I just got a call

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    from the place where difficult child is. She said difficult child had to spend some time in the time out room today after he had "somewhat of an explosion". Apparently he was getting into an altercation with another boy and a staff guy intervened to stop it from escalating. difficult child punched the staff guy in the nose. She said no one had to go to the hospital, but the guy's nose was pretty red and he felt it.

    Gee- you think maybe they should give the staff guy a psychiatric evaluation? Or, is this just because his mom raised him wrong?

    Sorry for the sarcasm- I just don't think I'll ever get over the people in court the other day.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Just remember that the more behaviors he exhibits outside the home the less crazy you look. I remember almost cheering when Kanga threatened to kill me at one of her psychiatric hospital stays -- it was the first time she had done it in front of non-family witnesses. It opened a lot of doors.

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks- but that doesn't mean the info will get to gal- or that gal would present it to the judge. GAL isn't always completely honest about things and seems to pick and choose "the truth" to support what she already thinks.

    I just couldn't get over it being the CA- who was there due to ME having a knife held to me- saying I should get a psychiatric evaluation. I just ppictured my ex-husband being 14yo and someone saying in front of him- "oh, if he did this to you, and you are continuously having issues, then you must need a psychiatric evaluation", and maybe that is what teaches them the wrong message.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree it is a good thing they are seeing some of what you see at home. Don't apologize for the sarcasm-it is well deserved! Don't you wish you could have actually said that to them?
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, WO! To me, I just read these legal people as starting to see that difficult child has issues and they don't want to punish him and forget about his issues. That is good- I advocated hard for that. But, I don't think they have gotten past the point of looking for someone to blame and accepting that maybe it's an illness, or if nothing else, he needs some help and it isn't getting anywhere to constantly point fingers and focus on others just because you can't bring yourself to punish a child who has these kinds of issues- jumping from suicidal to aggressiveness. See, that is what I struggle with at home- the question of whether or not to turn him in over every little thing when I know how self-destructive he is, versus where to draw a line and make sure he lives with some consequences. I don't think the legal people are there yet. They (even the CA) didn't want him to go to detention. But to point the finger at me, when I have gone thru their scrutiny and dss check before and was cleared, was absurd, to me.

    And I simply refuse to let them turn me into a mom who will go into court and talk like my son is a monster, just to defend myself. He isn't a monster. But, he needs help that I can't give him. They want to jump all over the p[lace just to avoid the cost of it. I can't believe that the gal really buys the idea that the school district has no problems, so it's a mom problem. The school district doesn't want to pay for the educational part of Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Period. They don't want to do a complete evaluation on difficult child or keep him on an iep- that's why they are saying they have no problem. Plus- difficult child was not a behavioral problem the past 18 mos- but he was only there about 50 days out of 100 and he still had academic needs that had to be supported.

    difficult child has had his moments where he has told me that he wouldn't have done what he did if I didn't have issues. Sometimes he says that he doesn't need his medications, I need them. Ok, I understand his frustration with it all, and I know that I'm not perfect. difficult child has sat in a waiting room for me while I see a therapist for my own issues, and he knows that. But to sit in a court and have people say that he could come home but the mother should have a psychiatric evaluation after the kid pulled a knife on me (for the second time) just blows me away. What kind of message does that send to him? And they want to send him home so they can send a therapist over here to teach me how to hold hiim accountable. Are they insane or are they that much in denial? Is there any therapist worth his salt that wouldn't tell me if difficult child pulled a knife on me, call 911? And that is what I did- so what is another therapist going to tell me?

    My therapist recommended to me that difficult child go to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) so that 1) he had consequences for pulling a knife on me by being away from home in a secure environment for a while, 2) he got his needed mental health care, 3) he earned his way thru the levels to earn his way back home, 4) we worked on family therapy while he's out of the home so I didn't have to worry about his explosions during the process, 5) he would have more time with a psychiatrist and quickest medication stabilization. I cried when she told me this, but I had to accept it after the psychiatric hospital told me this was the best chance for stabilization and rehabilitation

    These people here just have not caught up with reality. What would have happened to me if difficult child had punched me in the nose- I'm not a male trained staff person. Do they stop to think what kind of shape my house is in when he punches walls- which are typical residential drywall walls instead of concrete block? Do they stop and think of what it does to me emotionally when it's MY SON mutilating himself, instead of another "patient"?

