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A Darling Kind of Life - Caleb and Kathleen Darling
May 7, 2014
3:39 pm
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emmbee
Hamcat
Meows: 110
Snarking Since:
June 11, 2012

I know that this blog has come up on the Ian and Larissa thread but after reading through a dozen or so posts last night, I felt like it deserved it's own thread.  I do feel like an asshole starting it because it's just an all-around tragic situation, but I'm just seriously at a loss as to how anyone thinks this situation is okay.  This couple was involved in a terrible car accident and the husband (Cale/Caleb) suffered brain damage that has caused major cognitive impairs.  Despite that, they have still been living as husband and wife and recently welcomed a child.  

http://www.adarlingkindoflife.com 

Now, I'm no expert on traumatic brain injury and cognitive disabilities but is there no one in this man's life who feels like he's not in a position to give consent?  Not that people with disabilities should be deprived of a life with fulfilling relationships (including sexual ones) but shouldn't they be with people on the same cognitive spectrum?  I find this especially troubling considering that the wife serves as a nurse/caregiver.  She acknowledges that his injury has caused him to think and act like a child but basically said that God told her that it was time to have a baby with him.

She posted this in September 2013, just a month after announcing on the blog that they were pregnant:

"Cale's brain injury causes him to think and act as a child would. Over the last year or so we've been very aware of him emerging into more teen-like behavior at times which can be very interesting…and a whole lot of fun! ;)"

scared

Disclaimer:  I really have NO idea how I would handle this happening to my own husband.  I'd probably go insane.  I certainly wouldn't "leave" him but I just can't imagine continuing a husband/wife relationship with someone who doesn't have the cognitive ability to give consent to that relationship.  But, like I said, I'd probably go crazy over the grief.

May 7, 2014
4:11 pm
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wineistheanswer
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 234
Snarking Since:
April 18, 2014

I have just recently started reading this blog since seeing the link somewhere else here. I am most concerned for the safety of the baby, when she has stated several times she "would not have been able to handle Cale" if his dad or someone else wasn't there to help her when he is having a fit/tantrum. What is she going to do if in his childish mind he gets mad at the baby and tried to hurt her? I doubt she would leave him alone with the baby,but even looking at the pictures of him holding the baby stresses me out.

Its a very hard situation, I have no idea what I would have done in her place. I wouldn't have blamed her for leaving him and finding someone who can be a full husband/father. I don't doubt she loves him, but if he doesn't improve I think its going to be a very hard situation to continue,especially as the baby grows and needs more of her attention and time.

May 7, 2014
4:57 pm
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Uvabird
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 592
Snarking Since:
January 25, 2013

I can understand her desire to have a baby but I wonder how she is going to be able to manage when the baby becomes a toddler and she still has to care for her husband, who seems confused and childlike in many ways.   

 

Her posts are cheery but this seems to be a blog full of sadness.

May 7, 2014
6:06 pm
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Member Since May 2012
Feline Porklord
Meows: 1581
Snarking Since:
May 5, 2012

Oh my, I've been reading this blog! She makes me nervous. It's like she just wanted a baby so much she just went ahead and has sex with a man who is mentally a child.

But Ian and Larissa, I feel way sorrier for her. She is obviously so very unhappy.

Formerly ____________
May 7, 2014
6:19 pm
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Mary Anne Spier
Feline Porklord
Meows: 1476
Snarking Since:
June 19, 2013

I read a bunch of this blog after it was talked about on the other thread. I just don't understand how she could have sexual relations with someone who's mental capacity is of a child's. 

(I will say: gosh darn that baby is cute.)

May 23, 2014
3:59 pm
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Uvabird
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 592
Snarking Since:
January 25, 2013

She hasn't posted recently, but I can understand why, given the amount of care both a new baby and her husband need.   I agree, her baby is cute.  But I wonder about how she is going to manage her husband's outbursts while trying to raise a little one.

