Spoke to the nurse at the Child & Family Clinic today

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by welcometowitsend, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. So difficult child refused his psychiatrist appointment that was supposed to happen yesterday. Today I had an intake phone call appointment. with the Child and Family Clinic at our local hospital. The nurse I spoke to was great and very understanding.

    She was comforting and made me feel good about the efforts we've made for difficult child. She said that we knew more and were more proactive than most families she dealt with and that it seemed as though I'd done everything I could for difficult child. She noted (as has been said to me by other professionals) that I am working harder for difficult child than he is and that can become a problem, especially when difficult child won't accept any help.

    I told her that sometimes I believe there is some personality disorder or something along with the depression and other times I just think he is being a jerk. She said she understood but that quite often they act like jerks because of the underlying mental health issue. It is frustrating to not really know for sure what we are dealing with.

    He is very near the cut off for child services at 17 years, 2 months. The cut off is 17 1/2 years so he only has 4 months left before we will have to start over and look for adult services. I told her what our current situation is with difficult child being off his medications and mad at me for I don't know what.

    She did give me some information on a 12 session program that difficult child can do through the hospital once he reaches the adult age. Just needs a referral from our family doctor. So, that's a start in that direction.

    The plan we came up with was for her to hold on to his referral for the next few months at least. I think they'll probably take him until September and at least offer to do another assessment and then help him navigate getting into some adult psychiatric services (if he wants it). In the meantime I am going to try to nurture my relationship with difficult child back into good standing. I'm not sure how that will go now that he is off of his medications again- it may be near impossible if he reverts back to how he was last year before he started medications. But I will try. If I called him now and offered him an appointment he'd outright refuse and that would be the end of this possible pathway so I'm going to try and get him at a good time and hope he will stay in that frame of mind long enough to get him to the appointment.

    I'm kind of tired of fighting on his behalf when he is running the other way. It's frustrating and exhausting and he seems to always be doing the opposite of what he needs to do to help himself.

    One the one hand there is some freedom in resignation and on the other there is that helplessness that I know is there but hate to acknowledge. I've been doing much better lately though. The heart palpitations are almost gone and I've been sleeping a bit better which is a relief. I guess it's a process of letting go over a period of time, not just all at once.
  2. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    WTW - I know exactly how you feel! It's SO hard especially when we do more work for them than they do. In a way - sometimes I feel that I'm enabling my difficult child by making calls on his behalf and making sure he's safe and medicated but in another way I feel that right now his mental illnesses prevent him from doing any of that on his behalf. It's such a catch 22.

    The letting go is definitely a process. It's like a roller coaster. Ups and downs and twists and turns. You never know what's next. I'm glad to hear you're doing well with that. It's so important to take care of yourself. Easier said than done sometimes. Trust me - I know!
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know the feeling and the older they get the easier it becomes to leave it to them to figure out. Do what you can now and prepare to let go more every few months.
  4. JKF - I know exactly what you are saying! How much is enabling and how much is doing what they are not capable of for themselves? When you are dealing with mental illness it is a different, often wobbly line that we are walking.

    But someone else on here said to me that he still has to want the help for himself, which is true. And my difficult child is really intelligent and has had enough moments of insight into his own behaviour to know that he could use at the very least the antidepressants and some counselling. He just doesn't want it.

    Busy - Yes, I am coming to discover that letting go is a process not an event. Every time I think I've let go of things along comes something else to make me realize I'm not done yet - it's becoming more clear that this is going to take a long time.
  5. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Mine is the exact same way. He's really smart and he does know right from wrong. However, when it comes to medications and counseling he thinks he's fine without either. He thinks that everyone else has a problem and it's not him. It's very frustrating. He just recently started medications again - lithium and wellbutrin - and hopefully he'll stay on them. It's going to get to the point where either he works hard at maintaining stability or I have to walk away and let him do this on his own. SO sad and SO frustrating.

    I was doing really well with the detaching for a while. I was like a new person and was starting to enjoy life again. Now I'm back to being depressed and worried and tired all of the time. I really need to try to get myself into the frame of mind I was in before difficult child came crashing back into our world with all of his chaos and drama.
  6. JKf - That up and down is awful, isn't it? For us, I mean. It's like we get sucked onto their roller coaster and are constantly looking for a way to get off. Eventually, we'll be able to skip out of the line and not even get on that ride any more.

    I'm glad your difficult child is back on medication. I hope it is the key that helps him get his life straightened out. My difficult child has never been on a mood stabilizer - only antidepressants because the only official diagnosis' he has are ADHD, Tourette's and depression. Bipolar is not a diagnosis for him at this point. The psychiatrist said she'd have probably diagnosed him bipolar if either my husband or myself had been diagnosed. And I guess his overall behaviour wasn't radical enough on its own - even though when he lived with us he'd stay up for days at a time, was starting to become promiscuous, would leave our home and ride his bike for miles and miles in the middle of the night to 'visit' friends, rant and rave for hours over nothing, not to mention the suicidal thoughts that come and go.

    Now he won't even go to the psychiatrist and I can't force him to so we are sitting in limbo. Sigh. I guess I'll just have a light friendly text/phone conversation with him a couple of times a week and hope that sooner rather than later he starts to come around enough that I can get him some help.
  7. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Just wanted you to know I had read your post, Welcome.

