How do we all survive this?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by firehorsewoman, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. You would think that I would be used to a life like this by now after having been born to a difficult child mother (no contact with her for the past 16 yrs) and giving birth to a difficult child son 8 1/2 years ago. But no. I am not used to it since peace and tranquility happen to be the life style I personally thrive in.

    How do we all survive this? Does this kill some of us? Many days I just don't know how much more I can take.

    difficult child and his sister live with their father about 20-22 days out of the month so I do get lots of down time. I do get time by myself and time to recover. Still, the meltdowns, violence, yelling, lying, screaming, and the really hard work of trying to manage a difficult child by myself when he is here, is totally exhausting and depressing.

    I think that I am feeling worse than usual due to the e-mail I got from the ex earlier this week telling me that things have been really bad at his house (first time that he has ever admitted this) and that he has given difficult child until the end of the summer to straighten up or else he is sending him to a live-in facility. I had wanted to believe the fiction that difficult child's behavior was only bad at my house.

    Got the kids yesterday afternoon and difficult child was happy because he had won a bike for perfect attendance at school. He was hyper and manic as usual but I can deal with that pretty well. Not listening to me...I can deal with that pretty well too. Then he urinated on the floor on purpose. This has been a consistent issue I have with him at my house. Usually he does it in the bathroom and says that he just "missed the toilet." Last night he did it in the living room and said that he couldn't hold it. In 15 minutes the meltdown came. It was provoked by him feeling yet again that his sister gets preferential treatment. (But I could sense him winding up before this.) Actually, his sister was in the process of getting reprimanded by me but difficult child can never see reality when he is melting down....a huge violent one resulting in him shoving his sister into the pantry and hurting her. Another ruined night with the dogs hiding, both kids in their rooms, easy child in tears, and me with my guts in knot and heaviness in my heart.

    How do we all survive this?
     
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Yes, it has killed some of us. The stress level of living with kids like this has been shown to be equal to the stress a soldier is under in a combat zone.

    I think your ex may be in for a sad surprise, those "live in" places are very expensive (think $100K+ a year).


    Have you thought of having your daughter at your house on different days than your son? (I'm think if you take each of them for 10 or so days a month but separately that your daughter will get 20 difficult child-free days/month. I know my kids blossomed when they got extended time away from Kanga.)

    How does difficult child do in school?
     
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Just looked at those medications...Strattera and Adderall??? No true mood stablizer? Has he ever tried Lamictal or Depakote?
     
  4. Hi, JJJ.

    Answers to your questions:

    When we first divorced four years ago we did something similar to what you suggest. I had easy child two days a week by herself, both kids three days, two days no kids. It was very hard on the kids. They did not like it. It was also very hard for me to maintain due to my work schedule. I work long and unpredictable hours and commute long distances. The ex works for himself and has lots of control of his schedule. The ex works down the street from where he lives and does not commute. The ex remarried right away. The ex has a VERY involved mother who is available to help with the kids on a daily basis in addition to the help his wife gives him. Therefore, after six months of divorce I decided to give him primary custody. Still, I get them about ten days a month.

    difficult child gets straight A's in school. Works above grade level on all subjects. He has a 504 Plan at school which includes seating next to teacher, being allowed to stand in back of classroom and move his body when necessary, recently added special accommodations for testing in preparation for state testing next year in 3 rd grade-he has trouble with distractions and remaining focused during test/needs more time but gets 100% when he is allowed more time. Behavior problems at school have involved mostly talking too much and not following directions these are daily issues according to his behavior folder. Get's "N"s (needs improvement) on conduct stuff consistently. Has never gotten an "E" but sometimes gets an "S." He was sent to the Principal's office once this year for not listening to his PE coach and playing a "hitting" game with another student. Phone call from the school due to him making comment about his teacher's vagina. Has not had anger issues at school since Pre-school when he had MANY problems with anger. Seems to be able to control anger at school. Has problems with arguing with umpires during baseball though.

    No mood stabilizers since they took him off Risperdal two years ago due to elevated Prolactin. Meltdowns were fewer and less intense on Risperdal. I ask at each doctor appointment (once per six weeks) if we can put him back on Risperdal or similar. But since his father has consistently said the behavior problems occur mostly at my house, there has been no support from the doctors or the ex regarding this. Since the divorce the ex has stuck to the "difficult child just has ADHD" story until just this week. They told us that Tenex would help stabilize his moods but we saw no difference regardless of the dose.

