Yeti

Canyons of life

trb

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Aug 29, 2019
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437
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Colorado
Just want to say that I appreciate you sharing your family's journey. I have had to refer 2 of my 5th grade students for suicide risk assessments this year. It has been an eye opening and challenging process that has left me feeling unquestionably out of my depth. My wife and I have our first kid, a daughter, on the way in a couple months, and I am definitely motivated to better my understanding of how to face these challenges in a constructive way both at work and at home.

Thank you again, and I wish your family all the best.
 

JLS

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Mar 26, 2012
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Almost Arkansas…..
One thing we talked about was resentment and frustration with the older two, that was sparked by a conversation with my wife. They were irritated about locking up knives, meds, razors, etc. She asked them “wouldn’t you want us to do the same for you?”

In their minds, we didn’t handle things the same with them. And, we likely didn’t. We didn’t force them to see a counselor, and assumed they would ask for and seek the help they needed. We took them at face value when they said they didn’t need to go anymore. I don’t know if compelling them to go is the right answer, but I would certainly consider it.
 

Sawtooth

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Jan 14, 2012
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Idaho
JLS, The fact that your girls are willing to sit down and open up and share their feelings and frustrations with you, even when they are gut wrenching to hear, shows me that they trust and love you enough to be open with those feelings. Having these open lines of communication can often be difficult, but I feel are a vital part of the healing process. Props to you and your wife for establishing a safe and loving environment for your girls to have these difficult conversations.
 

Hammsolo

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May 16, 2020
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895
Parenting is like spot and stalk. Research, glass, spot, plan, stalk, read the wind, read the sun, watch the clock, read terrain, watch for other critters, reassess, replan, jump to a step, add a new step, adjust, get pissed, feel confident, blow it, try again… some times you push. Sometimes you back off. Every stalk is different.
 

ElkFever2

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Mar 4, 2019
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Iowa
Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers often. Props for fighting like hell for your kids’ well-being. Lesser men would have bowed out long ago. I know things on the home front are not all where you’d like them to be, but dang, I hope you are at least a little proud of yourself for wading neck-deep into this stuff.

When my 3 kids grow up to be teens I’m going to remember your story, and what it can look like to lead a family well amidst a crisis. Maybe that sounds like an overstatement to you, but I mean it. You continue to show up day after day after day, and that counts for a LOT, regardless of anything else. I’m guessing that I’m not the only dad on the forum who’s been humbled by the way you’ve stepped up and stayed up, going on a month now.

Bless your girls. I’m grateful that they are all still geographically close, and willing to talk and duke out the tough stuff as a family. A lot of teens and young adults just check out and leave in situations like yours.
 

MarvB

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Apr 5, 2001
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₵tral Oar-e-gun
My three girls are now 28, 25, 23. We talk their differences; about nature vs nurture, about birth order, about personality, about parenting consistency, etc. but I went through a NASTY divorce when the oldest was about 17, one that truly Just ended a few years ago and I can tell you the impact to each girl was far different and I raised/had custody of all of them. Each are their own animal and I think I tried to “generalize” way too much when they were younger, course again, I was also greatly outnumbered! Keep a United front with the Mrs, helps to have you both on the same team!
 

kansasdad

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Jul 30, 2011
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Wichita
I find that in dealing with kids, the only equality to be found is in the amount of love and care I have for them. I will deal with each individual individually, which means that sometimes the one will feel left out or singled out compared with how I felt I had to exemplify character and integrity in a circumstance compared to a sibling in a similar but not exact same scenario.

The younger ones have it differently than the older ones. The older ones had a rookie mom/dad for parents who (hopefully!) are getting wiser, stronger, more empathetic as we grow with them. The younger ones had kids in the house who were learning and evolving and figuring out the "deal" with mom and dad, and sometimes getting better at manipulating the system to their short term benefit. The younger ones can go to school on that manipulation and improve on their siblings efforts, it seems.

I echo others on HuntTalk @JLS for sharing your ongoing saga. One moment and day at a time. Love each other hard, and through the hard. I hope that this turmoil will result in a better family for all of you.
 

wisconsinteacher

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Mar 11, 2020
Messages
160
What you did took a lot of courage in many ways. Posting on a public forum is difficult but you have probably helped others by doing this.

Depression and anxiety is a difficult thing to understand unless you have been there yourself or helped others in your life. As a teacher, I see it more and more but have learned that communication is key. It is difficult to talk about but by doing so, you are building trust and respect which will lead to being able to offer more help in the future.

Stay strong and remember you are doing great things for your family. Like I tell my students, one day at a time and together we will get through anything life throws our way!!!
 

rke

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Jul 18, 2018
Messages
47
Location
Central CA
Disclaimer: very much non hunting, and some incredibly heavy shit. If that isn’t your thing, stop reading. This is truly the anti instagram reel about life.

This is without doubt, the hardest post I’ve ever written. I debated about sharing this, and my natural inclination is to lock it away from the world where no one can see it. However, some of you are close and personal friends. Some of you are parents. Some of you will be parents. Some of you may be walking through something similar, and some of you may be in the future.

I left late morning Friday to meet a couple of friends for a season finale chukar hunt in Oregon. I almost didn’t go. My youngest two daughters had an apocalyptic blow-up Thursday while I was at work. My youngest daughter went to a friend’s house to stay while things cooled down. I thought we had things kind of worked out that we could let emotions cool for a few days, and then revisit things early in the week.

