Interesting Update on difficult child 2

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Janna, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. Janna

    Janna New Member

    I decided him and I were going to spend some alone time talking this afternoon. Yesterday was uncomfortable as we had not seen each other or spoken in 5 weeks and completely missed each other over the holiday.

    Interesting findings we spoke of. Check this out -

    regarding the apology for stealing/Christmas incident: difficult child 2 claims he told Children Services and foster agency caseworker he would apologize for the ciggys, but agencies both found it inappropriate for a child to be punished over a holiday. difficult child 2 claims he would have just taken the punishment to come home.

    difficult child 2 claims both the same caseworkers mentioned above told him to "beware" that I would be calling him. However, they would not release the phone number to me. It doesn't excuse him not calling me, but he thought I was going to call (again, supposedly).

    difficult child 2 claims he told the caseworkers mentioned above he wanted to move home. The caseworkers (supposedly) told him I want permanent placement only, and there is no chance of reunification. In actuality, what I told my attorney was I wanted something PERMANENT. IF he did want to come home, we would work on that, but the back and forth of unknowing is not working for my mental health. Nor is being on the outside looking in.

    So, now, difficult child 2 claims he wants to come home :wildone: Do I believe him? I don't know. Do I trust him? I don't know. The agencies involved lie so much. Nobody calls me. They enrolled him in the high school and conveniently "forgot" to tell the guidance counselor and principal I had any educational rights. I called the school 3 times and nobody would call me back last week. When I finally got the principal, she told me that nobody told her I had any rights. Nice, huh?

    The agency people think I'm a really bad, too strict mother that has "issues". LOL! Freakin funny, huh? Because I'm strict. Geez.

    Regarding the drug test, difficult child 2 claims he was swapping notes with some girl through detention. The girl asked him if he smoked and he said yes. Supposedly, he thought she meant ciggys, but she meant marijuana, so they drug tested him. He claims it came out clean. I wouldn't know, because nobody ever calls me back.

    The apology note? He claims they told him to fill it out "to whom it may concern" because his stealing affected SO MANY people (uhh, yeah?) that the note was to be distributed everywhere (everywhere, where?). Supposedly, when my attorney complained about the note to the caseworkers, they made him write another. He claims he wrote a page and a half letter to SO's parents apologizing for what he did and taking credit for his actions. I haven't seen it yet.

    So many lies. So much discrepancy. I told difficult child 2 if he wants to come home that he can, but him, SO and I would all sit down, write down rules, consequences, rewards, etc, and make a plan, and he'll have to sign it. He'll have to be serious. He's going to have to take the first steps to get this rolling. I won't. Once everyone calls me and tells me it's a go, we'll work on it.

    I'm very apprehensive. I'm really scared. SO doesn't care one way or the other, which surprises me. He just wants me to do what's going to make everyone happy. I guess that's why I love him so much, huh?

    I really dislike the current situation with the fosters. I don't have a clue what's going on at all with my son. I'm very confused and have no clue what I'm thinking right now :hammer:
     
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janna...

    I will be completely honest here. I would believe your son. I have worked with too many agencies during my time with Cory that have acted just like what he is reporting. I always had complete custody of Cory but there were times that placements seemingly forgot that then when it was pointed out they went out of their way to "punish" me by calling me over and over to report every time he sneezed.

    It may just be time to bring this kid home and work things out. He isnt doing really awful things. Most of his behaviors are pretty typical teen stuff. Stealing cigs can be worked out. Detentions at school is pretty normal and may be a cry for your attention. You can deal with this far better than anyone else. He only has 3 years left until he is 18.

    My vote is to bring him home. I know its a difficult choice but I have been there to have to make it and Im glad I did.
     
  3. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Janna, you have a huge decision. Reaaly weigh the pros and cons of it all.
    My dealings with the groups we were involved with were basically the same.
    I was regarded as the too strict parent and my difficult child was just the poor kid who got stuck in my house.
    My difficult child was taken out of his court appointed rehab and formally arrested in a town 2 hrs away and taken back to the rehab. He waived his rights and confessed to the crime. The detectives went to the rehab (2hrs from our home) and interviewed him twice.
    I didn't know anything about any of this and it all happened over the course of the first mth he was there.
    Did I mention that I went to visit every sat and had at least 3 meetings with his caseworker?!? No one ever said a word about it.
    I would really listen to your son. I know he can push your buttons, but try and see if he is sincere.
    I have learned the hard way that all the adults are not always on your side or the side of your child.
    Sometimes I can't really figure out why they are in the field they are in?!?
     
  4. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Janna,

    it is a really big decision.

