When Parents & Executive Directors Suck: A Mama Bear Speaks Out!


I promised to write about what triggered me last week, and here it is.

I apologize if you find this post boring, especially since I quote email exchanges to explain what happened. But I wanted to keep my promise! 

Most importantly, I wanted to read your comments to see if you have any insights you wish to share. (Be gentle, dear readers – I’m still a bit sensitive from this bullmerde!) 

I know this is a minor problem compared to what many of us with bipolar suffer with, but even ridiculous, stupid crap has the power to cause a setback in my mental health.

Blogging about these kinds of things helps me.

However, please believe me – I never forget how lucky I am to be living in a different reality, warts and all.

Finally, I’m sorry this post is too long (although if you’re a regular reader you’re probably not that surprised!) My in-house editor Lucy went to the beach today.

Lucy Soul

In any case, you have my blessing to skim it and/or skip this post! 😉 

The people involved:

My daughter

Yours truly

My daughter’s former friend

Former Friend’s Mom 

Former Friend’s Mom’s Buddy: The Theater Employee 

The Theatre’s Executive Director

Last week I emailed a message to the Executive Director at my daughter’s summer theater program.

My email was clearly marked “CONFIDENTIAL” and (this is also important to note) contained no specific names.

Dear Executive Director,

Unfortunately I have disappointing news.  My daughter will no longer be continuing with the play. We’ve given a tremendous amount of thought to this decision, and we’re sorry to let you down; my daughter most of all.

Her experience hasn’t been the one I hoped she’d have; this is
absolutely not your organization’s fault.  She hasn’t taken to singing and dancing the way we hoped she would. She isn’t enjoying the experience, which would be reason enough for her to discontinue.

However, she signed up for your program after being strongly encouraged by a (now former) school friend. This child was also her best friend who “dumped” my daughter from their friendship literally just before this production began. 

Over the past two years my husband and I found our daughter’s former friend to not only be verbally abusive to our child, but alarmingly destructive to our property whenever she visited our home.

DYANE’S NOTE: I want to give you just a little idea about my child’s former friend’s behvaior. I was home when the following things happened, but at first I wasn’t watching every moment of their playdates. In a flash this kid ripped off all the heads off my daughter’s dolls and she threw them over our deck into the forest. WEIRD! She used a white-out pen to mark up my husband’s work computer monitor and desk. (If she did that to my laptop, I  would have had her wealthy parents buy me a new computer.) She also damaged my daughter’s Santa Barbara Mission model that my child worked on for hours with her Dad – she did it when my daughter was briefly out of the room.

Of course we alerted this child’s parents about her behavior. My husband spoke directly with the child and asked her to please stop the behavior, etc. Her parents gave us empty promises and put far more energy into attending Bay Area 60’s revival rock concerts than helping their kid get the psychological support she desperately needed. I’m leaving out MANY other details about this child’s behavior, but you get the gist of it….so, back to my email to the Executive Director:


As you can imagine, it has become increasingly difficult for my daughter to be around this child at rehearsals, and between this situation and her
primary reason for leaving, I absolutely cannot in good conscience have her continue with the program.

Thank you,

Dyane Harwood


Now, here’s what happened after I sent my confidential email to the Executive Director. I know this might be confusing, but please stay with me – it’ll make sense! 

Dear Executive Director,

I am so upset while writing this to you that I’m shaking.

Today after I emailed you, someone from your staff had the audacity to read my CONFIDENTIAL EMAIL and contact my daughter’s former friend’s mother – my email DID NOT EVEN NAME ANYONE. Your staffer communicated erroneous information to this woman as well.

After that breach took place, my husband and I received numerous texts
from the former friend’s distraught mother. As a result, my daughter and I have been extremely upset.

The person at your organization behaved unethically, to say the very least; for him to interfere in such a way and not pay me the courtesy of a simple phone call FIRST is beyond me.

I can’t wrap my head around this gross breach of confidentiality,
disrespect….and frankly disturbing, meddling behavior.

I am deeply sickened  over what happened today. I have a severe, chronic
medical condition for which I’ve been hospitalized seven times since my girl
was born. She has been through HELL because of this. She has been
through things that no child should endure. I’m so furious over this
bizarre incident that I can barely think straight.

I never in a million years would expect something so heinous and
slanderous from your organization.



