Dear Abby 7-4-14

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Jul 4, 2014
DEAR ABBY: Two years ago I was involved in an unhealthy relationship for me and my children. Despite what everyone said, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He ended up assaulting me and my kids.

For two months I struggled with depression, and I admit I wasn't the responsible parent I should have been. Child Protective Services took the children. I hold myself accountable for my actions and my failure.

My parents are angry with me because of poor choices I made in the past and treat me like the black sheep of the family. Granted, my mother, brother and I all have issues stemming from the past, but I'm tired of playing the guilt card, tired of playing the victim and tired of not having my family back me up at a time when I need their support to regain custody of my kids.

I miss my family and what good times we did have. How do I even begin to put the pieces back together on a very broken family?-- THE BLACK SHEEP

DEAR BLACK SHEEP: Fixing your broken family is something all of you must be willing to work on together, or it won't be successful. Because your mother and brother are unwilling, what you need to do is start fixing yourSELF.

Regaining custody will depend upon your ability to establish your independence, support your children and yourself financially, and start counseling to deal with your issues so you won't get into another destructive, abusive relationship. It will take work and time, but if you can do it -- and I think you can -- your mother and brother will respect you for it. And you will be stronger and healthier because you will no longer be so needy.

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Gene" for three years, living together for a year and a half. We're both divorced and love each other very much.

Our biggest problem is, he doesn't keep a "normal" schedule. Gene eats at odd hours, exercises at the strangest times and will stay awake 'til the wee hours of the morning, then crash for a day or so. He seems unfazed by this wackiness. He's responsible, holds a good job and comes from a terrific family, but his habits are taking a toll on me.

There are days when I want him home for dinner, or I want to cuddle with him. I want a normal schedule. This is tricky because I have accepted his lifestyle and now the brakes have come on for me. Gene doesn't understand my sudden change of attitude, and frankly, neither do I.

Do I have only two choices -- accept him for who he is or find someone who follows a more conventional schedule? I love him so much that leaving would be very hard to do.-- WANTS A NORMAL LIFE

DEAR WANTS: It would be interesting to know what Gene does for a living. Does he work in a casino? Show business?

It's possible your change in attitude has come about because you now realize that you might be living his unconventional lifestyle for the rest of your life. Compromises you could make on a temporary basis can seem daunting when you see they'll be permanent.

If you need someone who lives his life on a normal schedule, one of you will have to make some changes. You will either have to accept this as your future or Gene will have to change his lifestyle. Because he seems to thrive on the schedule he's living on, the adjustment may be very difficult for him.

TO MY READERS: Have a happy, healthy and safe Fourth of July, everyone!-- LOVE, ABBY

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Jul 4, 2014
1. I disagree with Abby that LW is ready to get her kids back.

She shows no insight about why she lost custody, not to their father/fathers but to CPS. Even her signature as Black Sheep shows that she still thinks this is about her choice of boyfriends rather than her lack of parenting judgement .

LW is blaming her family for not supporting her. It sounds like her family probably has a decent handle on her character and lack of stability.

LW wants what she wants and she wants it now.

Nope.

States have pretty specific rules about how to get custody back. It usually involves being drug free, having a stable housing arrangement, legal source of income and not allowing specific people to live or associate with the kids. Note that the criteria do not include having Mommy, Daddy and Big Sister be around for good times.

Kids are not toys to be gotten back from someone who took them. LW hasn't figured that part out. Her family probably has

Since: Oct 09

Spearfish, SD

#3 Jul 4, 2014
PEllen wrote:
1. I disagree with Abby that LW is ready to get her kids back.
She shows no insight about why she lost custody, not to their father/fathers but to CPS. Even her signature as Black Sheep shows that she still thinks this is about her choice of boyfriends rather than her lack of parenting judgement .
LW is blaming her family for not supporting her. It sounds like her family probably has a decent handle on her character and lack of stability.
LW wants what she wants and she wants it now.
Nope.
States have pretty specific rules about how to get custody back. It usually involves being drug free, having a stable housing arrangement, legal source of income and not allowing specific people to live or associate with the kids. Note that the criteria do not include having Mommy, Daddy and Big Sister be around for good times.
Kids are not toys to be gotten back from someone who took them. LW hasn't figured that part out. Her family probably has
Completely agree. I have no patience for or sympathy with mothers like this, who put their own need for a man, any man, ahead of their own children and allow the children to suffer. She shows no insight at all into what that did to the children and how it affected them, or what she needs to do to not allow it to happen in the future. She doesn't even seem to care how they're currently doing, as she doesn't even mention it. It's all about HER and what SHE wants. And I get the sense that she just wants the children back so she can save face and to "prove" something to her family, and not because she really loves them and wants them. It seems to me that they're better off without her, sad to say.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#4 Jul 4, 2014
1: It's not entirely true that Abby said the lw is ready to have her kids back. She wrote: "Regaining custody will depend upon your ability to establish your independence, support your children and yourself financially, and start counseling to deal with your issues so you won't get into another destructive, abusive relationship. It will take work and time, but if you can do it...." I'm not sure I agree with the "start counseling" part. Counseling yes but she needs to make significant progress to the point that she really is in a better frame of mind and has met all the requirements that Family and Children's Services (or whatever it's called in her state) set. She can certainly find out those requirements from her social worker. I also agree with Abby that she needs to fix herself first before she can start fixing her relationship with her family. It wouldn't surprise me if they are holding back until she does fix herself - that they don't want to enable her self-destructive behavior any longer. Seems to me that the social workers would be willing to give her advice on how to go about fixing her life and where she might find the counseling she needs. That should be her priority right now, not having mommy et al hold her hand and tell her, "There there, baby girl. Every thing's going to be just fine."

