Updates: “In The Middle of a Mess” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “In The Middle of a Mess,” the woman with a new baby who had a list of problems, including an older daughter — being raised by her paternal grandparents — with cancer, unemployment, no money, no car, and a boyfriend/baby daddy in jail for aggravated assault against her. She wrote: “How on earth do I get help to get a car to go to find a job and how can I do that when I’m the sole provider now for our baby? I’m at such a loss as to how to take care of myself and our son. My credit score is poor due to my ex-husband screwing it up with credit cards he took out in my name when we were married. So I can’t get personal loans or car loans. Heck, I can’t even get to the benefits location we have five miles away because I have no ride. How on earth am I supposed to get my baby boy and me out of this mess?”

Keep reading for her update (and be sure to read her comment in the comment section for an even more detailed update):

I asked for advice after my ex got sent to jail after causing damage to my frontal lobe and leaving me to care for our one-month-old son on my own without a job or a car. You will be happy to know that my son is currently living with my mother and father. I have a job, am living in the city 15 minutes from my son, and am working towards getting a car real soon. I had one for about three months until the flood in June totaled it and then it was stolen from where I had pushed it to. Greeeeat, right? Lol.

My mental health has been much improved as well. The doctors determined I suffered brain damage from the blow I received to my frontal lobe but that my neuron pathways will be making new connections over time to make up for the dead zone now. We believe that to be the main reason I was suffering from so much depression and a sense of hopelessness and leaning on my son to make me happy. Looking back, I cannot believe I put that upon my little angel. I still see him many times a week by getting rides, but, until my situation is 100% stable and I’m moved into a place of my own, I have given my parents custody of my son.

Honestly, all of you were right in your advice to me. I was so angry by your responses though and didn’t want to see the truth that was already staring back at me. My son needed a stable situation that I couldn’t provide, and, once I sat my parents down and explained how badly my son needed a stable situation and owned that I wasn’t in the right position to give him that, they took him in, and he is happy and healthy and so smart. He’s eight months old now. Luckily, I didn’t have to give him up for adoption or foster care, but for any lady going through a similar situation: Please don’t make the mistake I did of waiting so long. My son is my world and my joy, but a child cannot be happy or healthy if a parent depends on him for his or her happiness and strength. YOU MUST find it within yourself.

Thanks for the update. I’m so glad your son is safe and happy and healthy in your parents’ care, and I wish you well as you continue to get your life back on track. Good luck with everything.


If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

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  1. You have made a lot of progress, LW! Congratulations! Keep pushing forward.

  2. Glassytroubledmom says:

    I appreciate giving the update. Here is the link to the original post, which I went a searched for. I reread all of it, comments and all….and I cannot tell you how ashamed I am of my behavior. I knew I had brain damage on my frontal lobe (the part of the brain that controls judgment, emotion, planning, and inhibition) not just from what john did (which yes left massive scar tissue on my brain but is getting better by the neuron pathways rerouting in other parts of my brain) but also from head trauma in my past, not to mention my now re – evaluated mental health diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (which makes waaaay more sense and has been life changing, figuring that out. Now that I know what is really going on with my head and why I have the problems I do, I can take better steps than ever before to correct the issue and cope. Requesting a new therapist was the best choice I made all year, besides having my parents take in my son). I know all that played a role in how I saw all that and in my behavior. But seeing it with new eyes….I cried. I refused to take responsibility for literally anything. I refused to do what was best for my son.i made excuses for everything. And I then didnt want to listen to the advice just because I didn’t like what I heard. Daaaaaang.
    It was honestly this site that, then, made me push for my parents to take care of david as hard as I did, about a month (a bit less, I think it was like 23 days) after the second time I emailed wendy. Seeing people say I needed to give him up for adoption made me realize cps would say the same, so before I was forced into that situation I made sure my parents were able to have custody of him. I called cps soon after he was in their care, and they guided me through making sure my parents could get him medical care, I signed over temporary custody to them, and now cps helps me get to my new therapist, has helped me get parenting classes, helped me find the job I have kept longer than any other job ive ever had, which is handymans helper (I mostly paint the outside and inside of houses for a contracting company that has 5 day a week steady jobs and access to the nearby bus stop, but I also do yard work for them some jobs and clean up jobs), as well as been there for me in a personal aspect. I can go to my case worker at any time and she makes time for me if I need to talk about literally anything. https://dearwendy.com/my-babys-dad-is-in-jail-and-i-cant-support-us/ is the link. Btw….john, the father? Hes out now, living 4 hours away with his parents, works full time, sends my parents money every week to help support our son, as do I, and is working with cps himself. We broke up for good. We remain wonderful friends, however, and he has started a new relationship with a wonderful woman that I actually approve of and though I dont personally think he should be dating at all, I can see just how good she is for him and its nice to see him happy. He has kept his word, he no longer drinks, and he skypes with me when I go see our son so that he can see him too, after a fashion. He makes monthly visits down to houston from dallas to see him.
    Again, thank you for all the support, and all the advice. It took awhile for me to listen but im so glad I did.

    1. I’m glad that things are sounding more hopeful, and that you are taking responsibility for your situation and getting help to get yourself into a better place. I’m also glad to hear that you found a solution for your son and that he’s with your parents for now. That’s honestly the best thing that you can do for him, and it’s wonderful that he’s in a safe, healthy, happy environment and you can still spend time with him.
      On a separate note, I would also suggest going to Planned Parenthood and getting birth control if you haven’t already. I’d personally recommend an IUD, which I have, since it’s a one-time cost, permanent until you choose to remove it, very effective, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting pills and having an accidental pregnancy. The reason I say this is, with your current situation and the fact that you’ve had to give up both of your children at separate times, the worst thing that could happen while you’re piecing your life together is for you to fall accidentally pregnant again. You need to make sure that doesn’t happen so you have a chance to build a stable life for yourself and take over caring for the son that you do have.
      Best wishes to you as you continue on a good path!

    2. Anonymous says:

      After reading the initial letter you sound worlds different, and for the better. Good luck LW, it sounds like everything is on the right track.

  3. It is so nice to hear an update like this. Good for you for putting your son first! I’m glad you are getting the help you need, too. Good luck!

  4. elandonne4 says:

    What about the daughter who has cancer? Is she ok?

  5. Glassytroubledmom says:

    Its called a gangleomastoma tumor. Its 10 cm in diameter in her chest cavity, but thankfully its finally been determined to be 100% benign. Although it worries me alot still because they wont take it out yet. If they do, she could go into shock from having such a large hole in her chest. But shes so strong and when she sneaks off to call me, she tells me how much better shes feeling and that she is happy.

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