Am I crazy?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Amilo, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. Amilo

    Amilo New Member

    Apparently I found these forums some time ago, as when I went to register, I discovered I was already a member. I'm not sure if I've ever posted or not. Anyway I have a 16 yo difficult child (J), she's been in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for 18 months, due to discharge in December. Her diagnosis are ODD, reactive attachment disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, depression, and maybe ADHD (can't remember if they kept that diagnosis or not). When she went into the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), we knew she was cutting, she followed no rules at home, and was nearly failing 8th grade. Her school counselor called DCFS about the cutting, and the SW recommended in-patient treatment after trying to talk to her. I asked to stall it until summer, never realizing it would be so long, i thought perhaps a few weeks was what she meant. SW agreed, gave me her number and said to call if I ever needed help. About a month or so later, difficult child was even more out of control, my husband (her step-dad, been in her life since she was 3) was away on a training mission, and I got a call from one of her friend's parents asking if J could live with them for a while. Huh? Friend's mom informs me J intends to run away the next day and not come home from school. J was 14 at the time. As soon as J left for school the next morning, I called the SW and asked for help. She arranged to have J admitted to an acute care psychiatric hospital 350 miles away, and had me go get J from school and bring her to our hospital (we're military, all our medical appts are at the hospital). SW and J's therapist worked with us to get J on a LifeFlight to the acute hospital, and I flew down with her, she was admitted at 1am. After about 3 weeks at acute, it was determined she needed long-term in-patient, and she was xfered to the acute hospital's Residential Treatment Center (RTC), where she had been ever since. When J was admitted, she was only disrespectful to me, she would mainly do as Daddy asked WHEN HE WAS HOME (he was training up for deployment at the time, so he wasn't able to be home much), she refused to do anything I asked, she did no schoolwork, did not come home from school for hours after she should have (purposely missing her therapy appointments that the SW had set up), refusing to go with me when I had to go places or take her siblings to Scouts (I no longer trusted her home alone or with her older brother). I warned her that if she continued with her behavior, we would escalate the in-patient admittance to immediately instead of during the summer, she said she didn't care, and apparently that's why she planned to run away. After admittance, she was disrespectful to EVERYONE in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), both staff and peers. Because of that, she spent about 8 months on the first level of the program (Level 0), as compared to the usual ~2 months. At some point during that 8 months, one of the head nurses (? not sure his exact capacity) told me that if they reached the point that they could not treat her, we would send her elsewhere to a more strict environment, similiar to a boot camp program, I believe. The first level of the program is a secure unit, the girls leave the unit for meals and school only, no outdoors at all. She finally progressed to Level 1, which is a move to a semi-secure unit, the girls are allowed outside time in the facility courtyard, and they get to take trips to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/acute hospital next door (not sure what they do there, something called a ROPES course and I'm not sure what else), but due to behavior ended up being moved back to the secure unit, but staying on level 1. (Trying to keep this short, so I'm leaving a lot out) Several months went by before she earned her way back to the semi-secure unit, and then another several months before she progressed to level 2 (September) and was allowed to go on passes with us. Again, we live 350 miles away, and the weather isn't conducive to driving to see her this time of year, so it gets very expensive buying plane tickets, hotels, having to eat out, etc. After she made level 2, she got yet another new therapist (her 6th since admission), and this guy says she's been there long enough. He wants her to do one term of outside (city public 10th grade) school and then discharge her in December at the end of the term. Now, here are my concerns: We have family therapy weekly by phone. J is usually irritated over something (as she tends to be 2-5 nights a week when I talk to her by phone) so the session is spent soothing her and calming her down. Family therapy is J, myself, and her therapist. I told her counselor that I would like to talk about rights vs. privileges because J feels she is entitled to everything, and that rules do not apply to her. It's basically her way, or no way. Every session since I said that, J has been irritated, so we have not been able to discuss things. We had an impromptu session over the weekend, and I brought up one of the issues that will be a huge issue, and J spent the entire time demanding her way about it, which absolutely isn't possible. The conversation got into why she was in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and it was absolutely MY fault she is there, her behavior had nothing to do with it. (As an aside, one of the conditions for making level 1 from 0 is to accept treatment, she has NEVER done that, and is quite verbal about not accepting it, she also refuses all medication) At any rate, my problem is this: The only progress *I* see is that she manages to be somewhat respectful to the staff and her peers in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) now. She still argues EVERYTHING I say if it isn't to her liking, which nothing is. I am pregnant with my 5th child, my oldest is 17 and currently living with my mom to help take care of my stepfather who has Alzheimers (he passed his GED and is just passing time until he is 18 and can enroll in the EMT/Firefighting program, as they won't allow him into it at 17) I have a 10 and 11 yr old at home, baby is due in April. Daughter is due home in late December, husband is due to be out of state for training exercises for 8 weeks (late January to early April) and then 6 weeks (late April til ??) 10 year old will have a few doctor appointments about 1000 miles away, not likely husband will be able to get out of training to help with them, I have no yet figured out what to do with the 11 yr old while I am out of state with the 10 yr old. 10 and 11 yr olds are homeschooled. I have not explained this well, but I don't think that discharging J to home is a good idea. I do not feel like any of the issues she was admitted for have been handled (she still cuts, she just does it in areas staff can't check, she tells husband about it), what was handled is what she adopted after admittance (the rudeness to staff and peers), and I don't feel that I am able to handle her at home. From the conversation in our last family therapy, she has no intentions of being any different when she returns home, she expects it still to be her way or no way. I will not leave her in my house alone at this point, and I cannot physically force her to leave. If I call the police (we live in a military installation), there is a good possibility it will result in the family being kicked out of our house and told we cannot live in post any longer. Am I crazy for wanting to ask that she be discharged to a group home? I am literally getting no sleep, I am so stressed out over this, I am scared it is going to hurt the baby. I love my daugher dearly, but I cannot control her. Any advice?
  2. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    I would say that having her released to a group home or therapeutic foster care would be the way I'd go. If you fear for the safety of your family (including the new baby and her) then it's time to bring it up to sw. I say do it.
  3. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    No you're not crazy.