    I think that answers your questions.

    thanks for your help
     
  5. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Good luck, sorry you are having a rough time.
     
  6. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Often at first the behaviors show up in only one setting but as time goes on his illness will become more obvious in other settings also. Everyone of us here has to take proper care of ourselves because the stress load we carry does kill people. Wasn't surprised when psychiatrist said my problem was similar to PTSD but nothing post about it - its ongoing and been going for over 15years.

    I know it has a little mood stabilizing capabilities to it but risperdal is an antipsychotic medication not a mood stabilizer; for what it's worth Angel had to go off risperdal after a year but has had success with seroquel, many have had success with Abilify or Geodon.

    The medication JJJ was mentioning would be in same class as the trileptal not sure what dosage they tried but I seem to remember we never got dosage high enough for Angel to benefit from it, we had much better results from Depakote or Lamictal.

    Yes an antipsychotic will often suppress the rages but doesn't do much for the mood swings that lead up to the rages, as a parent I've noticed less side effects from the MS then the AP. Let's face it medication trials seem like a test in perseverance for the parents and the stress parents are under do take their toll.

    The one thing that really jumped out at me when I read your posts that I wanted to point out I had Angel potty trained at 2yo she was dry until 4yo when the urination accidents started again; they were so problematic they prevented her from entering K at 5yo. Looking back Angel started stimulant medication at 4yo and continued having accidents as long as taking the stimulants. Not sure if this is same issue your son is having but when taking stimulants her time from saying "I gotta go" I had about 30 seconds to have her on the toilet even when she was 10yo.

    Hope some of this helps you to put your finger on something going on with your son as all kids are different, I can totally sympathize with what your going thru but can't help but be a little jealous (X nor anyone else will take my kids even for an overnight) do anything you can to keep your own stress level under control, not only does it drag you down but my kids seem to "feed" off my stress and their behaviors get worse when I don't have the patience to deal with them

    Nancy
     
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good morning FHW. I cannot offer any advice about your children's issues, but I read your post with much empathy for the drama and trauma in your life. I have been down a few roads in my life, a life lived a tad longer then yours, so given what I've learned along the way, this is my answer to your question, "how do we survive this?"

    Take exceptionally good care of yourself. Learn where your boundaries lie. Find out what you like and don't like and learn how to communicate that well. Be assertive not passive or aggressive. Learn to say no and mean it. If you aren't already get yourself into therapy and/or a parent group where you can listen to other parents and get heard and get advice. Find an exercise program that works for you and do it daily. Eat a very good diet and avoid sugar and perhaps dairy, gluten and any other allergens you think you may have problems with. Develop good support systems with woman. Try to laugh and have fun each day, laughter is healing. Discover what makes you happy and do it, and do it regularly. Find ways to relax...... massage, walks, dinners with friends, manicures, pedicures, whatever makes you breathe that big sigh of relief and offers a deep ability to let go. Make sure you have support all around you so you never feel alone. Sleep longer then you think you should, likely 8 hours, 7 in a pinch. Pick your battles, some things are just not worth fighting about or thinking about. Instead of reacting, respond, take a breath and then another, and then respond. Lean on whatever your spiritual path is so that you can surrender to a higher power of your choice and feel a connection to life. If it feels appropriate, pray and/or meditate. Acupuncture is a great stress reliever and method of healing. Redefine the meaning of selfish so that it means to serve the self first, so you can serve others better.

    Woman are programmed to nurture, to give. However, often we don't turn that nurturing and giving on ourselves. In such trying circumstances, we require a balance in our giving and receiving, that balance will give you the support you need to get through all that is on your plate. I have had to learn this lesson over and over until I really got it. Self care, self love and self acceptance will give you all the tools you need to make the best choices and to be able to love without resentment and depletion. I also thrive in peace and tranquility as you do and the way I have found that, given what has surrounded me and still surrounds me, is to make sure I am very well taken care of.

    You have a lot to deal with. I wish you that peace you desire. I send you and your family hugs and prayers for tranquility and calm.
     
