Well I'm back from meeting with PO

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm shocked about this but he's leaving it up to me. difficult child was accepted into the re-entry program for either outpatient case management or short-term group home- apparently that means around 6 mos. If he goes to the group home it's not the one PO first told me about- it's in a jurisdiction where difficult child would be required to go to alternative school. If difficult child came straight home, the parole requirements would be 30 days house arrest on ankle bracelet, 5 meetings with PO/mo for difficult child, 2 meetings per mo with PO for me; 3 meetings per week with case manager at out house, a phone call from someone every night to see if difficult child met curfew.

    I told him that I understand that people in the system think the answer to a kid out of control is to send more and more people to the house to make sure the kid is doing what he should, but the way this plays out in my house is that the more other people get authority over difficult child, the less difficult child sees me as an authority figure and results in difficult child treating me like I'm a sibling or something- with a blank check.

    Anyway, the lady from the program is supposed to call me tomorrow so I can ask her questions then I'll get back to PO sometime within the next week to give an answer. My first question is going to be if she can get difficult child on a waiting list or something and try to get him in the group home in this school district.

    He said it was either these two options or dss. Oh- and if difficult child goes to group home then gradually is reintegrated back home, then they do all the phone calls and home visits after difficult child comes home. Pfftttt.....how do I avoid that koi? Seriously, I can't revolve dinners, laundry, shopping, etc around tons of appts in the home all week, every week. been there done that and resented the koi out of it both times.

    He said this was evidenced based treatment. Yes, I know, and I've heard it before and it must work wonders for many, many kids (choke) but it doesn't work for miine. I said when mine is trying, you don't need 16 people watching him every day. When he isn't, he's lockwed in juvie before you (PO) gets the VM saying he's not doing what he should be. Therefore, in my humble opinion, this is a waste of taxpayers dollars. (Sorry, but I've been waiting 5 years to tell someone in the system that. LOL!)

    He said he might also order therapy for difficult child and me both if I thought it would help. I thanked him but said I knew that any therapy paid for by Department of Juvenile Justice funding would only revolve around a behavior plan and that's not the type of therapy I thought would be most beneficial.

    My snotty attitude is apparent in this post (as well as previous ones here), I'm sure but I did present this well with PO today. So well that I surprised myself.
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I'm guessing your going to choose the group home? What happens if difficult child does group home and doesn't transition back home in 6 months? Would they look at Residential Treatment Center (RTC)? Glad you are getting a say in this.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm glad it's boiled down to choosing #1 or #2. Of course neither one predicts a successful life for difficult child but the confusion has been put to rest. The ball is finally in your court (no pun intended). Whichever option you accept I think it's important to at least pretend that you and the PO are on the same page. If difficult child picks up or has picked up on your justified distain for the authorities it will make you his peer in the "anti system" concept. Yeah, I absolutely am anti system myself....but that was not shared with difficult child until after he was an adult. Hugs. DDD
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    First, didn't think it was snotty but I do understand. I have grown much more comfortable here, assuming you all would know I need to just say it how it is here...and in difficult child negotiating life....that is a different story. We can do that because we are not our kids, smile.

    Holy cow that is quite a decision you have to make. Do what your heart says is best, that is all we can do, right? An incredible amount of stress, I am so impressed once again.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    DDD, my son has sat in court many times and heard people in the system blame me for all his problems, even him pulling a knife on me. I didn't start the disdain between myself and the courts people and difficult child knows that. What I have told difficult child in the past is that there is a limit to how much koi I'm willing to put up with from people in the system due to him committing illegal actions AGAINST me. And I soooooo mean that! Actually, I think my wording to my son was that I had done my best to do what those people said but it had cost me everything and he hadn't gotten better so I was not willing to let the people in the system OR him (difficult child) take over my life or my home again.

    I'm going to get it clarified by this lady in the program and with PO- if it's true that difficult child spends 6 mos in a group home then comes here (with me) and STILL has all those meetings, requirements, appts in the home, etc, then PO best be looking into that long-term group home option. difficult child can live in a group home and not have all the other people to answer to, transition into adulthood, and I don't have to revolve everything in my life around his parole plan. He'll be 18 in 14 1/2 mos and should be graduated from HS in 19 mos.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    FWIW, k, you deserve more than a snotty attitude!!!

    Glad it went well. The fact is, it SHOULD BE your choice. YOU are the one who has rearranged your life topsy-turvy...
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sorry you're copping this. I do understand your concerns about other authority figures having more apparent control (to difficult child) than you in his life.