    If there is a family liaison officer on post maybe you could go have a chat with that person. They will really get why it's not a good idea to have an out of control kid in post housing when dad is deployed/training. Don't know if they will do more than listen but I would explain to them that you and husband are doing everything you can to help your daughter. But you do not agree with the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) release recommendations because you fear for the safety of your daughter and your other children should she be released home and is there anything they can do to help?

    Other option would be a chaplain - you would know that you weren't risking losing your housing right off with him/her or that your husband's CO would hear about it (assuming he/she hasn't already).

    If his CO knows what's up and is supportive I would use that lever too if husband thinks it would be helpful. CO may have options to help that you aren't aware of without asking. Don't know.

    You don't say whether the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) specializes or has a lot of experience dealing with military families. If they don't I would definitely try to get someone from the hospital medical social work or family liaison or chaplain to go to bat for you. If the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) isn't military-oriented they are not too likely to get the scope of your concerns or take them seriously. I do.

    I would document your concerns about your daughter's proposed return home in a letter to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) administration, her caseworker/SW, and anyone else you think appropriate. Have husband sign it too, even if you have to FAX it to him at a Kinko's so no one in his unit knows about it. You need to present a united front.

    I would emphasize her continuing to cut while deliberately deceiving staff about it and her failure to participate in a meaningful way in therapy, which you had understood was a basic requirement for rising to level 1.

    You may want to offer that you would agree to a group home placement, therapeutic foster care or other appropriate out-of-home placement if the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is no longer able to meet her needs.

    Good luck.
  4. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    Maybe a thorough exam by a physician to uncover the evidence of recent cutting?