Turning my water being shut off into a teachable moment

The world doesn’t slow down just because you have special needs kids.  In almost every case, I still have to meet the same societal responsibilities as everyone else. 

There are times where I don’t feel it’s fair because the amount of responsibility on my plate is seriously disproportionate and ranges from almost always overwhelming to completely consuming. 

image

I came home from walking this morning, only to discover that my water had been shut off.  I don’t really have any options at the moment either.

It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling to stay above water for awhile now, especially since becoming a single Dad.  It’s not like we didn’t struggle sometimes before that because we did.  Now there’s fewer players on the field, no timeouts and no substitutions…

Life is just harder. 

I know that it’s easier said than done but it’s really important to keep my chin up and here’s why.

Nothing is ever going to be easy and that’s okay because nothing worth having ever will.

Facing unexpected challenges like this, forces me to be a little more resourceful in my approach to things.

I’d be lying if I said this kind of thing doesn’t stress me out or get me down but it’s important that I not let it keep me down. 

When you find something that gets you down, remember that life will go on and you cant give up…..☺

78 Comments

  1. Braden

    You really need to get a handle on this.
    It saddens me to read what is being turned off, especially since I’m not reading about any attempts to correct it…or at least prevent it from happening again

  2. Braden

    You really need to get a handle on this.
    It saddens me to read what is being turned off, especially since I’m not reading about any attempts to correct it…or at least prevent it from happening again

  3. Kim Gebhardt

    Rob, I’m curious how your finances are worse since Lizze left. Unless you’re paying her some form of support, you should be in better shape with one less mouth to feed and one less person to clothe. Also, your utility bills should be at least slightly lower. I agree with Braden in that you need to get a handle on this. Your kids spent the entire summer with no hot water, and now they have no water at all.

    1. Alyssa Rogers Williams

      I’m also thinking along these lines, but Lizze should also be paying Rob support. The non-custodial parent is the one who pays support. Always. If she indeed was approved for SSI (which it looked like she was going through the process when she left) then she needs to ante up big time.

      Almost every state will garnish any form of wages, earnings or benefits and automatically deduct them from her, to you. PLEASE let no misguided sense of chivalry cheat you of what you are not only entitled to, but those precious kids are going without life’s very, very basics!

      You never mentioned (or maybe I missed it if you did) if she was approved for assistance. Please have your attorney use the appropriate child support tables for $ owed to custodial parent (you). With each child the percentage is higher. You and the kids DESERVE it.

      I know you have more on your plate than most could conceive of, let alone handle, but please consider the law to rectify this fairly. Lizze is contributing miniscule amounts of time as well, leaving you no free time to develop or code other potential sources of income. No one is down on you, but this has gone on a year. Since she is living with her parents, any residual income of hers should go to YOU, to feed the boys, keep a roof over their heads and the very basics, like gas to stay warm and water is the most crucial. Wishing you well and hoping this gets resolved.

      Ps this is straight from a renowned family law professor friend

      1. Kim Gebhardt

        I don’t think Lizze has any income. This came up a week or so ago and I think he said she was not getting disability. I agree that he needs to get court ordered child support, so that if she ever does come into some money, it can be used for the kids.

        1. Alyssa Rogers Williams

          Thanks for the heads up, I miss some info here and there. I also pretty much always agree with you, btw. We are all wanting the best for Rob, those kids and their life journey but telling it like it is is incredibly more helpful in the long run than showering Rob with platitudes.

          No doubt, Rob, you’re doing the best job you can in an unenviable position. Suggestions are just that, trying to help you see things from different perspectives!

          I’m not surprised she did not receive it. I read her entire blog and was just incredibly bowled over by the obvious mental illness, and many of the self diagnoses unconfirmed by real medical testing. Yet Rob was a chivalrous spouse (understand when you’re in love, hard to see what a stranger can spot in a second), and taking care of the kids AND her.

          Rob, I’m so glad you see you’re much better off though that doesn’t alleviate that pain at losing what you *thought* you had. You’ve done a great job with personal growth but sometimes you’ve got to be a little harder and harsher. You deserve HELP. Concrete reliable help; time, money or both. Your very sanity will be at stake. I really hope you have a lawyer., perhaps that would use your unusual case for pro bono work as the legal decisions may be firsts. Many attorneys like to try new case law.

          Good luck and never think of these comments of ours as negative criticism, but constructive commentary. 🙂

          1. We just crossed each other’s comments. You’re observations are pretty accurate and dealing with someone in that position isn’t always easy.

            I see everything for what it was now and that’s a really bitter pill to swallow. I miss the person I feel in love with and married but for all intents and purposes, she’s dead. . .

            There have been choices made that make the obstacles I’m facing on my own, even more difficult to overcome and there is a rhyme and reason for my handling of the situation the way I am.

            My priority is ensuring the kids safety, right now, that’s sometimes the only thing I can do.

            Please know that I’m very aware of how this will appear from the outside but right now a dissolution will ensure that I have complete control and final say over what happens to the boys, should their Mom not be in a position to make the best decisions. .

            Thank You again for all your concern.. ☺

            1. Alyssa Rogers Williams

              Great to know. And you’re right, we don’t know (nor do we need to know) every little detail and of course priority #1 is protecting your children. Keep on keepin’ on, I really want you to know my commentary has never been to criticize or judge, (I just don’t have super tactful bedside manner,lol) And thank you for the clarification (s) .

          2. Kim Gebhardt

            Alyssa, I read Lizze’s blog from start to finish and also noticed the obvious mental illness. The other thing I noticed was that Gavin did a complete turnaround once she was out of the house. That says a lot to me.

  4. Kim Gebhardt

    Rob, I’m curious how your finances are worse since Lizze left. Unless you’re paying her some form of support, you should be in better shape with one less mouth to feed and one less person to clothe. Also, your utility bills should be at least slightly lower. I agree with Braden in that you need to get a handle on this. Your kids spent the entire summer with no hot water, and now they have no water at all.

