Update on Dude

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Star*, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. Star*

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

    He is back. He called me minutes ago trying to figure out what all the fuss is about. It was NOT him at the bus depot this morning although I gotta tell you - that with the fact that DF locked EVERYTHING up tight last night stating "Well he COULD make it here and get stuff, to pawn." Made me wonder about the bus comment. My first thought is always that he will head to see biodad to hurt him for what he did to him. Maybe kids really do let go of stuff we can not.

    Now the big question is this:

    To sign papers to send him to another placement I know nothing about, not too far from where he is (5-10 minutes). It is said to be more structured, locked facility or rather LOCKED gates (oh puhlease) and they make the kids go to school daily for their GED. Getting a job off campus is a perk not a given. I don't know the people, have never heard of the place. It's a lot more structure.

    The current placement has a very open policy. They don't force the kids to obey. They KNEW (this makes me mad enough to perk) Dude was leaving the campus the other night, they knew where he was going, they even KNEW which house he would be at. AND (ARGH) he did come home check in, and then leave again. Apparently without permission. What did I get? "He's a runaway." I'm so stinking angry if I had false teeth I would have spit them out. Dude informs me that he has NO idea what any of this is about. He said "They knew where I was, I told them." then he states that he HAS been doing better since they threatened to throw him out of the group home 2 weeks ago - I could call and talk to anyone about it. He's been trying to get his chores done- and getting to his community service, going to school when they have it and getting up, taking a shower - and he even said the things he's bad on were doing his chores on time, swearing and using profanity too much, and sometimes playing his stereo too loud. Other than that he believes he's been helpful and if I sign papers for him to go to the thugwarehouse - he will run.

    Well the caseworker is now mad at me because I shouldn't have told him our plans. I said - this involves him why can't he know? He's 17 not 7. Don't you think he deserves a chance to have a say in if he goes or stays?

    And apparently the woman who runs this group home (absentee due to health issues) that said to leave Dude there she'd work with him - hasn't seen him since. What's up with that? No one can tell me,but now they think after leaving campus without permission - he should go.

    He was in a truck with a drunk neighbor that hit a tree, flipped and rolled down a mountain where he laid for hours, he was hit by a car and taken to a hospital (care was a neighbor) the local town won't hire ANY of these boys because of the reputation of the home, yet they promise to get them jobs, and help with Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) -and yet no one has shown him how to fill out an application, or balance, count money - save money, cook, clean - they just say DO IT, and for the job ? Handed him a phone book and said "Call some places."

    I asked for the weekend to get my thoughts together even though I already think he should move to a place where he's going to be watched closer - but if he does move in 8 months when he's 18 - they have no place for him. The other place - that is letting him learn (apparently zip) by lifes lessons - will keep him indefinitely through his probation.

    I set my phone down today and for the first time in my life I uttered the words "I HATE KIDS." and went back to my little hole.

    Really Dude? You KNEW you couldn't come home for Christmas when you talked to your probation officer when? OH Last month!! And you were going to tell me when? OH I see - you thought you could manipulate her to change her mind and allow you to come home? OH it's what - up to ME if I'll allow you - you can? For a week? WOW....lets see.....um....I'll think about it.

    Then I hear in his voice the disappointment - There is no tree there, no gifts and he has (in his words) ONCE AGAIN - F'd up (sorry bout the language Mom) Christmas.

    I am going home on the freeway so I avoid any Red Dot stores.
    Honest to Pete I'd look like Lost Yet Found that day she bought all the Everclear - and if my box hit the ground and the bottles broke I'd lap it up on all fours in the parking lot right off the asphalt.

    DEAR GOD - I need a break. From the break I've gotten, because it's breaking me.

    Thanks for listening - and for all the care - it really counts
    Starbie the asphalt liquor licking Barbie - Well if you gotta learn to drink you may as well do it right.
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I don't know what to say. Honestly, I'm thoroughly confused. They knew where he was, didn't care, didn't tell the police, didn't tell you but classified him as a runaway and said he has to leave? Okay, if they want him gone why make the excuses? Just say he has to leave. They're not forced to keep him.

