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Queen Of Hearts

The Darlings are expecting #2

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Queen Of Hearts

http://www.adarlingkindoflife.com/2016/03/easter-basket-surprise.html

Guess I am not surprised, but based on how much Kathleen already has on her plate with her husband (who suffered a traumatic brain injury) and her young daughter, I can't help but question their judgement, here... not to mention the fact that these kids are being conceived by a man who may be an adult, but who also is apparently very mentally diminished due to the accident.  

Edited by OnceUponATime
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hollyandivy

Fell down the rabbit hole....

That was quite a story ( a little like Ian and Larissa). Wow, I can't imagine her life.  He seems to have suffered a lot of damage in the accident, he can't even take their daughter to a fast food restaurant by himself or walk down the stairs while carrying something. I can't imagine bringing (more) children into this equation!

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Queen Of Hearts
16 minutes ago, hollyandivy said:

Fell down the rabbit hole....

That was quite a story ( a little like Ian and Larissa). Wow, I can't imagine her life.  He seems to have suffered a lot of damage in the accident, he can't even take their daughter to a fast food restaurant by himself or walk down the stairs while carrying something. I can't imagine bringing (more) children into this equation!

He also (per her) can get violent and uncontrollable at times (I'm totally not blaming him here - it is due to his injury).  here are times he will just storm off and she has to follow him in the car to try to get him to come home.  Not sure how she will manage with two kids.  It's pretty sad when she mentions 'holding the marriage together'  in the same post where she announces the new baby.

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Cleopatra7

This story creeps me out in a number of ways. Is Cale even competent enough to consent to parenthood? I suppose there's no way any of us can know that, but at the very least, Kathleen is bringing innocent parties into a very volatile situation.

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nastyhobbitses
6 hours ago, Queen Of Hearts said:

He also (per her) can get violent and uncontrollable at times (I'm totally not blaming him here - it is due to his injury).  here are times he will just storm off and she has to follow him in the car to try to get him to come home.  Not sure how she will manage with two kids.  It's pretty sad when she mentions 'holding the marriage together'  in the same post where she announces the new baby.

I think that's the purpose of the kids, honestly. I'm sure she loves her husband very much and I'm sure that despite the changes from the TBI, he's still the man she married, but from her posts, it does seem like she's overwhelmed and feels guilty about being overwhelmed, and (armchair psychology ahoy) is having kids because then she has a reason not to leave him.

I also agree with @Cleopatra7 in wondering if Cale has the capacity to consent to fatherhood. I'm sure he can consent to sex (disabled people are still very much capable of getting their freak on), but regardless of his capacity/competence, I don't really know if Kathleen is thinking about what's best for Cale and the life he has to lead now.

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Joyleaf

I just read a bit of her blog, and it was a sad read. :-(

On one hand she was afraid how she would manage daily life with her mother not staying with them for a few weeks, on the other hand she decided to have another child while her daughter is still pretty young and needs a lot of help as well.

Kathleen seems so depressed and struggling with her situation in many posts. Doesn't the family get professional help or support in any way?

Edited by Joyleaf

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Depressed
polecat

Oh man ...

She honestly seems like such a genuinely sweet, kind person. I felt really conflicted the first time around. And now ... I just don't know. At the end of the day, I wish them the best. They have a hard road ahead of them.

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Koala

I have the similar concerns about Cale's ability to consent to fatherhood.  His outbursts also concern me.

It's a very said situation, and I am not really sure it's fair to bring children into it.

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LilMissMetaphor

I think it's a bad idea as well.  Can you imagine having to walk on eggshells your whole childhood never knowing when Dad was going to lose his shit over something irrational? I feel sorry for Kathleen, she's trying so hard.  Too hard maybe.

 We got into this topic on an older thread, I can't remember when.  We also talked about Ben (also has a TBI) and Katie who have a little one too.  She hasn't updated her blog in almost a year, though.

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Eternalbluepearl
11 minutes ago, Koala said:

It's a very said situation, and I am not really sure it's fair to bring children into it.

Yes, I agree. My heart breaks for all in that family. 

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Cleopatra7

Part of the problem is that Kathleen refuses to change her expectations about what the marriage should be in light of Cale's limitations and challenges. She acts like she should continue to be a submissive fundie lite woman who "submits joyfully" to her headship and any children that God might send. I'm not saying she should get divorced but she seems like she wants to have a "normal" fundie lite marriage which is leading to questionable choices.

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DaffyDill

There was quite a long, and sometimes heated, discussion about Cale and Kathleen's first pregnancy here:

A lot of people expressed concern over Cale's ability to consent to having a child, and if he did consent, how well he understood the long term implications.

