Pondering Dude

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Star*, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hi all,

    I am bringing this to you for voices of sincere reason, and logic. I'm really torn on what to do to help vs. can he help himself vs. he's lazy vs. he's depressed.

    So here it is in a nutshell -

    Dude is living with foster family - they are supposed to take him to job interviews and help him with applications. They have not.

    When we asked WHY - we get the story that Dude doesn't want/need any assistance and insists on doing it himself.

    When we ask WHY he has no money saved up for probation
    Dude tells us it's because they won't take him for interviews citing gas is too expensive/have no time etc.

    When we ask about him around the house? They tell us he's lazy. He tells us THEY want a slave and basically pawn him off on family members and have him over for internet time then make him clean their house while they entertain other people.

    And today - I get a call from a very depressed Dude. I know depression from lazy - and we talked last weekend about his anger issues/need for medications. He didn't disagree - but today he tells me he's stopped therapy. WHOT????? HOW? You're 17.

    He tells me - it's not helping. It's a waste of his time - he doesn't have a job - he doesn't get any money - he doesn't care if he goes back to jail - he doesn't care about getting a job, etc....

    Apparently he also felt the need to call his lazy caseworker and blast him a new one. The man said he was busy - Dude said some very direct things, called him a liar and hung up.
    (jealous of time with other clients?) Keep in mind - body of a 17 year old emo level of a 12 yo.

    He was choking up about his puppy - wanted to know how she was. I told him SHE wrote him an email. (daddy I miss you stuff) and he said theyhave NO internet at the foster house - had it turned off. I told him Pootie was out of Puppy chow (we actually feed Nutro) and he got upset saying he had no money etc.....I said it jokingly - he took it to heart. Nice, middle of no where, and no way to look for a job, but then again - would he anyway?

    So, is this where I call mental health and talk with the doctor because he's 17 /12.....or do I let him fail, because he is depressed beyond helping himself?

    I'm just really torn.

    Any ideas.....he supposedly is going to mental health because he QUIT the private psychiatrist. (NICE) and they can give him medications for depression or anxiety. But should I just let him handle it or assume he'll sit there for 15 minutes arms folded, hat pulled over his eyes like a 3 year old and dr. will say "See ya" nothing will get done because he doesnt' want to help himself????

    I really want to do this right - but I don't think he's able to discern between depression level he's at vs. he's just being an emo teen.

  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I have similar issues with Miss KT. My policy has always been that I step in when it is clear she is unable to handle it herself. This goes back years, because I wanted her to learn how to handle various situations. but if someone didn't take her issues seriously, then I would go to bat.

    It sounds to me like Dude is not able to handle it himself, so I would be making some calls and getting info. Even though you can't make him do anything he doesn't want to do, at least having a rational person letting his caseworker (and maybe the caseworker's boss) know what's going on, what's not going on, and your understanding of what is supposed to be going on will help.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Star, I don't want you to think that I am ignoring you on this one. I'm just going to need to think about it a little more.
  4. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I wonder if you could discuss it with probation? If he is supposed to pay them and no one will take him to get a job then ............what is he supposed to do? You said they live in the middle of no where.........
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    This was my first thought also.

    And I agree with Mary as well...I would step in simply because of his age. You still can advocate for him (while showing him how it's done), without bringing yourself down and into the mud. I think he already knows that it is HE who ultimately must do things for himself and change his predicament - but at 17, I would not risk him landing in jail for not paying his fine or doing what he's supposed to do. But that's me and that's probably why it's taken so long for my own difficult child to get her act together.

    Star, what is your gut telling you? Anything at all?
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Thanks everyone.....

    FIRST - Here are some things that are going on in his life -


    He is STILL looking at court before November upstate that wants to charge him with 15 years in prison for a bogus charge and a Public Defender that has had since March to "gather" mental health info and hasnt called one person. I've decided to call her and ask WTH? I also think it may be worth a drive up there to talk with the man that is pressing charges and try to explain what is going on - see if he's the one that pressed the charges - if so will he consider MORE supervised community service (of his choice) instead of 15 years and a 2nd felony strike for a charge he can't and no one can prove.