    I wouldn't believe Soc serv, though the story is probably some where in the middle.

    I guess for me the big thing is if you bring him home, what are you going to do when he decides to test whether the placement is permanent? While rules etc are all necessary, given his history and all he has been through, some testing will be inevitable. How would you deal with it? I think the kid probably needs to know that he is with you for the duration, barring anything that would get him sent to jail or a mental hospital or the like.

    I imagine his greatest need right now is to be somewhere where people will work with him no matter what.

    I also imagine that you are much better placed with all that you have been through with Dylan to get him the services that he needs if he is at home with you.

    It is a tough decision--with so much history, I think it would be really hard to get beyond it. It will only work if you can embrace him with a completely open heart, I would think.

    hugs.
     
  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Janna,

    Things to consider.... in home therapy, crisis plan, safety plan for the others in the house. School placement & IEP?

    Seriously, for this to work, you have to take your son back whole heartedly & work your :censored2: off. Having said that, we are working, have a plan in place to transition kt back home. All the ducks will be in a row before she is discharged home.

    With wm, we know our limitations & are committed to being a family of different addresses. And we have a plan of visitation & calls with him, as well as, therapist appointments & monthly visits between kt & wm.

    This took a lot of time & effort & downright getting in people's faces to put into being. It may work - it may not.

    Just some things for you to think about as you consider this. :warrior:
     
  6. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Janna,

    one more thought. You say that the ball is in his court. I don't know what he has to do to take the first step, but if it involves Soc serv. I would be wary given the history. What if he tells them and they don't act on it (contact you or do whatever they have to do?) Make sure that he can actually deliver on what you want him to do , or you both may end up being shafted by the system...

    Chris
     
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Chris is right, that was my first concern when I read that you want to leave it up to him. It seems (according to him) that he has wanted to do a number of things that you also wanted, but which didn't eventuate.

    I do wonder - he has a long history of blaming others - is it possible that he is blaming the various services rather more than they deserve? I wouldn't be too angry with him if her were, because under the circumstances they do have some responsibility in this. Just bear it in mind.

    The fosters - like the school - can only act according to the information they're given. Someone somewhere has the idea that YOU are the problem and that you do not have rights with him. Clearly this is not the case, but if the school doesn't know this, and the fosters don't know this, what is anyone to do? Just because YOU tell the school, or the fosters, that you have rights - it won't do any good if someone else is jamming the works with misinformation. If you were a foster parent, warned from the beginning to watch out for the kid's mum, she's a real problem and should be kept in the dark, would YOU believe the kid's mother when she said she's supposed to be kept in the loop? You'd be wary, nervous and extremely protective of the child.

    Why do the various agencies do this? Because they have the power. because they can. And probably because you get a sort of Chinese Whispers effect, with misinformation verbally going around and causing a lot of confusion. You told you lawyer you want something permanent; some idiot has interpreted this to mean you want difficult child permanently placed outside the home. It's misunderstanding compounded by lack of communication, which in itself is due to their perceived fears and more misunderstandings.

    The more groups and people that get involved, the worse this can get.

    Seems to me, these fosters are acting appropriately, given the misinformation they're working from. They see you as the enemy because they've been told to, by agencies. The agencies see you as the enemy because THEY want control in their hands, not yours. Agencies also have larger case loads than parents. If there's another case (or several) with similar superficial features, the info gets jumbled in people's heads and misinformation creeps in, then gets exaggerated as people swap stories without checking who they're talking about.

    Good luck with your decision. Don't make it lightly, but whatever you decide, you need to feel you can stick with it wholeheartedly.

    Marg
     
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janna,
    What a turn of events. It is a big decision to make and I agree with Timer if he comes home you have to have a good plan in place to help things go as smoothly as possible. Hugs. :smile:
     
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Janna,

    I’ve been thinking about your situation this weekend and waiting for your report of the weekend –actually started typing what’s below even before you made your update.

    Truthfully given all that has passed it would be far more surprising to me if these home visits worked out than to hear things went badly. Nothing is typical about this relationship and living arrangement and if he were to come into your home every other weekend displaying good behavior and blending in nicely with the family, now THAT would be a total shocker.

    From my outsider’s point of view, both you and difficult child are currently in a standoff sort of situation and which is lose-lose if it continues on as is. It seems to me that you are faced with three choices: 1) make one last attempt at making him become a functional full time part of your family and give it everything you’ve got to make it work, 2) cut ties legally so both of you can move on or 3) if you decide not to go for it or if he can’t be reunited, accept that while he’s living under someone else’s roof with numerous other people involved, you will have very limited input into his life. You will continue to fight this frustrating battle of trying to exert parental influence and control in his life when your hands are tied by virtue of having your son reside under someone else's roof.