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nastyhobbitses
3 hours ago, Cleopatra7 said:

Part of the problem is that Kathleen refuses to change her expectations about what the marriage should be in light of Cale's limitations and challenges. She acts like she should continue to be a submissive fundie lite woman who "submits joyfully" to her headship and any children that God might send. I'm not saying she should get divorced but she seems like she wants to have a "normal" fundie lite marriage which is leading to questionable choices.

THIS. I think that she gets that there's a "new normal" and that Cale isn't going to be the same again, but she's unable or unwilling to adjust to the fact that the life and sort of marriage she wants might not be what's best for Cale.

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HumbleJillyMuffin

Just last summer I broke off a seven year relationship with a man who had suffered a TBI twenty years ago. While his recovery was deemed to be nothing short of a miracle at that time (we had many mutual friends so when we started dating many of these people called me to tell me about the accident, as if I would have no idea), during the years together his behavior had changed. He started becoming meaner, more disorganized, memories changed or faded altogether, etc. So while he was still able to have a career and such, I knew that marriage to this man, much less a family with him, would be a nightmare.

My point is, TBI victims often deal with behavioral changes decades after the accident. And it's not usually good changes. I can't imagine bringing another child into such an unpredictable situation. 

I certainly don't expect this woman to walk away from her husband, but if she's already stressed about her mom taking a three week vacation from helping out with her husband and daughter, then a second child is certainly not going to help. I wish her luck. 

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Koala

I keep coming back to the issue of consent.  Is he capable of it?  Does she discuss these things with him, or does she just decide and then let him know when she's pregnant? Based on what she's written, I can't believe that he is capable of making such a decision.  

 

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Koala

She writes:

Quote

 not that our life resembles a vacation anyone would want to be on

From another post:
 

Quote

 brain injury is intertwined with everything that we do. It's always there-I'm always reminded. 

 

I'm always at battle. 

 

Daily (sometimes minute by minute!) I have to choose if I'm going to let my emotions overtake me. I have to choose if the little things are going to become big. I have to choose if I'm going to love him; my husband.

Then there's this:

Quote

Yesterday morning the three of us went on a short walk on a trail and on the way back stopped at a little park. Cale was instantly bored while Nora was playing and running from thing to thing. He sat at a table that had an umbrella for shade and played games on his phone while I played in the sand with Nora. 

I could feel myself getting frustrated. 

I just wanted him to interact with us. I wanted him to show Nora how to fill the truck with sand and dump it. I wanted him to play with us rather than check out. 

After a short time passed, Cale let me know he was bored and was going to walk home. Well, he can't just walk home alone and he can't be at home alone so it meant that we were all going to have to leave. Nora wasn't too happy and neither was I. 

Why bring another child into that?  Honestly, it just seems very selfish.  I know she wants children...I totally understand that.  But pressing ahead at any cost just seems wrong to me....

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treehugger

This really concerns me.  In a healthy marriage bringing one child into the equation is a huge adjustment.  But, the second child is even harder.  Like, exponentially harder.  If Kathleen is stressed and anxious and frustrated and depressed now - I don't know how well she is going to be able to deal with a baby and a toddler and an emotionally volatile husband.  

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HumbleJillyMuffin
19 minutes ago, Koala said:

She writes:

From another post:
 

Then there's this:

Why bring another child into that?  Honestly, it just seems very selfish.  I know she wants children...I totally understand that.  But pressing ahead at any cost just seems wrong to me....

Exactly. I'm not sure what the situation is with consent, I'll leave that to the professionals (physicians, social workers, etc) involved in the care of this man and his family. But the daily challenges of living with a person with this condition is very stressful and frustrating, why on God's green earth would you bring another stressor to the situation? 

I think of Bill Johnson, the 1984 Olympic downhill Gold medalist - brash, obnoxious, had no filter between his brain and his mouth, went through his earnings very quickly and as a last ditch effort to make some money, he attempted a comeback to the sport in 1999 at the age of 40. He ended up crashing during a race in Montana, suffering a TBI that affected all aspects of his life. Since the accident his behavior became more aggressive, sometimes violent, his own children didn't want to be around him or visit him, and about five years ago he ended up in a nursing home due to strokes he had suffered. He died this past February. 

I can't imagine bringing a child into an unstable situation like this. 