    It does sound like he needs a more structured setting. What are his objections to the other group home? That it will be a little bit harder and make him more accountable? Dude, you're 17. It's about time you started learning responsibility! I do understand the CW not being happy to hear you told him of the plans if he said he would run. I also understand why you told him. He should be able to have some input to what is going to happen to him.

    If he doesn't go there, what's the alternative? Maybe Dude needs to hear in graphic detail what his alternatives are at this time. It may make the "lockdown" group home sound good.

    Star, I wish I could find some words to comfort you. You've lost so much in battling for your son. More than most of us can imagine. I wish I could whisk you away to a place where there are no phones, where Christmas is a day of joy and wonder, where you could take some time to heal. I'm sorry for your pain.

  3. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Girl, I would be right there with you licking the asphalt...........Geez! They knew where he was, but they told you he was AWOL???? Let me lick the last drop of that vodka with ya!!!! :highvoltage:

    I would definitely have him change placements. He has had nothing but chaos with this one.

    As far as the new placement not taking him after 18, cross that road when you come to it. Who knows. Maybe he would even be mature enough by then to handle the group home he is in now. You just never know. However, for now, you know that this is not working, and you need to make a change. You know that in your heart of hearts, so just act on it, and figure the rest out later.

    Again.......peace and strength your way.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    All I can say is that if it were me, I'd try the new placement. Honestly, this one scares the heck outta me.

    Now you know why I don't drink. Everclear is one of my favs.

  5. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen


    Whenever you need a cynical voice to pipe in...just PM me.

    He's 17. By the time my mom was 17, she had 3 kids. It makes you grow up real fast. I'm not saying give up on your son, but it's time he finds his own way. If he's so all-knowing, let him show his own way. Relying on you to do that at this point is silly. He can simply walk from ANY facility at any time. What is the saying? Don't sell the farm.

    He can sign his own gosh darn papers to get into a home. In CA, they could do that at 14. The parents were really left out of the endless loop. So...does he want help? Go for it. Tell him you'll be waiting with open arms at the end.

    Oh, gosh...I've become so jaded. :smile:

    There comes an age for each child where they realize there is really nothing a parent/guardian can do for them. If they want to run...they'll run. If they want to party, they'll party. This happened to J at about age 8. Lovely. By age 17...heck, I could have whipped him and he knew exactly what his 'rights' were. My rights were nothing.

    Let him take charge. Tell him you're so proud of his accomplishements that you are going to let him pave the next path of this life. It will probably scare the sh**t out of him.

  6. Star*

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

    Thank you every one.

    MB - I appreciate the Christmas gesture - I knew deep in your heart you loved Christmas too - (smile)

    Willow - You little asphalt licker you! Thanks for the good advice.

    Daisy - NOW you know why I DO drink - ahem.....I mean DON'T lol

    DF called the caseworker too - he said he got conflicting stories about what is going on and he's tired of this. So Monday he's calling the caseworker, and asking him to have the house parents meet with us, the caseworker and Dude. He said "enough is enough" and if they choose to put Dude out of this place - so be it. But they've already set the parameters of his "space" by giving him too much freedom. Maybe to take that back without everyone face to face would be a bad thing - ?

    We're just going to pray about it - hope for the best - battle gear up with some rhino skin - and some good coffee and hope for the best. (personally if I get coffee I hope someone else makes it - and throws a couple shots of baileys in it) I should REALLY be ready to tango with anyone then. (author notes she is a lightweight)

    Thanks all -
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You know what? If your posts are even halfway accurate, lol, it
    is no wonder you are confused, DF is confused and Dude is really
    really confused. How to H can you make decisions (or react to decisions made) when there are no parameters??

    I absolutely know that you have done every darn thing in your power to help your son. I absolutely know that as much as you love him you don't feel capable of leading him to traditionally
    accepted adulthood. I absolutely accept and respect as your CD
    family member that the whole blankin' thing is just TOO much!