  8. Thanks RecoveringEnabler for your words of support and advice. Very helpful.

    Helpangel thanks as well. Especially for sharing your experience with medications. Yes, I agree that the Trileptal was probably helping stabilize difficult children moods more than the Risperdal. The combination of those drugs together worked pretty well but then he outgrew his seizures and shortly thereafter developed elevated Prolactin levels. Around the same time he had his second neuropsychologist evaluation and the doctors and his father thought that his ADHD was his primary problem. They flip flopped his ADHD and ODD in regards to what was causing more problems. I disagreed. But lost that battle.

    The inappropriate urination issue predates the stimulants. Also he has never had a problem holding it at school or when we are out in public. So, I don't think that it is medication related but thanks for mentioning it. I see the inappropriate urination as part of his defiance and impulse issues. He also has gone through times when he takes his clothes off in public. As a toddler this was mostly when he was having a meltdown. Two weeks ago he had his penis out in the grocery store. easy child alerted me before someone noticed. I have problems with him taking his clothes off in the home as well. Also, He gets fixated on body parts and other subjects (urine, feces, "man-boobs" vomit, etc) that I find inappropriately consistent even for a boy his age. For instance, one day a few months ago he saw me shopping for a bra online. Nothing erotic, just a boring old bra on Nordstrom website. Since that time he has been almost obsessed with talking about my bras and if he happens to find one in the laundry he makes a very big deal about it. I have tried not to overreact to this but it is concerning to me because I see it as unusual and inappropriate in degree and frequency....also, the comment he made about his teacher's vagina in school. His dad blames this all on the fact that I bought the kids a sex ed book several months ago. Totally age-appropriate book called "What's the Big Secret? Talking about sex with girls and boys" But difficult child has had these problems prior to the book. That is part of why I purchased a book for the kids. I didn't want him learning about sex from kids at school or from television.
    I have discussed my concerns with both his father and his doctors. His father blames me since the book (had no explanation before) and the doctors say nothing.

    I can understand how you feel a little jealous especially being that you are a single mom. But my time without kids is not exactly "free" time. I pay a high price in the form of child support to the ex. I stay in a profession that I find draining and stressful just so I can afford to support myself and pay child support. I just found out that my hours are being cut next week and am going to have to figure out a way to pay for stuff this month. It is just a different type of stress...as you know being that you are unemployed. :sigh:

    thanks again for the replies
     
  9. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Active Member

    FHW,

    I survive because I am stubborn and refuse to allow any one person (or 2 or 10 or however many) to suck all the joy out of my life.

    How convenient of you to be the cause of all difficult child's problems in your ex's eyes. It's no fun being a perpetual scapegoat. It's interesting that your ex is now admitting that difficult child has the same behaviors at his house. I hope for your sake that works in your favor eventually.

    I think you did the right thing with regards to the sex ed book. I also don't want my children learning incorrect information. Your difficult child seems to have a talent for finding just the right word to annoy/alarm adults. Negative attention is a powerful draw. I'm wondering if you can reward difficult child for not mentioning anything repugnant. How often does he talk about "man boobs" etc? (My mind went straight to Seinfeld on that one.) Hourly? Could he potentially do a 2 hour stint in which none of these things was mentioned and get a reward?

    I found out the last month of school that one of my pupils would do anything for an Angry Bird sticker. You have to find the right motivator. I kid you not, this child said all of 3 sentences to me all year and he SANG entire songs at the end of the year program, because he wanted that Angry Bird sticker.
     
  10. Thanks Pigless. Yes it is convenient for the ex to blame me and one of our "last straws" when it came to our marriage. At the last psychiatrist appointment several weeks ago, when ex was going on again about how difficult child does not exhibit the meltdowns etc at his house, I suggested that he have 100% custody of difficult child. If I am the problem, then you can have him for the sake of all of us. He quickly started back peddling. The psychiatrist, as usual just sat there staring at us.
    After the e-mail from him, I asked the ex to call doctors last week suggesting that we might want to: 1.tell his doctors (admit that there are problems at both homes) 2. Try a different medication 3. try therapy yet again before sending difficult child to a live-in facility. I reminded him that the doctors are under the impression that all is well at his house. He replied by saying that of course the doctors know there are problems at both home or why would be going there? What???? Okay, whatever dude. After you sit there time after time and tell them that the only problem difficult child has is attention???
    I don't think he called the doctors. I called and left a message for them on Thursday but did not hear back.