    1. Alyssa Rogers Williams

      I’m also thinking along these lines, but Lizze should also be paying Rob support. The non-custodial parent is the one who pays support. Always. If she indeed was approved for SSI (which it looked like she was going through the process when she left) then she needs to ante up big time.

      Almost every state will garnish any form of wages, earnings or benefits and automatically deduct them from her, to you. PLEASE let no misguided sense of chivalry cheat you of what you are not only entitled to, but those precious kids are going without life’s very, very basics!

      You never mentioned (or maybe I missed it if you did) if she was approved for assistance. Please have your attorney use the appropriate child support tables for $ owed to custodial parent (you). With each child the percentage is higher. You and the kids DESERVE it.

      I know you have more on your plate than most could conceive of, let alone handle, but please consider the law to rectify this fairly. Lizze is contributing miniscule amounts of time as well, leaving you no free time to develop or code other potential sources of income. No one is down on you, but this has gone on a year. Since she is living with her parents, any residual income of hers should go to YOU, to feed the boys, keep a roof over their heads and the very basics, like gas to stay warm and water is the most crucial. Wishing you well and hoping this gets resolved.

      Ps this is straight from a renowned family law professor friend

      1. Kim Gebhardt

        I don’t think Lizze has any income. This came up a week or so ago and I think he said she was not getting disability. I agree that he needs to get court ordered child support, so that if she ever does come into some money, it can be used for the kids.

        1. Alyssa Rogers Williams

          Thanks for the heads up, I miss some info here and there. I also pretty much always agree with you, btw. We are all wanting the best for Rob, those kids and their life journey but telling it like it is is incredibly more helpful in the long run than showering Rob with platitudes.

          No doubt, Rob, you’re doing the best job you can in an unenviable position. Suggestions are just that, trying to help you see things from different perspectives!

          I’m not surprised she did not receive it. I read her entire blog and was just incredibly bowled over by the obvious mental illness, and many of the self diagnoses unconfirmed by real medical testing. Yet Rob was a chivalrous spouse (understand when you’re in love, hard to see what a stranger can spot in a second), and taking care of the kids AND her.

          Rob, I’m so glad you see you’re much better off though that doesn’t alleviate that pain at losing what you *thought* you had. You’ve done a great job with personal growth but sometimes you’ve got to be a little harder and harsher. You deserve HELP. Concrete reliable help; time, money or both. Your very sanity will be at stake. I really hope you have a lawyer., perhaps that would use your unusual case for pro bono work as the legal decisions may be firsts. Many attorneys like to try new case law.

          Good luck and never think of these comments of ours as negative criticism, but constructive commentary. 🙂

          1. We just crossed each other’s comments. You’re observations are pretty accurate and dealing with someone in that position isn’t always easy.

            I see everything for what it was now and that’s a really bitter pill to swallow. I miss the person I feel in love with and married but for all intents and purposes, she’s dead. . .

            There have been choices made that make the obstacles I’m facing on my own, even more difficult to overcome and there is a rhyme and reason for my handling of the situation the way I am.

            My priority is ensuring the kids safety, right now, that’s sometimes the only thing I can do.

            Please know that I’m very aware of how this will appear from the outside but right now a dissolution will ensure that I have complete control and final say over what happens to the boys, should their Mom not be in a position to make the best decisions. .

            Thank You again for all your concern.. ☺

            1. Alyssa Rogers Williams

              Great to know. And you’re right, we don’t know (nor do we need to know) every little detail and of course priority #1 is protecting your children. Keep on keepin’ on, I really want you to know my commentary has never been to criticize or judge, (I just don’t have super tactful bedside manner,lol) And thank you for the clarification (s) .

          2. Kim Gebhardt

            Alyssa, I read Lizze’s blog from start to finish and also noticed the obvious mental illness. The other thing I noticed was that Gavin did a complete turnaround once she was out of the house. That says a lot to me.

  5. I’m gonna try this a second time. The first comment didn’t post for some reason.

    I put myself out there and so I open myself up to opinion. I totally get that. All I ask is that you please try to take the post in the spirit it was intended.

    My life is incredibly difficult and yes, shit happens.

    What I was trying to do with this post was encourage those of you out there going through something similar. Whether or not you agree, a great many people look up to me and I have the countless emails and social media messages to prove it.

    I want these people to know that they aren’t alone. I want them to keep their chin up because I get it, even if no one else does.

    This wasn’t supposed to be about the water being shut off, it was simply what inspired the post and was a way to help relate to others.

    With that being said, I will respond to a few things that were brought up.

    In some ways, things have been financially easier since my wife left. In other ways, it’s more difficult. There was significant trouble at the beginning of the year that caused a domino effect. It’s still hitting me to this day.

    I can keep above water but I can’t absorb anything significant. I took a significant hit at the beginning of the year as a result of someone else’s actions and could do nothing to recoup the loss. That was my buffer for the year and it was gone before i got it.

    Kim,

    You could be right that things should be less expensive since she left but it doesn’t seem like that at this point because of the way the year started off.

    As for the child support.

    The truth is that I get no help from her. That’s not something that I advertise but I don’t think that’s a huge secret and it’s something the kids already know.

    Even if I filed for support, I wouldn’t get anything as she has nothing and isn’t doing anything. She has her reasons for that and whether or not I agree with that is irrelevant because I don’t see that ever changing.

    I could spend my time fighting for nothing but that would be a waste of what little energy I have left.

    Frankly, it’s all I can do to simply make it through the day sometimes. Gavin requires 24/7 care and I’m only one person.

    I also realize that there are details to this whole thing that not everyone is privy to and that if you had a better understanding of what is happening, you might approach this differently. Unfortunately, I still stand by my decision to keep some of this personal because it’s not my story to tell.

    I really do appreciate your comments but please understand that nothing is as simple as just getting it together.

    If you want to have a positive impact on our lives, please take the time to visit my sponsors. That makes a significant impact on my financial stability, allows me to provide for my family and continue to help others.

      1. No I don’t because that has nothing to do with CPS. The boys are fed, loved, clothed and have a roof over their heads. I’ve had run ins with CPS in the past relating to spite calls and they are very supportive.