    I think this is gnawing at Dude - I know it gnaws at me. And in all fairness? Dude has stayed OUT of all trouble, gone to school, faithfully goes to church (whatever that means to him) and in his own mind HAS looked for a job - but has no way to get there.

    His biggest problem seems to be keeping a job. He's had "odd" jobs - but like a 12 year old - spends the money he gets when he gets it - NO ONE says _ here let me hold that. Like they were SUPPOSED to do - teach finance - get back account, help with cooking, living on own - none of that has been done - once again - the woman runs a daycare M-F 7-6PM and the man works double shifts and has since Dude's been there. So no - no one is "taking him" and "doing what they should" but again - GIVE ME THE MONEY - and I'd have stuff done. ARGH.

    DF thinks - I want to PAY his fines......NO NO NO.....I do not want to do that - I don't even think I can do that.....financially. But I guess I don't know whether to say "Okay people look - the kid is manic depressive and going down quick - he CAN NOT keep a job, he CAN NOT pay these fines I don't know what can be done, but WHAT CAN WE DO?"

    Then on the other side - some are saying - HE is USING this ploy to get me to pay his fines and bail him out - and if I do - this will be a never ending situation for me. I can't live like my xmil did - I WON'T. She died trying to help x- and look what it got her - nothing has changed with him and he's 52.

    Part of me wants to just go to the courthouse, and talk to the judge that set these fines and see if he would take into consideration that his atty NEVER mentioned that Dude has problems - NEVER NEVER - jerk didn't even show up in court and met him the day BEFORE court. (all bow to the PD) insert barf.

    The other part of me listend to my son in choked up tears about Puppy chow he couldn't afford, and telling me in a monotone voice that he doesn't give a SH90 about life anymore, doens't care if he goes to jail, doesn't care if he gets a job - and figures at this point without an education, no job, no money, going to jail for fines he can't pay and possibly going longer for crimes he didn't do, - he's just going to end up a bum on the street sleeping under a bridge with a box for a winter home. And he didn't say it for sympathy - he meant it.

    And I just sit back and think - If I help -what will happen. If I don't help, what will happen? I'm now back on Prilosec. :sick:
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I guess I would push for him to resume therapy - maybe with someone else, and to maintain medication compliance. I'd remind him that therapy will only work if he actively participates, and sad is no way to live. He faces many challenges, more than most his age. He has a choice though. He can fight tooth and nail to live a better life, or he can let life happen to him. Letting life happen usually doesn't work out very well for anyone except for the person who is planning your life for their gain.

    I guess what I am saying is that given that he is still a minor, and you can, I'd advocate for him to actively make these decisions. If he is too far away from anything to find a job, perhaps a move is in order. These are all very disruptive moves, but if he doesn't make a move to bring his life up, it will definitely go down.

    Hugs for him, you, and Pootie.
  8. tawnya

    tawnya New Member

    Star, my bright shining star....

    You have to detach... you told me this five or six years ago..and I still have the "star flower" in my yard. Do you still have the "tawnya" rose I think it was? Maybe it was grass?

    Don't put yourself in the same situation you were several years ago.

    You know better than that. Things are getting better and you are letting your guard down, that's all I'm saying....big fat sigh.....

    We are here once again....

    difficult child ( my own ) just got fired again and thinks that she "got screwed". NOT! You don't show up, you don't have a job, DUH!

    Prayers to you.....


    an old timer who still cares about her star
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Star...werent these foster parents supposed to do XY and Z for him? Arent they getting SSI for him? If so, some of that money is supposed to be spent on his needs be it gas, clothing, food...and his fines. They are being paid above and beyond his SSI payment I assure you. Now out of his SSI check he can pay for gas to go look for a job...but.

    I would be raising a stink.
  10. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Star, as you know I'm one of the biggest proponents of detaching but I don't think it's appropriate in this situation.

    Janet raises some excellent points about money- SSI and the subsidy that the foster parents receive for Dude's care. FP should have some kind of behavior plan in place to help Dude achieve his goals and move forward.