    A suggestion with schedules etc - do not change what you would be doing at that time in that situation. If these people come to your home to see you and difficult child, they MUST see you as functioning normally. It is not normal to down tools and put life on hold in order to have a sit-down meeting. Instead, continue working. Eating. Doing laundry. It shows that YOU are in control, and it also shows that these people have to make accommodations for your life to be as normal as possible. It is possible for them to talk to you while you hang out washing or stir a pot on the stove. Invite them to join you for dinner and talk around the table. Involve difficult child in these tasks so he is also present. For example, get him to stir a pot also, or set the table, or help hang out laundry. If he complains, point out that he needs these skills in order to be able to live independently, and you do not intend to cook for him or wash for him well into adulthood.

    It also sends a clear message to everybody, that your lives have been disrupted enough, and it's time to get back to whatever normality you can scavenge.

    I hear your anger. You've been through the mill. Be as snotty as you need to be. I think you need to express it, after all you've endured.

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont know why they couldnt combine the meetings that they have to have with you twice a month with one of the ones that are going on with your son. That would cut down on time. And PO should come to him I would think. Ankle bracelet should mean that he is only allowed to be at school and then it is tied into the phone line for the hours his school is over so that should eliminate some watching him. Case manager can take a hike.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I think a meeting does count for both difficult child's and my requirement if we are together- sorry if that wasn't clear. Also, if I meet with caseworker, that can count for one of mine with PO but I have to have a min of 1 face-to-face with PO per mo. Why, I don't know. BUt I never understood why PO has to check in with me monthly while difficult child is in Department of Juvenile Justice either.

    If I thought difficult child would definitely try to do his part and stay out of Department of Juvenile Justice this time, I would go 100% with what you just said. I just am not sure yet where difficult child's head is. I did tell PO today that I didn't think he gets difficult child or the big problem here- I told him that while he's concerned about having a ton of people making sure difficult child obeys parole rules, comes home on time, goes to school, etc, I'm concerned about going to bed at night and knowing I can sleep thru the night without getting robbed by knifepoint and no amount of people he sends over during the day is going to solve that problem. And Department of Juvenile Justice funding just isn't going to cover the type of family therapy needed to improve this. This isn't about coming home on time or 15 mins late or what the rewards and consequences are. And if I get robbed by knifepoint, PO is NOT going to be the first person to come to my mind.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Marg, I know there is validity in your suggestions. When MST guy was coming over 3 times a week, I had spaghetti on the stove and reminded him repetitively that difficult child needed to cut things short in order to get homework done and prepare for school tomorrow. I honestly didn't do that to be manipulative but being a single working mom, I had no spare time in the evenings for 2-3 hours of a meeting 3 times a week- and of course, those meetings were always on Mon-Thurs evenings because these people don't work Fri, Sat or Sunday. That's kind of my point- they want to spend that time to send someone to the house to tell the parent you should be making dinner and having the difficult child do homework on a schedule each evening. Really? Then get the koi out so I can keep up with this routine that I already have established! I seriosuly cannot 'buy into' the theory that this will help my son at all to do stop breaking the law and respect rules, boundaries, or authority.

    FWIW, MST guy ended up saying I was using some techniques that he could use on others and he wrote a glowing letter for the judge- then he turned around and contradicted himself but I was expecting that- he had been telling two completely different stories to me and everyone the whole time I knew him.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sheesh, what a decision.
    I understand what you mean about walking the thin line with-authority (or against it) if difficult child comes home ... they send in more and more people who are authority figures and difficult child can see that they are undermining you. A very bad scenario.
    I like Marg's take on it. Very interesting.
    Hey, I liked that MST guy ... until I got to the end of the sentence.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You know, after sleeping on this, it comes to mind that these in home 'treatment plans' bug me so much because 1) they add more stress and time consuming demands on me while not solving any problem for difficult child or me, 2) they concentrate on issues that don't address my concerns, 3) it trades my life revolving around difficult child's illegal activity with revolviing my life around his treatment plan- so there's still a life of drama it's just a different type until difficult child re-offends again, 4) sending him home and sending people to the house 3 times a week and ordering nightly phone calls is not the same thing as getting these issues resolved BEFORE difficult child comes home, as was recommended by the MH profs involved before, 5) it does absolutely nothing to prevent or discourage difficult child committing another offense against me- as a matter of fact it seemed to instigate trouble in the past because they would get into home problems, make difficult child promise to behave, then leave the house, while difficult child and my nerves are raw and emotional koi has been stirrred up. But then, I swear to you, I read the methodology of one of these companies that does in home for situations like this and it says that is the intent- to create the stressors until the 'family figures out a more effective way to deal with them'. Gee, thanks but no thanks.

