Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Sound Out

From Chicago, the city that tastes like a peppermint patty, it's your host, the woman who just spent half an hour digging through a bag of garbage, looking for the tooth that Clay lost and Lexi accidentally threw away, Dawn Meehan! (She found it too!)

And now, here are the answers to the world's most pressing questions.

SSO question - Do you get annoyed when your comments include spelling or grammatical errors?
If I catch an error that I'VE made, it makes me nuts! If it's an error that someone else has made, it depends. If they've taken the time to write me a lovely comment, telling me how wonderful I am, I overlook the mistakes. If they're sending me hate mail, however, I circle all the spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in red Sharpie, then post it online so everyone can laugh at them.

This might sound silly but does Brooklynn have make-up on [in the picture with Santa]? SHE IS BEAUTIFUL!!

Thank you and nope, Brooklyn doesn't wear makeup. I think four is a little young to wear makeup. I make the girls wait until they're at least five years old before taking them on their inaugural run to Sephora.

On a side not did you ever consider homeschooling. Back when you had just one or two kids?
I thought about homeschooling as much as I thought about jumping out in front of a car, or pounding a railroad stake through my head.

Wherever did you find that red dress for Brooklyn? She outshines Santa..I would imagine the store ownership thrust fistfuls of dollars at you to hire the kid out for their advertising campaign. No? Well..It could happen!

I found it at Target, of course. And nope, she's not doing any advertising for them. I do think she has a good shot at the part of Veruca Salt if they ever remake Willy Wonka again, however.

SSO Q: How do you keep Christmas under control, do you go through their toys before Christmas to get rid of ones they don't play with before they get new ones? Also, do you try to get every child the same number of presents, or base it off of what they are asking for vs. price of that item?

We do go through things and donate them before Christmas, but honestly, my kids don't have an overabundance of toys. We have a very small house (like 1100 square feet with no basement) and there's just not room for stuff like that. I try to remind the kids what Christmas is all about. We put together shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and watch movies like Veggie Tales, Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving (that's a good one for kids and adults alike!) As far as presents go, I try to spend roughly the same amount on each kid, but that's harder and harder to do as they get older.

You never showed us a picture of Bob [the name I bestowed on my dermoid cyst]!
I know! The cyst was actually in my ovary and not on it. My doctor gave me pictures of the ovary, but you can't see the nasty cyst. I was bummed. She did show me pictures of all the endometriosis she found, however. That explains a lot of symptoms I've been having.

First you had to replace your catalytic converter, then your furnace breaks, then your vacuum, then your kitchen faucet. How do you handle it when everything happens at once like that?
That's nothing. Stuff breaks. It happens. It sucks, but life goes on. And life has a way of putting things in perspective.

For example, Austin has been battling depression since this summer. He started cutting himself as a way to deal with the stresses he was experiencing. He also stopped eating and lost a lot of weight, all while claiming he was fat. To make a long story short and spare you the details, he was hospitalized for a week for self-injury and an eating disorder. He's going on week three of the outpatient program now. I've spent every waking moment, worrying about him, trying to function as normally as I can for the other kids, and waking everyone up early and loading the little kids in my freezing car to drive him back and forth every day, then rushing to get the little ones to school and pick everyone up at the same time in towns that are half an hour away.

Meanwhile, Jackson is having issues with depression and acting out by punching me, talking back, breaking things, and putting his fist through the walls. Clay's not dealing all that well either. The kids' therapist says that it's normal and a million articles have been written about boys having a hard time when their dad disappears (and girls having a hard time adjusting when it's the mom who leaves).

Honestly, this past year, I've been so mad at Joe for abandoning the kids. I mean, I'd reached a state of total apathy over the past several years. I felt nothing for him. But after leaving my kids in such a cruel way, I was PISSED. However, I've even come to terms with this now. Joe was in no shape to be a dad this past year. He had to take care of himself and if he'd been in the kids' lives, I'm afraid they'd be even worse off now. He's been calling them for the past few weeks which is good, in a way, but it's made the depression and bad behavior even worse. I may as well just move in to the therapist's office these days.