        I lost the gas for two months during the summer but got that fixed. The water was shut off today but will hopefully be fixed in the morning.

        That’s not really alarming because it’s real life. I’m not happy or proud of these disconnects but I know I’m doing the best that I can. I’m managing a million different things all at the same time and it’s not perfect but the vast majority of things get handled. Sometimes things slip through though.

        1. pegster999

          I hope you get it on tomorrow. I know you could…go… outside. But having a toilet with no water to flush isn’t sanitary. The boys need to be bathed, clothes washed. I know it’s hard, but this can’t go on like this.

    1. Kim Gebhardt

      Rob, asking for child support at this stage is less about getting money now and more about being ‘repaid’ if she finds herself getting money from social security, inheritance, lawsuit, or even lottery winnings. But you will have to have an established order and proof of ‘non-payment’ in order to get it. These are her children, and she is as responsible for them as you are, no matter her physical or mental ailments.

      1. I get that. I’m trying to keep this as civil as possible and my priority is simply retaining control over the kids because that’s the only way I can ensure their safety, wellbeing and be able to ensure that no one can create anymore problems.

        I don’t know if that makes sense but I’m trying to walk a line with what I say.

        I do agree with what you are saying though and that option will still be available. Right now it’s a mean to an end amd honestly, my ship will come in, I know that because I can already see it.

        This isn’t going to be a long term situation but at the same time, there’s not a short term fix.

        I appreciate your comments and concerns Kim ☺

    2. pegster999

      I can only speak for myself, but I would bet others are thinking the same. As a mother, I just don’t understand how someone could give birth to children and take absolutely no responsibility for them. I don’t understand how it was allowed for so long either. This just isn’t normal.

      1. Nothing about this is normal… I’m not allowing anything. There are some major mental health issues at work. The woman I married would never have done this but the woman I married doesn’t exist anymore.

        Even if I took hard-core legal action, it would go nowhere.

        At the end of the day, the best approach is to things civil and ensure that I remain in charge of the kids.

        She’s not evil but she’s not well either. This is a really complicated situation and I have to focus on the big picture….

        I know that’s hard to wrap your head around but I have the best interests of my kids at heart here. It would make more sense if I could provide more context but I just can’t.

        Trust me, I live this same frustration everyday…. ☺

  6. I’m gonna try this a second time. The first comment didn’t post for some reason.

    I put myself out there and so I open myself up to opinion. I totally get that. All I ask is that you please try to take the post in the spirit it was intended.

    My life is incredibly difficult and yes, shit happens.

    What I was trying to do with this post was encourage those of you out there going through something similar. Whether or not you agree, a great many people look up to me and I have the countless emails and social media messages to prove it.

    I want these people to know that they aren’t alone. I want them to keep their chin up because I get it, even if no one else does.

    This wasn’t supposed to be about the water being shut off, it was simply what inspired the post and was a way to help relate to others.

    With that being said, I will respond to a few things that were brought up.

    In some ways, things have been financially easier since my wife left. In other ways, it’s more difficult. There was significant trouble at the beginning of the year that caused a domino effect. It’s still hitting me to this day.

    I can keep above water but I can’t absorb anything significant. I took a significant hit at the beginning of the year as a result of someone else’s actions and could do nothing to recoup the loss. That was my buffer for the year and it was gone before i got it.

    Kim,

    You could be right that things should be less expensive since she left but it doesn’t seem like that at this point because of the way the year started off.

    As for the child support.

    The truth is that I get no help from her. That’s not something that I advertise but I don’t think that’s a huge secret and it’s something the kids already know.

    Even if I filed for support, I wouldn’t get anything as she has nothing and isn’t doing anything. She has her reasons for that and whether or not I agree with that is irrelevant because I don’t see that ever changing.

    I could spend my time fighting for nothing but that would be a waste of what little energy I have left.

    Frankly, it’s all I can do to simply make it through the day sometimes. Gavin requires 24/7 care and I’m only one person.

    I also realize that there are details to this whole thing that not everyone is privy to and that if you had a better understanding of what is happening, you might approach this differently. Unfortunately, I still stand by my decision to keep some of this personal because it’s not my story to tell.

    I really do appreciate your comments but please understand that nothing is as simple as just getting it together.

    If you want to have a positive impact on our lives, please take the time to visit my sponsors. That makes a significant impact on my financial stability, allows me to provide for my family and continue to help others.

      1. No I don’t because that has nothing to do with CPS. The boys are fed, loved, clothed and have a roof over their heads. I’ve had run ins with CPS in the past relating to spite calls and they are very supportive.

        I lost the gas for two months during the summer but got that fixed. The water was shut off today but will hopefully be fixed in the morning.

        That’s not really alarming because it’s real life. I’m not happy or proud of these disconnects but I know I’m doing the best that I can. I’m managing a million different things all at the same time and it’s not perfect but the vast majority of things get handled. Sometimes things slip through though.

        1. pegster999

          I hope you get it on tomorrow. I know you could…go… outside. But having a toilet with no water to flush isn’t sanitary. The boys need to be bathed, clothes washed. I know it’s hard, but this can’t go on like this.

    1. Kim Gebhardt

      Rob, asking for child support at this stage is less about getting money now and more about being ‘repaid’ if she finds herself getting money from social security, inheritance, lawsuit, or even lottery winnings. But you will have to have an established order and proof of ‘non-payment’ in order to get it. These are her children, and she is as responsible for them as you are, no matter her physical or mental ailments.

      1. I get that. I’m trying to keep this as civil as possible and my priority is simply retaining control over the kids because that’s the only way I can ensure their safety, wellbeing and be able to ensure that no one can create anymore problems.

        I don’t know if that makes sense but I’m trying to walk a line with what I say.

        I do agree with what you are saying though and that option will still be available. Right now it’s a mean to an end amd honestly, my ship will come in, I know that because I can already see it.

        This isn’t going to be a long term situation but at the same time, there’s not a short term fix.

