I'm just in tears

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child, 2 days ago, had a "friend" over. It turned out to be the one he'd turned in before for drugs and then again a couple of mos ago for cutting himself (he reported it at school). I told difficult child the boy needed to leave, difficult child left with him for about 1/2 hour without permission, so I grounded difficult child. Yesterday after school, the boy kept calling every 3 mins and I told him difficult child can't come to the phone and that he's grounded. Then, difficult child snuck out the back door. I called and left a message for PO. difficult child came back about 45 mins later and said he'd been hanging out with that boy. I told him I'd left message for PO and he should remember that last spring he disppeared and went to that boy's house and ended up on the ankle bracelet. So, difficult child calls the boy and tells him to stay away from him because he got into trouble every time he came around. Mind you, it was difficult child that chose to leave without permission.

    Then, difficult child didn't go to school today. I went to work for a few hours and never heard one word from the PO. So, I came home and called state dept of mental health. They have about 20 phone numbers lsited for different areas and the first 2 I tried, I only got a voice mail. Then I tried a 3rd and explained everything- I cannot afford to raise this kid with no help anymore. She gives me the phone number of someone else there who she is sure can point me in the right direction. I call him and explain it all again. He says call the local Children Services Board (CSB)- which I explained, I tried that 6 mos ago and could never get a case manager to call me back. So, he says he'll call someone over there. He does that and then tells me he is sure she can help me. So, she calls me and says she understands I have a kid with MR. No, he's not MR. Oh, that's right Mr. X said he's autistic. No, he's not autistic. So, I explain everything to her. She says well, what do I want, they don't just hand out money. I said at this point, could she just tell me who I contact to find someone that can meet all the requirements that this kid needs because I can no longer afford it.

    She wanted to know if difficult child had ever been to counseling there. I said yes and that I wouldn't give one dime for any counselor there and I was not looking for that. She said she was just a human resource person and she needed to have someone else from there call me to talk to me. I told her not to bother having one of their tdocs call me. She says ok, that she needs to talk to a few people so she'll know who to steer me to. Then, 2 mins later, someone else calls me. I asked who she is, what is her position and where is she calling me from. She says she's calling from mental health and that she's a supervisor and she needs to know what is going on so she can help me. I told her not to bother- I had another call coming in and it's probably the PO. She tried to keep me on the line but I felt like at this point, she isn't going to do anything other than have me re-tell it all again anyway and then recommend a therapist. So, I hung up to try to catch the other call coming in from a county agency and I missed it. I jusst checked my voice mail- it was the recording at school saying difficult child was absent today.
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Geeze. Why is it our kids gravitate to that which is the worst for them?

    I'm sure you feel like "if I tell this story one more time I will explode!"

    Wonder what you will find when you get home.

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I've sat here and called other numbers at the state level. One lady said I need to file a complaint against our local Children Services Board (CSB). She gave me another number at the sate to call. I've left a message for him. They keep saying I need to check some other place for help, that they don't know. I keep saying I have accepted the fact that there is no help for us, so who do I talk to to find someone who can meet my son's needs.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry... :(
  5. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    I wanted to offer you big hugs and a hankie. I know how awful, lonely and frustrating it is to try and save our difficult child's from themselves and to try to find someone to help us and them! I just don't know why this has to be so difficult. It actually makes me very angry that we have to work so dang hard to do the right thing!

    I know that I am suggesting that you make even more phone calls, but I'm trying to help you. Is there any way you can speak to a judge personally and ask for help? Have you called your state representative and explained your situation? MHMR? CPS? What about your son's school, the guidance counselor? Have you called 211 on your phone as a way to look for help? Here is what they offer:

    2-1-1 VIRGINIA is brought to you by the Virginia Department of Social Services in partnership with:

    Council of Community Services • Family Resource and Referral Center • CrisisLink

    The Planning Council • United Way of Central Virginia • United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg • VAIRS

    P.O. Box 598, Roanoke, VA 24004 • 211info@councilofcommunity services.org

    If your son is absent from school, call and speak to the school truant officer. They may be able to direct you in some way. Keep a paper trail of everyone you have contacted. Something has just got to give. Good luck.
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member


    ugh, i am so sorry such frustration. keep us posted and let us know what happens later.