I haven't spoken to my parents since before Thanksgiving. In a way, it may be a good thing to cut ties there. I mean, when my parents watched my kids while I was in California, my mom constantly made comments like, "Two days, five hours, and twenty-three minutes!" when one of my friends called to see if they could pick up one of my kids for a playdate. When the airline accidentally called my home to tell me my flight had been delayed, my mom answered and begged the woman on the other end to get me on the soonest flight possible because she was stuck there watching my six kids. I'm sure she thought it was cute and funny that she was counting down like that, but what my kids heard was, "I can't stand being here and am counting down the seconds until I can get away from you guys." Because of all the drama, we weren't invited to celebrate Christmas at my sister's with everyone else. I personally don't care that much and am looking forward to spending a quiet Christmas day here at home with my kids. My kids, on the other hand, get to end the year with several other family members showing them how unimportant they are.

This is why a broken vacuum cleaner is nothing. It's small potatoes. The other stuff is important. It's important that I continue to spend as much time as possible with my kids. It's important that I continue to talk to them every day. I thank God for my relationship with my kids! If it wasn't for that, Austin wouldn't have come to me and told me about his problems and trusted me to get him help. God is good. He loves us and can even use the crap that happens for good. I totally believe that, so I keep going. In fact, if you're hurting this holiday season, or if you're having a hard time dealing with circumstances beyond your control, let me direct you to my dear friend, Margaret McSweeney's website. She's the heart behind the book, Pearl Girls and right now, she's featuring inspirational stories from some amazingly talented ladies on her blog HERE. She's also giving away pearls if you leave a comment there. Please check it out. Margaret is such an awesome friend. If you want to see her in action, check out this short interview she did with Rachel Ray HERE. And, and, and, she's giving away an autographed copy of my new book, You'll Lose the Baby Weight (and other lies about pregnancy and childbirth) HERE!!!

That's it for this week's edition. Now go out and get those last minute stocking stuffers and don't forget the chocolate coins! :)

72 comments:

Rikki said...

I will be saying an extra special prayer for your family tonight.

Kat said...

Thanks for being honest about your kids' struggles and life as a single mom. I am a single mom too, all three of my kids struggle with depression and a terminal illness. I am familiar with eating disorders and cutting, those are tough and sad to see. What a hero you are for being the one your kids look up to and trust! Having struggles like that really makes all the other 'problems' in life not such a big deal. Kids are my big deal, my biggest deal and I don't want to spend a minute away from them. I hope you enjoy your time at Christmas hangin out with the best people on earth...your kids! Merry Christmas!

dgmommie said...

I am experiencing first-hand depression in my teenage son. He says it's been going on for a long time, but it was brought to the forefront with the suicide of two of his friends. FINALLY I've gotten someone to listen to me about him, and he has been put on medication (it's doing fantastic on him) along with counseling. It's so so hard when your child is going through it and there is nothing really that you can do to help other than just be there.

Charlie said...

Dawn your honesty and strength always amazes and inspires me. Wishing all good things your way for 2011.

Esther said...

I can't believe people had the huge privilege of being part of your amazing family, and chose not to enjoy every opportunity they had with them.

I would put good money on it that your six kids, who are used to working together and considering each other, are less hassle than one or two kids who are spoiled and uncooperative.

Hope you have an amazing Christmas filled with significance and love.

Will be praying for you all xxx

Holly C. said...

DAWN!-my heart is breaking for you.

I'm so sorry things are going this way. I hope they turn around and soon!

Thinking of you and your family.

Sharon said...

You know what Dawn? I admire and respect you so much for all you do for your children. You are truly a great mom and the people around you should be ashamed that they have given you so little support. I am sending prayers your way for your continued strength. 2011 is going to be a great year for you and your children. God loves you and so do your followers. Need anything, just let us know.

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

WOW, you HAVE been going through a lot!! I will add you guys to my prayer list, which seems to be growing this time of year. I can't imagine how you're holding it all together. You are one strong momma. Enjoy your Christmas, with those wonderful kids.

