Hey all! It has been about six months since I have posted. I am still here, just been dealing with a lot and haven’t known how to put it all into words. Fear not, I did and will not disappear! I am here to stay! Next month, it will be nine years since I started this and I am in it for the long haul. So, you’re stuck with me. 😉
I have two kids, one is 18 and the other is five. My 18 year old has been causing a lot of problems the past few years and the last several months have been really difficult, more so November through April. He came at me, never before or since, the week of my birthday in December this past year. Things had reached a head and he snapped, which left me feeling very frightened. It took me a couple of months to be able to fully look at my son without imagining him lunging at me. He was nearly kicked out. I was not doing well. In January, he was failing in school and he blew off every chance they gave him to catch up. At one point, he even fudged the appearance of his grades so that I would get off his back. When the school told me he was still behind and that things were worse, I defended him and looked like a total fool for it. I found out what he did and was mortified. They didn’t press charges and still offered him help. He still blew them off. He was doing virtual learning first semester. As that didn’t go well, I sent him back to in person learning for the second semester. He started skipping school and causing problems right away. At home, things weren’t good. He was mean to his little sister, stealing from us, lying, blowing off therapy, not taking his meds a lot of the time, not going to his probation meetings, and causing issues. None of that was exactly new, but he had been doing decently for months and then started spiraling downward again. We had to make some tough decisions.
After talking about it for awhile, we decided he had until April 5th to get his butt in gear or he would need to find somewhere else to go. His dad and step-mom seemed taken aback by our decision, until I pointed out that they had distanced themselves from him. When I asked if they would be willing to take him in is when they got silent. They knew we were in a tough position, one they had once been in and realized they didn’t have a leg to stand on when we told them our decision. It was one that was not entered into lightly. It hurt me so much to make it and to tell my son, but it needed to be done. The school continued to reach out and for a bit, he still did nothing. I feared he would end up with no where to go in a couple of months. I was on edge most of the time. I was crying or screaming quite a bit. I didn’t like who I was becoming at all. My relationship with my five year old daughter was suffering, as was my marriage. It was really hard wanting to get out of bed or do much of anything. I knew we had made the right decision for everyone, but it sure didn’t feel like it a lot of the time.
The school reached out again in March with two opportunities that my son could do to graduate on time. He did decide to go for his HSED, paid for by the high school. He did struggle a bit with that at first. On the April 5th deadline, he tried pulling a no show, lying about COVID to try and get out of going. When I said he needed to get tested, he acted like he was going and I said you know you need to schedule with them and he said he did. When I asked him to prove it to me, he said he shouldn’t have to. We fought. At the end of it, I said either you prove it to me and I will even take you to get tested so you don’t have that long walk or you go to school if you want to stay here. I said if he was just going to bail, he could go. It was the deadline date and I wasn’t playing. While I was angry on the outside, I was also breaking on the inside. I hated being the “bad guy”, but I didn’t know what to do anymore. He decided to go to school, knowing he really shouldn’t keep pushing his luck. Other than a few e-mails about him not putting in enough effort, he started doing better. He started taking his tests and one after another, with some help studying and taking pretests, he passed them all. On May 4th, he passed his final test. I can not begin to tell you how happy I was. One weight had finally lifted.
The next up was what does he do now? He hasn’t had any concrete plans for college, which is okay for now, but he needs to get a job and get on his feet then. We gave him a deadline of June 19th to find a job and if he found one in time, then he has until October 1st to get a place of his own. Living with him long term just isn’t an option, especially with our five year old to consider. She doesn’t deserve the often tense and stressful atmosphere and nor do we. Also, he needs to learn how to take care of himself and once he does and starts to do well for himself, he will feel a sense of pride and find joy in his successes. I want both of my kids to be happy and to do well. He got a fast food job on Friday and starts today. He did go on an open interview last for a factory job last week as well. He did say that Taco Bell is a placeholder job, knowing he needs something more substantial to live off of. That was a really smart thing for him to say, to realize he will need more and that this job is only temporary, but is better than nothing in the short term. I am wishing him so much success and more than that, I am wishing, hoping, and praying for him to have the life he wants for himself. I want to see him happy and fulfilled. That is all I have ever wanted for him.
When I photographed a wedding on Saturday, I cried during the mother/son dance. The song that they danced to was, My Wish by Rascall Flatts. The groom is only a few years older than my son. The mom was crying and that got me going. Then I started thinking about it one day being my son and I, which led to more tears. I dream of seeing my son that happy one day, as I do my daughter. He is an adult though and I know that future is closer for him. He and I have gone through so much in nearly 19 years. I have felt happiness, joy, fear for and of him, anxiety, sadness, depressed, hope, pride, and more. Above all of that, I have and will always love my boy. He has pushed me away a lot and there were times I pulled back, but even when I did, the love remained. He is my son, always. That unconditional love won’t die. I hope in time that trust and respect builds. I know he is a good guy at heart. When someone he loves hurts, he hurts, as I do. We are both empathetic people. He will work hard to see people smile. He is creative, funny, smart, and loving. I see good things for him. He needs to work for them and I know he can. I am praying for that all the time.
On top of all of that, there are things going on with my daughter. She has been struggling and I know part of that is because of how hard things have been around here. She also has been sick, has gotten hurt pretty bad, and dealt with a lot. She struggles with pooping in the potty, wanting to learn how to read, and more. She has a temper and can be really sassy. Sometimes my two kids get along great, but other times they are at war and not typical sibling rivalry. We do our best to work through this with them. It is stressful. All of that weighs on my marriage as well as my own psyche. We are talking often and trying to work through all of that. We are making time for us the best we can and trying to balance our time between us, the kids, ourselves, friends, etc. Finding a balance is healthy, but hard to do. We keep at it though.
I own my own business. I am a photographer, day of coordinator, event planner, and officiant. It has been a long road the past five years. I have almost given up several times, especially during COVID. I lost so much money in 2020. More than that, I lost a lot of confidence. In 2020, I fell into a dark depression. At one point, I shaved my head. I got back on meds and saw a therapist briefly. I was so tired of feeling either angry or depressed. I was so tired of flipping out over stupid stuff. I knew I needed help, for the sake of my family and myself, not to mention my business, friends, and others I come in contact with. Sometimes I could hide how messed up I felt, but other times I couldn’t and no one should suffer from it. It has been a long road and I know I will continue to struggle, but I do feel a lot better than I did and I will always keep fighting for my health, well-being, family, friends, relationship with God, business, and for love. I may appear silent for months at times, but please know that’s because I am fighting demons and have forgotten I can turn to my blog as an outlet. Writing out how I feel is just one of the things I blog about. I like to discuss topics, share my photography and poetry, do the occasional review, and more. This page was created so I can share my life with all of you and meet others who are doing the same. Thank you for stopping by today!!
Many blessings I wish for you all and I hope this finds you well! If you have anything you would like to share, please know I welcome you to do so! Then go and enjoy life, be with those you love, and share a smile with someone who may need it. Practice kindness whenever you can, you may not know just how much someone else needs it. ❤
(photo credit: I took this on Saturday while photographing a wedding)