The last hour and half of the drive is completely off grid. As I drove Friday evening, I had an increasingly overwhelming sense of dread something horrible was going to happen while I was gone. I chalked it up to an overactive mind and a lifelong struggle of giving things like these a little time to settle. I prayed for peace of mind. My sense of unease lessened but didn’t go away.

Saturday, while hunting, I had an overwhelming sense of urgency to find some cell coverage. I tried climbing higher but couldn’t find any. When we got back to camp, I borrowed my buddy’s inReach to send a text to my wife. She said come home ASAP.

I called my wife as soon as I got cell coverage on the way. My youngest daughter attempted to overdose Friday night. By the grace of God, she threw up twice during the night, which probably saved her life. My wife went down to talk to her Saturday morning and ended up taking her directly to the ER. When my wife finished telling me the story, she gave the phone to my daughter. I cried so hard I had to pull over. I was almost unable to speak. When I got the hospital that night, I was able to see her. She was exhausted and barely awake. I held her and cried.

My wife stayed in the ER, and I came home to take care of the dog. Saturday night was one of the darkest nights of my life. There is a back story here. Both of my parents committed suicide when I was 25. Mental illness and suicidal tendencies are a genetic reality. I blamed myself for the pain and torment my youngest daughter was living in. All three of my girls have struggled with anxiety and depression. I struggled with the reality they had to bear the burden of my family’s past. I fought an overwhelming urge to burn the house down and disappear.

I cried. I screamed at no one. I asked God why my kids had to suffer. I read the notes she had left and cried more. I screamed until I was hoarse. I slept fitfully.

Sunday was rough. I was a physical, mental, and emotional wreck. My daughter told me I looked like an 80-year-old man. I felt like it. I cried and prayed with her. I told her I was sorry in whatever way I had let her down as a parent. My best friend sent me a text Sunday night. He told me “We don’t get a say in whatever God’s plan is for us, but it’s inevitable.” I read that over and over that night.

On Monday, a psychiatrist interviewed my daughter, and then us. He recommended inpatient treatment. My daughter was scared and wanted to go home. I wanted to take her home. She wanted to see Finn. We all cried. I told her I thought inpatient treatment would be best for her, but in the end, she would not be forced to go.

Segue to the backstory again, my mom attempted to overdose prior to her death. She was held for a 48-hour mandatory stay in the psychiatric ward in the hospital after she was released from the ER. We visited her, and she was pleading and demanding we get her out. As family, we could do so. We refused. I will never forget walking away from her room with her yelling at us to get her out. She needed help but refused it completely.

Fast forward, that memory was haunting me. I was terrified we would experience the same thing here. Finally, at 1:00PM they told her there was a bed available and she could check in at 2:00PM. I sat down by her and asked her what she thought. She closed her eyes and began to cry. My heart stopped. She opened them and said, “I’ll go.” I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. I cried pretty much uncontrollably the whole way home to get her some clothes and take Finn to see her.

The check in process was hard. She can’t have visitors. I can’t even begin to describe how scary it is to leave your baby girl in a situation like this. I am praying continually for God to watch over her, to protect her, to give her the strength to be vulnerable, to heal her heart, and to give her confidence in who she is as a person. We don’t know how long she’ll be there. The uncertainty and fear is nearly crippling at times.

The ripple effect from this is like an emotional tsunami. Where do you start picking up the pieces and sorting through emotions? The mind is an amazing and beautiful thing, but it can also be terrifying in how it works. Hug your family. We get a second chance at being whole, and for that I am forever grateful. The what ifs are incomprehensible. Don’t take anything for granted. Talk to your kids. The signs aren’t always obvious, even to professionals.

Even in the deepest and darkest canyons, there is hope.

I lift my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalms 121:1-2

I don't know you and will most likely never meet you, but I commend your courage in sharing as well as in facing the reality of the situation. May God's presence be felt in tangible ways during these trying times.
 

geetar

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Jan 28, 2019
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3,208
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North Carolina
The fact that you are sitting down and talking as a family is huge. So many don’t do that. Praying for you and your family.
 

3855WIN

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Jul 17, 2014
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2,193
Location
Mississippi
JLS, just reading this thread. So sorry for all your family is going through. Your kids are lucky to have you as a dad.
Twice in my life, I’ve had a deep sense of dread. Both have been right.
 

Trial153

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Jan 4, 2016
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2,869
Location
New York
I totally missed this post, I am sorry. it’s my hope that things have turned a corner for the better. While I am not as far removed from my youth as some, as I have gotten older I have realized that sometimes the answers are not there to find. Acceptance, empathy, kindness and love are the most valuable tools in our box verses having the right answers. I hope you and your family find them all in these tough times.
 

JLS

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Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
15,472
Location
Almost Arkansas…..
Thought I’d provide a quick update. All in all, it very much feels were are moving in the right direction.

My youngest had her spring formal dance on Friday night. I’ll be honest, it was stressful as hell. We all know the drama and conflict that can accompany high school dances. She went and had a great time. Her date seemed like a very polite young man.

I told my wife that I can’t believe the personality difference relative to six months ago. We both mistook it for being 15. She is finally getting caught up on her classes.

Household dynamics are much improved. It takes a lot of diligence and patience to try and avoid old patterns of communication and behavior and try to steer those more productively.

I really appreciate the prayers, PMs, and text messages.
 
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