Thursday, December 23, 2010

Just an Update

Jackson was admitted to the hospital a couple nights ago.

You know what sucks about having your child in the hospital for depression? It's not like a regular hospital. I don't get to sit at their bedside the way I would if they were sick, or being treated for some illness, or recovering from surgery. There are very specific visiting hours and they aren't even every day. You have to check in with the desk and leave your purse, cell phone, and all belongings in your car. You have to have a password to see your child. Once you get to your child's unit, you have to be let in a locked door, where you sign in and let the staff inspect anything you've brought for your child. You can't bring them balloons, stuffed animals, flowers, candy, cookies, treats of any kind. You can bring them clothes without drawstrings or other potentially dangerous elements. You can bring them cards without staples or anything that could be fashioned into a tool to harm themselves or others. Jackson will probably be in the hospital for Christmas. His brothers and sisters can only visit him one at a time with me, so they'll each have only about ten minutes with him.

You can only call your child during certain, specific phone hours and you only have ten minutes to talk to them because other patients are waiting to use the phones. When you visit your child, you sit with every other patient and parent in a common room and don't have privacy to really talk to them confidentially about how they're doing, what they're feeling, etc.

Now I know all these measures are in place to keep the patients safe. I understand that. I accept that. That's why the patients are there in the first place - it's a safe environment in which to recover and get help.

But, as a parent, it feels like I'm visiting someone in jail. It sucks to have your child away from home and know that you can only talk to/see them at set, infrequent times. It bites to not be able to even bring your child a little gift or treat to help cheer them up. It's scary and confusing your first time navigating the maze of corridors and all the locked doors to get to your child. It's annoying having to sign in multiple times and be checked out as if you're a criminal, trying to smuggle a file in a cake to your child who is locked up.

And with two children in this environment right now, I spend all my time driving back and forth to the hospital (an hour round-trip) for visits, meetings with case workers, family therapy sessions, dropping off clothes or chapstick or homework or other items my child requests. It especially stinks because every time I go, I have to leave Savannah in charge of taking care of the other ones so I have guilt about that. I try to make it up to her by driving her to the mall and the movies, etc. with her friends at some point most days. I feel like I haven't cooked a decent meal in forever. I usually like to do fun things with my kids during Christmas break. This year, I'm ignoring the younger ones to take care of the ones in the hospital. They're bored and running around like rabid monkeys with way too much energy and no outlet for it right now.

And to top it all off, this is a busy time of year. I've dropped the ball on baking, buying presents, wrapping, sending out cards, getting together with friends, pretty much everything. But none of that seems to even matter to me this year.

The kids' therapists keep asking me, "What are you doing for yourself? How are you holding up? Are you taking care of yourself?" I joke and tell them that I've penciled in my nervous breakdown for the middle of March, but I'm far too busy to worry about myself right now. And to all of you who are going to leave comments, telling me that I need to take time for myself and I need to take care of myself or I won't be good for anyone else, all I have to say is, "You're not a single mother to six kids." I don't get a break every other weekend. I don't have family that comes by once a month to help out. I do not have time. Period.

But I do have the most awesome friends on the planet. I always have a shoulder to cry on. I have an ear willing to listen to me. I have tons of people who invited my family over for Christmas. Thank you to Eric and Gin and Margaret for your thoughtful gestures and your kind, generous spirits this week! I appreciate it more than you can imagine!


So, this week, as you make your last-minute preparations for Christmas; as you stress out over the little details that we tend to give more importance to than they deserve, remember to take a minute to remember why you're celebrating. Give thanks for family that is with you and pray for those members who aren't. Take time to give thanks and to enjoy your family.

I'm sorry I haven't had much funny to write about lately. Don't worry, because I still look at the situation as positive. My kids are getting help. They talked to me and asked for help. We have a good, strong relationship. Things will get better. Things will be okay. And I'll be back to writing about how they did an experiment with a carton of eggs, soap, and chopsticks in the bathtub in no time.

80 comments:

Donna said...

Oh Dawn, I am so sorry. I'm saying a prayer for you and the kids.

Kauseks said...

it is impossible to take time to your self, and if you try, you feel guilty. However when you get those 3 seconds to yourself to pee, dont be afraid to cry. I am angry at your ex, for doing this to your kids, and figuring you would handle it. You are doing the best job you can, and I am very glad you have such a wonderful relationship with your kids, that they can tell you this stuff before its too late. Sure you have 6 kids, but you manage to stay in tune with them. I will keep you in my prayers, and your children. I will pray the doctors know what to do, your kids sleep an extra 5 minutes, and that come March you can actually have your breakdown

Ruthie said...