    Before deciding to pursue the route of reunification, I really encourage you to think about consulting with an expert in the area of attachment who has experience with situations like this. The side that we hear here are some pretty bad behaviors and I don’t doubt those, but my gut feeling is that underneath all of that crud is a hurting child who feels very much rejected both by his biological and foster parents. It doesn’t matter how old or how mature we are, most of us are capable of some nasty behaviors when we’re dealing with feelings of rejection for purposes of self preservation. Janna, you know me well enough by now to know I don’t mean to be unkind with this next statement, but the feelings you’ve expressed about him here come off as highly ambivalent (not intitally listing him as part of your family profile, will always be his mother, love him but can’t live with him, resentment/anger/mistrust). Maybe I’ve missed something or we just get the venting angle but I can’t remember ever hearing a single positive comment about difficult child 2 or any kind of enthusiasm about spending time with him. You can put all sorts of rules and plans in place but if the parent-child bond never had the opportunity to develop normally and be nurtured properly then that needs to be addressed first and be taken into account every step of the way.

    I hope you will take this in the spirit in which it's intended. I know that with all your heart you wish things had been different with this child but since you can't turn back the wheels of time and you're likely to only get one last chance while he's still underage, I thought it was important to mention. I sincerely commend you for sticking with this kid and fighting for what you think is best for him.

    SRL
     
  10. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    SRL, you managed to say what I could not articulate.
    But I also was thinking, too-----
    he has been elsewhere for what seems a while.....and the core family has kind of ....grown......gone forward. while he may have had visit times, that is not quite the same as living there 24-7. His life experiences have been very different, I am sure, by now, from living other places. He very possibly could have different ideas, opinions, thoughts, that might feel foreign to your core family unit that has been living without him. Add this in with his age, a time when children are trying to figure out who they themself are in this big world....
    ANd if he has not had many of the same kinds of rules you have- this could be difficult, and while you might view him as "naughty" if he thinks he should have certain .....um.priveleges etc.....he may view it as ...difficult if he has had those priveleges all this time?
    I am not at all sure I am expressing what I am thinking very well.......
    darn.
    I do know you must be aching inside and so must he, all of you, the whole family. I know none of this can be easy at all.
    whatever you decide to do- I wish you all the very best.
    I do remember once......when dylan was not doing very well.......and IIRC you said I think, that your older son had not ever been quite so difficult------and I also seem to remember you saying something like um....maybe the oldest did not have a diagnosis after all?
    BUT do keep in mind just cuz someone does not have a diagnosis does not mean there is nothing there. It could just mean noone found it. (yet) and for a lot of the things that have been going on all this time------well, you have the sw story, and the school story and his story.....and everyone prolly is most likely trying to cover their own hide. Yes, I am sure he is no angel, but for some of it he may have been simply a pawn. and being a pawn, seems to me would encourage even MORE acting out.
    I am sorry it is such a mess.
    My heart breaks for him.....I think it has had to be terribly frustrating for everyone, but to be a child -----aw darn......I think the system let him down.
    ah but..I am a romatic at heart.
    ignore me. Good luck no matter what.
     
  11. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janna,

    frist of all big hugs to you for what you must be going through to make this decision. It is not going to be easy for any of you.

    I agree with Linda. You must have everything in place - at school, doctors, home, etc., before the first step towards home is taken. This will change the dynamics of the entire family. There will be a huge adjustment period for everyone.

    I can so totally understand that you don't even know what you are feeling right now. I would urge you, as a mother, to remember that he is your child, your son who you held and loved as a little baby. Pull within yourself for that connection and remember that he probably feels as confused as you do. He probably is just as lost as you feel.

    Can your family do this? Everyone will have to make sacrifices and work hard. But you have a loving family and your SO very supportive.

    Janna, I have, several times in the past, advocated for your son. It is time to try. I trully feel that this is a turning point for your family. Search deep within - the answers will come. And, if you are so inclined, pray.

    My thoughs and prayers are with you as you have some difficult decisions and a lot of thinking and planning ahead.

    Just like the red roof inn, we are always here.

    Sharon
     
  12. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Thank you everyone. LDM, I love your post. Thank you.

    Maybe I was misunderstanding when I said about having difficult child 2 make the first step. Try to remember, the goal has always been (and still is today) reunification. We were working on that goal, family counseling was in place and we were attending. We were increasing home visits. He was doing well in school. His visits were going great! Then all of a sudden, in an instant, he decided he didn't want to come home. He wanted permanent placement with the previous foster parents, the K's. He couldn't handle living here.