    Maybe there is nothing that can be done under the circumstances and with the current restraints of the system and my job, finances, etc, but then they should be concentrating on difficult child transitioning to adulthood as an independent person and not reunification. It's a shame they never discsuss all these things PRIOR to decciding what treatment plan to pursue, thereby creating a situation where "well this is what was approved so take it or leave it". I tried to get PO to listen before and it was all I could do to even get him to really hear me say that difficult child was not coming straight home- he wouldn't even let me get to the point of discussing what my specific concerns were until yesterday- after short term re-entry had been approved. If he had, we could have seen that long term re-entry (no reunification into home under their 'monitoring') was most feasible.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    The way you describe this makes me so sad and frustrated for you. You have valid points and if their goal is to have parents involved then it should be real involvement, listening to your thoughts and concerns, not just making you walk through their steps. I know you will get through this but I pray you get some kind of break to help sort thru this in a more productive way.
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    thank you- the more I sit here thinking about it, the more I remember things that transpired before- like difficult child offending before the therapist even has time to get to the home. I think I need to stay firm- he's not coming to live with me again under those terms.

    Now, why does this hurt so much and feels so horrible and depressing and anxiety-ridden?
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am thinking that maybe you can talk the talk. I do think I would absolutely demand if he is on the ankle bracelet it is attached to the phone line so that you are not responsible for monitoring his every waking minute. Trust me, they can set it up that way. They did for Cory. Cory was allowed out from 8-12 every day and trust me, we got a phone call if his little butt wasnt back in the house within 15 minutes of the time he was supposed to be in the house. Oh not only we...but the company that monitors the people on house arrest. The phone line goes directly to a company that monitors every person on house arrest and the schedule for that person is booked into their account. So your sons would say something like allowed out for school hours.
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Obviously you are between a rock and a hard place. Any posts I do are not intended to sway you because you are the one who has to chart the course. Whichever way you choose to cope with this change you'll get nothing but support. I promise.

    Meanwhile I'll toss a few more thoughts out. Hope you don't mind.

    If your primary concern is your personal safety I don't think that anyone in the system or out of the system can assure that peace of mind. There is no way to know what, if anything, difficult child has learned during his lengthly stay in Juvie. Obviously he is not going to say "I'm going to do the same things over again." He's not a dumb bunny. on the other hand if he swore and avowed that he had experienced a "Come to Jesus" revelation nobody is going to buy that either. Honestly I don't know of a thing he could do or say that would make you feel safe. Also, obviously, the PO can't give assurance either.

    difficult child has spent a long time being told exactly what to do, when to do it, what the consequences are for failing to do as instructed by a horde of authority figures. To go from having no freedom to having "normal" freedoms with one parent in charge will/would be breathtaking. The "system" is offering step down services in an attempt to make sure that he knows he must follow the basic rules and that in addition to his Mom there are emotionally detached adults monitoring his choices. It seems to me that involvement is necessary if he is going to achieve maturity.

    Unfortunately that path (if you choose to have him come home) has to include you. Even with non-violent difficult child's that can't just backoff after discharge. Our experiences with PO visits have not been too intrusive. We've been through ankle bracelets and daily phone calls and color coding systems which required drug testing the next day which made it necessary for me to leave work to transport him to the designated center. We have had PO's who dropped in for five minutes and others who stayed for a longer period. We've also had uniformed policemen (yuk!) pull up in our front yard to make sure difficult child was home after curfew. It was not comfortable but it was required. All this paragraph was for a teen whose offense was being caught with part of a blunt on his person. That is Department of Juvenile Justice.

    I'm sending my most supportive thoughts to you as you approach this juncture. I can only guess how much anxiety this is causing. Hugs. DDD
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Janet, we had to have a landline when difficult child had the bracelet. Alot of folks didn't have one and had to pay the telephone company to set up one...or their difficult child would not be released. difficult child was told not to go our in his yard because if he were more than x feet from the phone he would be picked up for a violation. I know one family who had a backyard BBQ and their son was violated because evidently he was too many feet away. Oh, the memories flood back. DDD
  18. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I think you need to take the group placement, even if it means an alternate school. You already know that return home with all the koi won't work.
  19. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    thank you Ladies. I'm weighing it all. Both you- DJ and DDD make sense in what you say. I will throw out that at this point, I think I need to know that difficult child can live ANYWHERE without being guarded 24/7 and not getting up during the night to pull a knife on someone or rob someone. IOW- if he has a plan to 'go crazy with his freedom' this time like he did last year, I'm not going to be his victim this time, not if I can help it. And DDD- it's funny you mentioned that about 'he came to Jesus and won't do it again'- that is EXACTLY what difficult child is claiming now, and no, I haven't scheduled his baptism over it.
  20. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    thank you, JJJ. I do think there are different considerations when the offenses that got the difficult child into Department of Juvenile Justice are using a knife to rob the mother, twice, and there's no one else at home. No amount of people calling or coming by the house changes that and when it's only me and difficult child living at the house, it is impossible for it to be forgotten and looked at the same as having others in the home to protect each other. The MH profs said we needed intensive therapy and difficult child needed intensive individual therapy prior to coming to live with me again and this time, I think we need to stick to that. If it doesn't happen because the courts won't allow it, then I'm desparately sorry but it's not in my control.