    You are doing everything you know to do for your son. I know that chaotic feeling of not wanting to miss anything that might help, of trying to anticipate where the next hit is coming from. It helped me to do this: Consciously stop all thinking for a second. Consciously look at the sun or feel the water in the shower or smell your coffee. Just that little second of celebration can replenish us. Our heads will be a little clearer. Another thing is to relax the muscles in your face and smile just a little smile. Soften your eyes, too. Take a deep breath. Then, finish what you were doing.

    Our expressions become so harried when we are haunted and exhausted.

    Here is another thing that helps me: Because we are so harried when our difficult children are acting out, we need to remind ourselves to take a few seconds to recharge. So, here is what I have found helpful in the extreme: The phrase is: Grasp the vine. Cup your hands. And...drink. Okay. So, I say this in the shower, cup my hands, and take a drink. It sounds so goofy? But it helps me re-center, every time.

  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    WTW, you are doing a wonderful job, really. The best any of us can do under these extreme circumstances we all find ourselves in. It is very tiring to try to help someone who is actively running in the opposite direction. For me, as most of us, it's quite a process for US to learn how to let go. They pretty much continue the same behaviors, it's US who change.

    I actually wouldn't call it resignation, I think it's surrendering to the truth, accepting what is. It is what it is. Accepting what is, is the challenge. And, the helplessness/powerlessness is REAL, it is exactly the truth. It is our human and very tight hold on control, with a capital C, which keeps us relentlessly trying to fix or change something that we cannot fix or change. When it is in the realm of our children, our beloved babies, then that control multiplies. Buddha said, the cause of all our suffering is our attachments. Interesting thought provoking statement don't you think? And whom are we more attached to then our kids. So, detaching from them can be the work of a lifetime, perhaps our most difficult and horrifying leap into complete powerlessness and fear. And, that is for sure, a process. One step at a time, just like you're doing. Hang in there..............hugs..........
  9. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    WTW - omg can you imagine? How nice would that be!??!! lol

    And I'm praying that the medications are a key in helping my difficult child. He's never been on a mood stabilizer before. This is the first time and my fingers are crossed that this is what finally helps him. He's been diagnosis'd with so many things by so many different psychiatrists : depressive disorder not otherwise specified, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ODD, ICD, CD, PTSD, etc but I know in my heart that the bipolar diagnosis is the right one. difficult child's biodad has bipolar although he's never been treated for it. He's now in prison for armed robbery. difficult child acts exactly like his father and that scares me.

    The behaviors you described in your son fit my son to a "t" when he is manic. However it took until just before his 18th birthday last year to get an official bipolar diagnosis. And even now it appears that it's questionable to some. Yesterday I was gathering records for the MHA and as I was going through his last psychiatric evaluation from May 2012 from the group home he was in, I saw that the psychiatrist wrote that it "appears he has a mood disorder" but that she didn't have any documented episodes of depression or mania so she's not comfortable officially diagnosis'ing it. She did not list it on his evaluation as a diagnosis at all. She met him ONCE during the intake evaluation and based her opinion on that one meeting so I'm writing her off as a whack job and I'm sticking with the diagnosis from the really great psychiatrist he was seeing before that. And the psychiatrist he just started seeing through the MHA diagnosis'd him with bipolar and started him on Lithium and Wellbutrin so I'm thinking the bipolar diagnosis is pretty concrete at this point.

    Anyway - enough of my rambling - lol. I think your approach with your difficult child is a great one. Stay calm and relaxed. Let him feel like he's in control. Maybe eventually he'll be rational enough to give the medications a try.
  10. Barbara - Thank you so much for those ideas. I think stopping and taking a moment to be mindful and centre ourselves is very important for us. It sounds like it would be just what I need - and I tried it while I was reading it. Stopped, took a deep breath, softened my face and eyes (which is especially important as the more stress I am under the more my Tourette's tics come out - and they're all facial) and felt much better.

    RE - You are so right. The Control we all think/thought we had is the illusion and realizing that is difficult to deal with. Especially when it comes to our kids. Buddha was a smart man - the only emotional pain we suffer is because of our attachments and, again, you are right, who are we more attached to than our children? I don't think even a father can understand the attachment a mother has to her children, even though they are his too. Yes, they love their children deeply but I think, for the most part, that mothers love their children and are more deeply attached to their children than a father can even begin to fathom.

    I read something somewhere that said a mothers love for her child is beyond anything else, after all, our children are the only ones who have heard our hearts beat from the inside of our body. That is not to minimize the love that a mother has for an adopted child because I believe that can be just as strong and deep as a biological child - it just struck a chord with me in emphasizing the power of that bond.
  11. JKF - I will say a prayer that the medications work for your son.

    I think that the medical professionals are hesitant to put a diagnosis or label on a teenager or young adult because sometimes the behaviour that they are exhibiting is outgrown and then they are stuck with a label that doesn't fit. It's a catch 22 because they can't get help without a diagnosis but you don't want to give the wrong diagnosis and saddle someone with is unnecessarily.

    There may come a time when my difficult child outgrows some of his behaviour. Thankfully he is not into drugs and I hope he never starts. I do see (on my mom's side) aunts and uncles that are non-functioning well into their 40's and 50's and that is concerning to me as far as difficult child's future goes. At this point we must wait and see what it is he does.

    And then there's my difficult child mom. But that's another post.
  12. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    WTW, I agree with you about the remarkable connection, really beyond what words can describe, that we have with our children, no matter the age, a lifetime of that emotional cord which binds us.............and yes, I hear you about hearing our heart beat from the inside and that we hold them within our own body until they are ready to enter the world..............it sure creates a unique bond which is indescribable and beautiful. Detaching ourselves from that is quite the experience...............