    I suspect the wife is what is driving this. The ex mentioned twice in his e-mail that he will not sacrifice the happiness of his wife or easy child for difficult child. After 2.5 years of living with difficult child, I am sure the wife is starting to wear out. The honeymoon is over and the reality is setting in. The relationship between the wife and I is a strained one at best. We have zero communication between us. I prefer not to go into details regarding that but in case someone out there suggests working with her on this I can tell you that it ain't gonna happen anytime soon.

    Thanks for your suggestions. I prefer to ignore and/or not overreact to the inappropriate language and behavior. That seems to work the best with him. I have had very little success with the reward thing over the years. I think we started with that approach when he was two years old (when the first of many well meaning, yet annoying, family members bought us a sticker chart!) and a I see little success with it although they see more success at school with this approach. For me I think it sets him up for failure most days and he requires a huge payout for it to be even somewhat effective. Even then, results in very little regarding the duration the good behavior lasts. At the grocery store I calmly told him to put his penis back in his pants and quietly and quickly discussed how such behavior is not appropriate and could get him or me into trouble with the law if it continues. I find that staying calm and not overreacting to him helps me as much as him. I just cannot maintain a high level of drama even if internally I am upset. As far as the frequency of difficult child saying inappropriate things, I would say that it is persistent but random.
     
  11. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    I'm sorry if that came out different then I intended it, I can imagine its very frustrating sharing parenting with someone who blames you for everything and disagrees with- everything you suggest. I agree the book was a good idea it sounds like your son was very curious and rather then him getting the information (or wrong info) on his own you did right by giving him the accurate scoop. I shouldn't be jealous because even though I never get a break from my kids I don't share them with their father, he's been kind enough not to bother me for over 10 years.

    I don't know if your son just hates clothes or problems with sensory issues? My girls are teens and still minute in the door and they are stripping and changing into something loose and fuzzy or streaking, occasionally during a rage or nite terror Angel will actually act like her clothes are attacking her and tear them to shreds getting them off. 15yo daily battle with- wearing bra, tank etc. It wasn't quite as bad while doing all the exercises the Occupational Therapist (OT) recommended but with-teens its hard to get them to keep up on that stuff, not sure if your son has ever been evaluated for Occupational Therapist (OT) but sometimes you can get it free thru school district - might be something to check into.

    Stress is one of my biggest enemies and there are times I act a little selfish (like hog the only bathroom in the house for an hour long bubble bath) but its the little things that make my life bearable. I use my good china for myself and will light a candle and put some soft music while I eat, I'll often go in another room from the kids to eat. Stress didn't cause my ulcers but it definitely affects how well I can manage them.

    I remember what it was like when I was working and trying to manage the kids and I urge you to try to take some time for yourself and make sure your getting enough sleep, water, & eating right this does take it's toll. take care
     
  12. No worries HelpAngel. You did not write anything that was insensitive nor taken the wrong way. It is hard to say what is more challenging: living full-time with both kids yet not dealing with an abusive, non-supportive ex at all vs having to deal with him but getting a break from the kids several days per week. If I could chose I would chose not ever having to deal with my ex for the rest of my life but maybe that is just the "grass is greener" side of me? How would I cope with difficult child all alone 100% of the time? Both situations are difficult. The ideal would be for all of us to have men that are supportive of us, shared in the responsibility and that were part of the solution and not part of the problem. That is the real fantasy situation I would like.

    Yes, it is frustrating being in the situation I am in with difficult child's father but at least I am not living in the same home with him anymore. Still, I hate being blamed for doing a responsible thing like providing my children with appropriate sex education. I must add that I sent their father a link to the book prior to purchasing it and also brought the book to him to read prior to me reading it with the kids. He had little to say at the time but when he got the phone call from the school immediately blamed me and the book.

