My Visit with my son on Family Day

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DavidWH, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. DavidWH

    DavidWH New Member

    Fellow parents.. if I am posting too much just say so.. I am doing this post since I really had no strength to do so yesterday and some have said they want to know how things went.. but I do not want to overstay or over post my welcome :smile:

    Well... Overall the visit was well it seems to take me about an hour to get a bit comfortable around so many people being there and as funny as it may sound even being around my own Son, I find myself wanting to deal with issues and talk to him but also think prior to trying to do so, as I do not want to have him feel like every time he sees Dad he must deal with them.. make sense?

    I had a hard time with my choice to not include my Mom in the visit they are very close, so Friday night I actually said a prayer and asked that I make the right choice and when I wake up what ever was on my mind would be the right choice to make for this visit, so I woke up and proceeded to include my Mother which of course she was very excited to do.

    (When she is with me on a visit I feel as though I am just there and she controls and tried to take over - I am still trying to figure this out, she has been a huge HUGE help over the years, I guess I just get upset when she acts and says she is a Mom to him and it is always well David if WE would have done this or that maybe Justin would not be in this situation... )

    Anyway.. he was very well behaved and I think he just enjoys the presence of us being there he just wanted to sit and hang out. They had a Christmas music singing for us, but he was not part of it.. he said because the music teacher did not want him to be a part of it.because he did not have the time to teach new kids... then the family counselor asked him why he was not part of it and he only told her .. um I do not know.... (I said nothing)

    We had a group meeting on family passes due to Christmas coming up and this brought Justin down... afterwards he wanted to discuss coming home, Daddy.. I feel like I can do it, I promise I will go to bed on my own and brush my teeth and you can trust me not to take the car or do anything against the law... I explained to him how much I believe that he believes he is ready to come home, then explained that much more in involved like school and what happens if a kid or teacher in school upsets him how will you re-act, making a long story short here as this conversation went on.. I noticed he was trying to manipulate me in a very mild way... (by not allowing me to finish my answers to him or him listening to my words, only wanting his words heard)
    I said, Justin, do you feel like you would be doing as good as you have been doing the last couple of weeks IF you were not at TSNC? He said NO!!! (So he sees that this Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is helping him) I told him OK then this is an answer to everything your asking, if in 4 months you feel you are doing this good, then what make you think that more time will not help any more?? He did not like this but was respectful and accepted the answer... this is when another child in his group (that is going home in a few weeks) came in and really was a life saver... explaining to Justin that there is no "Sign" to tell your Dad when to bring you home (Justin's big thing is When will you know it is time for me to come home, what do you want me to do...) this child (whom Justin is very close to) explained that even he was concerned that he was not sure how things will be for him after he leaves he wants to go home but he asked himself am I ready... he explained to Justin.. your not at that point yet you just want to go home, so do all the other boys here...

    Oh .. he told me he found out.... the only way to get discharged early.. is to run away multiple times!!!

    I acted as if he was not saying anything big yet was screaming inside OH GOD NO WAY how did you find out... so calmly I said yea.. and if that happens what has your probation officer told you where you will go if you get kicked out? Training School.. he said yea I know

    I could go on and on but will not we said our goodbye's and left - I came home last night and just fought myself again all night.. trying to figure out.. how I could bring him home...
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, David, that is so poignant.
    I agree that you should not beat a dead dog and discuss involved emotional issues during your visits. It will just go around and around. You discussed the main topic--coming home--which sounds very normal to me.
    I'm sure this must tear you apart.
    And I understand about your mother. Sigh.
    Thanks for posting.
    You are NOT overstaying your welcome! Do you see how often we all post? LOL.
    Take care.
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm sorry you took your mother. I understand why you did it, I'm just sorry you did it. You really need to spend time with him alone. Hopefully, you can discuss this with all parties so that something can be worked out in the future. Mom comes, but spends half the time reading a book away from you two. Mom comes every other visit. Whatever will work best for everyone.