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Eternalbluepearl

I've read a lot of Kathleen's blog this past weekend. I feel for Kathleen. She is young and caring and deserves a give and take in her romantic relationship, not just being a mother to her brain-injured spouse. In the blog, Kathleen describes Cale as mentally being about 13 years old and sometimes as old as 18. Can a 13 year old boy be a father? A husband? He also gets angry a lot and has had violent outbursts towards Kathleen because of the injury. Kathleen strikes me as a sweet, smart, capable woman who is just holding her breath from one moment to the next with Cale, how long can that go on? This story is similar to Ian and Larissa but Cale is able to walk which often ends up with Kathleen chasing after him when he takes off in a fit of anger, or boredom. It's not Cale's fault. But trying to make a happy family out of this situation isn't realistic. 

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Howl

For those who know about TBI, please comment.  What I'm reading into the story about being at the park is that Cale may not be able to emotionally bond to their child  and thus may lack empathy.  (My child wants to play, but I'm bored. End of outing.)

When paired with emotional volatility, might that easily lead to a situation where he could physically harm their child (or children)?  That's the larger issue for me.  I really do NOT want to read a free ginger post about this man badly injuring or killing one of his children.  

This is a man who is so impaired that he can't walk home alone on a familiar trail or be left alone in their house.  This shines a bright light into the darkness and destructiveness and total idiocy of fundamentalist belief related to female submission and headship.  

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Eternalbluepearl

I've wondered about violence against their kids as well, because there has been violence against Kathleen in the past. I think Kathleen is hoping against hope that she can have the family her and Cale wanted before his accident. 

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Antimony

Other stuff from her blog that suggests this is going to be a Bad Time.

 

Quote

I'm really struggling Rae. Like, more than I ever have. I don't quite know how to explain it. I just don't even want Cale around. At all.

It also looks like she took a vacation just from Cale, which totally makes sense, but doesn't bode well.

Quote

We have the police department on board for times like this. For times when he bolts and I'm here with a baby unable to chase after him. 

!!!!

Quote

For the most part, when Cale gets angry nowadays, it's just him yelling and maybe slamming a door. He's really learned how to channel his anger in a more positive way. 

Just because this is not as bad as it was before, doesn't make it good. (Though, to be fair, I think all adults are guilty of having arguments like this once in a while but I also think we aspire to not do it when children are around.)

I will say, though, since they last were on the FJ radar, things have gone better than anybody has expected (from what we can tell from the posts.)

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Unimpressed
seattlechic

Oh man, I had to stop after 3 posts. This story breaks my heart in such a personal level. My husband -divorced 5+ years, but i still call him my husband- had severe chronic medication resistant mental illness. His illness permeated EVERYTHING in our lives. EVERYTHING. We decided not to have children because he said to me, in tears: "I cannot intentionally give this to someone else". Holy shit. At some point, I had to come to terms with our inability to have a husband-wife lover-lover equal-equal relationship. I had to let go.

 

So, I can empathize with Kathleen in being still in denial --- it is a mega bitch to lose the man you love while he is still there. I know her pain as if it was mine. But, i don't agree on bringing kids into it. He CANNOT be aware of much, thus consent is indeed iffy. If they do have sex, it is purely mechanical. This is not his fault, and puts a lot of responsibility on her shoulders. This is quite a fucked up situation. God bless them. Really. :(

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Cleopatra7
11 hours ago, Eternalbluepearl said:

I've read a lot of Kathleen's blog this past weekend. I feel for Kathleen. She is young and caring and deserves a give and take in her romantic relationship, not just being a mother to her brain-injured spouse. In the blog, Kathleen describes Cale as mentally being about 13 years old and sometimes as old as 18. Can a 13 year old boy be a father? A husband? 

I think comparing Cale to an 18 or 13 year old is generous. Most 13 year old boys are capable of being responsible caregivers towards younger siblings or other children in a babysitting context (assuming they haven't been told that such things are wimmins work, like the Duggar boys), even if they're not prepared to be husbands or fathers yet. Cale can't even walk home by himself, much less be with his daughter alone. I'm not any sort of expert on TBIs but in terms of emotional handling, he's more like a toddler, who wants what he wants when he wants it and if he doesn't get it, he throws a fit. Toddlers usually grow out of this and teen boys will grow out of their own rages and angst, but this seems to be Cale's new normal. Regardless of how he progresses over time, he's not going to be the father Kathleen thinks he should be, barring some kind of medical breakthrough in brain injury treatment.

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HumbleJillyMuffin

I get the feeling she's praying for a miracle for him, that one day he'll wake up and be just like he was before the accident. Heartbreaking on so many levels. He clearly is incapable of being a father to his little girl through no fault of his own, it's just how the cookie crumbled in this case. If she has to rely on the police to chase after him because she has a small child and can't do so, then it's time for permanent birth control. God is understanding and would no doubt sanction it in this case. 

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