abuse - or - not

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Steely, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    The first 2 signs of abuse is for the abuser to get the victim isolated, and then cut off from family and friends.

    What the program is doing with Matt ~ the stabilization/isolation unit, and no phone contact with me unless supervised fits that perfectly.

    Then the abuser can brainwash them, and break them, and mold them to be how they want the victim to be.

    I woke up in a panic. I have been abused, I know the drill.

    It is a highly accredited program, I am pretty sure this isn't happening. Yet my whole body is in high alert. What should I do? I have tried telling them I don't agree, this isn't right ~ they keep telling me I am the problem and to back off.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Can you get your ed consultant to call and get more info about what's going on? That, at least, might be a bit reassuring . . .
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I mentioned this on the all-time low thread.

    I really think you need to evaluate your info. what signs show progress, what signs show abuse, what signs show regression. Write out a list of symptoms/actions that Matt has/does now. Then look at it.

    Maybe take the list to YOUR therapist to evaluate it. See what she thinks of it (if you have a therapist you trust).

    PLEASE do not ignore your instincts. They may be triggered by what YOU have experienced and endured. They also might be right on the money.

    I wish I had better answers. I WOULD call the head honcho for the program that Matt is in. Send a letter, via certified mail with return receipt, to the company that runs the program.

    I am sorry that he has taken a turn for the worse, that you are having past abuses triggered and that Matt may possibly be in an abusive situation.

    Is there ANY way you could show up for a surprise inspection? THAT might prove/disprove the abuse suggestions.

  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Well, I just did some more research on this program, and there are certainly a lot of abuse cases that have been reported. I am feeling really sick now.

    Thanks smallworld, I have contacted the ed consultant.

    I also found a facebook "survivor of X program" group, and I found some of Matt's friends. I emailed one of them to get his take on it all. Their stories are bitter and angry, and I know that they are all difficult children, yet I need to know the truth - and the only way I can do that is by networking and filtering out the truth from fiction.

    I have posted a positive post on WC, just in case anyone is concerned that I may be drowning in negativity. I do so appreciate you guys listen to me whine, vent, and worry. You are saints.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Steely I've been worrying along the same lines as you have. I have issues with any health facility that wants to cut off parent involvement and I don't care what their reason is. It just shouldn't be done.

    Ok, I know they say you're a big part of the problem........and I dunno how true that really is.......so then you counsel the parent and the child so the parent can learn more appropriate ways to respond to the behavior of the child. You don't cut off contact.

    I wouldn't just talk to difficult child's friends from the program.....talk to the parents too if you can.

    Listen to your gut. Yes, it may be because you've been abused. But you know what? That can also be why the red flags are flying up for you, because you do recognize the warning signs due to experience. I see them too. So it's not just you. Yeah, maybe that isn't happening........but the signs are there and need to be checked out.

  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yea, if I could find the parents, I would talk to them for sure.
    Thanks for the encouragement.
    This program & my parents make me feel like this is the only choice or option left for Matt in the world. After tonight's research, I am on the brink of being irrational. I need the program to answer me, and answer me now.
  7. I would certainly double-check. A highly accredited program in Oregon shut down after the Oregon DHS made a list of changes they had to comply with.

    It was on the list my educational consultant came up with. Right now I just cross my fingers that my daughter stay on her present path.

    He was quite shocked when I learned it. I phoned my educational consultant. He explained that role-playing thing the DHS wants removed is conducted as part some some workshops which are both common and necessary in such schools.

    The founders of the school which the Oregon DHS closed down used to work a boarding school in California where the daughter of Barbara Walters went. I remember the TV-show where both were interviewed. That school sat some new standards regarding treatment of emontional problems among teenagers. When it closed a lot of schools were founded by former employees using the same concept in workshops.

    My educational consultant doesn't understand why they closed the school. On the other hand I don't trust my own instincts anymore because I was one step away from following his advice.
    Lasted edited by : Nov 14, 2009
  8. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    CEDU is the form of therapy you are talking about that got those schools shut down. The program Matt is in is a spin off of this. Had I known that at the time, I would have never sent him.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ok....this may sound dumb but...what are the alternatives? Yes, some of these places may be harsh but maybe that is what these really difficult teens need. Matt is really an adult now. He is old enough to go to boot camp. Is this Residential Treatment Center (RTC) harsher than that? I doubt any of us would really like to send our kids into boot camp at Parris Island if we really knew ahead of time what was going to happen. I know now what happened there. It wasnt nice. Talk about breaking a person. I doubt Matt is being punched or slapped. He may be being yelled at, dont know, but I would hazard a guess that the DI's have a more colorful vocabulary.

    Of course, we dont send them to boot camp, they go on their own. We cant rescue them and they cant leave.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It could be abuse, but this is also a proven method of rehabilitation- and not all using this are abusing the patient. It's good that you see the red flags, but I agree with having a knowledgable third-party to look into it careffully before concluding which one this is. The third party should be able to talk to Matt and determine if he's learning healthier thought patterns or if he's being brainwashed and victimized.