Hopefully Jackson will get the help he needs and be back with you very soon. I do so admire you as a mother! You are truly an inspiration.

Laura~peach~ said...

hugs and prayers and of course do what you have to... wish i were close enough to baby sit and give savannah a break. I will schedule my mental break about mid march too :) yeah that sounds like a plan.
Hang in there you are an awesome mom to awesome kids!

Amy W said...

Dawn, I am so sorry. I can't imagine the heartbreak you are going through and you are such a good mom to be doing all that you are doing. From one mom to another, we know that most days we are last on the priority list even if we do need a break, we don't get one. I'm sending you hugs and my prayers are with you.

Amy W
Colorado

Mum-me said...

Sorry to hear of your son's depression. It's it good that he is getting help now. It's great that you can look at this as positive.

And I can really sympathize with you about the 'make sure you take care of youself' crap that people say. am mother to 6 children too, and NOT a single mother (but it sure feels like it when the army takes my husband away from me for weeks at a time), and I don't get breaks or get time to treat myself. When people say that, I know they are only trying to help or show their concern for me, but it ends up making me feel more guilty, like if everything ends up going really wrong it will somehow be my fault because I could not create an extra hour in each day to 'look after myself.'

Thinking of you at this difficult time.

Miriam said...

Well, Dawn, I'm not going to tell you to take care of yourself, blah, blah, blah, because as you pointed out, you just can't do that right now. But I AM going to send good wishes, thoughts, prayers--whatever you want to call them--your way and your kids' way and believe that you all will be given the strength and the resources to handle all this.

Thank you for sharing what has got to be such a hard, hard time in your life with the rest of us. I WILL be giving thanks this weekend for my many blessings and not focusing on what has been a very difficult year for me, because I have learned through many similar times that no matter how hard I think I have it, there is always someone worse off.

Your kids are so blessed to have you in their lives and I hope someday they realize how good they have had it.

Hugs from Miriam in WA State

cnjpage said...

Here's praying for a Merry Christmas for you and the kids, and for a brighter 2011. Thanks for being so open and honest. While I wish you weren't going through this, it does help to know someone else isn't having a picture perfect Christmas either. You are doing an awesome job loving on your kids and taking great care of them. Take your friends up on their offers to help and to spend the holidays with them. Praying for His peace in all of your lives! Love,
Christy

Kim Neyer said...

You are doing such a good thing for your boys!! Even though the situation sucks big time, they will remember how much you loved them and did everything you could to help them right now.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Dawn, they'll do great, because you do have that relationship! Email me, pronto. And I can't play Words right now, because our wireless broke. I am suffering withdrawal.

Susanne said...

So, so sorry, Dawn. You and your family are in my prayers (and the prayers of many others, I'm sure!). Hopefully this is the bottom so there is nowhere to go but up. With love from a stranger who feels like she knows you.

Jessica said...

Sending hugs and prayers your way!!! We made your gingerbread cookies today (the best gingerbread recipe EVER, by the way), and prayed for you and the kids while we mixed, cut, rolled, and baked.

marythemom said...

Two of my kids have been in and out of psych hospitals (we adopted them as teens and they both have several mental illnesses), but we've always been lucky in that they haven't been in the hospital (or residential treatment) at the same time, but it is still very hard on the whole family. The traveling back and forth, the therapy sessions, the guilt from ignoring the other kids while you care for one or two (and in our case the nasty, scary behaviors the family has to deal with from the ill kids). I only have 4 kids and I have a husband, and it is still hard as hell sometimes. I usually feel stretched so thin I can't breathe, or sleep.

I love that you can still be funny sometimes. I understand how hard that is. Thank you.

Hugs and prayers!

Mary in TX (mom to 4 amazing kids ages 11, 14, 15 and 17)

marythemom said...

Two of my kids have been in and out of psych hospitals (we adopted them as teens and they both have several mental illnesses), but we've always been lucky in that they haven't been in the hospital (or residential treatment) at the same time, but it is still very hard on the whole family. The traveling back and forth, the therapy sessions, the guilt from ignoring the other kids while you care for one or two (and in our case the nasty, scary behaviors the family has to deal with from the ill kids). I only have 4 kids and I have a husband, and it is still hard as hell sometimes. I usually feel stretched so thin I can't breathe, or sleep.