    I think I can sum up our relationship best by relaying this: In April the ex was away on vacation for a week and I had the children. His mother was "monitoring" me and we had a disagreement regarding two decisions I made regarding my son. When my ex returned, he told me, "when the cat's away the mice will play" I pointed out to him that idiom is used in superior/subordinate relationship and how inappropriate it was for him to say that to me. That pretty much sums up the situation with him and his mother. I am treated like a babysitter that screws up not their mother. During that same week, difficult child told me, "_____ (stepmother's name) is right, you are a piece of ****." I discussed this with the ex during the psychiatrist appointment. He was not happy that I brought this up in front of psychiatrists. But they need to have all the information I think. I don't like that they are led to believe that ADHD is all we are dealing with. At that point they suggested therapy (we have not had good results with this-see other post about this) again.

    I do think that difficult child has sensory issues and his neurologist thought so too. She was great but we no longer have access to her. During his 504 meeting two weeks ago one of his teachers agreed. She told me how affected he is by the noise her computer makes and confirmed what I already know about him hating to wear shoes. She told me that they allow him to earn "stinky feet" time (time without shoes.) I have dropped the ball over the years by not following up with an Occupational Therapist (OT). The school district folks says that he doesn't qualify for an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation since he doesn't have an IEP. I do think that part of his nudity thing is sensory but another part of it is impulsiveness. Especially in public. Did Occupational Therapist (OT) help your difficult children?

    I do try to take good care of myself. I agree with all the little suggestions you write about as many times the little things really add up to our survival. We all need as much self-compassion as we can get.

    thanks again
     
  13. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Yes the Occupational Therapist (OT) stuff does help a lot and a lot of it can be done cheaply at home stuff like gum chewing, squish balls, bathtime body paints, finger paints, lotions & massages. Shirts/socks get turned inside out so seams less annoying. Sometimes when feeling very insecure Angel will ask me to help tuck her tight or wind her up in the blanket - goes on same principal as swaddling a baby but only do if kid asks (in your case X idiot could turn it into you restraining him)

    The brushing and joint compression exercises should only be done if Occupational Therapist (OT) shows you how to do them properly; if done incorrectly can do more harm then good.

    I would try to get an advocate to help get him an IEP it doesn't take looking into a crystal ball to figure out your son's school career is probably going to need some accommodations to be successful, I even had to have gum and squish balls put in the IEP to get some teachers to allow them during tests.
     
  14. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Active Member

    FHW,

    Let me get this straight, ex-idiot, ex's current wife AND his mother, all three are using you as the perpetual scapegoat for difficult child's problems. That is an incredible amount of resistance you face. And it isn't likely to change. In a perfect world all the adults would be working together to help difficult child. None of us lives in a perfect world.

    I agree that not living with ex-idiot has got to be a huge bonus. Although you still have to deal with him concerning your kids, you have regained control in the other areas of your life. I would be willing to bet that ex's current wife is no fun to live with either.

    I would also prefer to live in peace and tranquility; it never seems to happen. Life is stressful: bills, jobs, kids, repairs, taxes, traffic, hairballs, lost socks, etc.

    I learned to accept the stress as an inevitable part of life. I deliberately place little opportunities for joy throughout my day. Could you go to lunch with a friend once a week? Do you have ladyfriends who could get together with you once a month for dinner (no kids)? What worries me about your situation is that you have ex and his entourage blaming you for everything. You need time with people who can support you, have fun with you and care about you. It's vital to your psychological well-being that you spend time with people who value you, as opposed to the devaluing being flung at you from the side-lines.

    Do you have a specific activity that helps you to de-stress? I found gardening worked for me and you should see my yard. I couldn't choose an activity that took me away from the house as I couldn't trust husband to watch the kids. During the winter, I took up making jewelry and figured out a way to make it portable. That way, when I was waiting wherever (there are always places to wait) I could take the jewelry with me as a little piece of sanity.

    You're smart. We can see this by the way you talk about difficult child and how intuitive you are in dealing with him. Find one or two things to do just for YOU.
     
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have also found that life is just very hard to live. Hence all my issues. Pigless is a hero to me. How she has managed to stay sane with all she has gone through is inspiring to me. So is RecoveringEnabler.

    You asked how we all survive and if this stuff can make us sick, well it can. Many of us have found that therapy and medication for us parents is key. We need to take care of us first. We also love our kids and want the best for them. I have grown kids and I know that it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It doesnt end when that magic number of 18 hits either. I thought it would. I was wrong. I am still parenting to this day but its just in a different way.
     
