Parent of a troubled teen? You are NOT ALONE!

Support for parents of troubled teen

I received a call from an acquaintance yesterday.  She asked where we sent our daughter for treatment.  
My heart immediately sank.  
Although we aren't close with this family, we have known them for a long time.  

I explained to her that we sent HB out of state for therapy because in Washington State, at 13 years of age, a child is responsible for their own medical/mental health choices {Are you serious?!}.  

What that means is that if you send your child to therapy in Washington, and they don't want to stay there, well, 
             they just leave.  

When we went through this whole process it was  years ago, but it seems like yesterday. 

Our daughter was just 14.  

She ended up going to the alternative school because she was struggling with her peers after making some poor choices.  Now...HB had always had a lot of "friends."  Not necessarily because she was so fun and kind, but because everyone wanted to be her friend rather than NOT be her friend....they were afraid of her.

At the alternative school she met some people that took her even further in the wrong direction.  The drugs started, the disappearing for days on end, the attitude that was even angrier and meaner than before.  

HB had been in counseling since her Dad died.  She has always struggled with depression and anxiety.  Counseling wasn't easy though, because she always felt like she was smarter than most of her therapists.  (Truth is.... in some ways, she was!)  
Remember what I mentioned here about HB being Mensa level gifted?  

Where was I again?  Oh yeah...

I shared where we had sent our daughter, and why we chose each place.  
I shared with her that  during that period of time I felt more alone than I ever had in my life.  
You don't go around telling people that your daughter is strung out and out of control.
People judge.  
People shouldn't.
I went into a depression during this time that lasted for years.  I wouldn't wish that on anyone.  I let this Mom know that I am here for her to talk to, and that she isn't alone.  

I am a good Mom.  It has taken me a long time to find peace with that.
Good parents CAN have troubled teens.  
Bad parents CAN have troubled teens.  

God gave each of us the gift of free will and the choices our teens make are their own.  Hopefully, somewhere deep inside they hear us whispering to them what is right.  

Do you have a struggling teen?  Do you feel like you are alone in this?  You aren't.  We need to unite- to encourage, to support, to pray.
Just like I shared with that mom, I'm here if you need someone to talk to.

(Oh...and if you happen to know where the photo above came from, please let me know.  I'd love to give credit where credit is due!)

Pinned there, Done that!

Time for something fun!  Okay, so I have mentioned before that I am kind of a research nut.  Pinterest and me.... well, we were made for each other!  The problem is that I spend so much time finding cool things to make, cool things to do, that I never end up making or doing any of it!  

Time to make a change!
If I pin it, I want to do it....and share it with you!
Here is my latest Pin that I've actually DONE...

This.... is such a fun idea!  I couldn't wait to let Willow give her little stuffed animals a bath.  I did it exactly like Jessie at Play Create Explore did.
I filled a small bucket with soapy water, got a small bottle of bath soap for Willow to use to wash her "friends," and had the hose ready to rinse them when they were all clean.  Here are the photos from our little adventure...
Stuffed Animal Wash
And after all of the scrubbing and rinsing, Wee One asked for a towel.  She sweetly dried off and wrapped up (As best she could) her little friends one by one.  
Stuffed Animal Wash
Sweet, huh?
Have you Pinned something and actually done it?
I would love it if you would share!  

Notice anything different?

wee one and papa
Wee One and Papa...I LOVE how she always grabs his ears to kiss him!

Okay, I know I am not great at blogging regularly, but THIS TIME I have an excuse!!

I have been working on moving my blog from my last host to Blogger.  

Let me tell you...This is not an easy deal.  
It took a lot more time than I had thought it would.  It didn't help that I had at first decided to go with WordPress, but after moving most of my blog over, I found out that I had very little control over the hosted version of it.  
I don't like that.  
I like to be in control.

Sooo.... on to Blogger.  Hopefully this will make my blogging a bit easier and my life somewhat happier (Only because in at least one area of my life - I will be in control!! Well, sort of.)  