        I appreciate your comments and concerns Kim ☺

    2. pegster999

      I can only speak for myself, but I would bet others are thinking the same. As a mother, I just don’t understand how someone could give birth to children and take absolutely no responsibility for them. I don’t understand how it was allowed for so long either. This just isn’t normal.

      1. Nothing about this is normal… I’m not allowing anything. There are some major mental health issues at work. The woman I married would never have done this but the woman I married doesn’t exist anymore.

        Even if I took hard-core legal action, it would go nowhere.

        At the end of the day, the best approach is to things civil and ensure that I remain in charge of the kids.

        She’s not evil but she’s not well either. This is a really complicated situation and I have to focus on the big picture….

        I know that’s hard to wrap your head around but I have the best interests of my kids at heart here. It would make more sense if I could provide more context but I just can’t.

        Trust me, I live this same frustration everyday…. ☺

  7. Darcy Dallin

    I’ll chime in and no one may like it, but here goes….this has got nothing to do with lizze. Obviously she doesn’t have a job and/or was denied for SSI disability or whstever, but Rob the moment she left, you should have gone to the county social services (and you should have done this before) and applied for food stamps & cash assistance. There are also services that will pay for your utility bills (I’ve been on all these services). Even if you pay $5 or $10 bucks a month they can’t turn your water or electricity off and if they are than I suggest you go to the higher ups! I don’t mean to be harsh, but if there is a special autism school the the E’s are going to than there has to be services for these kids once they are “adults” and you need to send Gavin to these ‘homes’ or whatnot and get a job!! Yes, it IS that simple!! What is going on with Gavin or the E’s receiving SSI disability? Doesn’t matter the neighborhood, sell the house, doesn’t matter the trauma that may cause & move into a smaller place, like a two bed apartment or something!! Yes there are memories in the house but start new ones!! You don’t think the kids are going to be traumatized & not be able to handle the change of having NO water?!?! Please! Move in with your parents even if you don’t want to put that burden on them!! Have you even gone to food banks? I’ve done it all! You are NOT thinking of your kids here but yourself & your pride maybe?? Yes, I’ve dealt with autistic kids & they will “get over it” if you have to move or get a job. Yes it will be hard, but change does happen daily! If lizze can get a job & she sits at her parents than she can watch Gavin during the day so you can work. Seriously what other options do you have?! Tell lizze to “get over it” also, we ALL have mental problems & I will admit, I’m one of them!! But my kids would have never been w/o water or electricity or food! Yes, I WILL give my kids up to someone if they could provide better for my kids! Social services is going to read your blogs & just TAKE your kids away whether you want it to happen or not – this is happening constantly & more & more!! The government gets more federal money to put special needs kids in foster care!! Yes, they should just give you the money straight but they dont!! Sorry for the long harsh rant.

    1. I’m not even going to respond to that accept to say that you are mistaken and your information in not accurate.

      I’ve applied for and gotten every available source of assistance that I qualify for and I don’t qualify for much.

      There is NOWHERE in my state and county that will pay for utilities. That simply doesn’t happen. There are structured plans for Gas and Electric but nothing for water.

      I’ve dignified this comment more than what I planned on doing already…

      With that I will wish you a good day…

      1. Darcy Dallin

        Sweetheart, before my divorce, when I was a two income family, I was able get food stamps & eventually unemployment & went to food banks, so I don’t understand how as a person with no job, no child support, no disability payments for the kids that you say you don’t qualify for much?? How is that possible??
        You’ve had CPS called on you before out of spite, but the more calls people make, CPS will get tired of coming out & just take. I follow someone on FB who their son was fed, loved, had a roof over his head with NO utilities EVER shut off, clothed & the kid was one kid & had two rooms – his bedroom & his sensory room & CPS STILL took the child!! So quit being in denial.
        Are you just offended that I told you to get a job? THAT IS REAL LIFE. You keep saying you are living “real life” but I’ll say this (depressingly) a lot of people I follow on FB are single parent homes & the special needs kids are in school during the day & the parent works, even if it is a part time job! Is Gavin going to continue to live at home for the rest of his life? Does he get any social interaction? Is he working on his educamation while at home? REAL LIFE would be sending him to a “group home” during the day so Gavin can learn to live a real life!
        What million things are you doing? You are home all day. Yes, you do go to a lot of therapies & that is great! If you ‘forget’ things (that things are slipping by) than maybe more organizational skills & writing things on multiple calendars on paper & electronics so you don’t overload yourself.
        Yes I know I’m harsh & I’m sorry you’re offended but I’m a single parent with two special needs teens & a full time job & go to therapies & counselings, etc & have been under all social services has & am mentally “deficient” myself, but I would never have my kids go w/o water, heat, etc. I would send my kids to go live with someone else, even if temporary & get HELP cuz you need it! You can’t do this alone!

        1. Okay. I’m not you’re sweetheart. Secondly, I don’t know where you live but it sounds like you’re making a ton of assumptions based on what was available to you.

          It doesn’t work that way everywhere.

          I have food assistance but don’t qualify for most other services. If I needed a food bank, I would go to food bank.

          There’s a reason CPS doesn’t get involved and that’s because my situation is as I describe it. I’ve got documentation for everything and when they came the last time, they said how good of a job I was doing, especially considering everything.

          I’m not mad that you said to go get a job. Frankly, the fact that you think that’s the solution just shows your lack of understanding of the situation.

          You may not appreciate the post but that’s because it wasn’t intended for people like you. It was intended for people who share the same or similar struggles in life, so they know that they aren’t alone.

          All you’ve succeeded in doing is climbing up on your high horse and preaching.

          Honestly, if your view of the world is so narrow, I feel sorry for you.

          My kids are not traumatized because the water was shut off. That’s pretty dramatic, don’t you think? They don’t care. They know that I’m doing everything I can and aside from taking a bath, which they can temp do at my parents, nothing has really changed for them..

          You’re response does serve to illustrate the enormous amount of ignorance still left in the world and I thank you for making that clear.