I love that you can still be funny sometimes. I understand how hard that is. Thank you.

Hugs and prayers!

Mary in TX (mom to 4 amazing kids ages 11, 14, 15 and 17)

Michelle said...

I've been reading your blog for a year and a half or 2 years, can't quite remember. I love your funny stories, I don't think I could write about the funny things my boys do quite as well as you. I've come to realize that you are an amazing mom and woman. I hope and pray that when my kids are older; they are currently 6,4,2; I have as great a relationship with them as you have with your kids. Prayers for your family... keep up with the great work!

RISE said...

Just sending you a cyber hug and prayers for all of you....

Lyttlethingsmttr said...

Dawn, my prayers to you and your children, all of them. You do what you must as a single mom, and you must take care of them. Thank you for sharing what must surely be difficult.

Denise said...

Passing love your way.

Amy said...

Dawn, God bless you. I'll keep you and your kids in my prayers

ouch85 said...

My prayers are with you and your family! As a mother experiencing similar feelings this Christmas, know that you are not alone! May you continue to find comfort and direction in your faith and friends! God will continue to give you the strength you need!

Laura said...

Dawn,
My heart and prayers go out to you and your children this Christmas.

Ginny Williams said...

Dawn, My prayers and thoughts are with your family. My son was in the hospital for depression a couple years back, and I too hated that I just couldnt be with him, that I had set schedules to see him. Its a tough deal, but I'm so glad that they have you to help them get the help they need to deal with what life threw at them. again, prayers for some peace to come into your lives soon.
God Bless you Dawn

kerrichris said...

I'm so sorry you all are going through this. But so glad that they could tell you that they needed help and are getting the help they need. (((((HUGS))))) to you all. Do you mabye have a P.O> Box we could send them a card to help cheer them up?

grandmummy said...

Oh. My. God. My heart aches for you, your kids, and for the glimpse into my future. Both my grandsons, whom I am raising, are showing signs of depression directly related to abandonment and rejection by their mom, my daughter. Things are tough and stressful here, all day, every day. I also know the psych hospital drill and how much it sucks. No cliches or vapid advice from me. I'm wiped. Not one minute to care for myself. I do yoga stretches in the shower, though, (while the conditioner is soaking in so that I don't waste any precious minutes.) They help me breathe and lower my blood pressure. I believe there is actual scientific evidence that it is good for your entire being. Santa Claus will come sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning, but that is all that will fit on the calendar. Then we'll see what comes the day after that and the day after that. Be well.

rene said...

my heart aches for you as i read this...but you still manage to smile through your tears...you are a shining soul and you will survive :)

Shellie said...

Praying for your family, Dawn. :*( I wish there was more I could do for you.

**And a note to all you readers out there! If you haven't bought Dawn's new book, now would be a great time to do it!

faithlessone said...

Hugs and prayers, sweetie.

You're a heck of a lot stronger than most people - remember that. :)

funnelwebkitten said...

Oh Dawn,

My heart goes out to you, I am so sorry to hear that Jackson is not coping well, it's good that he came to you and he's getting the treatment he needs.

Both of my daughters suffer from Dysthmia, and while it's not as bad as full blown depression, sometimes it's hard when people don't understand, or judge.

Sending you much love from Australia, and the hope for a much much better 2011.

Lise said...

so saddended to hear about the boys and also how alone you feel at the holidays. It is a very stressful time. I hope you take a few minutes for a real good cry. Thinking of you all...

Kris Roach said...

Dawn, this breaks my heart for you and your family. It makes any of my worries seem extremely petty and small. I am going to be praying for you and your family. I am thankful that both Austin and Jackson can get help in dealing with the depression. I cannot give words of advice, but I can tell you my love and prayers are with you. You have my utmost admiration for all you do as a mom, a writer and a woman! You are an inspiration to many, so keep the faith and I look forward to hearing more Meehan mayhem in the future....

Mel said...

*big hugs* Dawn!

Yes, it's a sucky thing that's going on right now but I love the way your faith helps you find the positive in every situation. All the best to you and your family, it will all work out. xx

heyteach said...

God Bless you Dawn!

I have had students I visited after being admitted in the psych ward for week long treatments. I can't imagine that being my own child, it was gut wrenching.