    On the other hand you love your son and are scared to death for his future and you have reached out and reached out and reached
    out for good quality help and you have gotten dung. Dude has also gotten the floor sweepings. It is beyond tragic.

    I realize that Dude is probably 13 going on 18. He is a mess but
    he is like the energizer bunny...he just keeps trying and trying
    to achieve a goalless (sp?) level of existence. I admire him for that, Star. He's not a rocket scientist and he knows it but
    he keeps trying and trying to be normal and follow whatever darn
    rules he understands.

    What can you do? I don't know, my friend, but Dude can not be
    left to face the system alone. They have already half eaten him
    and he will be devoured. If you can NOT see, explore, speak to
    families about the new placement then do NOT do it. I understand
    your sanity feels like it is at stake but the "system" you are
    dealing with is NOT healthy. It can NOT be trusted.

    I am not crying as I post this but I am anguished. You know my
    heart is in the right place and I know you want someone you trust
    to tell you to let go & save yourself. I can't do that, my friend. There truly has to be ONE person in your community or
    parrish or county or State who has intelligence, knowledge of special needs, experience and HEART. The people you are dealing
    with are lacking all of the above.

    Do not think for a New York minute that I don't understand where
    you are. (I have not been in a dangerous union, I'll admit.) I
    have spent years praying that someone...anyone...would release
    me from this ongoing stressful & painful way to live. I have found some helpers. I have not been relieved of the burden. If
    medications can help DO IT. If they are for you..fine. If they
    are for Dude...fine.

    Just don't succomb to the idea that "they" will help Dude. "They" may be less competent than Dude to decide what is
    right and wrong.

    Without a doubt you can trust that I am praying that this current
    painful situation leads to some long range help. Hugs. DDD
  8. isisdrms

    isisdrms New Member


    I don't really know what to say as others have said. I want the best I can get for my difficult child but without his cooperation...it ain't gonna happen.

    As for you, can you find anything out about this new placement? When will Dude turn 18?

    I know that with my own difficult child and reading PE, I laid down the law with my difficult child. Graduate HS, go to college or technical school and I'll support you. Don't and you are out unless you can get a job and pay us rent etc...and then you're still out! I am ready to get a list of places he can go for support should that happen. I don't know if you can do that.

    I'm just so sorry about your situation with Dude. Our kids "just don't get it" and what do you do? Nothing...because there isn't anything.

    I say try the other placement but keep a watch (cus believe it or not...our difficult child's are kinda innocent about life and reality). After this, it's up to Dude.

    Hope I didn't offend,

    I know you're heart must be breaking...nothing seems to work.
  9. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    It sounds like a meeting might be a good thing. I agree that this placement sounds like a disaster and not one in the making, the disaster has already been made. How do any of the kids function in that place? Or do they really?

    Before you guys have the meeting, though, I'd lay down some very distinct parameters -- Dude coming home is not an option under any circumstances and whatever else you feel is absolutely necessary. Maybe if you and husband present a united front someone will listen. Hey, we can dream, right?

    Do get you some good coffee for the meeting or have husband make it -- tell him to set it for 4-6 cups but put enough coffee in for 10 cups -- and maybe add one of those flight bottles of Baileys to pour your mug. Then you can be hyper and relaxed all at the same time.

    Like DDD, I'm hoping something positive will come from all of this. Maybe it is time for everyone to just listen to the Dudester. He may have a better idea of what he needs than all the pros.
  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Had to search my brain for why on *earth* you'd be licking Evercleer off the sidewalk and then it hit... and I'm still wiping tears away. You have a gift for descriptive imagery!

    Coming at it from a slightly different angle, Star. While it would certainly be reassuring to know for sure where Dude is and to know that he's being seriously supervised and schooled... does he really need that level of supervision for only 8 months? Ok, yes, it would be really nice to have someone besides you keeping a close eye on him because he's choice-impaired but is he going to get any real benefit out of the program? Will he actually learn to make better choices down this home stretch or will he simply be prevented from making the bad ones for a short period of time? And what happens at that magical 18th b-day, if you do go for the move?