BTW, sometimes I feel like driving a railroad stake through my head, and this is my 4th year of homeschooling. :)

sakina said...

I've been a lurker for a while now Dawn... and just wanted to say (incase you havent heard it before)that you are an amazing mom! I hope I can be half the mom you are to my kids... will definitely be praying for you and your family. :)

Tammy said...

Oh Dawn. You must be a very strong woman because God never gives us more than we can handle. And you are having to handle a lot.

My dad died when I was 15, and my mom remarried 11 years ago and disowned all 5 of us kids. (She lives in a suburb of Chicago not far from you if you ever want to drive by and throw eggs at her - ha.) I think her rejection was much harder to deal with than losing my dad. She's not mentally healthy enough to be in my kids' lives, so it really is her loss. But it is our loss, too. My husband tells people he has the best MIL in the world. ha ha

I am sorry your kids have to deal with these things that are hard enough for adults to deal with. Shame on your family.

I've been fighting depression for a couple years now. Meds and therapy. And my 7 year old son who is a Type 1 diabetic occasionally gets very down. (He's in therapy, too.) It's definitely harder to watch in your kids.

Now that Joe is calling occasionally, is he sending money too? (Don't hurt yourself falling off your chair laughing or anything like that.)

I'll be praying for you all. You're clearly operating in survivor mode. Take care of you.

Simple Country Girl said...

Just wanted to say I think you are an amazing person for all you do for your kids. I went through a divorce 3 years ago around this time of year. And I've had to deal with family disownment myself this past year, and it's not fun. But, my girls are well taken care of and they know the true meaning of the holidays. I'll be praying for you and the kids. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and that life gets better in 2011!

Carrie M. said...

OMG, Dawn..I am so sorry for all the problems you and your poor sons are dealing with. I can relate somewhat...when my ex and I got a divorce my daughter acted out as well. She had SEVERE anxiety issues that lasted for several years. It was a really tough time for all of us (but especially her). I will be praying for you and your family. Hugs to all!!

Steph said...

Our daughter cut herself too. In her case it was low self esteem and thank God she is ok now. You are so correct when you say that God is good! He is with you everyday. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Robin said...

Dawn, I'm so sorry to hear about all the stuff you've got going on. I knew about the material things breaking down and needing some help but I had NO idea about the emotional stuff happening. It breaks my heart for you and your family. Your kids are VERY lucky to have you in their corner!!
Sending you hugs from just a few hours away ((HUGS))

Stefanie said...

Wow, I'm so sorry to hear how tough this is all on your family. I've been reading your blog for over 3 years and I look forward to your posts! I will be praying for you family!!!

pepsiplease said...

Dawn you are the strongest person I know. May all good happen in the New Year for you.

Laura~peach~ said...

you are an amazing mom.... and thank you for talking about the "dirty little secrets" I decided several years ago that my blog woudl be my outlet through the things that were happening with my kids. and trust me when I say the friends in side my computer have saved me a million times over and my family thinks i have wonderful little angel children who have no problems or worries or concerns...

Love hugs and Merry christmas and heres to a better 2011 for us all!

Pat said...

I will be adding you and your family to my prayers. You are much more resilient than I ever was. Your leaning on God shines through your prose. When I had cancer and 7 surgeries in one year, I recalled that God never gives us more than we can handle, but I would tell Him that He greatly overestimated my coping skills. I am in awe of your abilities to rise above.

Lyndsay said...

Will say a prayer for your family!

Ross Momma said...

Oh My Dawn! Your post brought me to tears. Divorce sucks and is never easy even if it is the right thing for all involved. I am so sorry that your kids are struggling so much with this and that your family is not more supportive. You are so funny and upbeat about things that we forget that what you share is only a small slice of your life. Thank you for sharing what you do, and for being such an encouragement to all us moms out here struggling with the day to day. I hope that your kids continue to heal and that 2011 will be a better year full of joy and happiness. May God continue to bless you and may you and the kids have a very Merry Christmas.

