Hello Old Friends!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by hexemaus2, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Wow, it's hard to believe it's been two years since my last visit. There was a time in my life that I couldn't get through a day without these boards.

    Things have changed so much since then. I've thought of many of you often, but life being what it is, I haven't had much time for anything shy of work and kids.

    Since my last visit to the board, I have changed careers, become a Grandma (twice,) moved to the country to take up hobby farming, watched my oldest difficult child spiral out of control and lose custody of her now two-year-old daughter. (My sister in law is now raising her.)

    My boys (the two youngest difficult children) have become more easy child than difficult child. For those who were there for me in the darkest days, that alone is amazing. My difficult child #2 (now 17) was hospitalized 7 times in the 19 months after his father died, having tried every medication known to man. He's now completely medication free and hasn't had a meltdown in almost two years. (Christmas Day will be two years exactly since his last meltdown.) difficult child #3 is truly a easy child these days. The two of them do more around the farm than most grown men would be willing to do, which I count as nothing short of a miracle, given where we were just a couple of years ago.

    I now have a career that I absolutely, positively love. I work as a freelance writer, which is what actually brought me back to the boards. I recently finished some articles on Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), Asperger's, and autism spectrum research. In writing those articles, I had to think back to some of our worst days. In that reflection, I naturally thought of the wonderful parents here who helped me keep my sanity. I also remembered how valuable was the advice I received from parents of older kids who had already been through what I was living.

    It was then that I realized I had done a horrible thing. I stopped coming to the boards. Part of the philosophy of the boards back then (and hopefully still is), and something I was always grateful for, was that the parents who had already been there stuck around to offer help to those just starting their journey. I realized I had not done my part in that regard. I took everything that was offered, but dropped the ball in terms of giving back what I was graciously given.

    So here I am, navigating my way through all the changes the boards have gone through in my absence, hoping to right my wrong and offer what little I know for whatever it's worth.

    I see a lot of names I remember, and many I don't. As much as things have changed, I see so much that hasn't. You guys are like a favorite old pair of jeans found in the bottom of a box in the attic that amazingly still fit. It's nice to be back home.

    So...what have I missed in the last couple of years?
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome back, Hex! I'm so glad to hear your you are doing so well! It's so great you have found a career that you love so much and are doing the hobby farming! Your two boys sound like they are doing well:) It really warms my heart to hear success stories like that! I'm sorry your oldest difficult child is still struggling.

    Glad you found your way back to the board-what a nice way to describe our soft place-home!
  3. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    hex, it is so nice to see you. I think of you very often. More often than you can possibly imagine.
    I'm so happy that you are in a good place both physically and career wise. What a wonderful update about your two sons. Congratulations for having the boys switch to easy child's.
    How unfortunate that your sweet daughter is struggling. I'm hoping that she will find her way and get back to being a responsible and loving mother.

    It's always great to see someone from the old days. I miss so many of my "buds" but seeing you here today has really made my day.
  4. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Hey Sharon! How are ya lady?

    I am so proud of the boys. I never thought I would live to see the day difficult child 2 would be any kind of success story, but I am sooo incredibly proud of the young man he has become. And difficult child 3, well, he was always well behaved for a difficult child. Now he's becoming quite the responsible young man.

    As for difficult child 1, we hope she eventually finds her way, but that is beyond my control and has been for a long time. Until she resembles something close to a responsible person, I have cut all ties. I just couldn't watch her self-destruct. Thankfully, my sister in law was willing to take on the grandbaby and I have her here as often as my schedule allows (at least one weekend a month.) She's a beautiful little girl, just like her mom was at that age. It breaks my heart to think what she's been through in her short little life, but she has made tremendous progress living with my sister in law these last 7 months. She is safe, she is happy, and she is loved - which is the important stuff. Hopefully, someday her mom will be able to be a positive part of her life again.

    As for the hobby farm - I think it was the first step in changing things for the better for the boys. Country life agrees with both of them. difficult child 2, in fact, is designing our chicken coop for the baby chicks that will arrive in the Spring. We're also talking about putting a small trailer on the property for him next year so he can be on his own, but close by if he needs us. (That has done wonders to ease his "out on his own" anxieties.) difficult child 3 helps with house renovations and is in charge of wood splitting. He LOVES chopping and splitting wood for the fireplace, so he's tickled the weather is getting cold. They both love working the farm and discussing how we plan to move ahead with organic/biodynamic farming ideas. Its positively amazing what this life has brought out in both of them. What is truly amazing is going into "town" (if you can call it that lol) and having people comment on what nice young men my boys are, how polite, thoughtful, and well-mannered they are. It's quite the change from being "those people," if you know what I mean. The people out here are much more accepting of difficult child 2's quirks and eccentricities. :)
  5. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Hex, how nice to "see" you, and to read your report about your life. It is surely an inspiration for many moms here, to read about your family and to know that there is a reason to be optimistic and to "hang in there" -- your boys sound really great. I hope your daughter in the end gets her act together.

