I have a lot to say right now. I stared at this screen for a little bit, unsure of where to begin. I couldn’t think of a clever title for this, so it is what it is…
I meant to write more in 2019 than I did. There were several times where I thought to myself, I really should blog, it’s been awhile and then I got busy and forgot.
It’s now 2020… Alright, where is the Jetson life I thought we’d be living? Honestly, I’m okay without flying cars, robot maids, etc. I wouldn’t necessarily mind being able to push a button and have my food be ready. Though, with an instant pot, that’s pretty close. 🤣
2019 brought a lot of loss, heartache – both literally and figuratively, stress, and struggle. It did also bring some joy, laughter, fun times, and good memories made. Overall, in all honesty, I am happy 2019 is over. There are lessons and memories I’ll take from it though.
One of the biggest things that happened in 2019 was my son coming home to live with us full-time, for the first time in 14 years, I got primary placement back. At first, I was so happy. I had fought for this for so long. I remember the tears, the heartache, stress, sleepless nights, and fighting it took to get to this point and finally, it was over.
About a month or so in, the high wore off and our troubles began. In the 14 years that I had limited time with my son, a chip grew on his shoulder, one that has become a mountain.
He’s angry at the world. His dad didn’t listen, was there physically and yet not there for him a lot of the time, kept trying to turn him into something he’ll likely never be, pushed him away, and refused to give him the one thing he’d been asking for over 13 years – to live primarily with me.
I struggled with my mental health issues, still do sometimes, and I was sometimes mentally checked out. I was too soft on him, to try to balance out how strict his dad was being. I was trying to be what I thought he needed, but I think I missed the mark more than I ever meant to. I sometimes was too self involved. As he was growing, neither his dad or I were really what he needed, I just didn’t fully see that until recently.
He was picked on in school for being different. He eventually fought back and that led to trouble. Coupled with mental health issues that were starting to present themselves, feeling torn between Mom and Dad, and a host of things going on inside his head, he was going down a path that would lead him towards darkness, a darkness I’m afraid of.
Early on, he was acting out. He was crying out. His dad didn’t listen. I kept telling him bad things would happen if he kept ignoring our son’s cries for help and to be heard. The tall tales increased, stealing started, fighting in school/class began, and antagonistic behavior towards his step-mom grew to a frightening level.
Fast forward to 2018. He tried running away in January and then in May, he got to a point where he pulled a knife and held onto it, scaring his step-mom, who by this point now had two little kids of her own and was also babysitting for someone. After talking to them, they finally listened somewhat and took him to a behavioral health facility. He was there for roughly two weeks. They tweaked the meds he was on while there. At first, he refused to see or talk to his dad and step-mom. After I talked to him, he finally decided to open up and talk to them. He seemed to learn a lot in his time there.
After a month or two, things went back to normal and in time, got worse on all fronts. He was actively stealing often, in more trouble at school, was alienating the few friends he had, and things at his dad’s were getting dangerous, to all involved. In that time, I began the court process, once again, (As I had gone through it in 2007-2009) to bring my son home.
In November of 2018, the court said they would leave it as is until the summer. I would then get primary placement for a trial run and if all went well, it could stay that way. Things seemed to be looking up.
On February 7th, 2019, things reached their breaking point for my son, his step-mom, and his dad. Cops were involved on both sides. He was taken to shelter care. We picked him up and he’s been here since.
Like stated earlier, things were fine for a month or so. I was taking him to school over an hour away until the court made the change a little more official, about a month later. He started going to school here then. Within two weeks, he was already getting into trouble here.
After all the fighting we did to make this happen and him swearing to me he’d start making better choices and that this change would help him grow and mature, it hurt my soul to see he was continuing this self destructive behavior. He was still lying, stealing, fighting, etc. He was also beginning to cause problems with his little sister, problems that go beyond simple sibling rivalry. His outbursts became violent. He would break things when he didn’t get his way/was angry. Now, I knew this wouldn’t be a quick fix, but he wasn’t working at changing and it was hard to watch and deal with. Therapy started and meds were tweaked and at first, there seemed to be an improvement.
After getting through Summer school, he was enrolled in an online school. As public school hadn’t ever worked well for him, it was time to try something different. Again, he swore things would be better without all of the distractions.
At first, things were fine. And then… He started to slack off, bailing on classes and only putting so much effort into his school work. His issues with sister were increasing. He got in trouble for stealing, again. Things were reaching a boiling point.
Meds were tweaked again and again, things were a little better and then they weren’t. The stress levels were high on all sides. My husband loves my son, but then there’s our daughter to consider and he made it known that for him, she comes first. Feeling torn between my children, I was unsure what to do. I knew things couldn’t continue as they were though.