Amy said...

I'll be praying for you Dawn.

All 4 of my boys went thru anger issues when my ex walked out. And like your kids, they not only lost their dad (it's been almost 6 years since he called last), but other extended family.

You're a great mom to be there for your kids and I'm so glad that Austin felt able to come to you for help!

Christy said...

Oh Dawn- you have been so quiet while going through so much. Much love and prayers to you and your amazing kids. Chin up- this too shall pass.

hz said...

Dawn... my heart aches that your family is in so much pain. My prayers go out to you and your kids, even your ex, that you pull through these trying times with flying colors. You have a gift for looking at the bright side. Things will get better!
Josh

tommygirl said...

You are such an amazing person, and a inspiration to me. I am praying for you and for your kids. I hope 2011 brings with it peace, joy and happiness in all that you do.

Katie Lee said...

Keeping your family in my heart this Christmas.

MommyP said...

Oh, Dawn... I'm SO sorry that your boys are having such a struggle, and that your sisters suck. You can come spend Christmas here in OKC! I only have one kiddo, and there are 4 adults here at the moment... and the weather is just beautiful this week! It's only about a day-long drive (we've done it ourselves).

I'll be praying for you guys.

Carol said...

Dawn,
You are one strong woman! I have so much respect and admiration for you. I will be keeping you and your kids in my prayers. May 2011 bring you joy, peace, and happiness. Merry Christmas to you, Austin, Savannah, Jackson, Lexi, Clay, and Brooklyn!

Mimicutelips said...

HIGH FIVE DAWN!!!!!! For being the glue that holds your kids together. Merry Christmas!!!

Maria said...

You are so brave for sharing this things. I know I've been in similar situations. I'll keep you in my prayers. :)

Sandy in Illinois said...

Dawn,
I'm praying that you and your family find a way to be reconciled during this best time of year. People really need family through good and bad times.

Missi said...

Dawn, I really admire you for not sugar coating everything. I'm so very sorry the boys are dealing w/ everything they are. They have a wonderful mom & they are all very lucky to have you in their lives! I'm glad you are in my "life". I've been reading your blog for awhile now & wish all 7 of you the best for the new year!!

Karin said...

wow Dawn! Your post is so honest and wow what a wonderful mom you are! What a loss for the people around you who don't want to support you and the kids and be part of their lives. Shame on them!

Wishing you all the best for the new year!!

mommeeof10 said...

Wow, I don't know how you handled everything that you did in the last year! I'll add you to my prayer list.

Hope 2011 finds all of you happier and healthy.

Kim said...

You know what? You are so real and that's what I love about reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your family with us, the good and the not so good. You are such a fantastic mom and you are raising fantastic children.
Nobody's life is all ice cream and cherries, but people like to make others think it is.
Have a wonderful Christmas celebrating with your children.
Kim

Vicky said...

Dawn, wishing you and the family a happy Christmas and a wonderful 2011.

Kimmerie said...

Dawn, my hands are out to Austin (and to all your family). I have had problems with depression and cutting since I was about twelve (I'm 41 now!). This spring I ended up in the hospital so I understand where Austin is coming from. There is a way out, even though it's so very hard to find sometimes... and even harder to believe you want to find it. I finally found a really good program, and also I think I was finally ready. I still have individual therapy and weekly group therapy, which helps me keep on track.
I know the whole process was terribly hard for my five-year-old son, even though I tried to protect him from it... but he's also been a huge help in giving me reasons to hold on.

probably more than you needed to know... but I wanted Austin to know I get it and I'm thinking of him.

love,
Kimmerie

Tess said...

Wow, Dawn. That is so much to deal with and you do so with love and grace. You are teaching your children such valuable lessons and because of those, they will grow up to be wonderful, caring adults. Much love and God's Blessings.

Christina said...

I'm so sorry... I'm praying for you and your kids.

Love,
A Stranger

Donna said...