    The guilt and wanting to bring him home after a visit is perfectly normal. I know I would sob the whole drive to the airport after a visit. By the time I got on the plane, my eyes would be so swollen I could barely see. The reality is I didn't want my daughter home because it would be better for her, it was because it would be easier for ME. After every visit, I'd have to make a list of the pros and cons of letting her come home. Every time, the cons would be twice as long as the pros unless every other line on the pro side was "I want her with me" and "she hates it there."

    Good for the boy who's going home for speaking up. He's right, there is no magic sign. Sometimes, it's the simple fact that the funds run out and you have to bring him home. Sometimes, the facility says the fit is no good. Sometimes, they've done as much as they can. The one thing you won't hear or see is that the kid has changed so much that he will come home a different person. I think the best a facility can do is give a child the tools to continue growing. They will be leaving a very controlled environment and going back to a very chaotic world. The more tools they have to help them stop the behavior that got them sent there, the better. So, the longer they stay, the more they learn. That, David, is the goal: Let him learn as much as he can to help him survive the real world.

    If he does things like run away because that will get him released from there, he's not learning a lot yet. It takes most kids a long time to truly work the program. They will succeed on a short-term basis to get something they want (home for Xmas) but then revert to old behavior. As painful as it is, give it time. Hopefully, he'll be one of those who begins to truly understand why he is there, what he needs to do to come home and do it. More importantly, here's hoping he takes enough away from there to change his behavior when he comes home.
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Very important: you can't overstay. Many others learn and are learning from each other on this board. I don't know anything about Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s but I'm learning!

    Don't worry about "overposting".

    I'm glad that you got to see him this weekend! How did he react when you told him about the job?

    I'm also not sure if I'm following, but is he coming home for Christmas or do you go see him?

    Keep up the great work!

  5. DavidWH

    DavidWH New Member

    Beth.,. thank YOU!

    He was very excited for me about the job.. he understands Dad needs to work on Dad too, he seems to know that Dad has really been affected by all that has been going on the past few years so he was truly happy..

    As far as Christmas, he has to go up one level he is so close he can taste it before he would get to go off campus.. as of now he should be able to at least have what they call a town pass period of 12 hours, which I could bring him home during this as long as back with in 12 hours.. the goal is a 24 hour pass but he has to get his GM level AND dooo great for the two weeks before Christmas to ADD time to his town pass.

    Here is the break down on levels to help you understand it a bit more

    OR = Orientation
    Simply for new kids to learn the rules

    NGM = New Group Member

    <u>1. Fire Base Build</u> = can collect wood for the camp fire and stack in fire ring
    <u>2. Use of Chems</u> = Get to touch cleaning supplies
    The Use if Chems is where Justin is at in the level system
    So you see he has been there just over 4 months and still at thsi level, so it is very hard... but doable

    GM = Group Member
    <u>1. Scribe</u> (note taker during group meetings)
    <u>2. Cooking With Fire</u> (can help cook food at camp location when not eating in cafeteria)

    AGM = Advanced Group Member
    <u>1. Campus tour guide</u> (Takes potential kid with- parents on tours before admission)
    <u>2. Buddy Watching</u> (helps kids having a hard time like a buddy/buddy system)
    <u>3. Letter writing to peers</u> (able to have contact with friends in real world through letters only)

    RGM= Responsible Group Member
    <u>1. Independent campus travel</u>
    <u>2. Group Visits</u> (Can have friends from real would visit on certain days)

    DGO = Designated Group Leader

    Only one child out of the 72 there now in this position.. this is when they are ready to come home.

    Each level has those numbered mini-levels with in the main level, they must Go Up" for when they feel they have met the requirements - (lots and lots of stuff)

  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It's a long road for the difficult child but it is also a long road for the
    parents. Most of us have learned that we need to face reality and mature some as our difficult children are being taught to do so. Very often, in my humble opinion, the entire family discovers that they have not been
    honestly in touch with their individual fears, feeling and needs
    and therefore were unable to teach how to cope with deeper emotions. For example, my husband and I have been together for over
    30 years. We love and trust each other BUT we do not share the
    negative feelings easily. Happy stuff comes easily pouring out.
    Our teens have not had good examples of coping with stressful or
    unhappy times. I think it is time that you and your Mom got on
    the same page for your sakes and for your sons. It is OK to resent a parent. You can love a parent, be thankful for a parent
    etc. but it is hard to change that over to two adults who are
    able to express their feelings. I bet your Mom has no idea that
    you have issues. Chances are she has issues with you also. You
    need to explore the expression of those feelings. DDD
  7. LynnG61

    LynnG61 New Member

    Good morning David,

    The 8th must have been the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) day, as I was able to visit with my son that day as well! He had his first pass to go out a few hours since he has been there (levels like your son) and we went to lunch and did a bit of holiday shopping. And just enjoyed each others company.

