HOow do you know???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Valentine, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. Valentine

    Valentine New Member

    I am really secound guessing myself when it comes to difficult child being in a PRTF.. I just wanna know I am doing the right thing for him... I dont dare confide in anyone because they say I cant handle him. I love this kid with all of my heart and I want whats best for him. I know for a fact he is missing home and its breaking my mommy heart. I welcome any input ya got....
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First off hugs! I'm sure you want what is best for him or he wouldn't be where he is right now. You made a difficult decision based on your love for him. I truly believe that. I'm so sorry your mommy heart is hurting.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Valentine - I am so very very sorry you are hurting right now. I send you many gentle hugs.

    Just my opinion, but I think when a family starts to seriously consider an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement, things have probably really gotten pretty horrible at home. I know that it took 2 years for me to finally come around and even think about it after it was first recommended by psychiatrist and therapist. In the meantime, we dealt with revolving door hospitalizations, ridiculous violence, a horrible situation at school where he was assaulting staff, to say nothing of the trauma his sibs went thru... As much as I hated having him placed, I had far exceeded my capacity to deal with- his behaviors by the time he left.

    You recently posted that his home visits were canceled because he's not working the program. I have no doubt he's missing home, but at the same time he *must* be held accountable to work the program. He's been there 5 months now, long enough to know what's expected. It's not enough for him to say he's "cured". He has to show it by being compliant and following rules and working the program. To quote Cuba Gooding - Show me the money.

    You have not give up on him by placing him, hon. He exhibited some very scary behaviors and thoughts before he left. You have placed him somewhere where he can get the help he needs. The problem is, there's a big "if" in there. He has got to buy into the program and work it. in my humble opinion, you absolutely cannot waiver in your expectation of him doing what he's supposed to do at Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    My kid used to bargain with- me. "I'm okay, Mom, I can control myself, I won't do X, Y, Z ever again". The begging and pleading to come home, and oh how I missed him terribly. There were days when I was ready to get in the car and bring him home for good. But what we want isn't necessarily what's best for our kids. Loving my difficult child was never enough to make his behaviors safe here at home.

    I did pull him out of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) #2, not because of his progress but because there were huge red flags in terms of safety there, as well as issues with his schooling. That Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was shut down a couple months later. But... I will never ever forget this... my beloved son, age 13, looked me square in the eye and said "I knew I didn't have to work the program - I knew you'd bring me home eventually. I just had to wait you out." Six weeks later he was back in the hospital again and I discovered a hunting knife he'd hidden under his mattress. He'd told the hospital staff he had a "plan" and weapons. He was placed in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) #3 shortly after that, and I cried probably harder in their parking lot than I did the first time. It's never easy. It's absolutely never what we want for our family.

    Stay strong. Remember that the ultimate goal here is to have a kid who will be a functioning adult. He must learn new ways to deal with frustration and anger and disappointment.

    You did not fail him. You are not a "bad parent" simply because he's in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) right now. You are doing your very best to ensure that he will have the best opportunity to have a good life. You need to remember that the responsibility is on *his* shoulders now. He has to prove he's ready to come home by working the program.

    Again, many hugs to you.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    There's no book that comes with our kids that tells us how to deal. If we could handle them, we wouldn't be here!

    So no worries about not being able to handle him. It sounds to me like you are doing what is best - what you can do. And that's all we really can do - is what we CAN do.

    More hugs. You're doing fine.
  5. Jojara

    Jojara New Member

    Im sitting here in my office with tears running down my face. Oh how fresh those wounds are for me too. It took every bit of strength to finally put my son into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) program, and when he had such a hard time- so homesick, so sad, so....everything, I almost broke. Im just trying to say that I feel your pain, and I dont think anybody who hasnt been there could ever understand.

    Doing the right thing for your difficult child that you love sooo much, is often the hardest thing on your mommy heart. It is because of your mommy love that you are doing this. It will be worth it. Stay strong!!! Much love!!
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is very hard to get a child into Residential Treatment Center (RTC) these days. Your son would have NO problems in the program if he didn't NEED it. He would follow the rules with-very few problems and there would be no calls from the staff about stopping home visits for a while.

    Your son is banking on being able to outwait you, on you missing him so much that it doesn't matter if he is doing what he needs to or not. Bringing him home early would mean that his behaviors would wind up being WORSE that before he went in, and it would be very dangerous for the entire family, including difficult child.