I am so glad you opened up and shared with us how the kids were really doing. I think they were afraid to tell you how they really felt as they were sheltering you from it too. Now that is is out in the open they can let their feelings out and not feel so bad.
It has been a year now for all 7 of you so wishing you a very happy New Year .......
Hang in there...I think you are doing a great job and what God takes you thru he has his reasons.

I will keep you all in my prayers as always.

Big soft warm hug
Donna in NE Indiana

Carmen said...

You and the kids are in my thoughts... I'm sorry to hear that things have gotten so hard for them. I hope they get better soon.

And thanks for putting things in perspective for us. Sometimes we worry about the unimportant things in life, when we should really be thankful.

And, you are a great mom! They are so lucky to have you!

Carmen said...

My comment seems to have disappeared when I logged on... I was saying:


You and the kids are in my thoughts. I'm sorry to hear that things have gotten so hard for them, and I hope that things get better soon.

Also, thanks for putting things in perspective for us. So many times we worry about the little, unimportant things, when we should really be thankful!

You are a great mom, and your kids know it! That is all that matters...

DocMisty said...

Well, we just got back from your neck of the woods where we planned on spending 5 days until one kid felt sick on the way down to the breakfast buffet our first day and barely made it outside to puke. The baby threw up at the breakfast table, and the 11-year-old spent the morning with his head on the hotel room bathroom counter. So, we came home to Michigan. I thought you might have a sympathetic smile for me and 3 out of 5 kids puking our first day of vacation.

And I have to agree, it's really just small potatoes - the daily obstacles.

I hope you continue to make progress and find comfort with the real trials.

I've been battling depression off and on for a while now and finally got a couple friends together once a week to work our way through a great book called "Feeling Good" by Burns. It uses "Cognitive Behavior Therapy" with lots of great exercises and tools to help combat the destructive thoughts that increase depression. I've been throwing a couple of the ideas at my kids too, and it seems to help.

God bless!

Misty

x.miki.x said...

I'm not a mother myself (I'm only 20) and so I can't even imagine how hard it is, but I do know that you seem like a wonderful mum who loves her kids to death and that's all they could ask for. I myself suffered with depression (it's much better now that I'm on medication), self harm and an eating disorders when I was around Austins age and I can promise you that although it isn't easy (far from it), he will pull through it. I just wanted to let you know that there is a light at the end of a tunnel, from someone who has been there themselves.
I think you are such a strong woman and I will keep you in my prayers. Hoping you have a good Christmas.

Lyttlethingsmttr said...

You and your kids have my prayers and admiration. Glad to see Joe is coming around and hope that works out best for the kids. Merry Christmas Dawn!

Sherry said...

Dawn,

I am so sorry you and the kids have through so much this year. I am praying 2011 will be the best year yet and that God will rain down many blessings on you for all you have endured.

It is a shame that your family is missing out on the wonderful blessing of you and your children. Maybe someday they will realize all they missed out on, but at least you aren't missing out on these amazing kids.

May God hold you and each of your children in the palm of his hand.

We love and appreciate you sharing your life with us!

Sherry

elan said...

Finally a post I can relate to! My husband and I have a birth daughter, and then adopted three very mentally disturbed/abused/neglected siblings. It was pure hell, and I've learned a lot about how to survive... how to survive a nasty family that never "got it" when my kids were struggling with cutting, bipolar, depression and mental breakdowns, how to survive the shame that others tried to place on us as we struggled to get through each day - only to get up and find that the new day was WORSE than the last. I'm so sad that Oprah is leaving her show, I would have made the most fascinating guest as I could tell her the most delicious horror stories about my kids daily new ways to torture us as a family. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger - and I must be a female Hercules by now, and you are well on your way. One bipolar daughter had two darling children, and I live to protect them from her and support my former son-in-law... the other daughter is a prisoner in an abusive, terrible marriage - which eats at me, since I thought I gave them an example of a strong, female centered up bringing. Life is messy, dang it. I haven't spoke to my mother in almost 5 years because I was the target of her anger and I removed myself... so I am no longer welcome on that side of the family. Who knew there were others with such messy, messy stories??? I love your honesty, and that you KNOW you are doing the best you can. When you know better, you can do better (one of my many mottos to live by), but right now, you are doing the best you know how. My favorite quote is from one of the Kennedy women "Things work out in the end. And if they haven't, well, this must not be the end". Love it. Love reading your blog. Enjoy your children and some peace at Christmas.