  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I have left a message with the judge's personal clerk to see if she might meet with us. It has been various sections of the state MHMR that I have been calling all afternoon. I don't want to report this as truant- I have to be careful with that because my son is on a suspended sentence until he's 21 and around here, it's all I can do to keep them from locking him up in detention and throwing away the key instead of looking at this as a mental health issue. As far as school, I requested an IEP meeting and they set it up, then emailed me yesterday and said they couldn't get a teacher that day. I had tried to get them to have a meeting in Oct., but the CM at school kept putting it off. I know- you're trying to help and I appreciate it. I just have to be careful who I call and talk to in this situation.

    Thanks, Witz. SIGH...
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Before I type a 2nd sentence I want to assure you that my intentions are honorable. Although I can sympathize with the frustration of marathon phone calls, lack of support and the stress of a dysfunctional teenager...I
    need to suggest that if you have not done so before that you get an appointment for yourself and see if the MD will prescribe a medication to
    help you through this time. Taking an anxiety medication, like Ativan, or another medication as deemed appropriate by a physician can help your son.

    For years I avoided medication but when I uncharacteristically found myself "just in tears" another CD family member gave me the exact same
    advice. It had amazing benefits for the family. Please consider it.

    Do you keep a journal with times and phone numbers and names and notes
    for all the calls you make? It can be very helpful. Many of us have found that recording our efforts helped our focus and also helped increase our credibility when reaching out for help.

    I'm sure you are frightened for your son and the future but if your teen actually did make that phone call without prompting that is a good sign.
    It shows that he understands what he should be doing. It doesn't mean
    that he's going to do it :D but unlike many teens he "gets it". That is a positive omen for the future. Perhaps you can tell him that you are proud of him for making that call (yes, even if you don't believe he is sincere in his resolve). Even easy child teens are a challenge. difficult child teens are hard to cope with even in good circumstances. Try to shore up your strengths and then post as often as you wish to vent and share. Sending hugs. DDD
  9. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    You know this is excellent advice and maybe we ought to be suggesting it more often to parents of difficult child's. I had a terrible time of it when my difficult child was living at home and unfortunately, I didn't get the help *I* needed at the time. I had huge anxiety and depression too. Who wouldn't? I take a tiny dose of ativan now and woo buddy, does it make my life so much easier. That anxiety can really take it's toll on a person. Take care!
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, DDD. I have to be very careeful what medications I take for a few different reasons, but it is tempting to take one of the ativan psychiatrist rx'd for difficult child. I have a phone number for a therapist who works with difficult child's therapist. He gave me the number on Mon and I'll try to call tomorrow for an appointment.

    The last guy I had left a message with called me back. He took the info and asked if I felt difficult child needed an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I said I thought it would be a lot cheaper if someone would just help out so I could work full time, then I could keep private insurance on difficult child and keep his psychiatrist and therapist private, but that there are times when difficult child is manic and I do need help with things because difficult child doesn't always meet the acute definition that allows a psychiatric hospital stay. He said he would make some phone calls and see if he can get a CM involved to discuss resources with me and would I accept them if they could be provided. I told him that if they can actually provide resources instead of just sending someone over to make more demands on me, that I will accept them. I told him that the way things got to this point was by me depleting every resource I had trying to keep my son at home and give him the best treatment (MH treatment) that I could find. But, when I'm being told time and time again that I/difficult child don't qualify for any help, then I need to accept that and find a way to get him somewhere where his needs can be met so that I don't end up having to move him into the car to sleep.

    He said he would look into it and call me - that it should be tomorrow.
  11. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    That sounds promising. I'll keep good thoughts that this guy comes thru for you!
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you- I can only hope. At least this guy made it sound good. LOL!

    Oh, to clarify something DDD asked about, kind of. difficult child did call that "friend" on his own accord last night without me even suggesting it. But, what concerned me is that difficult child should have taken responsibility for leaving without permission 2 days in a row to hang out with the boy. The boy had been trying to get difficult child out of the house, but difficult child made the choice to do it. And, who knows what difficult child has said or done at school to instigate that boy's actions. That boy seriously needs some help and I've been proud of difficult child when he's reported things at school to try to help him- like the cutting. But, difficult child gets in these cycles of bad choices and then it escalates in a downward spiral. As bad as it seems right now, so far I'm trying to stop this from going as far as difficult child breaking a law again. I mean breaking a law that would be illegal for anyone, not just saying he's sick and staying out of school. That is bad enough, especially while on probation.