Sadly, all of the comments made by any of you that might follow my blog or actually read anything I write, are gone.  I really appreciate all of the input and support you have given me through your comments.  Please, leave me some love if you get around to it!  (It makes me feel a little less alone out here in the great www)


A Dying Father's Words for His Children

Dying Father's Words for His Children
I have been very emotional lately-- With our oldest being in Ecuador and worrying about her safety, Kenzie graduating from High School (YAY!!), TK getting ready to get his drivers license…
There are times in my life when I think about Keith, my late husband, more than others.  I love Mark, and I love my family, but that doesn't mean my mind and heart don't take me back…through all of the  big events that Keith has missed in his kids lives, and all of the little events that he has missed too.  (I like to believe that he hasn't really  missed them, but observed them from a distance!)
I pulled out an old journal recently and the entry seems appropriate to share today - Father's Day.
A little background before I start… at the time I wrote this, Keith was in the end stages of his life, and in and out of reality.  He was barely aware of his surroundings, and there were very few times that he was alert at all.  That's what made this morning such an amazing one, and the words that came from his mouth and heart the greatest blessing.
June 6, 2001
Keith awoke this morning looking so alert and "alive."  After I got the girls off to school I went in to sit with him - in the midst of the unreal;  we are in a half built cabin- raccoons are all over.  He thinks they are under the bed and in the walls and wants to figure out how to get them out.  The reality leaps out through the cracks of the cabin at me.  He misses his Dad.  He cries.  He doesn't want the kids to use his death as an excuse for failure in their lives.  He said that he was going to write a letter to them, telling them that.  I told him he should do it right then and that I would help him.  I went and got a pen and some paper and he began to speak what was in his heart - things he wanted to make sure his kids knew.  With such clarity he spoke. I haven't heard him talk like that in so long.
(This is what he dictated to me word for word without stopping.  I still have the sheets of notebook paper with the words scribbled as quickly as he spoke them…)

A Note of Encouragement

Simply me.... Just pondering life.
As I am lying in bed, feeling worn out, overwhelmed, and just plain under the weather, my phone tweets letting me know I have just received a new text.
              Yes, my phone tweets.
It's the only notification sound that doesn't scare the other baby in the house-- our 125 lb Bernese Mountain Dog.  (Plus it is Spring...a tweet seemed appropriate!)

Here is what the text read:
"Theresa, what u are doing RIGHT NOW, with Willow and this season of life, is so pleasing to God. It is not a waste of time or energy. It is precious to Him. Your self sacrifice has not gone unseen nor will it go unrewarded. I just felt like God wanted me to tell you that."
I have been in , well, kind of a state of confusion lately. (Shhhh to those of you saying, "Just lately?!)   I've been trying to figure out where God wants me and what he wants me to be doing.
I touched on the subject here…  Yes, I know we are doing everything we should be doing when it comes to Willow.  We are blessed to have her in our lives!
It goes beyond that…
You see, I ran my own promotional product distribution/marketing business for over 10 years.  I loved it!  I loved it until all of the trouble started with HB (Wee One's BM)
                                She took all of my
                                time and energy.
(And this was all BW…..Before Willow.)  About 4 years ago we made the decision for me to quit my business.  It wasn't that we were giving up a lot of money,   because I wasn't a Fortune 500 company or anything,
                                                 but I did give up
                                                 a part of myself.
It was an outlet for me to be creative, to be social, to be productive outside of my home.
When I quit I made the decision that I was going to go back to school to pursue graphic design-
which I had taught myself, and used to run my business, but didn't have a degree in, and then ...
I was going to get a really cool job doing really cool stuff, and Boyfriend and I would take lots of vacations with the massive amounts of money I was making...
Then along came Willow.
"On the night you were born,
the moon shone with such wonder
that the stars peeked in
to see you
and the night wind whispered,
'Life will never be the same.'
Because there had never been
anyone like you...
ever in the world."
I firmly believed that I needed to be home while my kids were little.  My convictions haven't changed.
I know that I need to be home with Willow,
loving her, teaching her, caring for her.
No one can do that like a momma can…or in this case, me.**
Why is it so hard to NOT worry about what I could be doing and focus on what I AM doing?
I know that is what God wants from me.  
I know that is where i find my peace.  
I also know that I will forget all of that in a few days and start asking those questions again.
So, dear friend, Thank you.
Thank you for listening to God and for sharing your words of encouragement with me today.  "God is pleased with me… really?"  I pray so.  I will continue to seek His will, not only in my tomorrows, but in what I am doing today.

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