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Sparkling Adventures in Child Neglect: Now with Rats!


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Lauren and David Fisher had 5 Children: Aisha (sometimes called Aïcha), Brioni (originally Stephanie), Calista (or is it Callista?), Delaney (now Lana), and Elijah. They quit their jobs and let other people live in their house rent-free while they travelled Australia and New Zealand in various modified trucks, practicing unchurching, unschooling and unparenting. The children forage for food, do not have to brush their teeth, or go to bed. David's sanity slipped away as they distanced themselves from anything conventional, culminating in an unknown amount of marital discord, and David's murder of 7-month-old Elijah.

 

In the year since Elijah's death, David has been in custody. His hearings keep being postponed, and little is known about his legal situation. It is speculated that he's being held in a psychiatric center.

 

Lauren and the girls lived in the shed/warehouse behind the family home for a couple months, until Lauren managed to beg enough money from internet strangers to purchase a Coaster, which is a sort of mini-bus. Now she and the girls are back to traveling around Australia. Lauren neglects the girls to a great extent, and denies them and herself the opportunity to grieve. Even though Elijah was drowned in a river, she made a point of pushing the girls into swimming and other water activities, and often posts photos of them playing in unsafe waterways while she herself hangs back to take pictures.

 

In her most recent post, a look back at the year since Elijah died, she tells us that she's worked hard to have the girls not view their father's infanticide as a negative, but rather as neutral.

 

Things were fucked up with this family long before Elijah's death. In Africa after their wedding, they smuggled a child (possibly an orphan) across the border for medical treatment. They did not speak his language, and there was no plan to take him home after his treatment. Their oldest daughter was lost in the bush on Christmas Eve with a man the family had just met, and Lauren did not alert the authorities. At a Chinese New Year parade, the adults lost track of several of the children, including the toddler, and were unconcerned. While staying in a city, they befriended the local drug dealer in order to use her shower. In NZ, Lauren took the baby and hitchhiked to a city to buy a car, leaving David and the girls stranded. She did not tell David she was leaving. The list goes on.

 

They have just acquired 3 pet rats, which will travel with them in the bus and enjoy their sparkling adventures. We hope the rats do not share the fate of the Fisher's dog, which was "accidentally" poisoned when they could not find a new home for it.

 

SparklingAdventures.com - be aware that there is a link on the homepage that will take you to photos of dead baby Elijah in the morgue

 

FJ discussion:

Part 1: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11137

Part 2: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=14804

Part 3: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=15960

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I have followed on and off. Does the father still maintain it was an accident?

He hasn't had any public statement at all, not even in court I don't think.

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Death is not neutral, not for those of us left to pick up the pieces afterward.

I can honestly and fully say my son is in a better place, no matter *what* you think happens after this life and it is still NOT NEUTRAL for myself nor anyone else in the family.

Our anniversary is this week. Every day is hard right now. That Lauren is denying herself and her children the genuine stages of grief shows she is still trapped in it. She is not helping them. She is creating a wall that will destroy all of them one day when those girls grow and are faced with an urgency of grief denied that explodes all over their lives. Deal with it now, or deal with it later but that's the funny thing about grief--you MUST deal with it.

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I know I should laugh because those poor rats are going to go the way of Miss Raquel's horse, but it is amusing.

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I found Lauren's remarks about David very surprising - particularly the part about Elijah dying at his father's hand. I wonder what she meant by being an emotional support to him.

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He hasn't had any public statement at all, not even in court I don't think.

You're right, he hasn't been arraigned or pleaded, which makes her declaration that Elijah died by his hands very odd and possibly damaging to David's legal situation. Great emotional support there Lauren, almost as good as being on the other side of the country when his case is mentioned next week.

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I don't want to defend the Sparkling One (and I don't follow the threads because she depresses me so much) but from the little I've read it's very possible their dog really was accidently poisoned. Poison 1080 baits are used a fair bit in National Parks and rural areas. They're supposed to target foxes but other animals (especially carnivores) get them too. 1080 poisoning is a horrible way to go.

But I agree the rats will meet an unfortunate end.

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You're right, he hasn't been arraigned or pleaded, which makes her declaration that Elijah died by his hands very odd and possibly damaging to David's legal situation. Great emotional support there Lauren, almost as good as being on the other side of the country when his case is mentioned next week.

I was thinking the same thing, and wondering whether the timing of that declaration was deliberate.

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I feel so bad for the girls. They can't be psychologically unaffected, and it is literally beyond belief that a parent would be so disconnected that she would do nothing for her surviving children; a party, and some sparkling adventures, and three rats aren't enough to address the fact that these little girls are no doubt acutely aware that their more attached parent killed their brother and is gone from them.

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I presumed her daily contact with David involves telling him about her (and the girls. but mostly her) new life including any new partner/s. I could see her doing that, as a way to passive-agressively punish him.

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I feel so bad for the girls. They can't be psychologically unaffected, and it is literally beyond belief that a parent would be so disconnected that she would do nothing for her surviving children; a party, and some sparkling adventures, and three rats aren't enough to address the fact that these little girls are no doubt acutely aware that their more attached parent killed their brother and is gone from them.

They will be affected for their entire lives. My grandfather lost his mother, father & grandfather in the space of about a year. Then his big brother joined the army. He is from the 'don't talk about it' generation & it still impacts his life at 87.