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Jul 4, 2014
Pippa wrote:
1: It's not entirely true that Abby said the lw is ready to have her kids back. She wrote: "Regaining custody will depend upon your ability to establish your independence, support your children and yourself financially, and start counseling to deal with your issues so you won't get into another destructive, abusive relationship. It will take work and time, but if you can do it...." I'm not sure I agree with the "start counseling" part. Counseling yes but she needs to make significant progress to the point that she really is in a better frame of mind and has met all the requirements that Family and Children's Services (or whatever it's called in her state) set. She can certainly find out those requirements from her social worker. I also agree with Abby that she needs to fix herself first before she can start fixing her relationship with her family. It wouldn't surprise me if they are holding back until she does fix herself - that they don't want to enable her self-destructive behavior any longer. Seems to me that the social workers would be willing to give her advice on how to go about fixing her life and where she might find the counseling she needs. That should be her priority right now, not having mommy et al hold her hand and tell her, "There there, baby girl. Every thing's going to be just fine."
No fair using an incomplete quote.

This is what Abby wrote with which I disagree:"...but if you can do it -- and I think you can --..."

I didn't see anything in teh letter to indicate LW was emotionally invested in jumping through those hoops. All I see is that LW wants to hang with her own parents and sibs again to have a good time... and perhaps get free childcare.
tiredofit

Los Angeles, CA

#6 Jul 4, 2014
L1: You all make excellent points.

L2: I would guess he is doing drugs. The odd hours he keeps and the crashing for 24 plus hours is a real indicator of drug abuse. How clueless can this woman be. Goes so show that some women cannot be without a man.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#7 Jul 4, 2014
tiredofit wrote:
L1: You all make excellent points.
L2: I would guess he is doing drugs. The odd hours he keeps and the crashing for 24 plus hours is a real indicator of drug abuse. How clueless can this woman be. Goes so show that some women cannot be without a man.
I disagree on L2. My husband keeps odd hours. His body clock is messed up. He stays up until the wee hours of the morning, then sleeps until 10:00 or so, goes to work by 11:00 (his shift is 11:00 to whenever all the work is done, so sometimes he is home at 5:00 and sometimes at 10:00). Because of his odd work hours and odd sleep hours, he eats at non-standard hours too: breakfast at 10-ish, lunch at 3-ish, dinner at whatever time he gets home. Yet, he doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, and doesn't do drugs. His "vice" is junk food, unfortunately. No, I am not clueless. We have been married for over 15 years, have lived together for 18. I know him well. SOmetimes, irregular hours are just irregular hours, and nothing sinister to them. It can, however, be taxing on a more normal-schedule person.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#8 Jul 5, 2014
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
No fair using an incomplete quote.
This is what Abby wrote with which I disagree:"...but if you can do it -- and I think you can --..."
I didn't see anything in teh letter to indicate LW was emotionally invested in jumping through those hoops. All I see is that LW wants to hang with her own parents and sibs again to have a good time... and perhaps get free childcare.
I am under the impression that Abby meant that the lw "can do" it was in reference to going through those hoops, not that she is ready now to get custody. Perhaps I'm wrong but that's how I read it. But I absolutely agree with you about the lw's attitude. I think Abby was just encouraging her to go through those hoops that can seem insurmountable. She was also in effect saying the lw HAS to go through all this in order to get her life together. Abby may not have been clear enough to point out that the lw's attitude is lacking - that it's all more about her than about her kids. But she did say she had to work on fixing herself. The thing is, I don't think people like to take advice from someone who lambastes them for their bad behavior. They have to give advice in a way that makes the person want to do it. So perhaps Abby held back some venom as a way to encourage the lw to follow her advice. One would hope that counseling/therapy would bring home to the lw that she needs to change her attitude.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#9 Jul 5, 2014
re LW1: AFAIK, it takes an awful lot of *really* bad stuff for CPS to remove kids from their mother. I think the LW is completely whitewashing/refusing to acknowledge and accept responsibility for her behaviors that led to the removal. My guess is that her parents and brother have very good reasons for not supporting LW in her quest to get her kids back.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#10 Jul 5, 2014
Hasnt anyone noticed that these are repeat letters? Either that or i am a very gifted person
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#11 Jul 6, 2014
RACE wrote:
Hasnt anyone noticed that these are repeat letters? Either that or i am a very gifted person
:-) Yes, either they're repeats, you are VERY gifted person, or so many people seem to have the same problems that the letters just seem like repeats. My husband will tell the same story or give the same instructions time after time and we will remind him that we already know. He then likes to say, "Repetition for emphasis." I think this might be one of those times. So many people have these problems and they either haven't read the advice for their situation in previous letters or they need the repetition. Either that or they need to be told that the advice refers to them. That makes me think what my sister said about kindergarten and first grade - that she never felt the teacher was talking to her (just the rest of the class) and the teacher had to speak directly to her before she paid attention to any directions. ;-)

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#12 Jul 7, 2014
It's agreed then. I'm VERY gifted.

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