Sean Joseph Stephan

In the summer of 1992 I went to stay with my uncle. I can’t remember the exact circumstances but I am sure it had to do with one of the routine “nervous breakdowns” my mom would have. They started when I was about 9 years old (or maybe that is when I was old enough to understand what was happening) and they continued in various forms until I was 24. I don’t think I blame my mom but I always like to understand the cause of things and I believe having a parent with a mental illness certainly causes problems for the children they raise.


Statistically, children of the mentally ill have a higher chance of becoming mentally ill themselves. This is due to combination of both nature and nurture; severe mental illness has a strong genetic factor. Add to that the stress and chaos of being raised by a severely mentally ill parent, or the child being passed around to foster parents or group homes, and it creates the perfect storm for developing any number of mood disorders, behavioral problems, and juvenile delinquency, let alone the increased possibility of the onset of a neurological disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. These conditions can lead the child to a life of illness, poverty, crime, and self-destruction.

Marc E. Fitch is the author of “Shmexperts: How Power Politics and Ideology are Disguised as Science,” and several novels. He works as a journalist at The Yankee Institute for Public Policy and lives in Connecticut with his wife, four children and three goats.


At any rate, my uncle lived in a small town and during their homecoming weekend I got pregnant. I specifically recall knowing that I wanted to grow up and go to college because that would be my only way out of a life of perpetual poverty. Point being, my need for love, attention and acceptance outweighed any common sense I had by 15 years of age. I moved back in with my mom and attended pregnant teenager school and worked at “Mr. Donut”. Having my own paycheck was like freedom!! I loved the idea of getting up everyday, going to work and earning my own income.

I’ve told the kids and maybe everyone that when i was 15 weeks along with my first son (and every kid) I heard his heartbeat for the first time and I fell in love right away. i feel like this euphoria we feel is a trick to suck us in to loving the little weasels no matter what!! So of course this worked right away for Sean, big blue eyes and great big dimples!! All the nurses just loved him!! Little did I know that was a sign of what was to come!!

There could be an entire novel just about Sean. It started around 4 weeks old. He would scream non stop and the only thing to quiet him would be putting him in the swing and turn on Care Bears really loud. We tease him about that until this day!!

At 2 years old he started banging his head on the floor when he was mad, I took him to the pediatrician who proceeded to tell me “I’m glad you brought him in so we can get this documented before someone calls DCFS. I was thinking “where have I gone wrong as a parent? Until this day I genuinely ask myself that question. I started getting calls from schools about behaviors in Kindergarten. At this time he was barely sleeping 5 hours a night! He was also displaying violent behaviors toward his brother. The first pediatrician tried him on medication that made his behaviors worse. From that point until Kindergarten we were barely making it!! So at 5 years old he had to be hospitalized because this pediatrician said: if you don’t put him in the hospital to be evaluated then I can’t be held accountable for what he may do next. So we put him in the hospital, put him on a regimen of medicine that seemed to really help him. As he got older though he would lose his temper at school quickly.  It never stopped, clear up to his freshman year in high school when he dropped out.

As they mature, children of teen mothers must still overcome many obstacles. For example, boys born to mothers under the age of 19 are 13 percent more likely to be incarcerated at some point in their lives. Daughters of teen moms are over 20 percent more likely to have their own children at a young age. Children of both sexes have lower standardized test scores and are less likely to earn their high school diplomas.

Statistics on Teen Pregnancy

Vilma Ruddock

Not only did I genuinely feel that I was failing him but as a mother you do have a certain standard you believe, hope, pray and at some point beg that your children will live up to. I knew that I wasn’t going to let one of my kids go down the drain!! By the time Sean made it to high school, in spite of my desperate attempts, he seemed to have lost his way.

Don’t get me wrong, until this day I still desperately try to get and keep him on track. After leaving the traditional high school setting Sean attended a school for kids like him……which just means he attended classes with other boys with the same behavioral issues. This quickly ended in him being suspended for 10 days meaning he couldn’t take driver’s education.

At this point he already was “in love with girls” and girls were “in love with him”.  I specifically remember coming home from work one day and there was a group of 6+ girls walking up the road toward the house and there was Sean smack dab in the middle.

One girl apparently stood out more than the rest: Caitlyn. I immediately talked to the both of them about the importance of protected sex and birth control. I told Caitlyn she had a week to get on birth control or I was taking her. So about 10 days later I took her to planned parenthood and apparently at that time she was already pregnant but we didn’t know. A month later I was on the 2nd half of a double shift (I was only 32) and I received a call from Sean with Caitlyn on the phone as well. I’ll never forget, I’m on the hall, passing meds, standing at my cart, phone up to my ear: “Mom we took 3 different pregnancy tests and they are all positive”. Since I’ve had tons of calls from Sean over the years that seem like emergencies and weren’t I managed to remain calm and tell them “Ok, we will worry about it when I get home”.