    Love, Esther
  6. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Fran, you and your difficult child are always on my mind. :) In fact, it was your "voice" I heard first when I realized it was time to come "home." You were a HUGE part of helping me through those dark days, always looking for the spark of positive the future might hold. I would listen to your stories about your difficult child and pray that someday I could be so positive and offer the kind of wisdom you so generously shared. You have always, and will always, hold a very special place in my heart. I am truly honored that I was able to make you smile today. :)

    *sniffle* Now I need some tissues. *sniffle* (How wonderful to, for the first time in the *gasp* almost ten years since I first found these boards, cry happy tears.)

    by the way, I STILL have my HMJ mug! :D
  7. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Esther! Oh how wonderful to "see" you. TWENTY grandchildren now? Holy Moses, how do you keep up with them? I would be in the poor house spoiling that many grandbabies! (Heck, the two granddaughters just about keep me there - but who can resist cute shoes, hairbows, frilly dresses, and teddy bears? Especially when they tell you "I luh lou, Mama." lol)
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Hi Hex, you've been sorely missed. My Duckie is doing mostly well though she hits rough spots from time to time. I smiled when I saw your thread; I'm glad you've come home.
  9. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    TM, is Duckie really 9 now? Wow. I think I'm feeling new grey hairs popping up. Glad to hear she's doing well. We have our rough spots with difficult child 2 now & again too. Thankfully, those days are few and far between, and mostly just verbal venting.

    You guys are gonna make me cry a river of happy tears. :) Its good to be remembered. Its good to be missed. Given how emotionally charged and seldom rewarding life with difficult children can be, positives like that are such a wonderful blessing and mean so, so much.

    On a funny note, difficult child 2 came in a little while ago. When he saw the site up, he asked if he had stressed me out today. lol. I almost fell out of my chair laughing. He smiled his kind of awkward you're-embarassing-me-mom smile when I told him absolutely not, I was bragging on him. So he's okay with me coming on the boards to scream and rail at the fates when he acts up, but coming on to brag about good stuff bothers him. lol. 'At's my boy! :D
  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    :9-07tears: Now I'll need tissues. I'm glad that sharing some of my experiences helped you on your journey as a parent of difficult children.
    Just knowing that someone was listening or had been on a the treadmill of parenting a difficult child made me come back day after day. Remembering that at the end of the day, we love our kids and just want to help them master life keeps me from losing hope.
    Of course, the laughs make life tolerable. We had quite a few laughs through those tears.
  11. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Oh yes, many laughs, Fran. I have such varied and wonderful memories of the parents who walked through each day with me, giving me hope, passing the tissues, and making me laugh til coffee spewed out of my nose.

    You reminded me everyday why I kept plugging along - because I love my kids and want them to have a happy, functional life. You made swallowing the bitter pill of a child with challenges go down easier and reminded what my goal was - not a perfect child with a perfect life, but a happy, reasonably well-adjusted child who could HAVE their own life. Through you I learned that I hadn't "lost" anything when difficult child 2 was diagnosed, I just had to re-adjust my expectations and rejoice in what I had been given in him. (And he really is an exceptional human being. I am grateful every day for him because he has helped me see what is really important in life - the simple act of living it to the best of our abilities.) You kept me grounded.

    And then there was Star, lovely, wonderful, crazy as a loon, Starbie - who taught me to laugh at myself, my life, and the wonderfully different perspective we all have on it, thanks to our difficult children. Starbie kept me laughing through my tears.

    And Timerlady (I know you're around here, Linda) whose strength and courage in the face of insurmountable odds made me feel like my problems were nothing compared to what she faced on a daily basis with kt and wm. Linda reminded me, much like you did, that grace, dignity, and humility are the best defense and a warrior mom's greatest asset.

    And Coookie who shared my love of all things fuzzy-slippered and oreo cookied.

    And so many other parents who made every day bearable, who laughed with me, cried with me, growled with me, and pleaded with me, all in the hopes of finding whatever worked.

    Some of my favorite memories:

    Hamsters riding bulldogs (I still have that graphic on my computer somewhere, I'm sure.)

    Dancing naked in the street with chicken livers taped to elbows. (I still get that mental image when people ask me to cross my fingers for them.)

    Hot Mama Juice with morning cookies and Tigger slippers

    Warrior Mom graphics complete with Zena-style armor and shields

    Morbidly funny jokes about what we all wish we WOULD have said to psychiatrists, tdocs, school district personnel, and various other "professionals."

    You know you have a difficult child if...posts.

    Yes, many, many laughs with parents who truly know what a challenge parenting kids can be and how important it is to find the humor in even the worst of experiences. Parents who were there in the middle of the night, who posted circles of support when we marched children off to their first in-patient evaluation, who held our virtual hands as we waged advocacy wars on agencies, school districts, doctors offices, and insurance companies, who celebrated even the most minute hint of success 5 minutes after offering hugs and support when our children vomited verbal debris, refused to go to school, or created yet another instance for teachers to call home.