I will keep praying for you and your children. You are an awesome mom that your kids could be open with you about needing help and you could take them seriously and follow up. I am a teacher - believe me that doesn't happen all the time.

Wish I was close enough to offer some other kind of help.

Kat said...

Dawn, I've never commented before but I've been reading your blog for I believe 2 years now. My heart just aches for you. I feel like crying after reading this latest post.
I can somewhat understand the stress. In September 2008 my father was diagnosed with cancer and was unable to walk. So I became his primary care giver overnight, while still working. I was doing alright balancing that, when in March 2009, my mother quite literally fell over dead at work. Thankfully the EMTS were able to shock her back to life. But for 3 weeks I was trying to balance work, care for dad and being at the hospital as much as I could for mom. I still am waiting for the nervous breakdown from that to be honest.
I can't believe your strength. I'm glad that you've got friends to help. Take every ounce of help you can, screw pride. Trust me, it hurts to ask for help and it hurts a bit to get it but in the long run anything that can take stress and pressure off of you so you can be stronger for all your kids, is worth it.

I'm so terribly sorry to hear you're going through such hell right now. I wish there was something I could do, but Canada is just a bit too far away!

Lisa said...

One can only hope that the therapy and treatment will go so well that they will be conducting experiments and leading dare-devil activities at the hospital very soon!
Thank goodness they asked for help and that you listen!
May you find comfort and peace in the family of friends you have around you this season.

Sarah said...

Dawn, I'm so very sorry you and your kids are having to go through this. How awful. I'm glad you have a good support system of friends. I will pray that the kids get the help they need and everyone can be reunited at home, well on the long road of recovery. I'm so thankful that the boys trusted you enough to tell you about how they were feeling so you could give them help. You are a great Mom and don't let those thoughts of FALSE guilt creep in. I hope in the midst of it all you will have some good moments of Christmas celebration, even though it will obviously be a very different and hard one. Keep clinging to your faith and those that truly love you (and I'm sorry that doesn't include your parents, how awful!). I know God is going to help you get through this. I also know nothing I saw is going to help. Just wanted you to know how much I admire you and how you're handling all this! :)

The Mommy said...

Sometimes, life just isn't funny. I'll be praying for you and your kids this Christmas. I find it amazing that you are willing to share something this personal, the least I can do is offer a prayer on your behalf. God Bless and Merry Christmas.

kl54 said...

Dawn - Pick a day. I will come over and make a mess in your kitchen with Lexi, Clayton & Brooklyn while you do whatever you need to do; errands, take Savannah shopping, or a trip to see Austin and/or Jackson. Sending (((hugs))) to all for Christmas and everyday.

Karen

KT said...

I'm so sorry. All of us have hearts that ache for you and wish you the best.

Sharon said...

God Bless you and just know that this too will pass. You and your family are in my prayers and all the other families going through this also.

MaBunny said...

You are an awesome mom Dawn and you love your kids unconditionally! You did what needed to be done ! Love, hugs and prayers to you, Austin, Savannah, Jackson, Lexi, Clay and Brooklyn.

Mayberry Mom said...

No cliches here. I know if you had a minute, you would take care of yourself.

The fact that these teen/preteen boys came to you and told you, "Mom, I need help" is a HUGE testament to your relationship with them. Hold on to that during the dark times.

Dawn, you and your family will be in my prayers during this time.

hildigunnur said...

Our hearts go out to you - *hug*

Mommy to three said...

I am so sorry your family is going through such a difficult time right now. I pray that your kids get the help that they need and want. I pray for peace for you and for them. I pray that God continues to give you the strength you need. I am not in your situation so I wouldn't dare give advice but please know that you and your children are in my prayers.

Robin said...

I can't just say "hang in there" one more time. I know that you are. So what I'm going to say instead is that I think you're an amazing person. Your children are going to be okay because you are doing an amazing job with them. Yes they've asked for outside help but that's ok because you all recognized that it was needed. You don't need me to tell you it's okay as if I'm giving you my approval. I guess I'm just trying to say that I'm in awe of your strength thru all that you've dealt with this past year (and way before that).
Though like most of your readers, we've never met face-to-face, I feel that thru your blog I've gotten to know you (or at least as much as you let us know). I always appreciate your honesty when it comes to the serious issues and the humorous way you handle life's little daily stressors.
I KNOW in my heart that your family's going to be okay.
Merry Christmas Dawn.