          Please have a good night and unless you have something positive to bring to the discussion, feel free to comment on someone else’s blog…

          Please note that you don’t have to agree with me to bring something positive…. ☺

          1. Darcy Dallin

            I understand your situation completely, you ignored what you wanted to avoid. As i stated I am in the same situation. Isn’t money what everyone needs? Wouldn’t getting a job solve that? Maybe a job isn’t the solution but how else are you going to get money? Keep asking people to click on your ads? I have a job AND I donate my plasma for money, so I can continue to pay for things becuz my job doesn’t pay enough.
            Just like YOU Rob, I won’t divulge every little detail, but whether or not I share WORSE struggles than you because my kids WERE taken away briefly (although I’m sure you’ll blame a “mental” issue for that, so you may not be so kind). I have no high horse but I do preach becuz I have NO home NOW! I TRIED just like you are doing & I thought of my kids & decided it was best for them to be raised by family who could give them hot water, electricity, etc & not have a stressed out parent who is going to get an ulcer from worrying soo much. My view of the world is the SAME as yours because I’ve been there, done that & keep seeing hell cuz I don’t have money just like you dont. You’re not annoyed by my ignorance, you’re annoyed by me challenging you. No my degree hasn’t helped me much, because I’ve chosen not to use it, but do you have a college degree Rob? If so put it to better use than I have!
            So how much do you divulge to the boys why there is no water? You have stated you don’t post things cuz you don’t want the boys reading about certain things when they get older? The only reason I said the change of having no water & bathing temporarily at your parents might be traumatizing is because in numerous post you say the boy’s don’t handle any kind of change well & having no water for any amount of time is a ‘change’ & a change in routine but now you say the boys will be fine with it?

            1. dotdash

              Hi Darcy, It sounds as if you have been through the wringer. I’m so sorry that you have had to do something as difficult as let your children be raised by another family. That’s a brave thing to do.

              I’m always struck by how difficult life can be and how much help we need from those around us. If it’s just you on your own, please give yourself a break. It is hard to do even with 2 parents, an extended family, supportive schools, and enough money. Anyone who has to make do without all of that is doing a damn near impossible task. So please go easy on yourself. (The corollary of course is please go easy on others.)

              Here’s a few lines from a poem I love:

              Each of us deserves to be forgiven, if only for
              Our persistence in keeping our small boat afloat
              When so many have gone down in the storm.

              1. Very well said. You have such a positive and calming approach.

                Sometimes it’s hard to remember that it’s very difficult to completely understand someone’s situation without having walked in their shoes.

                When dealing with something as challenging as Autism, everyone’s experience is different. The same diagnosis doesn’t mean the same experience.

        2. Alyssa Rogers Williams

          Oh, I didn’t want to but two comments so off base…

          Darcy……you have to use at least a modicum of intelligence to extrapolate that a guy that does what Rob does (alone) and has coded and designed forums and an app, is smart enough to go through every hoop possible to assist himself and his children in any way possible.

          I shouldn’t have even dignified your rants (that in part seem to be maybe?almost showing concern, but myopically so) but in the end you’re comparing apples to oranges. Your experiences ARE NOT HIS. This is a blog of awareness and if Rob shares some personal details, it’s his prerogative. That doesn’t mean he has to tell us every iota of his life. Every state, every city, every municipality in the USA is extremely different.

          However! It was the remark about Gavin you wrote that piqued my ire, because only Gavin’s primary caregiver (Rob) and his team of doctors and his therapists know what he is or isn’t qualified for. You have zero room to make that call, at all. You don’t have his charts, you aren’t his physician (s) and cannot possibly in any way determine what is right for him.

          I hate online, needless dissension, and civil discourse is just a basic courtesy, ESPECIALLY on a blog about autism awareness and a family’s journey. I didn’t attack several other facets of your posts out of respect for where we are. (But I wanted to.)

          1. Thank you.. ☺

            You’re exactly right.. If this go were as simple as “just getting over it” or “just getting a job”, I would have done that forever ago.

            There’s nothing about this that’s fun for me.. I’m stressed out all the time. I function on no sleep and go pretty much nonstop all day.

            On top of doing that, I’m continuing to try and help as many people as possible.

            The helping part helps with my sanity…

            Thank You for recognizing that services are localized and different based on where you live. . ☺

          2. Darcy Dallin

            If Rob is soo intelligent and has ‘coded and designed forums & apps’ than how can things “slip” (rob’s words) that he can’t pay for his electricity & water at times??
            In regards to gavin, I’m sure Rob & his team of doctors have come up with all they’ve can, but it’s more of Rob not wanted to let Gavin “go”. Rob wants & needs to shelter & take care of all his boys on his own & wants & needs to attention of doing so.
            IF Rob doesn’t share every ‘iota’ of his personal life than he leaves himself open for WRONG assumptions – and I am NOT the only one who has done this! Rob can not get upset & feel like he has to defend himself if we aren’t given all the “facts”!!
            Yes every family is unique & I’m constantly telling people you can’t judge until you’ve walked even one step in my shoes, but at least I’m honest & open & I don’t care who knows what – it’s the other people who don’t want to “hear” it because they’ve already judged & don’t want to be wrong. If you blog, you are “out there” & you can’t hide & only divulge/tease what you want & not expect some criticism?
            PLEASE attack all the other facets of my comments/post. Or are you to ‘intelligent’, fancy, high horsey (yes I know not a word).

            1. julh

              Darcy, since you’ve apparently developed the ability to read minds, you should be a millionaire! How else would you know that Rob doesn’t want to let Gavin go and wants to shelter the boys and look after them all by himself. Please share with us the secret to your talents, so that we may all gain your superior insight.

              1. Braden

                To be fair, that isn’t a crazy assumption on her part. I have gone back and read the archives, there are lots of reasons for why he can’t do things over the years, but very few written explanations of him trying to do anything different.

                The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.