My Response from the Executive Director

Executive Director here,

I am so sorry for what has transpired and I would like the opportunity to discuss it with you either in person or by telephone. Unfortunately the staff member who noticed your email to me guessed which child you were referring to and overreacted with well meaning intentions, though apparently the request for confidentiality was missed. We sincerely apologize for what followed. Please know that the impulse was not malicious, just impulsive.
I would like to discuss this further if possible. I take this very seriously and am so sorry that this situation has escalated to this degree. Please let me know a good time to contact you or when we can meet.
Executive Director
I replied (please excuse the messed-up font!):
Thank you for your email...
After working at three nonprofits (Friends of 
Santa Cruz Libraries, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, 
College ofBotanical Healing Arts) I learned how 501(c)3 staff, both paid and volunteer, are not exempt from ethical business practices.

I would've been fired for doing what the person who read my email 

At this point, while I thank you for the invitation to speak via phone or in person, email is the best way for me to communicate.

I'd like for our family to receive a full refund.

Too much damage has been done to myself; I've suffered a health setback because of the person's well-meaning intentions, and damage 
has been done to my sensitive girl as well.

From the Executive Director:

Thanks for responding, of course we will give you a refund…Again, I am so sorry for the pain this has caused you and and your family. I do regret not being able to reprimand our staff member accordingly, but I too want your family to be able to move on. This staff member has a personal relationship to your daughter’s former friend, and I can not promise the issue would end if I discuss the repercussions that occurred as a result of his unprofessionalism.
As you can see, this is a dilemma  for me.
I believe that learning from this act of poor judgment and irresponsibility would be such a useful lesson.
As much as I love our small and close community, sometimes the closeness leads to unsafe, unclear boundaries. Again, I welcome further discussion, but understand your wish to put this behind you.
Thank you for your understanding.
Sincerely, Executive Director

Okay, so that’s the exchange. 


Here’s What I Might Have Done If I Was Manic When This Happened:

  1. Tracked the “well-meaning” person down in public so I could yell at him and make a real scene worthy of his production. I inherited a bit of my mom’s acting talent; she won awards for her acting and worked as a television & stage actress in Los Angeles! I starred in my sixth grade play which was produced by a professional L.A. theater company. I won my audition by having to get angry – it was a modern-day “Taming of the Shrew” and I was Kate. I won’t lie to you – I was VERY good at doing that, long before I was diagnosed! 😉

Suffice to say that I could put on a show and then some for our little, podunk town and our “well-intentioned” meddler!

2) Picketed the production performances and call the local papers and television stations!

3) Threaten legal action complete with a letter from my “mental health advocate”

4) Leave post-its with relevant sayings where he’ll find them, i.e. his car window:


What I’d Still Like to Do

Unknown-1Write this person a letter and let him know the damage he caused, because I think he is clueless. I’d add that when I run into him at the market which we frequent, he best be ready to meet Dyane “Mama Bear” Harwood!


The best news of all is that my daughter is doing well. She’s taking this in stride, and her father and I are supporting her 100%. She feels loved and reassured that we’ll be there for her when she returns to school and sees this former friend. We will be involved parents; we won’t care more about seeing freakin’ Bob Dylan than helping our kid navigate a bully – yes, a passive/aggressive bully!

My problem, which I’m discussing with my counselor today, is how I’ll feel when I run into the former friend’s parents and the kid.

I want nothing to do with them.

Yes, I realize that none of these people work for Satan (as far as I know – there ARE some weirdos up here!!!), but I consider them toxic to my mental health.

Lucky for them, I’m TERRIBLE with confrontation, unless I’m manic! They aren’t going to get a happy ending out of this from me – I don’t want to “hug it out” granola-style with them, or smoke a doobie together, or go to Dance Church ! (That’s how they allegedly roll….)

The mom (who texted me that she and I could discuss what happened while hiking together in my happy redwoods place – um, NO WAY!) is quite aware I need space from her.

I texted her I need space, and she wrote back she’d honor my request. So that’s good, yes? 

All I can say at the end of the day is this:



Big, big thanks for reading if you made it this far…

See you next week!


Dyane Mama Bear




Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.


43 thoughts on “When Parents & Executive Directors Suck: A Mama Bear Speaks Out!