    All while instilling the image of Julia Sugarbaker saying “This is the South, (I mean the CD.com boards) and we’re proud of our crazy people, (I mean, difficult children.) We don’t hide them up in the attic, we bring them right down to the living room to show them off. No one in the South (or on CD.com) ever asks if you have crazy people (er, I mean difficult children) in your family, they just ask what side they’re on.”

  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Oh, now I have to dig up the "You know you have a difficult child if..." stuff. Provided it made it to the archives. I'm still trying to explain my kiddo why I find the "You might be a redneck" stuff funny, even though she has it in her blood but doesn't remember much about living down south. "What's a redneck? Are they like hillbillies?" she asks me in all seriousness with the pose of an anthropologist studying the differences between two closely related (pardon the pun) cultures.
  13. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Thanks hon!
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Hex! I was thinking about you just the other day and now here you are!!! A friend of mine is remodeling her house and it reminded me of you.

    What a wonderful post..well except about dtr, but dont give up yet. I always say their frontal lobes arent done cooking until the mid 20's so what you see now is probably not close to what you will see then. I know Cory is no where near as bad now as he was at 18 or 20.

    Lets see, you said its been two years since you have been here? Well...since then I have had meningitis, almost died, got well with prayers and chicken liver dances of the board, ( you should see all the cards and posts everyone sent to me!), I have 3 grandkids ages 4, 3 and 1, Im still crazy and falling apart physically but I get by and the best news of all is that...drum roll....I am a moderator on PE!!!!
  16. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Janet! Jamie's out of the Marines? Wow! I can remember how proud you were when he signed that dotted line. How is Cory doing with that grandmunchkin these days? Being grandma is a blast, ain't it? (I have two beautiful princess grandmunchkins now, with easy child and hubby planning for their second before he leaves for his 2nd tour in Afghanistan.)

    I'm sure it will come as no surprise that we're remodeling the farm house. lol. What can I say? Remodel therapy works for me! :) At least this time the boys are helping. difficult child 3 handles all crawlspace duties - and can even tell you the different wire gauges. difficult child 2 now handles the heavy lifting stuff and some carpentry. I don't think they'd know what to do if they lived in a house that didn't have at least ONE construction/demolition project in process. They've lived in houses in the middle of remodeling since they were 6 and 7 years old. lol.

    Congrats on the moderate spot! Woo-hoo! And as for your battle with meningitis, I'm happy to see you on the other side of it, but wouldn't expect anything less from a warrior mom of your caliber. :) You got too much spunk to let something as tiny as a germ get the best of you. :D
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I love being a grandma. Keyana (the oldest who lives here in town) stays here every other weekend and as often as we can get her other times. She was here this weekend. I also take her to dance classes every Monday. She started Pre-K in the local elementary school this year...sigh. She is so grown up now. She is her Daddy's baby, Papa's Princess and Grandma's girly girl.

    Jamie got out of the Marines by dumb luck...lol. He was due to leave for overseas in Nov 08. His 4 year tour had been up in Feb 07 but they recalled him and because of his time with the 4 year inactive duty, he had about 18 months to work with from when they set his leave date of Nov 08. Well, it just so happens that I got very sick with the meningitis on Oct 25, 08. He was down here saying goodbye to family and friends before leaving and when I got so sick, the hospital gave me between a 10-15 % chance of recovering and if I did, I was expected to be in the hospital or rehab or need in home care for at least a year. Maybe for quite a long time after that and no one could say how I would be if I even survived. When I woke up, I had no use of my arms or legs and my brain was mush. I was in a coma for almost 2 weeks.

    Well, the red cross contacted Camp Lejeune and notified the commander who was in charge of Jamies unit. They gave Jamie the option of leaving, staying home with me, getting out with his honorable discharge or signing up for another 4 years. Jamie said...bye, see ya, nice to know ya! LOL. So...getting sick had one good advantage. I got my kid out without going overseas. Good thing to because he had just started a job with less than a year in, bought a house, had a baby a year old. Sheesh.
  18. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Hex, it's so good to see your smiling face once again. It sounds as though so many good things are going on for you & your children & I'm so glad to hear it. Will look forward to your wisdom.
  19. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    so good to hear from you! I think the last time you were here your daughter was making the move back to public high? Could that be right?

    Great the hear the update and also hear the boys are doing so well. I had forgotten all about my HMJ mug!!!!!!!!

    Nice to hear from old friends...

  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Great to hear from you, Hex! I'm doing a lot more with my writing again now too, with difficult child 3 not needing me quite so intensively. He's 16 now and learning to drive - scary thought! Just completed the first major stage of our high schooling here, I think it's roughly equivalent to US high school graduation, preparatory to college. I'm not sure, I think our senior high school roughly is equivalent to your college. It usually takes our kids 2 years; difficult child 3 will take at least four to five.

    Also - all three of my older kids got married since you were away - all within one 12 month period. Quite a shock! No grandkids yet though. I think their physical absence is also why I have a little more time now to get back to my writing. I did a publishing pitch yesterday and it was well received. A sort of practice run for me, she advised me to aim high when I am ready with my final draft.

    Great to have you back with us!