Next step??

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JKF, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    So difficult child is in a motel until Tuesday the 9th. Then social services will be sending him back to the streets. Not sure when or if the bed at Safe Haven is ever going to open. I can't get anyone at OTA or MHA to return my calls or respond to my emails. I'm so frustrated and sick to my stomach. I think we're at the end of our rope here.

    I think I talked about this in a previous thread, but my father offered to allow difficult child to come out to Idaho and live in one of his apartments in lieu of difficult child helping him with maintenance on the apartments, etc. Originally I wasn't even going to entertain the idea until difficult child was stable on his medications (which he's no longer on bc they were stolen) and complying with the Safe Haven rules etc. However, I'm starting to think that I should send difficult child out on Tuesday when his motel stay is up instead of sending him back to the streets. That way he can get settled out there instead of bouncing around from place to place.

    difficult child is excited about going. He wants to get settled and spend time with his grandfather. My dad is alone out there so I think it would be good for HIM also to have some family ties there.

    The only thing difficult child is nervous about is the trip itself. He refuses to fly (which is way too expensive anyway) so I think we're going to send him via Amtrak train. It's a two day trip across country (yes a long trip but it's not like he has anything else going on!) and there are 2 changeovers - one in Washington Difficult Child and one in Chicago. He's terrified he won't be able to find the next train when he has to change. I think he'll be fine (although I'm a little worried) - he'll have 3 hours between one changeover and almost 5 hours between the next so I'm fairly certain he'll be able to find next train and/or ask for help if he needs it. Any of you ever travel this way? If so is it easy??

    I haven't booked the trip yet. Waiting for confirmation from my dad that it's ok for him to come next week. I hope this works out. I'm so worried about so many things. Yes I'm happy he's in a motel for now but what's the next step? This is far from over. I can't relax. Still can't sleep. I'm feeling sooo sick. I need this nightmare to end now.
  2. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I think it's worth a shot, if your father offered. I'd be most concerned about him being stable on his medications, though. Will he have a psychiatrist out there? If he doesn't take his medications while he's out there, will there be a likelihood that he would get physical with-your dad?
    Being 18 and possible aspie, plus not having psychiatric medications and a long and stressful trip alone with all the sensory and stressful things around him might be a lot to ask. Is there anyone you can think of who could chaperone him?
  3. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Sigh - I agree CJ. It might be too much for him right now but if it comes to that or the streets I will have to take the risk and send him. I've already researched psychiatrist's out there and there's a very good MH clinic within walking distance of the apt so as long as he's willing it won't be a problem for him to get care.

    I don't think he'd ever get physical with my dad. He really hasn't ever been physically violent but he's made a LOT of scary threats in the past during rages and has been destructive to property. That seems to have lessened for the most part although I can't say for sure that those days are definitely over.

    His MH worker is going to the motel to meet him tomorrow. Hopefully she can take him to get his medications. I'm not sure if insurance will cover them since they were stolen but I will pay out of pocket if necessary. I talked to the OTA who said that they will most likely approve him to stay at the motel for the time being as long as he's compliant with the MHA. I will talk more with both agencies tomorrow but it seems like they will keep him there as long as he's behaving.

    As for him going to Idaho - I'd rather him be with family instead of sitting alone in a motel room day after day but on the other hand I don't want to set him up for failure. He seems really excited about going out there but he's scared. He won't know anyone he said but, to be honest, he really doesn't know anyone here either. He has no real friends. He makes "friends" easily but it doesn't last. I feel so torn. I feel like he doesn't have much going for him here in NJ and that he'd have a shot at a better quality of life out in Idaho with my dad.

    Decisions, decisions, and nonstop worry. Ugggh!
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    JKF, it helps me with these kinds of big decisions to think that nothing is forever.......if the choice you make doesn't work, you can start over, after all, you're an expert at this, you know how to do it all, not only in your own environment, but long distance too. So, whatever choice you make, you can re make it if it doesn't work. Just pretend you're back in childhood, remember do-overs? Who said we couldn't continue with do-overs as adults?! So, he goes to Idaho, doesn't work, you call a do-over. He stays where he is, doesn't work, you call a do-over. Life is a long series of do-overs, we just got too old and forgot we could do that.

    Whatever you do, it will be okay and if it isn't you can totally trust that you either already know how to handle it or you will put on your well worn, somewhat dented Warrior Mom armor and you will do battle with the powers that be until you get what you want. Good Grief, we've all witnessed you do that this past week, I'd hate to be in your way if you come storming in looking for aid for your son!! You are a force of nature JKF, as we Mom's can be when our offspring are in need of something. Laws get changed, people are fired, folks go to prison, Mom's of difficult child's are incredibly courageous and powerful and just a tad intimidating when we are in our full glory.

    Do what feels right and rest in the knowledge that if that path closes down, you will find a way or create a way. If he goes to Idaho, tell him he is going on an adventure, going west like the early settlers did, give him a cell so he can call you if he gets scared, give him a talisman to hold close, something that means something to seems you're leaning in that direction. You always do a wonderful job for your difficult child, you will continue to do so, trust yourself..................many hugs..........
  5. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Re: AMTRAK:

    I have gone from Sacramento to Seattle on Amtrak, the Coast Starlight (aka Coast Star Late as freight trains nearly always disrupt the schedule.)

    The changeovers can be as complex as the train stations in question. Here's a thought - if you do this, can you arrange with Amtrak, as with an airline, to have someone meet him at the gate and walk him to the next station? Describing him as "Something Something Disabled" may get him this assistance in the station transfers.