    I don't agree with telling you that "you" are part of the problem. The relationship might need re-structuring in order to be healthier for both of you, but to me, that isn't the same as saying "you" are the problem. Anyway, I can see them working with him independently instead of you both as a family because of his age. They might, later on, try to work some with both of you if you are willing to.

    I am basing all this on the therapy/treatment I went thru in my early 20's.

    If my memory serves correctly (which is questionable), he's been in there over a year. I would be wondering about it if I didn't see some real progress already, given that I don't see Matt as one who is fighting improvement every step of the way.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    OK, you guys are right. I am overreacting. I have no other choice other than to keep doing what I am doing. I am sure there is not physical abuse going on, and if it is psychological, I have no idea what I am supposed to do about. Sorry to be so emotional about all of this - I will try and chill - and just keep going forward.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    No need at all to apologize- I have had similar worries and fears about my son. I think it's understandable- we just need to keep it in check - as in, have it checked out or make our phone calls and think it thru to decide if they might be valid. At least that's the way I'm looking at it. Are you still in contact with Matt himself be letters or phone calls any at all?
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Steely...I think I came off too harsh. Im sorry. In fact, I know I did.

    To be honest, I dont know if anything we did for Cory helped a darned bit. I think I am really jaded. I know I allowed his final facility to send him home too soon. I think he manipulated them into believing he was well enough to come home because it was close to christmas. I wanted to believe that. He held it together for a while but it wasnt long lasting. Nothing was. Like they say, people only change when they want to change.

    I have no idea if anything would have worked for me because nothing was really tried. I tend to think I would have been just as hard headed...lol.
  14. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I think I'm jaded too, like Janet. I don't know if anything we did to help E really did--we spent so much time and energy and money trying to get her help and she just resorted to her old ways as soon as she left any Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or rehab program. But, she is able to live on her own and gets by somehow and I wasn't sure that would ever be a possibility so who knows?

    Take care, Steely, it is so hard....

  15. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    No Janet, you were not harsh. You were/are right. I think I am super jaded as well. I cannot make him work the program. I cannot make him change. And that is what I told the counselor Friday. You guys are trying to make him change, and it is not going to work. He either has to get this intrinsically - or it is all futile.

    I got the ed consultant involved again, which is really good. I think that will me help a lot.

    Klmno - I am allowed calls with Matt that are supervised - but I told them that, going forward, I need at least one a week unsupervised. I just need that opp so that if there is something he needs to tell me that isn't right about the program, as in abuse, he can.
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That sounds like a great way to approach things, Steely. Department of Juvenile Justice screens all letters coming into difficult child, but he can write whatever he wants in his letters coming out. They can listen in on phone calls, but we also have visitation where they can see us, but not hear what we say to each other. These opportunities are the only thing keeping my fears/worries in check so I am glad you are getting someone that you trust involved, just to be on the safe side. It's a fine line, I think, between them doing what is really effective and what the difficult child is responsible for figuring out themselves, as we all know from trying to parent them.
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Steely, I'm glad you got the ed consultant involved. I think that needed to be done. I hope you get that once a week unsupervised call. I know that will make you feel better because it will give Matt a chance to speak up if he needs to.

    I'm sort of jaded, but not due to Nichole.......more due to other family members. Nichole changed because she was determined to. It wasn't easy for her by a longshot, and there were some backslides into old behavior/thinking before she came thru on the other side. But there is that place in the back of my mind that always knows she could backslide again. Still, nothing worked until she wanted it to work.

    That's the problem with mental illness. It just doesn't work the same way as physical illness. You can't just take something and cure it. We can make it better, we can give a person a chance at a fairly normal life........but we are far from cures.

  18. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm so sorry. I am familiar with- your anguish.
    Our son went to a program and it was a very weird situation.
    It was a good program, but the owner was somewhat abusive to our son.
    They had a personality clash and we found out much later that the owner had been drinking. So, there were periods of time that in my humble opinion, the owner was out of line with- our son. We doubled checked his behavior with- a professional in town and she agreed that his behavior was out of line.
    HOWEVER, that being said, even with this oddity, the overall program DID help our son.
    The consequences for inappropriate behaviors, etc. all seem to help him "get the picture." It was when the owner singled our son out...that no one appreciated it and we ended up pulling our son because of it.
    The other consequences were evenly distributed and that seem to "work" in terms of our son understanding/learning that when you break the rules it will "cost you."
    I hope this wasn't toooo confusing for you.
    Bottom line:
    If everyone gets the same consequences for inappropriate behaviors...it is probably okay.
    And as long as your son isn't being told that he is worthless or can't get to a better place with personal effort....it is probably okay.
    As long as your son isn't being physically hurt...it is probably okay.
    Most, if not all of these kids have exhibited rather extreme behaviors and these programs are using somewhat extreme techniques to try to save these kids.
    Our son did not have a truly extreme problem going in...but he was definately headed there.
    Today, he is ULTRA RESPONSIBLE...graduating from college with- honors, happy, responsible, caring and a very hard worker.