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luv4lacrosse's picture
Posts: 1410
Joined: Jul 2010

As I have posted recently regarding going on SS Disability and getting the stress out of my life, My decision to actually try to make this happen has just gotten easier.

For any of you with kids in college a long way from home, or kids struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, I have one of each. My youngest son is home on break and attend Kansas State University, a 6 hour drive from STL. My wife and I received a letter from the Financial Aid Dept. informing us our son will not qualify for aid for the second semester due to a low GPA. My son is a junior majoring in Construction Management and Engineering and unbeknownt to my wife and I, he has been emotionally destroyed by the news of my METS to mu Lung and Mediastynum. We have openly communicated to him the good and the bad news regarding what is going on with me, but my son has kept this bottled up inside, and did not know how to tell us he was not doing well the first semester.

If I can recommend one thing if you have a simillar situation, be proactive and communicate, as my wife and I assumed "no news is good news" from him. We have been so wrapped up in my battle, we even failed to check on his grades as we have always done in years past. I am also dealing with my older son who has relapsed on drugs and alchohol as a result of him being terrified I am going to die soon. DO NOT LEARN THE HARD WAY AS I HAVE RECENTLY FOUND OUT. REACH OUT EVEN IF IT IS HARD TO TALK ABOUT, I feel I have failed as a parent being so caught up with my issues, I left my kids all alone on an emotional island!!

I am definitely going to make some life decisions soon so I can instill some faith and confidence back into my kids

After a serious discussion with all members of my family, (very important to include everyone) my decision to actually apply for SS Disability, par down my finances, and simplify my, (OUR) lives is the right decision for us. I have finally set my career/professional ego aside and will take the stress of making a living based on what my team produces in revenue, all of the traveling, deadlines, ETC and toss it in the garbage. I have experienced first hand that I can either drag my loved ones down with my on my emotional roller coaster, or lift them up by simplfying my life and focus on keeping the beast at bay and living as long and as CONTENT as I can.

I am a huge numbers person, and planning and research ETC along with factual information is how I make decisions. I welcome and feedback and or advice or real world information from others who are already on SS Disability or have simplified their situation.

Merry Christmas to all of my CSN family.


Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012


Please don't either of you beat yourselves up over the kids.  Yes, it seems like we take every moment of every day consentrating on just living.  I have learned with mine through out the years THEY not ME are responsible for their own actions.  As young adults sh...t happens.  But don't ever allow them to blame this on you !  My kids say I play the C-card on them all the time.  NO I don't....I make them responsible for their own mistakes and defeats.  And when we can help them we do.  It will make them stronger adults, I'm not saying to not listen...heavens no.  But all you can do is love them right now !  I will be praying for you and your family for a brighter New Years.  Katie

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4674
Joined: Mar 2012

so put the stick away, and stop beating yourself up.  It's all about choices....and tho I can certainly understand where concentration may slip during times of familial stress, and grades may slip....your son had the option of talking about stuff, too....as for the druggie/alki...that is a decision, too....and since he KNOWS that picking up a drink or a drug leads right back to where he left off...he chose to not deal with your illness at all.  I can't say a whole bunch about school or how that would affect an individual....I didn't have to live that one.  But I remember well, when my dad had cancer....I conciously made the decision that "no, I wasn't going to drink over it"....I could not fathom putting my parents under more stress than they were already facing. 

You are in survival mode....surviving takes everything you have right now....if you missed a couple of sign posts along the way...so be it.....deciding to LIVE takes just about all a person has inside....the boys are responsible for their lives....regardless of what is going on with their dad.   LIfe is made that way....you put the tools into their hands when you raised them....what they do with those tools is their responsibility.


ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

has made some mistakes in their life. All we can do with mistakes is to learn from them. We are here and now; and we must go forward from wherever we find ourselves. It is healthy to admit our mistakes. I may do so very soon. It sounds like you are drawing your family together. Best wishes for the future. Rick.

longtermsurvivor's picture
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

I've been on SSD for quite awhile.    Between cancer, and the demands of my profession, something had to give, so I swallowed my pride and took the plunge.  Although not what I would have planned for myself, I have learned that my plans sometimes don't count for much, and it was and is what I needed to do.  The last few years have been pretty hard, and I am still on the cusp of whatever this thing has in store for me.  I've been ok with that, but my wife has not.  My health situation spiraled her into depression, and her work and family situation deteriorated a lot as a result of it.  Beyond being supportive, there hasn't been much I could do about that either.  She seems to be pulling out of that now.  Between time, and medical intervention, things are getting better.  I work on what I am able to do, which isn't much beyond controling my own emotions, being a good patient and not unduely burdening her and others around me.  I qualified for SSD back when it took a real dogfight to get it.  Two years of appeals and hearings.  Missouri has some unique laws regarding applying for supplemental insurance after you get on SSD and Medicare.  Be sure you understand them.