    Notice, the PO never called. She's probably sitting around still thinking that if I wasn't so over-protective of difficult child that he wouldn't do these things.
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry this is such a struggle. It sure shouldn't be this way. I hope this last person you spoke with can help. The gentlest of hugs to you.
  14. I'm so sorry you are having such difficulties. It is so hard when we are trying to help our difficult child's and running into roadblocks. I hope this guy comes through with some help for you.

  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I need to make clear - I began to draft this reply then got a conference call from difficult child 3's school; I finished my reply and sent, then found things had progressed. So please read my response in this light (if it makes any difference).

    To difficult child's credit, he DID ring this guy and tell him to stay away from him. Also, the guy was ringing every 3 minutes and still difficult child only snuck out for 45 minutes - doesn't sound to me like difficult child really wants to hang around this kid, sounds the other way around to me or difficult child would have stayed away longer. I wonder what hold this guy has on difficult child, or even if it's just a case of difficult child being manipulated or in some way bullied by this guy. difficult children tend to attract other difficult children as friends and where one difficult child is inappropriate, often so are his - comrades? friends? I don't think either of these terms fits here. I remember when I was in grade 6 and a girl I'd known back in grade 2 for a couple of months turned up at my school. The girl was a problem but attached herself to me to the extent that I then lost all other friends because this girl was so unpleasant but wouldn't leave me alone. She followed me into shops and stole, then tried to make me eat the stolen sweets; I threatened to turn her in and she beat me up. Her mother attacher herself to my mother and we got double visits with this girl and me being sent out to play, where this girl immediately got into the animal feed and scattered it everywhere; I got the blame from my father. The girl hurt our livestock, was a bully, was generally a behavioural problem and I was getting tarred with her brush. Because of her I got banned from playing in certain areas at school because SHE was banned and I was in her general company (not by choice). The only thing that eventually saved me - two things. First, the much younger kids that I preferred as friends all ganged together and told a teacher what was happening (which lifted the ban on me going into their playground, but didn't lift her ban); and at the end of grade 6 we change schools and this girl went to a more exclusive private school (I was told in an attempt to get her behaviour under control). We saw each other on the school bus but I was mostly able to avoid her. She still considered me her best friend - she just had no clue what a disaster she was to be around.

    I wasn't the most popular kid, but neither was I totally friendless and therefore more vulnerable to accept just anybody as a friend. I suspect your difficult child is more vulnerable.

    Back to your difficult child. He did the wrong thing by hanging around this guy in the first place but seems to have been trying to do something right.

    I would be VERY curious as to what is going on that made him skip school. This guy (past troublemaker and bad influence) turns up and then starts really pushing himself onto difficult child; you get concerned and blow the whistle (rightly); difficult child finally gets the message after initially doing what this guy wants even in the face of your disapproval and breaking rules; difficult child then calls the guy to cut off contact and next thing, skips school.

    So I have a few questions I'd be asking difficult child, and I'd be asking for information, not in any atmosphere of accusation. To save this kid you need to be in the loop and right now, you're out of the loop and working blind.

    So, for difficult child -

    1) What did this problem guy want from you when he first renewed contact?

    2) What was so all-fired important that he had to ring you every three minutes even knowing I was increasingly on the warpath?

    3) Why was is so urgently important for you to sneak out to see him after he was ringing so much, that you would risk the consequences of breaking house arrest? Please help me understand this.

    4) Is there a connection here with your absence from school? Again, please help me understand. Your best defence lies in my understanding just what is going on. Some people are very difficult to handle - trust me, I know! And sometimes you need help from outside, you can't be expected to handle it all on your own.

    I really do wonder what difficult child was avoiding at school. As parents we tend to think in terms of our difficult children avoiding learning; but there are many more things our kids are trying to avoid, many of them to do with other kids and how they are treating our kids. Your difficult child may have been trying to avoid a very unpleasant confrontation with other students, for example. Or trying to avoid being dragged into something unpleasant or illegal. And still, doesn't even want to be involved to the point of being accused of getting the other kid into even hotter water (sense of misguided loyalty plus "not wanting to dob").

    Your difficult child is only 13, this is a very vulnerable age and boys at 13, especially difficult children, are very immature and not very socially capable, compared to girls. It's much more easy for others to manipulate them into doing the wrong thing.