  1. So sorry you and your daughter had to go through such a horrific ordeal! Geez, I understand how conflict can mess with bp symptoms. Hang in there!

  2. I made it the whole way through. When I first looked at the length of your post I thought OMG! LOL But it was so compelling it wound up not seeming long at all.

    What a horrible experience and I agree the staff member should have been fired. Suspended at the very least. Be well, my friend.

    • I can’t begin to tell you how honored I was that you not only made it through the post,
      but that my novella 📖 didn’t even seem that long!

      All hail King Bradley! 👑

      I kept up my healthy eating throughout this fiasco….until Thursday night, July 21st.
      I cracked. I ate stuff I didn’t need or want – at least I didn’t inhale any hot fudge sundaes, but I ate cereal, lots of cereal. I ate an entire bag of weird EPIC uncured bacon bits! I ate a pickle. I ate a carrot. I was so dang upset I lost control.

      I binged AGAIN last night! 😨 (At least I logged it all on Lose It! )

      Today I’m starting over, reassuring myself I can’t gain 35 pounds back in 2 days.
      I think that the stress of seeing my little girl upset finally got to me. Please wish me luck! I know you have your hands full with the sermon (I want to know the latest with that!!!) and I MUST get over to your blog this weekend! I’m having withdrawals from not being current with your blog!

      I know you have enough going on, so thanks again for making it over here when I’m having a rough time.
      Thanks for being there for me – you are such a joy and a gift 🎁in my life.

      • You are too sweet. Don’t worry about getting around to my blog. I missed a lot this week too. I think I’m prepared

      • Hit enter too soon… I’ve had a tough time getting around to others blogs this week. My sermon is tomorrow (Sunday) and I plan to post it on Tuesday.

        Stop Binging! lol. Remember, one night is not a day and one day is not a week. Every day you get a do-over. Hugs to you!

  3. Mama bear instincts can surely take over. There is no action I’d avoid to protect my kids, especially when they were young and vulnerable. So easy to understand here, Dyane, go easy on yourself. With or without illness, most of us would have had your reaction, maybe even more. It sucks to me that you have to run into these folks around town. I wouldn’t be able to hold back the venom. Wishing you the best outcome, at least, your daughter is doing ok with it all. Just let them know they are loved. 💘

    • Darlin’ 🚐,

      It really did help to write about this dilemma. I almost didn’t publish it – my eighty-year old Mom reads this blog, and I hadn’t called her about what happened because she was going through a particularly hard week. I didn’t want to freak her out. But it all worked out – she wrote a wonderful, supportive comment, & I was thrilled! I was also so grateful for every other comment I received such as yours!

      Such are the gifts of blogging, yes?

      ❤️ 🎁

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE your line “I wouldn’t be able to hold back the venom”!
      That made me giggle!

      The more I think about it, the more pity I feel for these two fools. Yes, fools! They might sell out their overly pricey kids’ theater program & performances every year, they may email politically correct, patronizing messages to innocent mama bears, but I wouldn’t want to operate the way they do.

      I can’t end on that sorry note!

      I’m sending you a big mama bear hug! And of course look what I found?


      You’re the best! Thanks for your lovely comment and words of wisdom!
      Dyane “Ursine” Harwood!

  4. Well Dyane I have to say that every time you wrote about a decision you made during this appalling mess of a situation, I nodded my head and silently said “yup yup”. I think that you did the best anyone could do with the situation and your plans to be involved when your daughter goes back to school. As far as the bipolar is concerned, I’m really glad that this hasn’t triggered a horrible mania or deep depression. I think your plan to steer clear of all concerned is the right thing to do. xo

    • Thank you, thank you Leslie!!!! Your comment was a total breath of fresh air – I felt good knowing that a voice of reason like you didn’t think I was totally off my rocker. 👍

      I’m so terrified of face-to-face or phone confrontation. I know I need to deal with it, but I’m just not there yet. I worry I will get mega-triggered, you know?I hate using bipolar as my “excuse” to be triggered over such ludicrous behavior, but I know I don’t have to convince you that it’s a real condition. I need to give bp (and myself) more respect, I guess.

      Hope you’re doing well this weekend, and once again I want to thank you from the bottom of my ❤️ for your support!!!!