Merry Xmas



Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Nov 2011

My experience is we are always our "hardest judges" ...but your topic alone stands (in my opinion) to show you ARE indeed a great dad.  Maybe you were a little slow at noticing, but trying to stay alive FOR our family to be there for them, financially support them and being open about your situation sounds to me like you covered the basis well. As a "guy" I can only speak from our gender point of view...but providing for our family and being around to give them advice in the future is always our priority ...it's obvious you love your kids and they love you too as evidenced by the stuggles they are having.

I'm not making light of you situation, just providing another view which is really none of my business anyway....but sounds to me like you are continuing to put your family first....and making solid decisions....you have a lot on your plate my friend, a lot.


Whispered a prayer for both of your sons, you and your wife that the family will continue come together and you will continue to have the strenght and wisdom you currently have  ..


Best Mike ..keep us posted

CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4330
Joined: May 2012



Merry Christmas!


I am sorry about your troubles, but I know getting yourself squared away is of utmost importance.  Don’t second guess yourself about what has occurred, most of us would have chosen a different path had we known the future (cancer).


As for your student son, tell him he should not give up (I’ve been there).  He has the first few years out of the way, the final couple years are hard, but doable (we say that here all the time).  So what if he gets a few bad grades, simply retake the needed courses.  I personally know of four individuals who were far smarter than I was and they didn’t make it.  It’s a matter of doing all the work asked of you and the grades fall in place.   That is once he gets his head around your condition.


As for the other son, I’ll hope he seeks the path to no more drugs.  There comes a time when most do.


I wish you and your family the best of outcomes.



luv4lacrosse's picture
Posts: 1410
Joined: Jul 2010

Thanks so much to all who replied. After thinking greatly about what each of you said, you all are on point. I have had a discussion with my kids and they undertand that they too have "skin in the game" and are responsible enough to take some action and try to help lift themselves up without mom and dad doing all of the lifting. We have a plan A and a plan B in place for my younger son, and my older son will have to come up with his own plan B regarding using any situation as an excuse to re use drugs and alcohol.

Pat, thank you for sharing your experience with the whole SSD system, as the more information I can arm myself with, the better the long term outcome will be.

We really do have two families, and sometimes I need to come here with folks who have walked a mile in my shoes to get the advice I need.


Thanks again, and not only did I receive some good advice, you just plain made me feel better.


osmotar's picture
Posts: 1005
Joined: Jul 2011


You did what was right for and your family that's all that matters.

Have a wonderful 2013!!!!


hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

I am on the same wave length as Tim. It's understandable that you and your wife got caught up in fighting the fight and might have missed some signs on how your boys were reacting. The important thing is that you recognize it now and are tackling all of the issues together. It's unlikely that anyone ever sat in their rocking chair on the front porch with regrets and said they wished they had worked harder and longer. In the end, it's always about people and family. Best wishes for you and yours in 2013!  

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2196
Joined: Nov 2009

Sorry to hear your kids are struggling right now.  Hoping they understand that their inability to handle their own stress (for some, it could have been as simple as sitting down with someone outside the family, and getting it all out in a pile, so they can rearrange it for themselves) greatly adds to yours.  Here's hoping the new year finds them more able to work on helping themselves.  Also hoping you can soon give them good news to help alleviate some of their worries.

donfoo's picture
Posts: 1649
Joined: Dec 2012


I find your decision brave, bold, and correct. Each person needs different levels of adversity before they see live distliied to its essential elements and can prioritizes that which defines your legacy. Careers, power, ego, money, houses, cars, vacations, what university the kids goes to, fitness club memberships, extra cable TV packages, and on and on, have a way of slidng down below what is really important. Those you decribe: the closeness and bonding of family, true and meaningful and full relationships, quality time to pass core values to your kids, living more and enjoying what life offers now rather than banking toward some future goal, etc. have a way of floating toward the top.

It is not an easy transition and there are tradeoff for sure but you will find over time you and your family adapt well as long as everyone is reminded and understand the value of what they receive in return,


Take care