    I'm certainly not saying that difficult child is innocent of any wrongdoing - but he may be compounding things badly now, trying to cover up for something not at all serious by acting impulsively and simply not being strong enough to stand up to this other kid.

    As for the various people you've called on for help - they sound as useful and organised as kindergarten kids trying to run the legal system. Hmmm... maybe less so. I would certainly complain, but to make it all more effective, document everything, minute all your phone calls and follow up with faxes outlining your concerns. It needn't be too onerous to do this - I work at my computer, I type as I talk/listen and this way I can even take down what someone says verbatim and quote it back at them if necessary. I date each phone call, after the call I get it organised, fix any obvious typos and make sure it's put away in the correct file (usually diary form, in order of date under a specific topic issue). For example, you could have a file specifically covering problems which have resulted since contact with this other kid, or it could go in a file of difficult child's breaking house arrest, or problems with PO not getting back to you when specially requested.

    One very important thing - I know you're getting worn down by all this, but if you can, do try to fully complete a call. If you cannot, arrange a callback to do so. When you had to go to take the other call you needed to either make it clear that business had already been dealt with as fully as possible at that time, or ask the person to call you back if they felt they had more to offer. That way you've put the ball in their court to come up with the goods; they can't later on claim you didn't give them a fair hearing or take their advice fully. Even when you're convinced the person you're talking to is an incompetent idiot, you still need to make sure you've clearly given them enough rope to hang themselves; the last thing you want is a complete idiot looking like the wronged party in a dispute about your child. It wastes the time you've already had to put in with the idiot.

    Hang in there. It mightn't be as bad as you think. Of course, I do think your detachment that you're trying to put in place is also good - it makes it easier for you to listen to difficult child without blowing your stack too readily. That is, if your difficult child can be persuaded to talk - because frankly, I think he's got nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so, if only he can understand this.

    Good luck, it's not easy parenting a teen, let alone a difficult child one.

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I agree. I don't think I would have made it without some therapy and pharmaceutical help for myself when M was with us.
  17. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Hug! I am so sorry. I am frustrated with you for the lack of help for a 13 year old. I hope this last person can come through with something.
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Aaaarrgh! I hate phone issues like that. been there done that.

    It sounds like you made a small amt of progress, though.

    I feel badly that difficult child made some good choices about turning in this kid, and then turned right aroung and skipped school, and took off for 45 min.
    I'm sure you feel like banging your head against the wall (or difficult child's head against the wall!)
    I think difficult child lied to his friend because he wanted to "save face" and not admit that he really didn't want to be coerced by him. I have often told my kids they may feel free to use me as the Bad Guy if they don't want to be with-a certain person, and they have taken me up on it. They often feel the lure of a bad friend, and then get sucked in and don't know how to get out. YOU can be that out.
    Hey, I get dirty looks, but it's not like I've lost a good friend! I've gained my kids back!
    So maybe you could give him the benefit of the doubt and at least be glad he said something to his "friend," even though it wasn't the something you wanted. He's trying to be cool. He's 13, after all. But he is probably nervous and knows he's walking on thin ice, too.
    Just some thoughts.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sending some gentle hugs. Sounds like rough going. I know firsthand how hard it is to find help. I filled a legal pad one day calling around to the churches (starting with ours) to see if they had any programs that might help. I actually found some, but Wiz was too violent for the programs.

    It really is important to document the # you called, the time, the name of the person, and what they said or what message you left. It can at least show the judge you have been turning over every stone to find help.

    I really recommend calling your church or ANY church and asking the reverend/pastor/priest if they have any services or know of any services that might help. Chances are they will send you to another pastor, and so on. The trick is to ask if they know of any services, and if they don't then to ask if they know of any other church that might have services. It worked kind of like a chain for me. But I did find a number of resources. None for us, but our therapist has used most of the 20 or so programs for other clients at one time or another.

    Sending hugs. I know exactly how hard it is to have a child in need of some sort of help, no resources to get that help, and not know where to turn to find the help if you knew of it.

    I am concerned because in another thread you said he was twisting your arm up behind your back at times. This scares me, as it must scare you. Please don't give up on finding something because the situation is becoming dangerous for YOU if he is doing that. Know that I care, and will help if I can.

  20. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?