Shawna S said...

Long deep breaths and extra hugs to you Dawn. Good luck through this incredibly trying time. Your family will be in my prayers.

p.s. take care of yourself and have some wine ;)

V1nce said...

Nothing is more precious than family that is in tune with each other, trusts each other and loves each to talk to each other like your family does Dawn. The fact you know this and know how fortunate you are in these times is more than a blessing and a gift!

Whatever you do though, in times like these, do NOT allow anyone to give you the ink blot test. TRUST ME on this! They lie when they see be honest! They liiiieeee!

Kimberly said...

From one single mother to another, I wish you peace. You have a tremendous amount on your plate, but seem to have your focus on all the right things.

bellajellybean said...

Wow, that's a lot of burden to be shouldering right now. I think it's ok to let the rest of the stuff go that you are stressed about (guilt for the little kids and not having the baking/cleaning/shopping/wrapping all done yet). The kids will totally understand that all of your spare time has to be foccused on those who need you the most right now.

I hope that the kids recovery goes well and that you will update us when you have time, but for now take all the time you need to just focus on the kids.

cyn said...

Sending prayers for you and all your children.

My youngest son is going through a rough time right now and it is affecting all of us. My husband is angry, my oldest can't talk about it because he's afraid he might do something stupid and my youngest is in therapy and his counselor thinks that he is depressed because of the situation he is in.

Me, I spent yesterday crying at work. I don't want to break down in front of my husband because he is struggling so much.

Yes, we can all benefit from counseling, but there is only so far the budget will stretch and we need to take care of my youngest.

No, there isn't anytime for you to take care of yourself and that's where great friends come in. Let their prayers, good wishes and any help they can offer lift you up so that you can keep it together for the other children. And like me, it may be time to get on drugs :)

Ordinary Mom said...

Dawn,
I know there are no words to cover it but I wanted to let you know that I understand. My mother has been in the hospital on many such occasions and it is so hard to be there and want nothing more than to take them home and love the depression out of them. As sad as it is to hear this is something they have to do on their own and want to survive. After reading your blog for quite a while I know you have given them the love needed to help them make this happen.

You have my prayers!

Kristine said...

I can sympathize with you on this completely, Dawn. (Except for me it was my sister.)

The limited visiting hours? drove me NUTS. And if they opened the doors ten minutes late? They didn't let you stay an extra ten minutes. They still kicked you out on time.

You will get through this, and over time, everything will be right as rain again.

*sends good vibes your way*

Becky said...

Hi Dawn, long time lurker who enjoys your blog. Just wanted to let you know I have started praying for you as of late. I am, admittedly, somewhat of a luke warm Christian. So thank you for getting me back in the praying habit!

Kim said...

Dawn I know that I'm praying for you and your kids -- you are an awesome mom and woman! I went to the bottom of the blog and saw all the dots of people reading your blog right now, and I'm betting most of them are praying for you and your kids too!

Jennifer said...

I've been following your blog for some time now, but just actually signed up for blogger this week. I was a teenager who suffered depression but hid it from my mom because I didn't want her to be burdened with any more problems (I am the oldest of 5 and my dad was deployed overseas) She could tell I was suffering and made me see a counselor but I pretended to be better even when I wasn't. It took me until my early 20's to come head to head with my depression and get treatment. As hard as it may be to see your kids like this, know that you are giving them the best Christmas gift you can. They can have a much better, happier adult life if they can conquer their problems now. In-patient is sometimes the only way to get that help. You are doing exactly what you need to, and people you have never met are praying for you and wishing you well. Jennifer

Krystle C. said...

I'm glad that your kids are getting the help they need and that they felt safe and confident enough to talk to you about it. I can only imagine what is like to have a child that feels they way they do, but hope that if my son ever feels that way as he gets older that he feels comfortable talking to me about it.

Thank you for sharing the struggles your family has gone through and is going through. It really does help some of us put the important parts of life in perspective.

With well wishes and blessings for your family this holiday season.

Nicki said...

I have read here for a while and have commented only a few times because apparently the comment feature hates me, but I digress.

It is hard when you have a child hospitalized for depression, very hard. My oldest has been hospitalized for depression and cutting himself and it was a struggle even with having my husband to help so you have my utmost respect for doing this on your own. I agree that it speaks immensely to how good of a mother you are that your children were able to come to you and say they needed help. Not every child can do that. Take care of yourself when you can and lean on those people who offer to help you. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

Gloria said...