Stephanie said...

I'm so sorry, Dawn. Your kids are truly blessed to have such an understanding Mommy. Having a brother that struggled with severe depression, I feel so relieved to know that Austin was comfortable enough to come to you about his struggles. THAT is an absolute blessing. Hang in there. You have so many cyber friends that are pulling for you. God IS good.

Mayberry Mom said...

The fact that Austin came to you so that you could get him help speaks VOLUMES on what a great parent you are.

I hope he continues to get healthy.

jdb in AZ said...

Ever hear of the expression "more on my plate than I can say grace over?" I think that would describe your past year. It's gotta get better, say whut?

Here's another platitude: "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger."

SubWife said...

Dawn,

You are very strong,and wonderful, and an absolutely amazing mom. Thank you for sharing what you are going through. My thoughts are with you and your kids.

Kim said...

Keeping you and your family in my prayers. Wish I was more eloquent with words...Just wanted you to know that there are many people in this world that think you are awesome.

jennyandcompany said...

oh Dawn, huge ((hugs)) to you for sharing all of that. One day things WILL be better. You will get through this and be stronger. I'm sure it sucks in the meantime, but you are doing an amazing job keeping things in perspective.

You are also helping more people than you can imagine by sharing your struggles, so that they know there is someone else out there dealing with the same thing.

Leslie said...

Dawn~thank you so much for sharing your personal struggles. You are amazing and I wish I could be more like you in finding humor even in trying circumstances. Tell the kids that they have people both near and far praying for them (and you too). Merry Christmas!

Our Unique Family said...

We will be praying for you and your family!! {{Hugs}} You are truely a wonderful mom!! You are their for your kids no matter what!! Merry Christmas!!

V1nce said...

Best wishes always to you and your family. Family is the most important thing in the world.

Wishing you and yours and everyone's family a better year every year.

And a ham sandwich. Everything's better with a nice sandwich!

Gilda said...

Dawn, so very sorry to hear about what Austin has been going through, as well as the younger guys ~ But, truly how blessed that he was able to come to you. That says & means so very much.
I just can't understand your family & how they can not want to be there for the kids & to give you some support.
You are an amazing woman & a fantastic mom... Don't EVER feel otherwise!
Wishing you a much happier 2011 & sending you big tight(((Hugs)))~~ from one of your many fans & admirers / me

Nikki said...

Dawn I have no words that haven't been already said. I can't imagine what your children felt while hearing their grandmother's words. If you lived by me I would totally love to have you over for Christmas. My LOUD family of 6 boys would have a BLAST with yours. May God bless you greatly in the coming year.

Keren said...

Dawn - So sorry to hear about these challenges, but like everyone else has said, I know you are strong enough to pull you and your kids through.

I do have to break with the fold and comment on a less weighty matter too. You could have saved yourself the half hour garbage dive by doing what I did when mine "lost" her tooth (probably swallowed it). I substituted a tic tac and told her the tooth fairy wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Don't know if it would have worked if she actually believed in the tooth fairy - she just likes going through the motions.

hrunars said...

WHAAAAAAT???

If it wasn't enough to have a defective husband, your closest family really ought to be standing by you and even more by your kids. Shame on them!!!

Dawn - I'd love to be closer to you and be able to offer some practical help but Iceland's sort of far away :( Please accept my heartfelt wishes for the kids' and your own happiness to get kicking!

all the best from us!

Vicki said...

Merry Christmas Dawn!
May God and His wonderful grace and peace be with you today and always.
Vicki in GA <><

cyn said...