After 3 days of being in complete shock to the point that I couldn’t talk to anyone, we embraced the truth and 9 months later came: Skylar Henry Lee Boliard!! AKA: My Little Lover Man!!

Sean is now 25 years old with 2 daughters in addition!

I’d love to tell everyone after years of trouble with the law that Sean has it all together but I can say that for the first time I can remember he has put himself in a healthier situation and so that gives me much encouragement!!

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Father’s Day

as-a-father-this-was-the-best-mothers-day-gift-ever-109493.png

It was only recently that I realized how little regard I had for the “father role”. I had no idea who my biological father was until I was 15 and when I met him he said “I couldn’t be sure at the time because of your mom”. So in once fail swoop he let me know that 1: it didn’t matter enough to him to figure it out and 2: because of your mom…….implying what? That my mom was sleeping around? Wow what a good start. At any rate, no real love lost there. During my childhood my mom did marry several times and all though they all had some endearing qualities (I use this term in the loosest possible way) they all were actually the last person you would want your mom to marry.  OK, after saying that I feel kind of bad, 1 1/2 of them were OK. Point being still no one showing me that fathers actually matter. I remember thinking to myself at one point that if/when I had children I would be better off just raising them on my own.

After doing everything ass backwards, getting pregnant very young, married very young, divorced young and then having my girls, and then leaving their dad. I actually found myself in a position in 2013 that would lead me to realize how important and wonderful fathers can be! My girls father and I got back together as our youngest daughter was starting her freshman year of high school. I thought I had made an awful mistake because our daughter aka our Princess aka Alexa and her Dad could not see eye to eye. Alexa gave her Dad a run for his money every time he tried to enforce the rules. She would even tell me I was letting him be mean to her by taking her phone away.

In 2015 my husband had a diving accident (this was kind of self induced but changed our lives forever due to the traumatic brain injury TBI) Austin and Alexa could not see their dad in such a condition but Alexa clearly has come to love her father more than ever!alexaanddad.jpg

So, here we are: 2018. Our 3 children we raised together have all gone off to college, are working while going to school, have their own places etc. I genuinely believe now that God intended on their being 2 parents (or more) involved in a child’s life. Regardless of the family dynamics it is virtually impossible for 1 parent to give a child everything they need. There is no balance.

I just want to say: Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers. If you aren’t in your kids lives please make an effort to do so!

This is my husband and I the day before the accident, We’re pretty sure he got a face lift in surgery! =+)meandrogdaybeforeaccident

Eminem & Bonnaroo 2018

So I have had a longing (we will call it) to see Eminem for nearly 20 years! My older daughter: Soleil who is 20 became a big Eminem fan in 2011 after meeting her best friend Breigh. As much as I would like to deny it I think Breigh qualifies as the biggest fan out of 3 of us and then Soleil and myself. (I’m basing this off the fact that she knows every word to every song…and not like when people say: I know everyone of his songs…..she genuinely knows every word!

At any rate, fast forward to January of this year. Soleil and I were at work together and she was looking up dates to see Eminem. Well our little world was changed forever!! She found it! Bonnaroo 2018 featured artist: Eminem!!!! For those who don’t know about Bonnaroo it is a huge camping/music festival on a farm held every June in Manchester TN 

 

Of course I don’t agree with everything ever said in every Eminem song but I am not one of those people that base my entertainment choices on how the person is otherwise! Having said that I did stop watching Grey’s Anatomy because Shonda Rhimes killed off Dr. McDreamy and I tweeted her to let her know!!

At any rate, the experience was amazing all around. It was primitive camping and our campsite had to be a mile away from “Centaroo” the weather was as hot as possible all day long, so happy the rain stayed away though.

No matter the heat, cost, waiting in lines I would absolutely do it again in a minute. There is certainly something to be said for getting to see your favorite musician/artist! I’ve always loved Eminem’s music, I loved that he was bold enough to say whatever and it meant a lot to me because I could relate to his point of coming from nothing and fighting so hard to get to a better place!

Life as I see it (rambling)

I’ve been a mom for 24 years and a nurse for 12 years. Clearly that makes me an expert on both, right? Sitting here now I realize I can’t give myself such a broad subject because I can’t figure out where to start!