    The flip side is, is he getting any benefit out of current program? Can he get any benefit out of any program?

    I don't know - my heart says I want to know where my kid is and what he's doing 24/7 but my brain is telling me that at this late date that will only give me a false sense of security and it further delays the inevitable time when he has to head out into the big world and make his choices, good, bad, or indifferent.

    And maybe I'm just a doggone wimp - much rather he make the choices in his current semi-supervised setting where someone else will pick him up from the police station than here at home or on his own when I'm going to be the one getting those "pick me up, Mom" calls, and then I'm going to have to be the grinch who says "hoof it".

    Does the state have voc ed/rehab counselors, and can you get *them* to work with- him on the job stuff since group home can't/won't?

    I think a face-to-face mtg is definitely called for. Absolutely, Dude needs to be involved in this... egads, what is the woman thinking? Communication needs to be straightened out, in my humble opinion. If he comes home, checks in, isn't supposed to leave but does and they let him... well, what do they expect? They shouldn't be able to cry "AWOL" if they watched him go out the door.

    On the third hand, he *does* have probation hanging over his head here and, with him being in jeopardy of doing actual jail time... I'm back to thinking 8 months in a locked facility will at least buy him 8 months.

    I don't know, Star. I am absolutely sure that you'll make the best possible decision here. It's a really tough call.

    Sending some Bailey's Mint for your morning coffee. Hugs.
  11. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Well, if he is going to be 18 in 8 months and then would have to leave the new program that is a definite negative. However, what keeps running through my head is the old saying, "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got." From what you have been saying here, what you (actually HE) is doing is not working. This placement that he is in sounds like a joke or worse. If it is not working, it really doesn't matter if he stays there 8 days, 8 months, or 8 years. The problem is, and I know from experience, the new placement may not work either. But I guess I'm the type who'd rather try something new and fail than just keep going with the status quo when it is not working.
    Good luck.
  12. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Sounds like he isn't getting anything out of the program he's in, so the other one might be better for him. Is there any way you can go and check it out yourself and see what your first instinct is when you walk in the door? Maybe that would help you make your decision.
  13. Star*

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


    that is a good idea. I think that is what we are going to do.

  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Starbie, in Florida ALL the facilities are available on the internet showing the number of kids, the ratings on food, safety
    etc. How 'bout there? DDD
  15. Star*

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

    D3 -

    I didn't know that, but then again what is saving my face THIS TIME is the fact that I wrote out EXACTLY what the caseworker told me about the group home Dude is in now - the date, the time and when he started back peddling I said "CASEWORKER X on this day, at this time you TOLD ME X,X, X, Y, Z..... that they would be doing for DUDE because so many other placements lied to all of us and after the bad ones you always say 'gosh I didn't know they were like that' and FYI CASEWORKER X - I wrote all that down too."

    He was VEWY VEWY SIWENT....
  16. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I agree with the asphalt licking!!!!! Count me in - I am to the point of licking anything. I agree with most of the others. If he is not being supervised in the program he is in - what is the point of staying? Actually it is his behavior that will keep him there or not - it is not your behavior or what you do to help him - he has to help himself - as long as we do what they can do for themselves - they will be dependent on us to get them out of trouble forever! Hugs.....
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...we could always trade kids star. At this point I will send you Billy, you can help him get a job, transport him to work or teach him to drive etc. And we will deal with the Dude ...lol.
  18. Star*

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

    You know Janet - that may work! hahaha.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hey...Dude cannot be much harder than dealing with Cory on a daily basis. Having two simply cannot be worse than having one...it cant be. They could keep each other occupied. Just think of all the fun stuff Cory could teach him!
  20. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Janet, what are you going to do when Dude teaches Cory a new trick or two? At least you're well-experienced. It might be an interesting visit.