      Dyane 🐻

      • You’re welcome Dyane. I’m glad I was helpful. And your bipolar isn’t an excuse…it’s a reason…a valid one…but you know that 🙂

  5. As a fellow mama bear, I would be JUST as pissed, manic or not. I would also ask for the same things: that person’s dismissal and a full refund. I cannot believe they won’t fire that person! That is such a severe breach of conduct. What asses!

    They even got me cussing, I’m so wound up–and this is YOUR kid, not mine!

    Still, I’m glad you didn’t do your manic reactions (with your child present). You’re an amazing model for your daughter, and knowing she’s got loving protectors means that kid doesn’t get to do shit. It is a shame she wants to leave the program, but you’re right–if she’s not having fun, and she’s got to deal with a bully, then that is a journey NOT worth finishing.

    I do hope you’ll update us if you meet Mr. Meddling Butt-Wipe in public. He sounds like someone totally oblivious to what he did, and needs to understand he doesn’t get to “fix” other people’s relationships.

    Cheers and love to you and yours from me and mine 🙂 xxxx -JL

    • I’m actually chuckling as I write this, Jean, which is good because I need far more of that after dealing with all the merde!

      In a rare role reversal, through our two comments, you have momentarily morphed into “Potty Mouth Dyane” and I’m emulating “Articulate, Eloquent Jean Lee” — but in this sentence only:

      (Dyane pretending to write as well as Jean Lee)

      “The Executive Director and Mr. Meddler will have their inferior, unethical modus operandi catch up to them!”


      How do you like “modus operandi”?

      I’m not sure if I’m using it correctly, but it sounds good, doesn’t it? It’s far better than what I’d typically write, i.e. “The Executive Director and The Meddler/Cretin’s #*&&(&# evil ways are that of the Devil 😈!”

      Anyhoo, can you believe these people sell out their pricey program every year and have a wait list? I bet you can!

      There’s another theater group in our valley that’s their main competition. They advertise themselves as the best program in our county, and I believe it now!

      I see their flyers every day because their production is taking place where I walk Lucy. One day I ***almost*** called their staff to vent – and to see if they heard of other horror stories like mine, but I held back, as tempted as I was to dial their number. I guess I wanted someone to “there, there” me who would most likely enjoy hearing about how awful their primary competition is….BUT they could also be friends with the competition, and that could bite me in the nether region, right?

      Lots of love back at you – the fun never ends, does it? I thought of you yesterday when I read some of John Nettles’ book; he refers to so many Brits I’m clueless about, but his style is still very charming and self-deprecating. I’ll keep reading it and I hope he does a little less name-dropping.

      Hope you’re having some, no make that LOTS of fun this weekend, my friend! Take care and thanks for being a wonderful kindred spirit!

      ❤️🐻 Your Mama Bear buddy!

      • You are always, always welcome! I do think “modus operandi” sounds good, too…um…I’m not entirely sure what it means, but it sounds good, and isn’t that how English usually works anyway? Bo and I were just debating that earlier. Blondie declared, “I’m as big as 1,000 walruses!” To which Bo said, “walri. No. Um…” And we looked to each other mumbling, “It’s octopi, but walruses sounds better, so it must be walruses…is it because of the syllables?” and in the end we gave up.
        Yay, English! 🙂
        Oh, I am SUPER tempted to ask if they deal with a lot of dissatisfied customers, but you’re right–there’s always a challenge that the staff knows each other, and it could go horribly awry. Show your awesomeness, and remain aloof….unless you happen to linger around the time they drop kids off at this competing one. Then you can just happen to ask other parents about the program and how it is for, um, shy kids…and have there ever been bullies here…you know, play it cool. 😛
        We’re actually being really dull here, which after a month of out-of-state visitors is a REALLY nice change, although now we’re trying to force the twins into potty-training, and they’re just as good at pushing back.
        It’s a very loud adventure, in any case. 🙂
        Lots of love and hugs and green tea to you, kindred spirit! xxxxx

  6. I understand your anger. You want to protect your daughter. Living in a small community is tough. The employee may very well been trying to help. Meddling – yes (something I’ve been guilty of many times in my attempts to “help”). Poor boundaries – yes (another issue of mine), which can trigger you (that I understand, too). Your daughter is reacting well. Let yourself feel your anger, then let it go. Yes, you will see this woman in your community. Somehow you must rise above your righteous ire. Best of luck. Know it will not be easy.