    Also the long haul Amtrak trains, even if you're not getting a sleeper car, are miles above airline service these days. There's a snack bar "downstairs" on most runs, and they have a lounge car, like a spare living room! A dining room! With plates! And tablecloths! And real metal flatware! (Or at least they did five years ago.) The snacks are priced a bit cheaper than movie prices, which is to say not great but not horrible, and the meal costs are... Mmm, more than McDonalds, less than a privately owned restaurant. Think like, Chilis or Red Lobster. So some pocket cash will be needed.

    My only worry is with a non-express leg of the trip, small town stops if they happen might be an issue. But the conductors are really good with people who need extra help, in my experience. The ones I've dealt with have a level of customer service and compassion that go far above anything I've found in the last ten years of flying.

    They do sell beer on the trips I've taken, I forget if there's anything stiffer. Wine? Maybe. I'm not sure how you'd need to handle that. Maybe because the prices aren't too cheap, limiting the amount of pocket cash might help?

    And good luck! I've been following, and wishing you all well.

    edit: Oh I forgot, these days you need photo ID to ride Amtrak.
  6. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Just an FYI but during the years I worked in Pharmacy we were able to call the insurance provider and get an overide if a pt's medications were lost or stolen. Also if they were going on extended travel and were going to be unable to access medicine. I think it was limited to once a year but it might cover your butt this time around so you dont have to pay.
  7. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Thank you RE. I like the "do over" idea. I'm going to keep that in mind. If one plan fails, we can change gears and have a do-over! Love it!!

    That being said, I'm still torn right now - send him - don't send him- but in my heart I honestly feel it would be best for difficult child to go to my dad. My father is a kind, determined man who will help difficult child flourish. He's strict but not in a demanding way. He has good morals and wants to teach difficult child about life and I think if anyone can help him, my dad can!

    At this point difficult child has expressed that he does not want to go into the Safe Haven shelter when it opens. He wants to be "on his own". I think if I force him into the shelter it will backfire. He's been doing fantastically at the motel - even the MHA worker commented on that after visiting with him this morning. She said he looks fantastic. I think that if he has to go from the motel into a shelter he'll get kicked out before I can blink. Then we'll be back to square one. I don't want to do square one anymore. We've done it a million times. I'm ready to move on and I know he is too.
  8. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Nerf - that's a fantastic idea about asking for assistance for him. Perhaps explain that he needs some help getting from one train to the other because he's a bit delayed. I'm sure they would help! The ID part is no problem. He got a state issued ID in PA and actually still has it.

    I did find a train that only makes one stop. It goes from Newark, NJ to Chicago, IL and then from Chicago to Salt Lake City, UT. My dad would pick him up in SLC.

    I also found a flight for $125 from Newark to SLC. One layover but it's in Phoenix and he would stay in the same terminal. For some reason I thought he was against flying but when I told him the train idea he was like why can't I just fly? Uhhh ok. He's flown before (with family) with no problem so he should be ok.

    I have some more research to do before I make a final decision. Thank you so much for your input! And thanks for the well wishes! I appreciate it so much!
  9. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    dtsc - I think difficult child has an appointment on Monday with the psychiatrist so hopefully he'll be able to get his medications. I'll ask the pharmacist what our options are. Thanks so much for the suggestion!
  10. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Well after much agonizing I've made my decision. difficult child will be flying out to my dad on Tuesday 4/16. I purchased his ticket today. I spoke with the airline who assured me that they will help him find his gate at our airport and also his connecting plane in Phoenix.

    On Friday afternoon I got a message that the bed at Safe Haven is vacant. They were planning on moving difficult child in late next week. I discussed this with him and he made it more than clear that he did not want to go into another shelter. He's an adult and this is HIS life so I figure instead of forcing him to do something he doesn't want to do why not help him get set up where he wants to go? Makes sense but I'm definitely nervous.

    I have to call social services Monday and let them know that the plan of action for difficult child has changed. Hopefully they will allow him to stay at the motel until he leaves but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I feel that this is in his best interest and he'll have a better chance with my dad instead of a shelter. We shall see.
  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good job. Now that the decision has been made, you must feel so relieved. We never know how things will unfold, however, right now, everything has fallen into place with your Dad's offer and difficult child's excitement about going. It will be what it will be and there is no point in your worrying about it day by day.

    You've done a really good job of getting all of the facts, following through on all the leads, while you work and keep a family going, you are a very strong woman. You'll figure out the next step as it arises, that's the best any of us can do, we can't control the future.

    When he leaves on the 16th, let him go into his future without you worrying about him. You've shown great love and commitment towards your son, which obviously he really got, judging from his conversation with you about thanking you for not giving up on him. He gets it. Now he's going on his next adventure. And you can rest and get back to your life and your joy. You did a great job JKF, you can be proud of yourself, pat yourself on the back and move on down the road! Have a wonderful weekend with your family. .............hugs................
  12. JKF - I think you have done such a great job helping your difficult child. RE is right - you are such a warrior!

    difficult child has made it clear that he does not want to be in a shelter and that he does want a fresh start in Utah with your Dad. He is going out to family and a situation that is setting him up for success. The only thing I would do is make arrangements with the MHA in Utah for him to start seeing them upon his arrival. That way he has a place to live, a job and the health care that he needs all set up for him.

    Send him off with love and let him know you are confident that he will be successful - not perfect in this endeavour but that he will make mistakes and learn from them and have success in his life and future.

    *Hugs to you. I'm hopeful for this fresh start for all of you.