    2. julh

      I’m not going to be as polite as Rob, because your comment is full of ignorance and demonstrates how clearly you don’t understand Rob’s situation.
      Gavin is too medically fragile to be accepted into residential care. He’s too unwell to attend school ffs. In terms of Lizze “minding” him, do us all a favour and go and read about what Gavin was like before Lizze left. I’ll summarise it for you – Gavin displayed self injurious and sociopathic behaviours on a frequent basis. Since Lizze left, the turn around in Gavin’s behaviour and ability to demonstrate empathy has been absolutely astounding. He is a different child, away from her. Apart from that, due to Lizze’s unstable mental state, her contact with the boys must be supervised, typically by her parents. Who are working to support her. Still think this has nothing to do with Lizze?
      Maybe if you didn’t have the mentality of “get over it” and actually addressed your “mental problems” with appropriate treatment, you would have a better understanding of the situation and wouldn’t be so quick to judge Rob on the choices he’s making.

      1. Darcy Dallin

        As i stated to Rob below i have been in his situation & worse!! My kids n I have experienced what Rob & his kids are going thru & even worse, cuz we did lose our home & other things & I have two special needs kids & Rob’s younger boys are in a better school than my kids could ever be & that’s great, but I knew my limits & got the help I needed, even tho it wasn’t direct money & insured that my kids would always have running hot water without worry of it being shut off, never worry bout electricity being shut off, I’ve never been too proud to go to food banks…i was told to “get over it” by everyone but Rob cant be told that? And isn’t it always Rob who in essence saying to “move on” & learn from our mistakes?
        Gavin is NOT to medically fragile to go to residential care. As stated in a previous post, Gavin has a better immune system sometimes because he receives infusions. I didn’t say keep Gavin there forever or overnight but Gavin needs to mingle with others his age & learn to function – the boy can feed himself & take care of himself to some extent. There are day group homes all over & that might be in better neighborhoods, so Gavin feels safer. There are many more people who are way more medically fragile in wheelchairs & can’t feed themselves or go to the bathroom by themselves who are in residential care.

        1. julh

          Being in a wheelchair and completely dependent is high level care, but completely different from Gavin and not necessarily “fragile”. Gavin’s fragility lies in the rarity of his conditions and the unpredictability of his health. The challenge would be in finding a medical team with the required expertise to manage his needs for an 8-12 hour period, in a facility that supports adolescents with severe mental health disorders. Any suggestions? Rob and Gavin’s medical teams have explored this option. Gavin has been refused admission from several residential settings because of his complex needs.
          I’m sorry that you were told to “get over it”. I don’t think you should be told that, any more than Rob shouldn’t be told that.

  8. Darcy Dallin

    I’ll chime in and no one may like it, but here goes….this has got nothing to do with lizze. Obviously she doesn’t have a job and/or was denied for SSI disability or whstever, but Rob the moment she left, you should have gone to the county social services (and you should have done this before) and applied for food stamps & cash assistance. There are also services that will pay for your utility bills (I’ve been on all these services). Even if you pay $5 or $10 bucks a month they can’t turn your water or electricity off and if they are than I suggest you go to the higher ups! I don’t mean to be harsh, but if there is a special autism school the the E’s are going to than there has to be services for these kids once they are “adults” and you need to send Gavin to these ‘homes’ or whatnot and get a job!! Yes, it IS that simple!! What is going on with Gavin or the E’s receiving SSI disability? Doesn’t matter the neighborhood, sell the house, doesn’t matter the trauma that may cause & move into a smaller place, like a two bed apartment or something!! Yes there are memories in the house but start new ones!! You don’t think the kids are going to be traumatized & not be able to handle the change of having NO water?!?! Please! Move in with your parents even if you don’t want to put that burden on them!! Have you even gone to food banks? I’ve done it all! You are NOT thinking of your kids here but yourself & your pride maybe?? Yes, I’ve dealt with autistic kids & they will “get over it” if you have to move or get a job. Yes it will be hard, but change does happen daily! If lizze can get a job & she sits at her parents than she can watch Gavin during the day so you can work. Seriously what other options do you have?! Tell lizze to “get over it” also, we ALL have mental problems & I will admit, I’m one of them!! But my kids would have never been w/o water or electricity or food! Yes, I WILL give my kids up to someone if they could provide better for my kids! Social services is going to read your blogs & just TAKE your kids away whether you want it to happen or not – this is happening constantly & more & more!! The government gets more federal money to put special needs kids in foster care!! Yes, they should just give you the money straight but they dont!! Sorry for the long harsh rant.

    1. I’m not even going to respond to that accept to say that you are mistaken and your information in not accurate.

      I’ve applied for and gotten every available source of assistance that I qualify for and I don’t qualify for much.

      There is NOWHERE in my state and county that will pay for utilities. That simply doesn’t happen. There are structured plans for Gas and Electric but nothing for water.

      I’ve dignified this comment more than what I planned on doing already…

      With that I will wish you a good day…

      1. Darcy Dallin

        Sweetheart, before my divorce, when I was a two income family, I was able get food stamps & eventually unemployment & went to food banks, so I don’t understand how as a person with no job, no child support, no disability payments for the kids that you say you don’t qualify for much?? How is that possible??
        You’ve had CPS called on you before out of spite, but the more calls people make, CPS will get tired of coming out & just take. I follow someone on FB who their son was fed, loved, had a roof over his head with NO utilities EVER shut off, clothed & the kid was one kid & had two rooms – his bedroom & his sensory room & CPS STILL took the child!! So quit being in denial.
        Are you just offended that I told you to get a job? THAT IS REAL LIFE. You keep saying you are living “real life” but I’ll say this (depressingly) a lot of people I follow on FB are single parent homes & the special needs kids are in school during the day & the parent works, even if it is a part time job! Is Gavin going to continue to live at home for the rest of his life? Does he get any social interaction? Is he working on his educamation while at home? REAL LIFE would be sending him to a “group home” during the day so Gavin can learn to live a real life!
        What million things are you doing? You are home all day. Yes, you do go to a lot of therapies & that is great! If you ‘forget’ things (that things are slipping by) than maybe more organizational skills & writing things on multiple calendars on paper & electronics so you don’t overload yourself.
        Yes I know I’m harsh & I’m sorry you’re offended but I’m a single parent with two special needs teens & a full time job & go to therapies & counselings, etc & have been under all social services has & am mentally “deficient” myself, but I would never have my kids go w/o water, heat, etc. I would send my kids to go live with someone else, even if temporary & get HELP cuz you need it! You can’t do this alone!