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Sounds like Lauren will get back with David if he is released? I am not sure how any mother could get back together with a guy who murdered their son. Maybe she believes his story?

Why was he strolling with Elijah so late at night, anyway?

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Sounds like Lauren will get back with David if he is released? I am not sure how any mother could get back together with a guy who murdered their son. Maybe she believes his story?

Why was he strolling with Elijah so late at night, anyway?

I doubt that he will get released for at least 5 years. I also doubt that she believes his story, she is just trying to make everything sparkly & show about high minded she is.

IMO there was some kind of jealousy issue going on with David. He would have known that Lauren didn't love him & probably felt he was being replaced by Elijah.

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So, I finally bit the bullet and read the blog. This may be the most depressing blog I have ever read. That poor, poor baby. And what a messed up family. Families like this just make me want to gather up all the children and take care of them myself. (I know, I know, not possible - but it is just so wrong that children have to deal with this.

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I doubt that he will get released for at least 5 years. I also doubt that she believes his story, she is just trying to make everything sparkly & show about high minded she is.

IMO there was some kind of jealousy issue going on with David. He would have known that Lauren didn't love him & probably felt he was being replaced by Elijah.

I think Lauren knows that it's unlikely that David will be released in the near future, which is why she's so adamant about making what he did into a Sparkling Adventure. If he were going to be released soon, she'd have a story ready for why he doesn't fit into their lives anymore. She's not going to get back with him.

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I think Lauren knows that it's unlikely that David will be released in the near future, which is why she's so adamant about making what he did into a Sparkling Adventure. If he were going to be released soon, she'd have a story ready for why he doesn't fit into their lives anymore. She's not going to get back with him.

I am very curious about their contact and the state of their relationship.

I strongly suspect that David has turned back to conservative Christianity whilst incarcerated. He was still very religious when they came back from NZ just before Elijah's death, and his regular and intense spiritual searching always revolved around a strong faith in Christianity. Incarcerated, traumatised, separated from those he loves, without the influence of the alternative community and with regular visits from a chaplain, I think it's pretty likely that he's gone back to the strict Christianity of his past, especially as it offers him forgiveness.

Lauren, on the other hand, no longer identifies as Christian at all. While she does believe in a higher power, it's an undefined "energy of the universe" type of thing.

If David has reverted to the legalistic Christianity of his past, I can't see him being happy about the girls not practicing Christianity. In early blog entries its obvious that both David and Lauren taught the girls about Christianity and expected them to practice it - Aisha and Callista talk about things like "walking in righteousness" as pre schoolers.

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Saw this on Jezebel and it made me think of Lauren:

This is a weird one: a veteran American Airlines flight attendant accused by her colleagues of smuggling a pet rat onto an international flight in her underwear has filed a lawsuit against the airline, claiming the accusations have resulted increased customs screenings and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
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My biggest achievement in the past year is in empowering the girls to view Elijah’s death and David’s incarceration as neutral. We do not need to judge it as bad. Yes, it is sad. We miss them both and speak about them every day. But at the same time, we can embrace the changes that this separation has brought and respond with gratitude to the life we are now inhabiting.

To me, this sounds like the girls weren't really permitted to express their true feelings and process them at all. It's NORMAL for children to see death as sad/bad, and a possible murder of a sibling by their parent as simply horrific, terrifying, confusing, and shattering to their sense of trust. Were these kids "empowered" to see this as neutral, or is Lauren making it clear that SHE wants to treat it as neutral and clearly radiating that she does not welcome expressions of strong emotion and negative views from the girls?

I can't imagine how these kids can possibly turn out normally without years of therapy.

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Aisha and Callista talk about things like "walking in righteousness" as pre schoolers.

How do toddlers walk in righteousness? Does it involve being completely potty trained? I could be down with that. I'm not exactly expecting toilet training to be a sparkling adventure in this house. Or maybe Aisha and Callista (and Brioni?) were just really good at sharing? I'm just trying to puzzle out what manner of "righteousness" is relevant to the lives of preschoolers.

My daughter thinks deep thoughts about not biting her friends courtesy of the Church of Yo Gabba Gabba; I think I'll count that as walking in righteousness. It's been a real spiritual battle for her. Disconcertingly, she often brings it up while thoughtfully staring at and softly stroking a certain spot on my arm. And lead us not into temptation...

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Saw this on Jezebel and it made me think of Lauren:

I hate it when people say that they PTSD every time they experience a traumatic event. There is a difference between having experienced a traumatic event and having PTSD. PTSD is complicated and usually the result of multiple traumatic events and possibly underlying reasons like lack of stability or lack of emotional support. Everyone has trauma. Some people need help working through their trauma but may not have PTSD.

I could see Lauren's kids having PTSD. Their lives are not stable, they dont have emotional support, and they have experienced multiple traumatic events including their brothers death.

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I dont like to read too much into it but it does seem odd that the girls are often prepared for death. With Misty, the girls were prepared by a dying rat. And on the day the baby died they went to a cemetery to talk about death.

I'm not saying it means anything but is it because of a kind of calvinist/fatalism element in her (former) religion? I think it's fine to talk about death but untimely deaths are sad not just....unevitable/fine.

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