only one. What point are you trying to make? Cause alot of us don't understand why you don't let it go. It's YOUR fault you are in this position and I also agree with Cristinah......Get some help.....QUICKLY!

Anonymous said...

Nope, I'm saying that if you castigate Dawn for not doing anything, you should also turn that anger on yourself. Because it's just exactly as easy for you to call 911 as it is for her.

And yes, if you read something bad in the paper and phone up the people who stood by and yell at them "Shame on you! You should do something," you're then obliged to get off your own ass and join the brigade. Newsflash: you don't get to occupy the moral high ground without doing something to earn it.

Anonymous said...

Wait, what position am I in? I should get help because I believe in backing up words with action? I think you're confusing me with the troll who started this whole argument. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Dawn,

I love the site. Please don't shut it down. If I were you, I'd simply shut off the comments. If someone reads something that concerns them, let them take matters into their own hands. I, for one, have read similar if not worse confessions at post secret--and there's no commenting available so I don't know if there's an outcry by the blog's trolls. I'm sure there is, because such people can't resist pissing on an overall good concept. Ultimately, the point is the confession, the reveal, not everybody's thoughts on the matter. If someone wants to share thoughts, they can email you and you can decide whether to post the response, or they can fashion in the form of their own confession. Regardless, keep the faith. (Sidenote, your cat rox!)

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:00 talks out their ass. Ignore that bullshit. Like I said, YOU ARE WHACKED and completely clueless about what you expect people to do.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the only one who has any right to do anything is Dawn. Go away troll.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone should go back and read all of asshole Janes comments. Then come back and comment again. Not one reason will be put forth as to why we should give this person a break. Rock on Dawn! Suck ASS Jane!

Anonymous said...

2:11, I have never read, "I killed my child and had I not been so clever I would have been caught," on post secret. HUH?

Anonymous said...

2:02, I'm sorry if I confused you with the troll. My apologies.

Cynthia said...

I think this is a great site and I have loved venting my frustrations on occasion. I also love reading the confessions and knowing that there are others who feel the same way that I do. I understand that someone saying they killed a child is awful, but I don't think Dawn had any responsibility in trying to track down the person who did it. How many confessions of illegal activities are posted on this site? What about the wives who confess that their husbands beat them? As someone who used to work at a battered women's shelter, I know that the results of that are often tragic. Why isn't Dawn responsible for tracking those people down? And I know that IF the confession had been real, then it would have been a tragic thing for a mother to kill her child. But maybe instead of condemning Dawn for not doing anything and instead of starting a witch hunt for this woman, maybe we could have pleaded with her to get the help that she needs. But judgment from everyone on this site won't ensure that she gets that. As a therapist, the hardest thing in the world sometimes is to put yourself in someone else's shoes. But sometimes a little empathy goes a long way.

Anonymous said...

Jane Doh owes me an apology. I was really upset with some anonymous woman's plight re: Deathmask. I really felt for "her". What a cool lie you are, Jane. Bravo! No wonder you feel like shit-- you made a lot of good hearted people feel very deeply for someone who never existed and I'm sure the reward was very unfullfilling.

bitterqueen said...

You know, journalists document crimes and atrocities all the time - even providing pictures of the instant of death - and no one asks,"Why didn't he stop it?" No, we award the Pulitzer for exposing the truth. You can't make one person responsible for the words of another. Words don't kill but they sure do stir up a lot of emotions. Many of you seem ready to lynch Dawn and others want "Jane's" head on a platter. All because of a compilation of words. Call it a short story or novel and we're all entertained, put it in the editorial section of the newspaper and we expect the Police to have followed up, have a reporter write it on the front page and the perpetrator is suspected or in custody - any one of these media and we all justify our inaction. But an unsolicited e-mail (and it is, because I'm quite sure Dawn didn't ask for murder confessions) and a bunch of you think this woman who is our confessional should betray our trust because she's somehow obligated to find a murderer. Get up off your ass and find Osama, then. You all know what he did - even who he is. Doesn't that make you culpible? What if a woman writes in to say she's kidnapped her children from an abusive father. That's a crime, too. It may even be endangering the children to be on the run. Should Dawn track her down and report her, too? Dawn's not any more responsible than any of us.