In addition to praying for you and your children, I thought I might just suggest that you check out EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)at:
http://www.eftuniverse.com/

EFT is something you can do for yourself and/or find a therapist who includes EFT in their counseling practice.

Like one of your commenters said, you do have to use the bathroom occasionally. Use those couple of minutes to tap, or tap mentally as you are trying to go to sleep. You just tap on acupuncture points to help see you through tough moments.

EFT has blessed my life. I see it as a Heavenly gift or tool to help us through hard times. Check it out, it might help you.

May the Lord bless you and your dear children and keep you all safe.

Ruth said...

Thanks for reminding me that no matter how bad the little things may seem , someone else really has he right to complain!!!
Hang in there Dawn, you will all pull through this I know it!!

Donna said...

My heart aches for you and the boys. My question is 'How are they doing there' ?
Hang on to God. He brought you here and he will bring you out of it.
Throw your arms up into the air and tell God to help you.
I have done that and it seems a huge burden lifts.

Praying for all of you all the time.

Hugs, Donna from Indiana

AngelNicki said...

I think thats one of the crappy things about the children's mental health system... they do treat you like your family has done something wrong. A child with depression is treated the same as a child who, say, set the house on fire or became addicted to crack or something! I was in the hospital as a kid so I know... although I've been told the hospital is a lot kinder of a place than it was when I was a teenager! Your family will get through this though... millions of people are thinking about you and praying for you!

AngelNicki said...

Another thing to add... I know you don't know me, but I live in Palatine, and I'm on Sittercity as a babysitter to make extra $$$$. I have a background check and everything. I would totally watch your kids for free if you need. I am used to a lot of kids so I won't be terrified.

HuNnY aNd PoPpA LeWiS said...

Prayers and hugs being sent to you and your family. May God give you strength and bless you and your kids.

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

I have been praying for you guys since I saw this on Facebook. I am so sorry for what you're all going through. This has gotta suck big time!! But God will give you the strength to keep movin' forward. God bless you and Merry Christmas!!

I'm in Disguise! said...

Praying for you and your kids!

Thank you for sharing your life with us.

Merry Christmas & Prayers for a better & healthy New Year!

Loretta

Christina said...

Sending our love and prayer's from this single mom herself. I was lucky if "luck" would be we made it home in time for Christmas, it is all I wanted was to not be stuck in the hospital(Well inpatient we are still stuck there 2 times a day) I am lucky that I got my license this month and feel bad that i have to drag the siblings along while youngest (for me) gets her meds.
Hoping next year looks much better for everyone!

Liz's Random Thoughts said...

I just wanted to say that you are my hero.
I sit here in my parents house, safe and secure. With family and friends all around and near by, but yet I still worry over the little things. Whether or not I'll work at the same place this summer as I did this last..(Which was between 2-3 bucks an hour..) Or if God has something else for me.
I also worry about my future, graduating college, and other such worries which I suppose are normal for a collage age person.
Yet, when I read your blog, I see reality. I see a strong woman who takes the courage to say that her family isn't perfect. I see a woman who is a dedicated mom, and my heart has and will always go out for you. I will always lift up prayers for you, as you have inspired me Dawn.
You have shown me that who cares about the future, it is the right here and now. To be grateful for what I have, yeah my life kinda sucks at times. Who's life doesn't? We just need to remember that God has everything in control, and that no matter what happens. It will be okay somehow, someway.
I will be praying for you and your family.
Grasp hold of hope, love, and peace.
Basically grasp God's hand, and He will lead you through this time.
God bless you guys,
~Liz

WeaselMomma said...

Take it all one day at a time. One minute at a time if you have to. You have my number. It will get better, but that feels like a long way off when you are in the middle of it.

Love you lots.

Callista said...

I am so sorry to hear of your family troubles. I've never had a child with mental illness but I myself struggle and did as a teenager and was hospitalized. I know what it's like on my end.

I can't imagine being a single mother of six kids. I have a friend with six kids, she's not single but she does have a child with disabilities and she struggles. I wish there was something I could do to help.

Julie said...