    It takes a lot of work for both our difficult child's and ourselves while they are in there. And a lot of stress as well.

    As much as I want to discuss everything in reference to his treatment, goals, plans, etc. I save my limited "out" time to not discuss issues there, as we do family therapy twice a week at the facility and wanted that time to be just "us" time and reconnect. I have found for me, it allows me to be more refreshed when the battles come (and they do at these family sessions. It is not playing ostrich, it is mentally polishing off the body armor needed for the next session. And it also gives my son a chance to relax as well, and not be on guard defending everything/choice he does.

    When my son starts the "I want to come home, I will behave....etc " and gets very anxious when doing this and his stress levels rise very fast, I remind him that this is our limited time to do things, and we can certainly sit and discuss them with the Therapist and use the time that way or we can take a breather and think about what we truly want to discuss calmly at the session as we had time to think it through. For my son, this removes the pressure of "telling it all" and lowers his anxiety. I am not sure how often you have family therapy there with your son.

    So far, it seems to work for us, as I feel we need "good times" to get us through the rough times. For our limited passes out, it is a reprieve and a chance to view and experience what my son is learning in coping out in the world without the added stress of the situation of wanting to come home, etc. In turn, it allows me to practice what I learn from the sessions in dealing with my son.

    Not sure if this is the right way or the wrong way, just the way that is working for a positive response in my son.

    Either way, just hope another insight helps you.
  8. DavidWH

    DavidWH New Member

    Lynn good plan for sure....

    This Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is a bit harsh on time with the boys not saying it is a bad thing it is just hard...

    A typical month:

    Family Day 2nd Saturday of each month 10AM to 4PM

    Family Counseling (Son and parent(s)) one time a month. One hour talking then 15 to 20 mins of one on one time with Son.

    Last Monday of each month... parent support.. (very few ever show for this) One hour with Son, bring him dinner eat with him. then one hour with other parents.

    That is it... until they get earned time, as in a town pass or campus pass.. then work into home passes... earned all starting at the GM level.
  9. LynnG61

    LynnG61 New Member

    Ahh ok, similar but different in the respect we do family therapy sessions twice a week. The guidelines are clear and it is not to socially visit" it is there to work on things.

    As son's levels progress I can visit every weekend, we are at three hours max visit on Saturdays. And he now can earn a monthly pass for an outing. As long as he keeps his levels up. Right now, with Christmas coming, son is working extra hard to earn a holiday priviledge, so we shall see :smile: meaning he will have had enough time in (and hopefully his levels) to spend Christmas day at home.

    How long has he been in Residential Treatment Facility (RTF)? I may have missed that. Sorry.
  10. DavidWH

    DavidWH New Member

    He has been in since July 31 of 2007 so just over 4 months... We are hoping for a Christmas pass... off campus and at home... I should know by wednesday night 5 min phone call if he will have it.

    And yea the same here with the family counseling time.. one hour of hard talk... we both end up crying each time.. but I try the last 15 mins of it to say.. OK we dealt with... so and so... So now it is over lets just hang out and talk about things you want to talk about.. (his dog or his goals or something he accomplished) he and I have done well by doing it this way.. so the last one on one time is pure fun so I never leave him in a bad mood as I leave..
  11. LynnG61

    LynnG61 New Member

    A huge hug for you on that one, I know how that is, to not want to leave on a bad note. Son and I acknowledge that we leave feeling sad, but ok :smile: to reassure each other I guess.

    So big hug to you! And now, time to head to work, have a great day!