May 23, 2014
10:29 pm
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welcome to the world

Emmbee, I have the same thoughts: how do you go on with your life when something like this happens to your spouse? I feel as though I would be living in grief, remembering what my significant other was like, constantly comparing the present to the past. I actually feel worse for this woman because she didn't marry a brain injured man– she has memories of their day to day life before the accident. While I truly feel sorry for Larissa, at least she had an idea of what awaited them once they were married.

May 24, 2014
11:40 am
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lovemylumps
Hamcat
Meows: 116
Snarking Since:
February 27, 2014

I feel more sorry for Kathleen, since she was already married I mean, sure she could divorce him and people would probably understand but she still ends up looking kind of like a dick and feeling guilty for the rest of her life. Lose-lose situation right there.

 

Larissa at least had an easy out but didn't take it. She basically threw her life away on purpose BECAUSE JESUS! Finding the joy in suffering? Wtf.

May 24, 2014
2:20 pm
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The 20th Duggar
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 755
Snarking Since:
February 10, 2014

The Ian and Larissa thing creeps me out because she actually had to get a judge's permission to marry him because he did not have the mental capacity to give consent. Now it seems like their situation is being exploited by her church. So bizarre.

May 24, 2014
8:26 pm
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lovemylumps
Hamcat
Meows: 116
Snarking Since:
February 27, 2014

It seriously skeeves me out to think of either of these couples having sex. I mean, I don't even know why it's just so weird.

May 24, 2014
11:05 pm
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Religious Nut Butters
Feline Porklord
Meows: 2097
Snarking Since:
October 18, 2012

thepinkleprechaun said

It seriously skeeves me out to think of either of these couples having sex. I mean, I don't even know why it's just so weird.

Well, likely because Caleb functions at the level of a child, and Ian needed permission to marry….as he was not able to consent. Both need round the clock care and are not just dealing with physical limitations, but also mental and psychological ones too. So yeah, if neither have the capacity to consent or understand their choices or actions, it is pretty weird. And I have a lot more feels about it than that but will leave it there.

I was the one who brought up this blog on Ian & Larissa's thread; though I had lost the link I did remember their blog and being so, so unsettled by her desire to have a child with Caleb. Who she herself said was prone to angry outbursts and so on. What happened to Caleb is incredibly sad, but I just don't see how she thought having a child with Caleb was a good idea. I was even more unsettled when I saw she indeed did have a baby.

At least Larissa seems to know that having children with Ian is out of the picture from what I have read on her blog.

I talked on the other thread I think about how eerily close I came to having to make a similar decision with my late long term boyfriend many years ago. I would not have married him anyway, if he had lived and been so incapacitated, and I know he would not have wanted that either, but I certainly would have wanted to remain a friend/caregiver on some basis, and think it would have been in any much harder for me to move on with my life if he had lived in that state, than it was after he died. So, I do feel a lot of empathy for both of these women. I really do. I also feel for Larissa who seemed to have been majorly pressured and guilted into marrying Ian. But I still cannot condone some of their decisions.

May 25, 2014
12:56 pm
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lovemylumps
Hamcat
Meows: 116
Snarking Since:
February 27, 2014

I totally agree with you, to bring a child into a situation like that is just majorly effed up. I knew a woman on another board I used to frequent who had a husband with TBI, and he was WAY higher functioning than either of those guys. I believe they had kids *before* he was injured, not sure. But anyways his main symptoms were the angry outbursts and stuff like that, I don't think he was really mentally incapacitated like either of the above mentioned guys. And it wreaked havoc on their family and they ended up getting divorced. It's not fair for children to have a father with a TBI, and it's really sad when it happens and the kids are already in the picture, but I feel that to bring a child into the picture ON PURPOSE after the fact, is really just despicable and wrong. I understand the desire to have a child but FFS, you either need to woman up and realize that it's not a good idea, or woman up and divorce the guy and start your life over again.

I'm glad that Larissa at least seems to have more sense than that.

May 25, 2014
5:19 pm
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Horrificat: Chickenhead Skeezer
Feline Porklord
Meows: 1099
Snarking Since:
February 28, 2012

This blog seriously SKEEVES me out scared

Horrificat is Whorrificat whore@gmail.com


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