  16. Brilliant response Pigless. Honestly it is hard for me to read it...to see in black and white what I am living. We moved here six years ago to be near the ex's family after getting out of the military. My friends and sisters are scattered across the country. I have no parents to speak of (see post under water cooler.) The few friends that I have made here through work live over an hour away (Houston metro is HUGE) so I have little opportunity to see them. Having a difficult child is isolating. Being divorced is isolating. Being the child of a difficult child/addict molded my personality into one the prefers to be isolated yet safe. I tend not to reach out nor trust easily. I know all of these things compound my problem.
    It is hard on me not having a local support system but I worry mostly about the affect it has on my children. I worry that seeing and hearing all the other important people in their lives say and do things that make me appear inferior or devalued as you say has got to have a negative affect on them. I hate that they don't see me with a support system and "fan club" like they see their dad. I have to remind them that I do have people that care about me but those people live far away. I can see the results of all of this and I work very hard to counteract the negative affects but there is only so much a person can do on their own.

    I work out to relieve stress. I read to relieve stress. I also think it is important for the kids to see how I cope with exercise and reading.

    Janet is right. You are a hero. So is RecoveringEnabler. I find all the women (sorry guys have not seen a post from a dad on here in a long time) on the site to be an inspiration. I am always amazed by the stories I read. I spent lots of time on here in 2006-07 but under a different screen name. During and right after the divorce I disappeared for obvious reasons. In 2010 I returned but found it hard to be here many days. I resented the time I was here. I didn't want difficult child and his issues to take over my life again like they did for several years. I wanted to pretend that difficult children issues were not a big deal. I preferred to waste my time on dating sites for awhile. I am over that phase now. I decided to check back in recently. I'm happy that I did.

    thanks for all the replies and support
     
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You know whats funny, we come here and think we are so alone in all this but we are not. I actually found out on this board that Pigless and I grew up together when we were kids. We had no idea who we were when we were posting on here but slowly we began to realize as we posted a few details about where we lived or had lived that we may have been living in the same area growing up and finally we found out that we actually knew each other as kids...lol. Isnt that hilarious? We lived about 10 miles or so apart. What are the odds that would happen considering I dont even live in my home state anymore.
     
  18. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Active Member

    I also left the board thinking that I didn't want Ferb's issues to dominate my life. Alas, I needed to return. In the intervening time, I did manage to meet people in my area who are supportive. Most are not dealing with issues quite as serious as the ones on the CD board, but some are. This is definitely an amazing way for us to connect to some phenomenal people. Janet, you're my hero, too.

    FHW, you need someone nearby that you can see often for support. It's great that you have support from your family all over, but they can't be present to have fun with. Kudos to you for working out and reading. But by your own admission, you're isolating. What about a book club at a local library? What about going to lunch with one nice person at work. (I met two of my best life-long friends that way.) Any single moms in your neighborhood who might like to go to dinner? What about an older lady who lives alone? I have several great ones in my neighborhood and they are always a little lonely and all of them are loving, kind, interesting and supportive.

    I'll give you an example. Shirley down the street is home-bound, nearly blind, and cannot drive. She's lost her husband and two of her three daughters to death. She and I chat when I see her in the yard. One day I had an embarassing incident at the busstop. A few months after husband's death, a new guy showed up at the busstop. The parents there often chit chat about kids and problems. Ferb had been doing something rotten (I no longer remember what) and new guy said something like "That seems like a strong reaction. Do you thing he's being bullied in school?" So I thought he should be clued in on the circumstances and said, "his father committed suicide in December." Apparently my bluntness was not appreciated by the others and there was a huge noise of much air being sucked inward followed by a lot of head shaking.

    I had to call Shirley about an unrelated issue and told her of my busstop faux pas. She supported me in that she thought the others had a rather strong reaction to something that really was just information. I was comfortable talking about it, so why would they care? She reminded me that people have a hard time discussing death but that it ends up affecting everyone. She said I could have told him a gentler version, like husband had died. But she also said there was nothing wrong with sharing the truth. I found her wisdom to be comforting and it really helped to talk to her.

    p.s. the busstop gang is all fine with me now and I've kept my foot out of my mouth.


    You deserve your own fan club!
     
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