    Also.......are you listening to Dude and to the foster parents separately? That's what it sounds like in your post.

    I'm reminded of the kid who goes to one parent and says one thing, then goes to the other parent and says another thing so everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else and no one knows the truth.

    So, if that's the case, I would certainly interecede and my first priority would be to get everyone in the same room- including probation and mental health if you can arrange that- and have the group work together to develop a plan for Dude. (we did this for Rob) This way all of the cards are on the table and you have a better handle on what's really happening.

  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I think your concerns are valid. I like what Suz said. I would work your way up the chain of command with reference to the foster care system and see if you can voice your concerns and get some satisfaction that way. I also like the idea of arranging for a meeting and developing a plan. Although you have had to detach to protect yourself, it is good that when you see a serious problem that needs to be addressed, that you do what you are able to make a correction.
  12. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Twinkle Twinkle,

    I want you to know that I've tried to respond to this about 5 times. I really don't even know what to say. I'd be struggling with the decision as much as you are.

    Just know that you & the Dude are in my prayers.
  13. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Starbie - I think we should just rent a double for Dude and thank you. We could tag team supervise. ;)

    thank you's in the same boat. I've worried and worried over this because I'm dealing with a kid whose logic is goofy at best but at the same time he adamantly refuses, repeatedly, to do anything to improve his lot. Doesn't participate in therapy and has now decided that there isn't a doggone thing wrong with him, he's not bipolar, his logic is right as rain, and he's not applying for SSI because he's "fine".

    Job? Nope. Is staff supposed to be facilitating? Yep. thank you misses appts with job coach, blows off job interviews. Short of holding his hand and dragging him in, there's nothing to be done.

    Depressed? Yep. But, and this is just my take on it with thank you, it's a vicious cycle that starts with his underlying mental illness but is compounded by his utter lack of investment in making things better. Toss in some self-medication and then refusal to go to a job interview because he won't pass the pee test and .... voila, deeper depression.

    His plan? At 18, he'll get an apartment and a job. Not sure how, being a dropout etc. He won't listen to anyone, thinks it's all just going to magically appear. Um... ok.

    by the way, it's still all my fault.

    I know Dude has some heavy potential consequences hanging over his head, Star, but I guess my question is this.... After umpteen years of therapy and treatment and being walked through how to do things the right way, do you think he's capable of doing it? Not will he or won't he, but is he capable? And will you be able to keep from rescuing him should those consequences come down on him because he's refusing to do what he's supposed to be doing?

    I can't answer those for you. For me? thank you's capable. He won't, and yes his mental illness plays into it, but for heaven's sake.... I'm tired of dragging this dehydrated mule to the water and watching him turn his nose up!! Absolutely, I am done being SuperMom to the rescue.

    If he doesn't start stepping up to the plate now, Star, and start taking responsibility for his own life, when will he? I guess I'm a pessimist, but I know when I try to anticipate what is in thank you's future, it's not pretty at all. I think the *only* way thank you is going to get a craniorectal reversal, admit he's got problems, and accept help *from others* (i.e. not us) is when he hits absolute cold hard rock bottom.

    I know the fear you feel when he's talking about not caring - there's not enough Prilosec in the world to relieve that gut pain. What I think both of our boys is missing is that they have it in their power to make things better. It will take effort and committment and perseverence. It will take getting up off their behinds and being proactive. I can't model it anymore for him, it cannot be taught/preached anymore in therapy. My son knows what he needs to do, he simply refuses. That leaves me zilch to work with.

    Just my 2 cents hon.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Sue makes a very good point too! I have lived for years with this mule who refused to do anything constructive to make his life better. Could adults possibly have valid concerns or helpful guidance for him...nope! We were so stupid we couldnt find out butts with a butt map. Only he was the smart one. Well look where that got him.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    He is 17. while in some ways there is not much diff between age 17 and age 18, at age 17 he is still a minor. As such, the adults in his life may need to step in when htey see him taking a major dive.