    Often the things our kids need are the hard things. As toddlers they cried because they fell down or it was hard work to walk or crawl somewhere. If we picked them up every time they would never learn to walk. Your child is an emotional toddler. If you give in to his "cries" and the pain in your heart every time you cannot see him, you will cripple him emotionally and behaviorally just as surely as if you never allowed him to walk on his own two feet.

    Do not let him manipulate your mommy heart. Be strong enough to insist that he learn and grow. It IS the right thing to do.
  7. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    My son is in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) now too. It is so comforting for me to read all the advice that has been written for you. So hopefully you, and I, and all of us, will find comfort.

    There's no way you would have even considered Residential Treatment Center (RTC) if you didn't know that life was dangerous and unbearable. I think we forget about that sometimes. But when I go back deeper into the memories, I feel traumatized, and stunned that things devolved to such a terrible level. Like slsh said, ridiculous violence, revolving-door hospitalizations, traumatized sib, and traumatized parents. And as Susie said, it's hard to get into Residential Treatment Center (RTC) these days. So he's qualified.

    I read your other post about your son not being able to come home for visits because he wasn't following the program. I was going to answer it but I think it was getting pretty late. He'll learn that he won't be able to come home until he does the work. Better he learns it now. I think you said he had a good CM or therapist that you trusted. That's a good sign too.

    If he misses home, maybe he won't want to leave home the next time he has the opportunity to make that choice.

    Also I think it's OK that they slip up and make mistakes and not follow the program, as as long as they have consequences. I think I have learned my best life lessons from mistakes that I have made, and people who cared enough not to let me off the hook.

    (((((((Valentine)))))) You're doing good. Most of all, have faith in your decision. Look back, and you will truly know it was the right thing.

    I could go on and on but I won't and just send xxooxxxoo
  8. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    You have heard from parents who have been there and know your pain. Me too. It was an extreme act of selflessness and love for a mom to say "I can't help him, can someone else try" It goes against every grain of parental self esteem and pride. It is an ultimate sacrifice done for a child who is struggling. It is not punishment and it is not throwing away a kid.
    He does miss home and your heart is broken. It is a fact but being a parent isn't about immediate gratification but the big picture.
    It's up to us to stand back a bit and ask yourself "what does my child need?"
    You know he needs to learn self control, behavior changes, introspection and above all else how to function appropriately in the world. My difficult child was not a manipulative sort of character. He was just lost and couldn't find his way. He needed help to find how to get to the right path and nothing I did was making it better.
    Your other children deserve knowledge that they will live in a safe and stable home.

    Let's face it, all families have limitations. I am no where near equipped to be a therapeutic professional 24/7 plus a parent to difficult child and my other children and be a spouse and partner. You couldn't handle him and neither could any of us. Heck, Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) with it's trained professionals couldn't handle my difficult child in the beginning. It's not a failure. It's our sad reality.
    What you were doing wasn't working.
    You are trying something else but you have to let it run it's course. He is homesick but he is 14 and not 6. He has understanding that he is there due to his behavior and to learn a better way. He has to learn what he was doing isn't working for the family.
    Put your mommy pain away and do what is in the best interest of the child.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    My tweedles have been in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) 7 times between the 2 of them. Each time there was the weeping, the homesickness, the bargaining to come home. husband & I cried every time we had to admit kt or wm into phospital then onto Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    Our bottom line from day one has been the safety/health in our home. When either kt or wm stepped over the line, when dangerous, out of control behaviors came into play we had to act quickly for help.

    You're not a bad mom ~ you're a mom who is doing one of the hardest things in her life. Putting her child in the hands of others to get that child help. Trusting "strangers" to parent, if you will, one of the most precious gifts you have been given.

    The hurt, the sadness will lessen, both for you & difficult child. It really will. As for working the program, it will be up to difficult child. He needs to learn cause & effect, consequences for choices made. An illness/disorder may be behind those decisions; these programs help a difficult child learn to work with that illness/disorder in life skills & choices in behaviors.

    It's a long road. In the meantime, work on healing yourself, your family. Take the time to enjoy the lack of danger & chaos in your home. While this placement isn't for you, you can take advantage of it. Reorganize your priorities.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Just sending hugs. Many hugs.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    And we all thought kindergarten was going to be the hardest day right?

    Little did we know we were going to deal with psychiatric admits, handcuffs, seeing our kids arrested, jail visits, Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s, and all the other lovely stuff some of us have gone through.

    Im a bit nostalgic right now as I watch the next generation start big school all shiny and new. Gosh I hope it goes better this time around! Maybe we can avoid Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s and group homes.