Our youngest turns 18 in 2 weeks, graduation in next weekend. This has made me so very sad/tearful this week. I really don’t know what to do if I am not being a mom/wife/nurse 24-7. It just doesn’t seem that I’ll have enough to keep me busy and if I’ve learned anything from years of counseling I’ve learned there is no better way to avoid resolving a disastrous childhood then to have a very busy life!!

We all know children don’t come with a handbook but I’ll tell you what, I know what things I got right and…….which one’s I got wrong!!  I can also tell you that the older I get the better I get at parenting, I am sure of it!!  To anyone that ever tried to claim that you can be a great parent at a young age hadn’t been a parent at 40+.  Everyday I get better, I become more humble, more wise and all around better parent!!  Although  I raised 4 kids while finishing nursing  school and working 5 doubles a pay period, I do much better work over the last few years, working 40 hours a week and co parenting!! Although the children often ask where the other mom went, they are quick to tell you how great the last few years have gone.

Family Getaway 3

So the trip to Chicago has come and gone! Of course I didn’t blog about it at all like I thought/hoped I would. We did have a wonderful time though and spent plenty of money! In true Sunshine fashion I left myself broke afterward BUT you only live once!

Family Getaway 2

So sticking with this follow up is a lot harder than I thought. Not because I don’t want to write!!  It’s completely opposite of that!! It’s so strange the number of things that prevent me from writing:work, kids, husband, myself……

At any rate, I booked a room in downtown Chicago @ AC Hotel Chicago Downtown after looking @ trip  advisor, trivago, and several hotel specific sites. After considering the dates, length of stay, amenities, cost and location I kept coming back to this hotel and the best deal I could find was from: Hotels.com

So, like many other people I thought I would certainly have plenty of money because of my tax return, of course, in what to seems to be true Sunshine fashion I find out that I probably won’t have my tax return so I really need to pick up some over time! Just what I need during this: getting to know myself period of my life!!…………

Family Getaway

Soleil will turn 19 on March 18th. All she really asked for was a Wii!  Instead of a party I was thinking we could take a little trip. That happens to be spring break weekend and I’m always hoping to put something affordable together to do as a family. Originally I was trying to organize a quick trip to the Wisconsin Dells (none of us have been) but that just didn’t give me enough time to plan.

Roger and the kids have not been to downtown Chicago to stay for the weekend so I think that’s what we are going to do! We will be leaving Friday, March 17th and returning Sunday, March 19th. There are so many websites to help with traveling but it’s hard to get a site that gives you the best price on every aspect: hotel, food and entertainment.  I’m excited to use a website: Time Out Chicago. It appears to cover everything  but I’m not sure if it includes competitive pricing but we shall soon find out!!

I’m hoping to get up there Friday and have time for dinner and maybe do something touristy that night. Saturday we will probably go to Navy Pier, Sears Tower, Sheds Aquarium and then I’m not sure: eat lots of good food and drink lots of good drinks!! On Sunday we will probably sleep until 10-11 and then grab some Chicago style pizza for lunch and then head back home!  Well, wish us luck, I’ll let you all know how it’s going and how it goes!

My name is Autin (Austin)

So technically speaking Roger and I have 6 children: He has 2, I have 2 and we have 2 together. Austin is 1 of the “his 2”. Once upon a time he was itty bitty and when asked his name he would respond: “my name is Autin” which was one of the many adorable little encounters folks used to have with the now 6 foot tall 20 year old 2nd-3rd year college student. Still adorable just on a much larger scale! Some days I wouldn’t know he was home if it wasn’t for the never ending yelling at the xbox……one day I’m hoping he will become wealthy from the time put in to his xbox. No worries though, if that doesn’t work out he does happen to be very smart and is working on a degree in engineering. I’m thankful he is here for many reasons but one thing he does without effort is balancing out the female to male ratio in the house and until/unless you have lived in a house that isn’t balanced you can’t really appreciate the significance!!

Our Princess

17 1/2 years ago our youngest was born, Alexa Kay Louise!! She was s force to be reckoned with from the start. I had the chicken pox for the first time while I was pregnant with her, which caused no real trouble but the Dr said she was born with a few pock marks. During delivery she was in such a rush, I went from being dilated 2cm to 10 in about a half hour! She was born with a little bruising to her cheeks because of it. I had to return to work when she was just 4 weeks but she never lacked attention because she had her G-MA (my mom, their Mam-ma) wrapped around her little finger! As she grew up she was always the center of attention, either because she was much more outgoing than her siblings and/or because she was often the squeakiest wheel!! She has the personality type I’ve always envied: always speaking up and never afraid to ask for what she wants!! She has certainly grown into a very beautiful, very smart young lady and I’m certain she will never settle for less than the best!! 

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