    Why are the foster parents, the THERAPEAUTIC foster parents, not arranging for these assistances and paying for them out of Dude's SSI? I know case manager is a patootey, but someone up that network should bear some responsibility. Is the CM's refusal to do anything the reason the TFP's are not doing anything? Do they know they can "get away with it" meaning neglecting doing what they promised?

    What is the diff between this TFP and the group home if the TFP's won't take him to look for a job or drop him off at work or even use HIS $$$ to pay HIS fines and doctor visits and medications? He was going to free mental health, so that was no cost off of them.

    I think you may have to step in and work to help Dude figure out a plan.

    With his gaps/lacks in education and common sense and cause-and effect thinking, he may be unable to figure out how to get a job if he can't get there, negotiate a written list of whatever chores are expected/agreed upon, set himself up with a new psychiatrist (if he even can being under 18). Or kick some CM hiney and some TFP hiney and get them to do what they agreed upon.

    If they have no $$, what happened to the big tv, videogame system, etc that the TFPs gave him? Can he sell them to cover his fines? Were they purchased with Dude's SSI and therefor should be Dude's property?

    IS dude capable of navigating through these things if you help him talk to the TFPs and CM, etc???

    Is Dude jsut spending his time watching tv and playing video games (being lazy)? Can he ride a bicycle to a job?

    Did Dude start with TFP's holding his $$$ only to find they spent it and he didn't have it for fines, so he is reluctant to have them 'hold' his $$ anymore?

    I jsut wonder about the TFP's as much of this comes up to being financially responsible - they bought the big tv and the game system and the clothes. They get $$ to house him and his SSI checks. but the internet is cut off? And they take a week at the beach?

    I just see mixed signals, and think it may be more than a 17yo who is over his head with the legal system, and isn't the most logical thinker, could fix.

    Overall, though, follow your instincts.


  16. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    OMG, I can SO TOTALLY identify with this post! The only difference with your situation is that my difficult child is 19, but mentally about 13 - and also a kid who just refuses to help himself.

    >I'm reminded of the kid who goes to one parent and says one thing, then goes to the other parent and says another thing so everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else and no one knows the truth.>

    That's the major problem I'm dealing with. difficult child lives in a small town near friends and relatives, and I get different stories from everyone. Meanwhile I'm sending smaller and smaller amounts of $$ to difficult child out of his trust (which won't last forever) and he calls me a lot for "$20 for breakfast and lunch today please?"

    I finally told everyone involved in WA that from now on if they need anything or want to talk to me, it has to be during working hours - otherwise my phone is off. I told difficult child that he has to get certain things done before I will give him more money - such as going to DSHS and getting onto emergency funds/food stamps.

    I have applied for SSI for him and I think it may be approved.

    I just increased my anti-depressant because of a pounding heart from anxiety.

    Hugs to everyone from a mom who is going quietly nuts, wondering how her difficult child is doing (but doesn't want to call).
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Well - Star WHAT ARRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrgh ye gonna do?

    I decided to take my own advice and butt out. I decided that there isn't really anything I can offer or do that he can't do for himself, but is too depressed to do.

    And if I keep jumping in with "suggestions" I'm only seen as the enemy - the one who wants to keep a man down, the one who FORCED him to take medications and get therapy and be a decent human.

    I love my son with all my heart - but I think someone else needs to step up and start pitching in THEIR part - because well folks, I'm tired. I'm so dog tired I could crawl in a hole and be happy with no activities for at least 10 years. I would be happy to never hear the words depression, therapist, counseling and my extensive list goes on rambling - I'd have to buy a case of toilet paper to write it all out on. No joke.

    Memoirs from Le KrappArgh!
  18. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I ditto you Star - you go girl and I am there with ya.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    It seems like a good choice. You have gone through FAR more than many others could. Take care of our Star, we love her!!! We want her to be energetic and rambunctious and happy.

    Love you!!
  20. Genny

    Genny Worlds Best Nana

    I know how you feel. You've given you all - it's time for Dude to sh*t or get off the pot (so to speak;)).

    Take a STAR day this weekend, you deserve it!