    But they are going to blow off anything I have to say- I am supposed to respect these people and do what they say- or else.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh K....I am so worried about you in all this. I really dont think that the courts are trying to lay the blame on you. I really dont. If they were, charges would have already been filed and you would have been banned from seeing difficult child unless supervised. I have been through having allegations charged against us twice I think. Once it started out as abuse but they "substantiated" neglect. Whatever. Supposedly...according to the report, it first started off that Tony whipped Cory with a small switch. By the time they got around to questioning me, the allegation was that I had hit him with a 2x4! LOL. Tony did whip him with a small switch....for breaking into peoples houses! He was 13 for god's sake and the neighbors were sick of it and were saying they were gonna shoot him! Sending him to his room without dinner just didnt seem like a big enough punishment. (That was the SW's suggestion...lol)

    Have you ever done a parent report? While you are dealing with so many people I think it would be very wise to have one.

    Getting that psychiatric evaluation is not going to hurt you. It is probably the same type of psychiatric evaluation they use for Social Security and adoptions and those types of things. They arent going to go in and dig into your past. They have an alloted amount of time for each person and no more. I actually got into a fight with one of those paid shrinks about the year the Challenger accident happened. I knew what year it was because I knew where I lived and that I was pregnant with Cory and it happened right after my birthday...lol. He kept telling me it was a year later. Oh no it wasnt...I had moved by then!

    I have a big problem with difficult child's cutting in the hospital. I would be furious that he is still being allowed to have access to anything he can use to cut. That nonsense about being able to cut with paper is nonsense. (I am a cutter) But he can break off things and use them. I used to use light bulbs, cat food lids, fingernail clippers. So they need to strip his room, repair what needs to be repaired...and not allow anything in there that he can break. Paper, soft toys, a few clothes and bedding. He needs anything else he comes and gets it and uses it within sight of staff. Staff needs to be eyes on him at all times. They need to be working with him on better coping skills to use instead of cutting. Ice, writing with magic markers, glue dried on the arm and peeled off, even red water dripped on the arm. If he wants the pain sensation a rubber band can help. I get the cutting thing so much. I have only been stopped for about a year now. It was hard man...I still have scars. One says....Hate...on my arm.

    Those staff need to get more direct with him.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Janet. as far as the cutting- he's breaking off peices from the furniture. He told me the last time I talked to him that the staff or someone there told him that he needed to be somewhere else because they couldn't help him enough. Of course I'm sure that all the unsurety about where he is going to end up is only making things worse. I honestly believe that the judge is trying to make good decisions, but I don't think she can see the reality of how these things play out.

    As far as the psychiatric evaluation- it isn;t a 45 min test or whatever that scares me. It's that I believe the judge is probably thinking this is a way to find out what is going on with me, have the county provide what is needed and have accountability. That sounds wonderful. But here's the reality- it will be a standard test by our local mental health people that have already been told by someone at the courts what they think, then that person will give a diagnosis and recommend the standard therapy that Department of Juvenile Justice pays for, difficult child comes home, and I'm court ordered to spend 1/2 day once a week at our mental health dept for a 45 min appointment by a quack to get that therapy and they'll make sure I'll do it because PO will be discussing it with therapist and with me and with difficult child. Ok, this scenario "ain't happening".

    They thought in home therapist would be the "magic cure". Ten days before that even started, difficult child had pulled the knife, was arrested, and tdo'd. So, let's go home and try it again, but this time, we'll have an order for mom to go get her own therapy that po can monitor, too. Don't think so.
  8. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    KLMNO, I am so sorry you are going through this but I do agree that difficult child's acting out while placed outside your home does indeed substantiate what you have been saying about his behaviors. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new insight for the disbelievers. -RM
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    She isnt your PO. In all likelihood,they wont even order therapy but if they do, you will probably get to pick your current therapist since you are going to one. If you needed a PO, they would have to get you an adult one. If they try all this...go way above their heads to the head of probation and parole for juvenile services in richmond.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm trying to hang on a little. I about had a fit last year when the judge ordered difficult child into a program that he wan't even old ebough to do. The attny tried to appeal it and the judge wouldn't even accept the appeal. He then submitted a letter about judicial/legal stuff and it was getting pretty hot and sticky. Then, she called us all in for a hearing out of the blue and changed her order- and released difficult child to go home. That might look like she was incompetent, but everyone said she is not- she knew from the beginning that difficult child didn't qualify for that program. I think that's why she never accepted the appeal- she knew she wasn't going to stick by that sentence but she had to do something. Really, I thinnk she's trying to do the right thing.