Dawn,
I'm so sorry to hear you have two children hospitalized right now! One is hard enough but I can't imagine having two children in-patient. A few years ago, one of my children had to go to psych because his agression had gotten so out of control he was a danger to everyone in our house. I felt the same frustration you did with visits. It's unfair that mental illness is not treated as a medical condition, which it should be. Having visits restricted was so frustrating, especially when you drive an hour to get there and then hope your son has not lost "visitation priveledges" for his bad behavior. Even though it was a difficult choice to make, I can honestly say that hospitalization was the right thing to do for us. My son is now on medication and two years later he is still doing well. Not that we don't still have our ups and downs but life is definitely much better. I was really hestitant to put my child on psychiatric medication but it ended up being the best thing I ever did. I now have the real version of my son living with me--the nice, sweet version of him not the angry, violent one I had been living with before. Thanks for sharing your struggles with all of us Dawn. Many people are too ashamed to talk about what their kids are going through. The more we get these issues out in the open the more help we can get for our children and for ourselves!

Bonjour said...

I know this has to be hard on all of you but don't forget the big picture....he is getting help and will be home soon with all of you. My son died 15 years ago and I would give anything to have him here with me...even if it was to visit him in a hospital : ( God Bless You

Rachel said...

I was hospitalized for depression as a kid, and I understand what Jackson is going through. Just keep being understanding, and keep giving him your support. He is very lucky to have you.

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

Thinking of you and just wishing there was a way that I could help. Know that you and your beautiful family are in my prayers, always. Sending you much love and all positive thoughts your way, my friend!

pmerry said...

I ache for you. I have been there with my teenage daughter when she took 27 advil one night and I took her to the ER. They told me I could either voluntarily take her to the psychiatric hospital or they would have it done through the police department. She was there five days. I cried myself empty. I raked my entire huge backyard by myself because I felt so helpless. You will come through it and so will your boys. I am willing you to feel the hugs I am sending you because I know you need all the strength you can get. Thank you for the laughs you've given us through the years. I will see what I can find to send you to repay you in kind, because I know you need those too. Hang in there.

Kate said...

I have been where your boys are now. I have been the one behind those doors. It is hard. FAter having cancer at 15 I feel into a very very deep depression and attempted suicide twice. It was scary, for me as much as my parents. I felt so scared. and being"locked up" was even scaried. But it is for the best. You are doing the right thing for them and the will get better and things will be wonderful for them again.

15 years later I am a very happy person. I have a wonderful husband and 3 beautiful children. Things are not always perfect and we have had hard times (one baby had hreat surgey at 3 days old) but it was the skills for dealing with the hard times in life that i learned while hospitalized that have helped me to keep everything in perspective.

I pray for you boys that they get better fast, and for you that things slow down so that you can breatha dn someday find time for the things that you enjoy.

Karen said...

dawn i am so sorry to hear that but i think it's great that they came to you and asked for help, a lot of kids would not have done that. i don't have any advice nor am i going to try and say something moving and meaningful because i am sure you've heard it all and they way you are feeling it really won't matter. stay strong. i believe that all things happen for a reason. we may not know at the time why but time will reveal the answer. life sucks right now and might for a while but i hope with the kids getting the help they want and need that things start to improve.

Nancy said...

I've been in a much similar situation. For a while you're in survival mode, and it's amazing what you can do. And it's great you can see the positive side of things! You'll be in my prayers!

Pat said...

I can only imagine the exhaustion you are feeling. I pray that God will give you and your family peace of mind and heart.

Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) said...

I am sooooo sorry!!!

Our family has depression running in our blood and it is such a heartbreak.

But I was 19 when I first got depressed and I hope and pray my girls are spared the torture.

I'm praying for you all now.

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

Oh my word. I have been so out of the loop, I am just reading all your recent posts tonight. SOOO sorry girl! Just so sorry for all you and your family are enduring.

My older sister was first hospitalized for depression for a month when she was 13. And of course, many other hospitalizations followed over the years. But fortunately when she was in her early twenties they brought out the SSRIs and she finally got some relief.

I didn't get depressed until I was an adult myself. And I am SO grateful for the medications now available!!! I can't even begin to imagine where I would be (and where my Jackson would be) without them.

HUGS to you for the amazing mother you are!!! With you in their corner, they are going to be just fine!!!

scrappydo said...

Hi Dawn, it's been a while since I last checked in on your blog and wow!! your world has changed more than a little bit. Just reading what I have so far, you amaze me - you have such strength for you and your kids. Much love and hugs for you all.

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