    • Hey Kitt! I met with my therapist yesterday and she too said it was likely the employee was trying to help in his own way. Plus he’s a child of the 60’s and she noted that many of the flower children had/have very different social boundaries than we do! Oh well.

      I’m moving on! So grateful that my daughter is getting through this relatively well. I must be a better, less angrier role model for her. God knows I have a PhD. in Anger – I need to pursue another “degree” – one that doesn’t raise my blood pressure and make me a horrid role model to the girls!

      As Sharon DeVinney, another blogger who’s also a therapist, wrote, “As far as how to deal with running into the badly behaved ex-friend of your daughter or her mother, I’d just say hello and move on. It sounds like she will fully understand why you don’t want to stop and chat. No need to escalate things…just keep your distance from known toxicity.”

      Yes, I will “hi/bye” it! You’re absolutely right – it won’t be easy; yuck, but at least this other mother has a good heart. I think she’ll respect my continued need for space.

      💖 you!

      p.s. Mom loved your latest comment – I’m telling you, that is HIGH praise – she’s incredibly discriminating and, I must admit even though I’m a tad biased, she’s extremely intelligent & has excellent taste when it comes to recognizing superior bloggers such as Ms. Kitt O’Malley. 😜

  7. Dyane, all I can say is WOW! You are doing a great job of defending your family but the “director” is a master of avoidance of responsibility (or she is too lazy to deal with problem staff). Glad to hear that your girl is going to continue to enjoy the summer and I hope you are able to as well. Hang in there, Mama Bear!

    • Hi there my kind neighbor Martha! Thanks so much for your comment.

      I finally spoke about what happened with the theater group with my counselor yesterday. She’s wonderful and meeting with her was worth the windy, forty-five minute drive up to her place in Boulder Creek! 😜

      She helped me view the situation in a couple different ways, with a little more compassion/empathy. She’s a mom too, and she validated my outrage as well.

      I’m trying my best now to let it go (although every time I see their posters around time I stick out my tongue – I’m immature) and as you know, there are plenty of other things to think about, LOL!

      I hope you’re having a wonderful summer and that you’re beating the heat! I was at beautiful Quail Hollow Ranch yesterday afternoon and woo – it was hot!

      Have a fantastic weekend, and thanks again for your support. When I meet you someday, prepare yourself for a big “Mama Bear” hug from me! ❤️

      I’ll try not to squeeze you too tight! 🐻

  8. Hey Dyane,
    First, I think you responded admirably to the situation. I was horrified when I read what happened.
    Second, while you can’t control the executive director’s behavior, I believe I would do one more thing: send copies of all emails to the board of directors (if there is a board) or to whoever is above the e.d. and explain to them while you appreciate the refund, you are bewildered that the professional resolution was not a firing of the staff person.

    Just my two cents. 😉

    • Dearest Susan, it’s wonderful to hear from you!

      Between you and Sharon DeVinney I’m now wealthy for I have a whopping four cents, LOL! (I couldn’t resist that. I’m terrible.) 💰

      Before I go on, these two birds are for you:


      I always think of sweet, singing birds when I see your name!

      Anyway, like Sharon D., you wisely brought up the Board of Directors. Well, I was tempted to get in touch with them. I replied to Sharon how this group is cult-like; I’ve been following them for a decade. They protect their own, so to speak! They are very different than the other non-profits I worked with which had such diverse, ethical boards!

      Why did we go ahead with signing Avi up with these people? Well, I naively thought all would be honky dory. Lesson learned!

      If I wasn’t consumed with finishing my memoir draft, I probably would take further action, but I’m putting it on the back burner.

      In the meantime, thanks for stopping by – seeing your name & beautiful Gravatar image certainly brightens my morning!

      I hope this finds you doing well, and I send you my love & lots of sweet birdsong! 💗

  9. Hey Dyane…I’m still slightly stuck on how much you were apologizing for a long blog post. As the queen of long posts, I was expecting a book. No need to apologize for filling in all the important details to explain this very upsetting situation for both you and your daughter! I agree that the Executive Director handled it all very badly, and to defend the employee because of a personal relationship with the family involved was completely inappropriate. Whether you contact the board of directors to inform them of what happened, or not, depends on whether your anger passes or whether it feels like a necessary step in order to move on. The likelihood of this leading to anything changing (from my experience with Boards of Directors), is minimal. As far as how to deal with running into the badly behaved ex-friend of your daughter or her mother, I’d just say hello and move on. It sounds like she will fully understand why you don’t want to stop and chat. No need to escalate things…just keep your distance from known toxicity. My two cents worth…

    • Hi Sharon! I’m honored you took time to comment, and that provided truly insightful words to boot! (You always do!)