    But I swear, I don't get her thought process sometimes. I honestly believe she could have just ordered the po and gal to go to the county and push for these services. From what I read, she could have ordered them herself. She said Residential Treatment Center (RTC) isn't the answer that many parents believe it is and that parents need to be made aware of that. Ok- I think she has a good point. But given that there is not a better alternative- unless she wants to switch this PO- what can we do?

    I think school district must be behind some of this. The principal has not responded to any communication since he got arrested- even though she knows what's going on. And the lady from school district who was supposed to get back to me on process for getting educational funding if difficult child is sent to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) never called me back like she said she would.

    Now, judge will have one fit probably when she finds out I'm not getting that psychiatric evaluation. I think they all are counting on me to jump whenever they say jump. But something has to bring this to a head.

    Janet, I thought that if a parent is ordered to do something as a result of a kid being in trouble that the parent stayed in Department of Juvenile Justice control. I hope you are right that I would not be. They checked me and our home out when difficult child got in his big trouble 2 years ago- I was cleared and I've never been charged with anything. Of course, now I will be in trouble for not following a court order.
  11. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The only experience I had with psychiatric evaluations ordered by the court was in a custody battle years ago. However, I do think they are very normal procedure in cases such as yours ... especially when everyone seems to be at cross-purposes. It's just another thing they want to rule out. They could order you into therapy, but you're already IN therapy. They ordered us (kids' dad and I) into "family therapy" .. which was a joke of course ... however, no one ever asked for copies of the notes or anything from the sessions (except for my own lawyer).

    I know you've dealt with nothing but incompetent people along the way and are absolutely burned out and trust NO ONE.. for good reason ... but truly, everything that is happening now seems very standard to me, at least from my experience with the system. The fact difficult child is acting out at the pshosp is a GOOD thing, as everyone has said.

    Hang in there. I hope you're getting out of the house and finding some distractions for yourself. The weather is supposed to be nice today (sunny, high of 65), maybe you could go to that big park (M) and walk around, through the gardens etc. and just breathe some fresh air? It might do you a world of good. Heck I wish I could go do that today!! Stuck in this office...
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Is there the slightest possibility that the Judge has ordered the psy test to prove that you are a healthy parent under a great deal of stress? She could be "showing PO" that there is a real need for Residential Treatment Center (RTC). DDD
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I had a conference call with the team where difficult child is now this morning. The lady from detention was on the phone and said a sw had been assigned. They couldn't get her on the phone to find out why, so I called her afterwards. She is the same one that had been involved 2 years ago and had determined that there was no need to place difficult child outside of home.

    She said since dss had been put on stand-by in court Monday, she had to line up placement for difficult child prior to the next court date. I told her the gal said in court that she wanted dss on stand by as an option to get difficult child into Residential Treatment Center (RTC) because that is what the psychiatrist recommended and that I had tried before to get it but couldn't, etc.

    Anyway, she said the law now is that they have to go ahead and call family members and that she will have to contact my half-bro. She said it didn't matter what he'd done to me in the past or what my concerns are, they are required by law to place difficult child there first if my bro passes the home study- which has already been done. (I assume he passed it). You know, that cconsists of a home visit and interview- no fool would sit there and tell them things that they know would disqualify them- especially if your SO used to work for dss and you know what it takes to get approved. Also, she said they are ordered NOT to place kids into Residential Treatment Center (RTC) anymore.

    I said I can only assume then, that no matter what the gal said in court, she knew this and this is what she really wanted. I guess she didn't believe me or didn't care when I testified about all this last year. The sw said she didn't know, that a lot of these laws were somewhat new. I asked her to call the gal and confirm that this is really what she wants before calling my bro. Also, I asked that someone sopeak to difficult child and see what he wants. She said she would, but that she could almost guarantee me that she would be speaking with both my bro and the gal before the end of this week. She said she would also be talking to PO.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I didn't read the other posts, but wanted to ask if they document things like this incident in his file? Couldn't that be sent to the judge?
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I spoke with difficult child's defense attny and he said that he and the gal didn't really get along and don't communicate much (apparently- at all) but he said that he thought she really wanted difficult child to go to Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but that both of them were trying to do what was in difficult child's best interest and that primarily meant that he would be kept from going to state Department of Juvenile Justice, even if it meant going to another family member, if I couldn't secure a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement and funding for difficult child myself. Well, I don;t see that I can- I needed their help to get it, now they are the ones saying that I have to get it myself or lose custody. Go figure.

