Growing up, I was a difficult child to say the least. Not that my cards that have been dealt to me justifies my roads. It wasn't easy finding out at 17 that I was going to be a MOM. So, I guess it's only fair that God blessed me with a child who is as stubborn and bullheaded as I am. Austyn, grew up with a mom who was growing up with him. When mom bounced from home to home, Austyn was in tote. I wont sit here and say I made all the right decisions. In fact, I'm pretty sure I made more wrong decisions than I did good ones. However, that boy and I will always disagree on which ones where the good decisions.
Austyn was an AMAZING baby. In fact, both my boys were easy babies. If my body didn't get as destroyed as much as it did with those two, I would probably have several more IF there was someway to guarantee that they would be just as amazing. Both boys slept through the night from day one, never took a Nuk I had to break them from, both were walking by 9 months old, potty training was way easier than all of the horror stories I read about, and both hit every milestone on cue or before! I honestly thought this was finally my GOOD KARMA from the Lord....
Until their dad and I got a divorce. That's when Austyn changed at the good old age of 8. I become the monster. Everything was my fault on why the marriage didn't work. Our lives were a shit show and mom was the one to blame. Dad always had to be the good guy even if his "truth" was so far from the truth it would make your head spin. I chose NOT to participate in his game. When dad made up the lies or stretched the truth I let my kids believe it....YES, EVERY SINGLE LIE. I know your jaw has probably dropped, but hear me out. My divorce, all the hurt and the heartbreaks is MY STORY to tell. It's up to me to decide when I am ready to tell it. I will tell my boys my story when I feel that they can handle it. I will show them all of the letters that I got from all of their dad's pick of the months and they will read all of their dad's lies in black and white.
Austyn became the child who struggled in school and refused to do work. We picked up our lives and moved back to my home town where his dad lived, hoping that all he needed was to be closer to his dad. Living 5 miles down the road from his dad didn’t help him change. His dad didn’t see them more, Austyn continued to refuse to participate in school, and at my lowest point I gave in. I allowed Austyn to move in with his dad knowing it was the worst choice as a mom I could ever make for BOTH of us. Austyn stayed with his dad for less than a month before his dad said to me, “take him back.” Of course, that’s not the story he gave Austyn.
During all of this, I had never felt so lost as a mother. I was tired of the hurting, the yelling, the vicious poisoned life we were all living. School had completely given up on him and told me to homeschool. So, what else is a mother suppose to do when schools says they never leave a child behind?
I knew there had to be something else out there for struggling moms and kids. I spent endless tear-filled eyes searching the Internet only to find solutions that would cost us 5 Grand or more per month, and like clockwork, I would give up until the next fallout Austyn and I would have.
To this day, I do not know how I found the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy, MYCA. But, I found it. I talked to Austyn and for over a year we discussed it, we went to every open house and meeting they had and he was all for it. The Academy is a 17.5 month, two phase program. The program incorporates eight core components that encourage physical, mental and moral development. They live their lives in a boot camp setting. No internet. No phones. Nothing. Everything they want is earned. Yes, even a one minute phone call to mom MUST be earned.
On January 3rd, Austyn left us for 6 months with once per month visits 3 hours away, and daily hand-written letters!
He graduated from the program and got his High School Diploma a year early. He than continued the program and attended trade school for an additional 6 months. He even got to experience living the dorm lifestyle! Austyn came back as a MAN. A changed man with confidence. Our relationship is still on ice and I am still the monster, just a little less of one! I will take it, any day of the week, to no longer be living the toxic life we once had, the constant fighting and yelling until our throats hurt.
Drop off Day 1/3/19
Graduation Day: 6/22/19
Pick up day from Trade School: 10/16/19
Karen is the owner of Boutique Marketing Studio & blog owner of My Life, Your Entertainment. “My life, Your Entertainment,” is a real-life, non-sugarcoating blog by yours truly! I am a mother of two teenage boys (Lord, I know you love me). I am a pilot bride who envies her groom’s love for flying. I find humor in the little things and will laugh until my belly hurts. I am stubborn, I cuss worst than a sailor. I am too outspoken, I drink, I have tattoos, I drive a fancy truck and I am addicted to chocolate. I love hard and trust too easy. However, I can build a wall to protect my heart faster than an airplane taking off at 130 knots. The life motto that I have, and will, always live by is, “On a wing and a prayer.” My life, my family, and all its beautiful chaos, takes place in the beautiful Great Lakes State. You will find that my blog talks about all of the things I have passion for: life, marriage, kids, marketing, hobbies… you name it! I hope somewhere, there is a soul or two I can speak to. So, stick around and don’t forget to subscribe! Xo, Karen;