Dawn,

I am praying for you and your family. It is so hard when one of your children is going through something and you can't rely on family. My youngest son has had a lot in his short life. My family has been very supportive but my husbands family is a whole different story. We don't even tell them what is happening. Conversations are how's the weather. Thank God for friends to hold me up. Just remember Dawn, there are a lot of people here that are praying for you. Let the prayers of strangers lift you up and don't let family hold you down!!!

Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing. I didn't speak for a year after my father left. My mom spent lots of time having me tested - hearing, speech, IQ - to see if there was something physically wrong. At 6, this was how I handled the emotional stress. Don't know why, but I eventually started speaking again.
I've since made up for not speaking for that year :).
You've helped many today.

Julie said...

Dawn,

Wow, I had no idea things were that rough for you right now! Years ago when my children stopped seeing their father, I too had a child who acted out by punching me, putting holes in walls, breaking things etc. I had to pack up everything glass and put the knives out of sight for a while until we got through it. It's not only a difficult situation to live through but it is often compounded by family members that don't understand and judge you. Going out in public was awful, which for me meant I often felt isolated and alone. As someone who has gone through this myself, I want you to know that you are not alone. You WILL get through this! Hang in there Dawn!!

Keri Jackson said...

Dawn,

will be saying prayers for you and the kids!!!

PamGram said...

Thank you for sharing your life,good,bad and ugly.I'm sure it is helping so many and even yourself.I,like so many others here wish you lived closer to me. You would have to move here to Calif. because I couldn't handle the freezing weather.I have a 16 yr.old son who stays in his room playing world of warcraft. It's how he copes with all the extra family we have living here now. Boomarang kids.Anyway...You'll get thru this with your great humor and strength.And remember you have all of us readers/followers.mmm kinda creepy huh? MERRY CHRISTMAS and {{WARM HUGS}}

Mommy to three said...

Just wanted to say that I hope you and your children have a happy, quiet Christmas filled with the peace you all deserve.

lawnajo said...

I'm sorry to read about your challenges.
I had to say "Thank You" for letting us know about the Veggie Tales movie. My kids watched it instantly on Netflix today and it was great for moving their thoughts from, "what are we going to get?"
I pray that you can have a happy Christmas with your kids.

Elle said...

Dawn, thank you for being so real. Life is not easy, esp. with what you are dealing with.
I worked with teenage kids for 6 years, most of which were dealing with what your sons are feeling.
You are doing the right thing. Those people can help, and obviously God can heal their hearts.
Hang in there, mama! You are a rock to these kids and they will be so much better for it!

Love, Michelle

Linda said...

Dear Dawn, Merry Christmas, I have been enjoying your blog and lurking since the beginning and don't normally comment as you get so many others saying it so much better than I could but just wanted to take a moment and offer you my prayers and good thoughts for your boys and their struggles and to tell you how awesome you are and how much I admire you and the way you have dealt with the bad stuff of the last while, all the while keeping such a positive outlook and humor. The fact your boys confided their deep problems to you and allowed you to find them help is a testament to what an awesome parent you are. Really truly.
hugs,
Linda
ps...re your parents, as a grandparent who has had more than her share of problems with the grandkids parents, try and heal that rift as children can never have too much love in their life, and grandparents are important to kids. I don't know how old your folks are but maybe 6 children was too much for them to handle and they were struggling when they said the things they did. At least try and talk to your Mom on your own and see if that was the case because losing contact with your family is extreme and not a good thing for any of you. Please talk to your mom and find out her perspective on it, I am sure her heart is breaking too and she may have been tired, frustrated and at breaking point when she said those words, give her another chance if you can find it in your heart to do so. Remeber, us older folks do not have the energy, stamina, patience and nervous system of you younger ones...that is why God gives children to the young and not the old....

Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) said...

Dawn,

I've been so behind on blog reading and I'm just catching up now on what has been happening in your life.

I am so sorry for these challenges with your boys' depression. How utterly heartbreaking.

You are such an inspiration to me and so many people. Thank you for sharing your journey and helping us get through our own.

I truly wish I could help you in some way. Please if you can think of anything I could do, let me know.