    He suggested I contact gal and discuss it with her. I left another message but I don't think it is a good sign that she never returned my call from Monday asking her to work out they county meeting with PO because they would not let me do it. My guess is that this is what her underlying motive was. Yes, the judge, PO, and gal already know everythhing and I'm sure my statements are in a file somewhere. It doesn't mean they believe them or care. I'm not sure what fact you were referring to though. If you meant what difficult child did- yes, of course that's in his file and so is psychiatrist's recommendation for Residential Treatment Center (RTC). But, if a kid is turned over to dss, the judge CANNOT tell dss where to place the kid. And the law apparently is to place the kid with a family member if they can find one. Period.

    You know, difficult child told me on the phone the other night that he'd almost decided to just do some time in detention. He said he would rather go ahead and do some time then come home, rather than have to go live somewhere else. Apparently they don't care about what he wants either.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  16. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Oh, K, this seems to getting more tangled as you go on. I wish I had some helpful advice for you. Sending many gentle hugs.
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    On this conference call this morning, I told them I had been ordered a psychiatric evaluation. They asked if I was going to do it. I said I didn't know, that I had several concerns about it. They asked, so I said that it bothered me that it was sending difficult child a message that if he's 24yo and married someday and pulls a knife out on his wife, what does it mean- that SHE had issues? And they're proposing that difficult child come home to exactly the way things were with the only change being that I had more demands on me. The lady from the county- remember the one I mentioned before that seemed to have such an attitude toward me- she said well, kids mimic and pick up things primarily from their parents and if he doesn't have a good role model, they need to look at that. Ok, I can see that if a parent does drugs and a kid is starting down that road, for instance.

    Now I don't know what she thinks- we have never met. But I have never pulled a knife on difficult child and he certainly wasn't taught that. I never broken into anyone's home or set a fire. If she's talking about the cigs- does she really think the issue here is that I smoke? If she's talking about therapy, she's assuming a lot.

    Really, it adds up more and more that these people already have their minds made up.

    And it is absurd that they would make negative assumptions about a parent, scrutinize them to no end, want them to have a psychiatric evaluation, but take the kid away even when the parent has never been arrested, IS a good role model, never abused or neglected the child, because the kid has issues and place the kid with someone who only got checked out by a home interview. So, never mind if my bro has more issues than me but has never been to therapy, parties half the week, believes in giving teens alcohol, has NO understanding of difficult child's mental health issues (they are all my fault), etc.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Since, out of necessity, you are absorbed seeking answers have you made a list of all possible placements/facilities and called them to inquire about the financial requirements as well as the help available. I do not know about your choices and am not qualified to gauge the quality of any of them. I do know from personal experience that when I was seeking residential placement for my teen (drug/alcohol treatment) I did not make a thorough enough initial search.

    His last private placement was in an upper socio/economic category and because it catered to the wealthy it had terrific treatment plans and staff. It had grants and other funds that enabled them to use a sliding scale that resulted in us paying much, much less than the one that was primarily used by the county thru Department of Juvenile Justice. Perhaps you might luck out and find an unexpected option. I'm still rootin' for you every day. DDD

    There was a web site via NAMI that listed every facility in the United States that accepted juveniles and a description of services available.
    Phone numbers and addresses included. I bet it still exists.
  19. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    Have you tried Boys Town yet?
  20. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    Can we stop for a second and break it down into more basic bits? I was thinking 'bout you today klmno.....

    What is the downside that you see to having a psychiatric evaluation done? It sounds like if you don't, you're afraid you'll lose him, he'll go to bro, etc. And it sounds like you're afraid if you DO, and it comes back "positive" for "crazy Momma syndrome", that he'll get the wrong services, or not be taken seriously? Do you really believe you'll "fail" this evaluation? 'Cause you seem like a normal (ha, are any of us??), caring, stressed-out Momma of a difficult child to all of us.

    'Cause I was thinking today that even if you DON'T take it, if the treatment team is going to be ridiculous enough to believe you're a "crazy Momma", that might be enough to make 'em believe it, too. You know, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Personally, I think they're just ruling out "crazy Momma syndrome". Some of them probably believe you're part of the problem, and some of them definitely don't. They probably feel like it's a point they have to check, though. You know, "nothing personal, ma'am, just gotta do it so we can check off that particular box on our forms".

    So yeah---what do you see as the downsides to going ahead with the evaluation? Maybe if we start at the veeeeerrry beginning, we can all address each of your concerns logically, and see what we end up with (yea OR nay).