    So, all our (I say our, meaning me, my kids and SO, too) work was for basically nothing. difficult child 2 and I had a pretty nice relationship going, I felt we were bonding, and then, like I said, all gone.

    So, basically, if he wants to reunify, that's okay with me. But, he needs to make the first phone call to the CYS caseworker and let her know. Yes, I'm scared to death. Yes, I am apprehensive. But yes, LDM, I would never forget he is my son, my first born, and I love him to death. I would like more than anything to have him home. However, I don't want him home if he's going to ruin everything I've worked so hard on with the other two children. Dylan's ODD is gone. easy child is slowly but surely losing his attitude. Everyone's on a routine. They do their chores. Things here run so smooth. I don't want him to destroy that. I cannot allow that. I know he has it in him to roll along with the rest of us. The question is, will he? He has a huge problem with respect. He really has an awful attitude. So many things to think about. Ahhh.

    SRL, I appreciate your input as well. I know your words are meant to be helpful. With no disrespect, maybe you have missed some of my posts? I know alot of things with difficult child 2 seem to be negative, and they are. But, there was a period of time, maybe 3-4 months ago, where things were really great and I was posting alot of positives (mostly in the Good Morning thread, maybe). But, I do fully understand where you're coming from.

    Trying to get things in place will be difficult, because well, I don't really know what to put in place. He'll go back to the school he was at with the K's, because we live in the same school district. They are already all familiar with him. As far as in home, I don't want anyone else in my home, which could make this hard lol. I've done the gamut of behavior mod, TSS's, Mobile Therapists, Behavioral Specialists, and everything else. I dont want anyone else in my home. He doesn't want to do any more individual therapy. He doesn't want to do any more family therapy. What am I going to do? I dunno. We all said we'd sit down, draw up rules, consequences, etc - a behavioral contract if you will, and sign it. That doesn't mean he'll stick to it (we tried this one before and it bombed, but that was a long time ago). I don't know - he may change his mind by tomorrow and we'll be back in the current situation LOL! Who knows with him.

    Janna
     
  13. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Janna, You have had issues with him in the past of him making accusations of SO physically abusing him, no? He did the same with the fosters? I would be leary of this, at this time. If he does that again, you could be facing children's services up you hinds like no way before. This could potentially ruin all that you've worked for with your family. I'd really hate to see something so potentially harmful happen to your family. You, yourself don't trust him. How can you trust that he won't do that again? I know you want something permanent, but I'm not so sure having him home is the answer.
     
  14. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Yeah, Loth. We've had issues with that, too. Another concern. LOL! I'm glad you thought of that.

    He called CYS one time on SO. Said he feared for Dylan and easy child's lives, claimed SO threatened to punch him in the teeth or knock his teeth out or something like that. He almost lost his job, too (he was working on a school). Luckily, CYS cleared him, because obviously, it was a lie. My kids and I were both present when difficult child 2 claimed this happened - CYS pulled both my kids aside, alone, and they both said it was nonsense.

    Then, of course, he claimed that Mr. K was abusive and he was so scared to go back there.

    *sigh*

    Thanks for reminding me of that :9-07tears:

    Janna
     
  15. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    To me, Janna, this is more of a concern than anything. Lies like that can ruin your lives, forever. Next time he lies like that, SO might not have witnesses around to favor him. If he's vindictive, he could do something really nasty. Please keep that in mind.
     
  16. PiperThree

    PiperThree New Member

    Janna, I have to agree with Loth. Knowing first hand what it's like to have difficult child lie to children services just to get himself out of whatever hot water he got himself into and focus the negativity on someone else is nerve wracking. Your difficult child 2 will always be your first born and the love of your life but you have to consider that the trust factor isn't there at this time with him and as soon as something doesn't go his way at your house he could potentially pull the rug out from under you and start a whole new ball rolling. With Dylan and easy child doing better, you and SO working on your own mental health (and you with quitting smoking) I can't help but be a bit apprehensive at this time. Perhaps if difficult child 2 gets into a longer term pattern of no monkey business with getting into trouble at school or with the fosters for a while could help to determine how serious he really is about coming home and abiding by your rules.

    I know how hard it must be for you as his mommy. My heart hurts for you having to go through all this stuff but be careful. ((BIG HUGS))

    Piper
     
  17. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Janna,

    I'm so sorry you are in such a difficult situation!!! I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through...

    I wish I had some good advice - I can't think of anything to add that hasn't already been said by the others.

    I guess I just want you to know that I've been thinking about your post for a L O N G time. My heart goes out to you... Take care of yourself. Hugs, WFEN
     
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