        1. Okay. I’m not you’re sweetheart. Secondly, I don’t know where you live but it sounds like you’re making a ton of assumptions based on what was available to you.

          It doesn’t work that way everywhere.

          I have food assistance but don’t qualify for most other services. If I needed a food bank, I would go to food bank.

          There’s a reason CPS doesn’t get involved and that’s because my situation is as I describe it. I’ve got documentation for everything and when they came the last time, they said how good of a job I was doing, especially considering everything.

          I’m not mad that you said to go get a job. Frankly, the fact that you think that’s the solution just shows your lack of understanding of the situation.

          You may not appreciate the post but that’s because it wasn’t intended for people like you. It was intended for people who share the same or similar struggles in life, so they know that they aren’t alone.

          All you’ve succeeded in doing is climbing up on your high horse and preaching.

          Honestly, if your view of the world is so narrow, I feel sorry for you.

          My kids are not traumatized because the water was shut off. That’s pretty dramatic, don’t you think? They don’t care. They know that I’m doing everything I can and aside from taking a bath, which they can temp do at my parents, nothing has really changed for them..

          You’re response does serve to illustrate the enormous amount of ignorance still left in the world and I thank you for making that clear.

          Please have a good night and unless you have something positive to bring to the discussion, feel free to comment on someone else’s blog…

          Please note that you don’t have to agree with me to bring something positive…. ☺

          1. Darcy Dallin

            I understand your situation completely, you ignored what you wanted to avoid. As i stated I am in the same situation. Isn’t money what everyone needs? Wouldn’t getting a job solve that? Maybe a job isn’t the solution but how else are you going to get money? Keep asking people to click on your ads? I have a job AND I donate my plasma for money, so I can continue to pay for things becuz my job doesn’t pay enough.
            Just like YOU Rob, I won’t divulge every little detail, but whether or not I share WORSE struggles than you because my kids WERE taken away briefly (although I’m sure you’ll blame a “mental” issue for that, so you may not be so kind). I have no high horse but I do preach becuz I have NO home NOW! I TRIED just like you are doing & I thought of my kids & decided it was best for them to be raised by family who could give them hot water, electricity, etc & not have a stressed out parent who is going to get an ulcer from worrying soo much. My view of the world is the SAME as yours because I’ve been there, done that & keep seeing hell cuz I don’t have money just like you dont. You’re not annoyed by my ignorance, you’re annoyed by me challenging you. No my degree hasn’t helped me much, because I’ve chosen not to use it, but do you have a college degree Rob? If so put it to better use than I have!
            So how much do you divulge to the boys why there is no water? You have stated you don’t post things cuz you don’t want the boys reading about certain things when they get older? The only reason I said the change of having no water & bathing temporarily at your parents might be traumatizing is because in numerous post you say the boy’s don’t handle any kind of change well & having no water for any amount of time is a ‘change’ & a change in routine but now you say the boys will be fine with it?

            1. dotdash

              Hi Darcy, It sounds as if you have been through the wringer. I’m so sorry that you have had to do something as difficult as let your children be raised by another family. That’s a brave thing to do.

              I’m always struck by how difficult life can be and how much help we need from those around us. If it’s just you on your own, please give yourself a break. It is hard to do even with 2 parents, an extended family, supportive schools, and enough money. Anyone who has to make do without all of that is doing a damn near impossible task. So please go easy on yourself. (The corollary of course is please go easy on others.)

              Here’s a few lines from a poem I love:

              Each of us deserves to be forgiven, if only for
              Our persistence in keeping our small boat afloat
              When so many have gone down in the storm.

              1. Very well said. You have such a positive and calming approach.

                Sometimes it’s hard to remember that it’s very difficult to completely understand someone’s situation without having walked in their shoes.

                When dealing with something as challenging as Autism, everyone’s experience is different. The same diagnosis doesn’t mean the same experience.

        2. Alyssa Rogers Williams

          Oh, I didn’t want to but two comments so off base…

          Darcy……you have to use at least a modicum of intelligence to extrapolate that a guy that does what Rob does (alone) and has coded and designed forums and an app, is smart enough to go through every hoop possible to assist himself and his children in any way possible.

          I shouldn’t have even dignified your rants (that in part seem to be maybe?almost showing concern, but myopically so) but in the end you’re comparing apples to oranges. Your experiences ARE NOT HIS. This is a blog of awareness and if Rob shares some personal details, it’s his prerogative. That doesn’t mean he has to tell us every iota of his life. Every state, every city, every municipality in the USA is extremely different.

          However! It was the remark about Gavin you wrote that piqued my ire, because only Gavin’s primary caregiver (Rob) and his team of doctors and his therapists know what he is or isn’t qualified for. You have zero room to make that call, at all. You don’t have his charts, you aren’t his physician (s) and cannot possibly in any way determine what is right for him.

          I hate online, needless dissension, and civil discourse is just a basic courtesy, ESPECIALLY on a blog about autism awareness and a family’s journey. I didn’t attack several other facets of your posts out of respect for where we are. (But I wanted to.)

          1. Thank you.. ☺

            You’re exactly right.. If this go were as simple as “just getting over it” or “just getting a job”, I would have done that forever ago.

            There’s nothing about this that’s fun for me.. I’m stressed out all the time. I function on no sleep and go pretty much nonstop all day.

            On top of doing that, I’m continuing to try and help as many people as possible.