Sending lots of virtual hugs and real prayers.

Lady Heather said...

No computer for a few months for me has sucked, as my time on the net at the library was extremely limited (they give you one hour a DAY, no extra time if nobody wants it after you, no get off and sign back up for another hour ... so it was email alone that got done, blog reading got ignored, sadly).

So anyhow, I'm so sorry to hear about the divorce. In the long run, you have to do what makes you happy and helps you to feel good, and what is best for the kids. In this caase, from what catching up I've been able to do, it sounds much like splitting up is the best option.

Some advice from a formerly single mom of two that may help, and which you've probably already heard but just in case.

1 - back support. Keep on top of your caseworker at child services or whatever they call it. They're overworked, yes, but if you don't make like a squeaky wheel at them over back support, or unpaid current support, they'll just ignore your case in favor of someone who is making noise. It can take time and effort, but it's mostly going to be phone calls and paperwork. Mostly paperwork - getting it all in writing is the best option. Leearn your state's laws on child supoprt. Mine was Michigan (I'm in Missouri now), and so as the case is there, I have to follow MI child suport laws. This means a lot of letter writing to the caseworker. My daughter's father (I refuse to call him her DAD, that's my current hubby, her stepdad) is over $36,000 behind and barely pays anything. It's nearly time for another support review, which they won't do without one of us requesting it, since I get no state aid (daughter just turned 18 in January, as well). I'm unemployed and looking for work. I really don't think $14 and change a month to pay the back support (which continues to rack up till she's 18 1/2, plus twice-yearly interest additons) is going to do much since he was way older than me and is in his early 60s. Anyhow, fight like crazy, keep in touch with your caseworker constantly. Depending on the laws of your state, they CAN make him get a regular W2 job or offer to toss his sorry behind in the pokey till he pays a healthy chunk of support. If he's deliberately taking cash jobs under the table to avoid paying support, the judges and caseworkers are usually even LESS lenient than if he's at least trying to work at a regular job. (Sorry for the long-winded paragraph!!)

2 - My lovely daughter is a cutter, as you mention Austin is. Long story short there, it's not suicidal thoughts and feelings that seem to promote a kid to cutting. My DD Amber put it succintly when I asked her why she did it.

"Because it hurts less."
"Less than what, honey?"
"Everything else."

Basically, the problems Austin's going through, as I'm sure his therapist has told you as well, are just so enormous to him, so all-encompassing and overhwelming to him, that he hurts so much that cutting seems like a good way to deal with it. All because the pain from that is a physical pain he can deal with, and it hurts less than all the emotional trauma does.

God bless and good luck, Dawn. You're a beacon of light to so many of us. I wish I could do more than just offer my support, my prayers and encouragement from a Mom who's been there and done that so long that I wore the t-shirt out to rags. I'll be thinking of you often. Hang tight. And if it helps, as crazy as it sounds, remember something Robert Heinlein wrote in "Friday." "As long as the body's still warm and the bowels still move, everything else is only temporary." No telling how long temporary will be, but it will pass. Hugs, hon.

Cinna Frost said...

My mom told me about your posts the other night, and I've been reading these all night. I have to say that as a kid I can't really understand the type of pain parents feel but I know my mom appreciates these posts.
My mom and you are kind of in the same position. She's been a single mom for about a month now, after finally divorcing my father. I have three older siblings, and three young. (7 of us)
She really hates listening to other people in those divorce groups, because she said they act like they have had it worse. She tells me about how their lucky seeing they didn't have to divorce and carry the weight of seven kids with no job or collage diploma. She said they don't understand anything.
But I think she looks up to you. She said that even though she doesn't know you, you've inspired her to keep on going. She said if you can do it, she can too. She said "This women understands how hard it is,"
So I guess I'm saying thanks in a way. Not really thanks for having to live like this, but almost a thanks for just writing this.
While some read this to make sure your doing okay, my mom seems to read it so she can relate to someone.
Anyways, I hope you and your family are doing well right now. Bless you all,
Cinna (:

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