Another newbie here....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by goldilocks, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. goldilocks

    goldilocks Taming the bear

    Where to begin? Most recently, fam therapist found this website and said "try this." Here I am. Not quite sure how this will help. Feeling like the only one on the planet with this problem. (That's why?) Currently, difficult child and I await court appearance for my having had her arrested for stealing "our" inheritance ($7k from my mother's recent death) and spending/giving it away to new/old "friends" as fast as she could in about a week. (We couldn't afford that---I had a list of things needing to be paid/repaired/replaced... oh, well.) But waiting 3 mos. for court date is awful, not knowing what's going to happen. Everyone said "Call the cops on her!" I finally did. Now what is a judge going to do? I'm not ready to give her up to the state. I don't want her in an environment (juvie) where she will learn to be better at being bad. I want her to get into a residential behavioral program (to teach her to be better at being good, and give her a chance to be away from me---it's a teen daughter & mother thing) but hear the state doesn't want to foot the bill for those anymore. Their tuition is more than I gross per year! How do "ordinary" people do it? School won't admit she's "severely emotionally disturbed" to qualify her for school district funding. (Despite her attempted OD the weekend my mother was dying). She's just beginning the "really bad" stuff now and I'm terrified for her/us.
    Comments from those higher on the wrungs of the CD ladder? Is there really anything anybody in this forum can do to help us?

    Me: 50-something, single mom, teacher, hearing impaired, physically phffftt, feeling guilty, tired of the battles.
    difficult child: 16 yr. female diagnosis: severe depression, conduct disorder/ anti-social personality (inherited from her father(?), a "born liar"). Rx: Lamictal and recently lithium, too. She's beautiful and can fix anything. She can make me laugh out loud (when I'm not screaming at her).
  2. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    What can you get from this board? You can get a lot of support from people who have a lot of experience. You can also hear lots of different perspectives on things they have tried that have worked or not worked.

    I don't have any experience with Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s or the juvenile system, so I can't offer much in the way of knowledge in these areas. Hopefully someone with some experience will come along soon.

    One of the best things about this board is meeting so many people who really understand what you're going through because they live it. Even if you don't always agree with their advice, it's nice to hear so many different perspectives, and know they care enough to give it.

  3. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    I don't want her in an environment (juvie) where she will learn to be better at being bad

    OH hone I am in a similar boat and I agree with the above comment 110%, but at some point you have to recognize, it may just have to happen and there's only so much you can do to prevent it.

  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Welcome! And HUGS to you! I understand the nerve-racking wait for the courts and the catch-22 situation. My son is in detention right now. I won't go into all the details on your thread, but I will say that I don't think I could make it without this forum. I want for my son what you are saying you want for your daughter. It is extremely frustrating and painful when we can't find the needed help from our jursidiction that we pay taxes to. There is no Residential Treatment Center (RTC) here there will take my son either, but I wouldn't be able to afford it if they could. So, I guess that sums up the bad part of our lives right now.

    The good part is that you can make many cyber-friends here and many times, you might find that others come along with an idea that can improve things a great deal for you and your difficult child (gift from god- the child that brought you here). Hang in there- it is sometimes slow on the weekends, but others will come along.

    You might check out some posts on the other forums too. Don't give up- you'll need to find a way to advocate for your daughter at the same time that you are making her pay consequences. As difficult as that is, it isn't impossible and no one will do it better than you- don't expect that anyone in the court system will. They probably will not. Does she have a public defender? If you can afford a good attny for her, you might want to get her one. At least, call around to get some advice, even if you don't hire them to defend her.

    One thing I found here, see if there is a state Office for Protection and Advocay (OPA). If you can't find that in the phone book, call mental health agencies (like NAMI) and asked them. I would suggest making these calls right away. This won't be to try to "get her off" scot free- this is to push for help rather than just locking her up for a really long time and getting no help. (I'm just passing along what I have learned here.)

    Keep us posted!!
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator


    If your daughter does have an IEP, but the school can't provide her an appropriate education within the school district, you probably need to find an advocate to help you. Because of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) costs, school district's typically use every means possible to maintain a student within the district.

    www.yellowpagesforkids may be a good source in finding an advocate.

    Glad you found us.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Just to throw in another thought- we all have times where we vent about our kids on this board- there is no problem with that. But, you might want to think about how you are going to word things about your daughter before you talk to different people at different agencies. I understand where you are coming from, but many of them will take what you say about her very literally and make a quick judgement. I just want to caution you- think about whether or not she is ill and needs help or she is willfully and intentionally just defying any rule she can. (Even that can be a strong sign that one needs help, but many of the people at different agencies will not look at it that way.)
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    Welcome! I love Big Bear. I used to live in S. Cal, now in Denver. I don't have similar sitution but some day I may.My difficult child (gift from god) is 9 going on 10. I figure I have a couple years left to make some kind of impression to steer him on the "right" path. Glad you found us. Hugs, ML
  8. Steely

    Steely Active Member


    This board will offer you resources and strength that are unparralled. Collectively this group has the wisdom of a million social workers. We have been through so much with our kids, and tried so many different things to help them, that you can feel confident in posting anything, and having many of us surround you with help.

    Has she had any psychological testing? I would start there. Testing that specifies her exact mental illness will give you a foundation to stand on when you are trying to tell the courts why she needs residential. It is not enough that she "needs help" - you need to prove that the mental illness impaired her ability to make sound decisions, and therefore she needs help rather than punishment.
  9. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Hello and welcome. I was so much like you a few years ago. I just did not want my daughter in the juvenile system, however that was the best thing that ever happened to us as she ended up in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) through the courts. We are still dealing with the court system now, in fact she has been home for 6 months running a muck, so now we are waiting for a new court date and she is going back into residential placement. I felt the same way you did in the beginning, unfortunately, sometimes we must do what we fear the most to ultimately get what we need. Truthfully, I wish I would have done it much sooner!!! Everyone is different and I can't tell you what to do, however if it is a matter of her safety, juvie ain't that bad!!! In fact, my daughter received the best care there. I slept very well at night knowing she was safe. Every place is different and I have heard horror stories, however the services in my county have been great.

    I started out with the school system and fought to get her placed through them as I too was afraid of the juvie thing. They finally agreed and placed her, however it is on a voluntary basis when you go through the school board, so she ran away from her first Residential Treatment Center (RTC) 13 times in 3 months!!! On one of her awols she was arrested for shoplifting and thats how we ended up in the court system. That was the best thing that could have happened as she just wouldn't comply with the rules because she knew it was voluntary. It wasn't until she was placed through the courts that she finally stayed put.
    If you want to try to go through the school first, call your local Student Advocacy Board, they are lawyers who will work with you to fight the school board to get what you need for your child. They work on a sliding fee scale. Even if you just try threatening the school district with that, they might cave as they do not want any negative press.

    You are not alone. You will find comfort and kindness here. There are some really wonderful people in this online community. Good luck and God bless. :)