            The helping part helps with my sanity…

            Thank You for recognizing that services are localized and different based on where you live. . ☺

          2. Darcy Dallin

            If Rob is soo intelligent and has ‘coded and designed forums & apps’ than how can things “slip” (rob’s words) that he can’t pay for his electricity & water at times??
            In regards to gavin, I’m sure Rob & his team of doctors have come up with all they’ve can, but it’s more of Rob not wanted to let Gavin “go”. Rob wants & needs to shelter & take care of all his boys on his own & wants & needs to attention of doing so.
            IF Rob doesn’t share every ‘iota’ of his personal life than he leaves himself open for WRONG assumptions – and I am NOT the only one who has done this! Rob can not get upset & feel like he has to defend himself if we aren’t given all the “facts”!!
            Yes every family is unique & I’m constantly telling people you can’t judge until you’ve walked even one step in my shoes, but at least I’m honest & open & I don’t care who knows what – it’s the other people who don’t want to “hear” it because they’ve already judged & don’t want to be wrong. If you blog, you are “out there” & you can’t hide & only divulge/tease what you want & not expect some criticism?
            PLEASE attack all the other facets of my comments/post. Or are you to ‘intelligent’, fancy, high horsey (yes I know not a word).

            1. julh

              Darcy, since you’ve apparently developed the ability to read minds, you should be a millionaire! How else would you know that Rob doesn’t want to let Gavin go and wants to shelter the boys and look after them all by himself. Please share with us the secret to your talents, so that we may all gain your superior insight.

              1. Braden

                To be fair, that isn’t a crazy assumption on her part. I have gone back and read the archives, there are lots of reasons for why he can’t do things over the years, but very few written explanations of him trying to do anything different.

                The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.

    2. julh

      I’m not going to be as polite as Rob, because your comment is full of ignorance and demonstrates how clearly you don’t understand Rob’s situation.
      Gavin is too medically fragile to be accepted into residential care. He’s too unwell to attend school ffs. In terms of Lizze “minding” him, do us all a favour and go and read about what Gavin was like before Lizze left. I’ll summarise it for you – Gavin displayed self injurious and sociopathic behaviours on a frequent basis. Since Lizze left, the turn around in Gavin’s behaviour and ability to demonstrate empathy has been absolutely astounding. He is a different child, away from her. Apart from that, due to Lizze’s unstable mental state, her contact with the boys must be supervised, typically by her parents. Who are working to support her. Still think this has nothing to do with Lizze?
      Maybe if you didn’t have the mentality of “get over it” and actually addressed your “mental problems” with appropriate treatment, you would have a better understanding of the situation and wouldn’t be so quick to judge Rob on the choices he’s making.

      1. Darcy Dallin

        As i stated to Rob below i have been in his situation & worse!! My kids n I have experienced what Rob & his kids are going thru & even worse, cuz we did lose our home & other things & I have two special needs kids & Rob’s younger boys are in a better school than my kids could ever be & that’s great, but I knew my limits & got the help I needed, even tho it wasn’t direct money & insured that my kids would always have running hot water without worry of it being shut off, never worry bout electricity being shut off, I’ve never been too proud to go to food banks…i was told to “get over it” by everyone but Rob cant be told that? And isn’t it always Rob who in essence saying to “move on” & learn from our mistakes?
        Gavin is NOT to medically fragile to go to residential care. As stated in a previous post, Gavin has a better immune system sometimes because he receives infusions. I didn’t say keep Gavin there forever or overnight but Gavin needs to mingle with others his age & learn to function – the boy can feed himself & take care of himself to some extent. There are day group homes all over & that might be in better neighborhoods, so Gavin feels safer. There are many more people who are way more medically fragile in wheelchairs & can’t feed themselves or go to the bathroom by themselves who are in residential care.

        1. julh

          Being in a wheelchair and completely dependent is high level care, but completely different from Gavin and not necessarily “fragile”. Gavin’s fragility lies in the rarity of his conditions and the unpredictability of his health. The challenge would be in finding a medical team with the required expertise to manage his needs for an 8-12 hour period, in a facility that supports adolescents with severe mental health disorders. Any suggestions? Rob and Gavin’s medical teams have explored this option. Gavin has been refused admission from several residential settings because of his complex needs.
          I’m sorry that you were told to “get over it”. I don’t think you should be told that, any more than Rob shouldn’t be told that.

      1. MBee

        LIHEAP opened on 11/1; I assume that is everywhere, but maybe not…

        I once asked for heating help – there was help for an over-due gas bill, but not heating fuel. Help for the overdue electric, but only once a year and we didn’t own space heaters. I learned later that folks would over-report their meter-reading, and wait for the shut-off and get it paid, putting them KWH ahead to heat with electric. Plus their gas bill was paid..

        Some thoughts? I have one less mouth to feed right now, since our grown son is away and you’d think it would make a difference, but not really. We have enough left-overs for one lunch (not two) but now we have a third one packing so that was a wash. Water usage? Maybe a slight decline, but we have a well and already practice conservation. Heat – well, we are heating the same square footage, regardless of how many people are at home; the same with lighting. Laundry looks about the same – a load is a load regardless of how many socks are in it. Clothing was mentioned – adults don’t need new clothes as often because we don’t outgrow or ruin things as quickly as kiddo’s do (and we are likely to go without if we can) Besides the toilet, shower and special menu items – one person doesn’t make much of a difference in expenses.

      1. MBee

        LIHEAP opened on 11/1; I assume that is everywhere, but maybe not…

        I once asked for heating help – there was help for an over-due gas bill, but not heating fuel. Help for the overdue electric, but only once a year and we didn’t own space heaters. I learned later that folks would over-report their meter-reading, and wait for the shut-off and get it paid, putting them KWH ahead to heat with electric. Plus their gas bill was paid..

        Some thoughts? I have one less mouth to feed right now, since our grown son is away and you’d think it would make a difference, but not really. We have enough left-overs for one lunch (not two) but now we have a third one packing so that was a wash. Water usage? Maybe a slight decline, but we have a well and already practice conservation. Heat – well, we are heating the same square footage, regardless of how many people are at home; the same with lighting. Laundry looks about the same – a load is a load regardless of how many socks are in it. Clothing was mentioned – adults don’t need new clothes as often because we don’t outgrow or ruin things as quickly as kiddo’s do (and we are likely to go without if we can) Besides the toilet, shower and special menu items – one person doesn’t make much of a difference in expenses.

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