After all of court stuff for what he’d been doing, he was placed on supervision. Those every other week meetings generally went alright. But, this last meeting didn’t go well. It led to him storming off. He didn’t like the rules and said he couldn’t live here. Once shelter care was explained to him, he said that wouldn’t work either. He got dramatic and said he could either live on the streets or kill himself. We explained those weren’t viable options. We kept trying to explain why it’s important he take his school work seriously and that what’s being asked of him isn’t any more than what many parents expect. He didn’t care about any of that and left the room, stomping up the stairs to his room.
That left my hubby, who got home from work, the social worker, and myself to talk. She said she’d give us the night to think about things and would see what we wanted to do in the morning. I talked to his dad and to my husband. In the end, it was decided to have him taken to shelter care. The cruelty to his sister, disrespectful behavior towards my hubby and I, trashing things and taking off, the lies, the taking things from us, the bailing on school stuff, etc needed to be stopped and we felt helpless to help him. Everything we’d tried wasn’t working.
He left peacefully yesterday, but wasn’t happy. He fought with me on the phone, clearly not ready to change. He kept trying to bait me, as is his way, and eventually I hung up. They did get him to do school work, saw that by the emails I got from the school when things got turned in. I don’t know where his mind is at today, but he’s got court in a few hours. I just want things to get better for my son, for our family.
My almost four year old shouldn’t be afraid of my 17 year old. My brilliant 17 year old shouldn’t be failing in school. Our family shouldn’t be feeling such constant tension. We should be able to spend time together as a family. We shouldn’t have to lock our bedroom door. We should be able to trust him with our daughter. We should be able to trust him in general. This whole situation sucks.
I pray to God for healing, light on the path we should each take as individuals and as a family, peace, love to help us grow closer again, for the pain to stop…. My soul aches and I just want the ache to end. I pray that this is the beginning to better days.
This isn’t the only thing going on, but it is definitely one of the biggest. One thing at a time, right? Then maybe we can focus on our marriage, finances, health, time with friends, etc more? I’m trying to be many things to many people. Sometimes I forget to be what I need for myself. I’m working on it. I’ll always be working on it, as I’m sure everyone will be. Our evolution only stops, or should stop anyway, when we die. While we’re here, we’re growing as people.
I hope that I can become a better me all the time, ever learning and changing. I want to be a better mom, wife, daughter, friend, business owner, photographer, writer, singer, cook, camper, nature lover, inhabitant of this world, Christian, and overall person.
I want to be someone people love, respect, look up to and admire, get inspired by, and that will be remembered as someone who gave, loved, and lived her life the best she could. I want that dash in between my birthday and the day I die to represent a life well lived.
I have hurt and been hurt. My parents hurt me. My mom was hurt by her parents. My grandparents had their own tales, some good and some not so good. I wanted to give better to my kids. Have I?
At 17, my grandma was pregnant and eloped to another state to get married. She’d already given up a child for adoption. She was in love with a man who wasn’t so nice a lot of the time. She gave birth to my uncle. They worked to later raise three kids. She did the best she could, but her best wasn’t enough to protect my mom from her own dad or provide what her kids really needed.
At 17, my mom was ready to bail and did at 18, married an abusive jerk. She left. She had me at 20. She did her best. Her best led me to foster care when I was abused by her boyfriend. That led to years of pain for us both. If I’m being honest, I think that pain is with us yet. She made a certain amount of peace with her mom, but I don’t think she ever fully let go. I haven’t fully let go yet and I’m still trying.
At 17, I was bounced between my mom, old foster mom, grandma, mom, and grandma again. I was so angry, hurt, depressed, and scared. I was diagnosed with bipolar at 19/20. I had my son at 23. I was an absolute wreck. I think over time, I’ve grown. I’m still a mess sometimes, but I think I’m in a much better place than I have been before.
At 17, my son is at shelter care because of his anger issues, refusal to do what’s expected of him, his harming his sister, and his need to control everything. He’s angry, scared, depressed. He’s struggling. He may want to be a she. He isn’t sure what he wants. He is trying to find his way.
On one hand, I believe I’m doing the right thing… He needs help, help we couldn’t alone give him. This could be a good thing for him, probably not right away, but eventually.
On the other hand, I still feel so awful that it ever got to this point. Sending my son away is killing a piece of my soul. I’m trying to keep the first point in mind so I don’t lose my mind completely.
Thank you to anyone who’s made it thus far, for reading what I’ve had to say. I hope that it’s perhaps touched something in you. If you’re going through any of this, know you’re not alone. Somehow, I’m making it. I am holding onto my faith, that things will work out. Please, I pray you’ll hold on too. And now I take another step forward….