      I’m passing on contacting the Board (although that’s a great suggestion!) because the entire organization is rather cult-like, and it will be a waste of my time. I definitely want to move on! I figure the E.D.’s & staffer’s actions will most likely catch up to them if they keep up this modus operandi.

      Your two cents are ***perfect***. Thank you so much!!! If I see the mom or daughter, I’ll “hi & bye” it.

      I think I “sorried” so much in my post because I don’t like copying and pasting emails in lieu of writing my own synopsis….I feel a tad lazy. But I couldn’t have cooked up the Executive Director’s replies even if I wanted to do that! 😜 I know you understand!

      Your post lengths always seem “just right” – you don’t post that often, so when you do publish a post, it seems right and proper to give us enough of an update, which takes more than a paragraph or two! But you’re still a lovely Queen to me, Sharon – I mean Queen Sharon! 👑

  10. Wow Dyane! So sorry you had to go through that ordeal! I think you handled it exceptionally well. And your post was not at all boring or too long. I couldn’t have stopped reading it once I’d begun if I’d wanted to! Hope you’re enjoying your social media sabbatical otherwise! Very proud of you! 🙂

    • Hello my dear Lisa!

      OMG – I know you’ll appreciate the following: I didn’t abide by my “let the post ‘steep’ at least 24 hours before publishing’ rule, so yes, there are typos, yes, I could’ve edited it to my heart’s content, yes, it could’ve been so much better if more concise, blah blah blah!

      But it makes me feel SO AWESOME that you didn’t find it snooze-worthy or resembling the Great Wall of China in length! (I’m such a goofball – you know that! 😜)

      I’m definitely finding the social media break a pleasant one. Can you believe that I barely think of Facebook & Twitter?? I don’t miss them except for keeping up with the tweets/updates by writers such as yourself. I know once I start up again in the fall, my enthusiasm will return.

      It is very good to feel connected to kindred spirits like you in that way and I don’t want to relinquish that connection.

      Thanks for stopping by here; I still want to email you an update about my messy MS. Can you revise the whole thing for me?


      Hope YOU are well and it’s always great to hear from you, Lisa!


  11. Proud of your assertiveness. Think that Kitt’s advice said it all. The most important part to me us that your daughter knows how much you all love her and that includes me: her grandmother. Perhaps also she may have discovered that there are other areas of interest that she may enjoy even more .
    Hopefully you all can move on and continue your lives happily!

    • Thanks so much, Mom! I’m never sure if you see my replies (I need to remind you to come back to check) but your support means the world to me. Kitt always has fantastic advice/perspective – I’m fortuntate to have you both as loyal followers! Avi is very artistic & creative in all sorts of other ways – and who knows, she might revisit theater down the line in high school, etc. In any case, I won’t be a stage mom, ha ha!

      ❤️ you!

  12. Omg. What a nightmare. SO sorry you and your daughter went through that. Good gosh. I’ll be back with a more specific comment soon. xoxo

    • Thanks, my wonderful V! No pressure to come back unless you’re up for it – just seeing these words of your support helps me!!!! Sending you lots of love as always!!! 💖💖💖

  13. What a complete and total asshat that guy is!!!! DAMMIT!!! I am sorry that this happened. And this former friend….she sounds very troubled. I am glad that your precious daughter has come out of this relatively unscathed and that your Mama Bear instincts have kicked in to protect her. GOOD ON YOU!!! That is a level of nurturing that will stay with her and teach her how to take care of herself and have good boundaries. I’m proud of you, Dy-Dy. Love you lots!!! You’re a Boundary Blackbelt!!

  14. You handled an insane situation perfectly. Awesome mommy! (And I miss you on Facebook! That’s how we chatted Facebook message! I don’t have you cell or email! How shall we remedy that without having to publish my cell out here for the world at large? Lol

    • Alas, Mary, please please please forgive me! I haven’t been good about answering comments right away for this post, and today is the first day I spotted your comment!!!

      We take off for Tahoe tomorrow….my email is dyane@baymoon.com, and I can email you my cell. I *did* get your postcard but I’ve been a total flake. 😦 They would have LOVED to visit with your kitties.

      Can you keep them in mind for the future? I’ll email or text you this info. too! XoXoXo

  15. Reading this five days late, but my reaction is the same as the other commenters: whoa, what an awful thing to happen! I hope you’re moving past this.

    I’m scratching my head at why the executive director feels unable to adequately reprimand the staffer because there’s a personal relationship with the other child. That would seem to me to be all the more reason to reprimand him; favoritism leads to all kinds of problems and to corruption. “I can not promise the issue would end if I discuss the repercussions that occurred as a result of his unprofessionalism.” So the director is willing to employ someone who, when shown his wrongdoing and the resulting hurt, will not change but will continue to behave in an unprofessional and unkind manner? That is directly opposed to what the director said earlier, that he would learn from his lesson. Hmm. I think you’re much better off staying away from this group; it sounds unhealthy.

    My only advice would be to consider detailing, in as calm a written tone as possible, the facts to the board of directors, and then move on. (Even if the board wanted to deal with the issue of unprofessional behavior, etc., though, it can be very difficult to root it out entirely, especially when there’s a long history of close relationships. I’ve seen this in multiple places.) Like Kitt said, feel the pain and let it go. A polite hello should suffice for greeting the other child and her mother. (Though I’ll admit to once ducking down a frozen food aisle at Walmart rather than have to greet someone who hurt me years ago. This was my response even though I’ve forgiven her. So . . . )

    Like I said earlier, I hope you’re doing better now.

    • Hi Laura, and please forgive my tardy reply!

      Thanks so much for your insightful comment. It’s hard to believe that I don’t think about this situation every day anymore, but I don’t – just a few weeks have made a difference. It reminds me of death and grief. (Jeez, how morbid, eh?) I don’t think about my father all the time anymore either.

      BUT the drama is not over. As I shared with WIL, “it will be very difficult once my girl returns to school in a few weeks and faces her bully. I have a bad feeling that the bully will go after her big-time and tell her friends negative things about my baby. Ugh.

      I hate to be negative, but the reality is that the bully has not “seen the light” due to her passive parents.
      Well, look out people, I’m going to be one serious Mama Bear. If there’s any bully trouble brewing, I’m scheduling a meeting with the principal STAT!”

      I hope this finds you well, you amazing writer! Any more submissions in the works? I still can’t over how incredible your last published piece “Empty Spaces” was on Altarwork! 😉 Of course I must post the link again in case anyone wants to read an example of truly magnificecnt writin:



  16. I would have reacted the same way…. Been angered and aghast and betrayed to tears. I think you said all that you wanted to say in your email to the director, so a face to face or phone conversation would have been overkill. Glad your daughter is doing better. Sounds like the relationship with that family needed to be severed anyway so no loss there. All that’s left is to process through your emotions and it’s a done deal. You’re doing great.

    • Thanks for your compassion and empathy!

      We’re doing much better now – it’s amazing how time can help lessen the charge of an awful experience. But it will be very difficult once my girl returns to school in a few weeks and faces her bully. I have a bad feeling that the bully will go after her big-time and tell her friends negative things about my baby. Ugh.

      I hate to be negative, but the reality is that the bully has not “seen the light” due to her passive parents.
      Well, look out people, I’m going to be one serious Mama Bear. If there’s any bully trouble brewing, I’m scheduling a meeting with the principal STAT!

      Thanks again for taking time to write, by the way – reading your words made me feel good!!!!! 💗

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  18. Thanks for sharing, Dyane. I took my daughter out of her school when I felt that she was not being treated well by the school. Years later she confronted her ex-principal there and gave him an earshot. She’s now a Mother Bear like you with her two boys, and I’ve learnt such a lot from her about standing up to bullies.

    • I’m *SO* glad you took your daughter out of her school when things were so rough for her – you were a fantastic, loving mom to be proactive.

      It must have been very difficult, but totally worthwhile…and good for her for confronting her ex-principal – wow!!!!!!!!! She sounds like a wonderful Mama Bear herself, just like you are! 💗

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