At the end of my rope, ready to pop a vein in my forehead

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Farmwife, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Sorry for the long post, I'm at my wits end for real this time.

    I've been through a lot trying to parent a difficult child, we all have. There are highs and lows. Today I am certain was and will remain the single most frustrating day ever. I cannot put into words the extreme sense of rage that is consuming me right now.

    Some background: difficult child had an outburst several months ago in which he got physical with me. I was trying to redirect him outside and away from infant easy child so he could calm down. It ended with him having a bloody nose, me calling the police and a trip to the hospital for him. He was not checked in for psychiatric evaluation. (2nd time we tried) DCFS was involved, a case was filed against me but came back unfounded. Even so we were offered services.

    (difficult child had outburst with difficult child, got physical a couple weeks ago. difficult child has a growing tendency to get physical)

    I thought the services were a miracle. I thought that suddenly a world of help was coming to my aide. Just at our darkest hour I felt saved. It wasn't like I expected things to be perfect. I just saw a tiny pin prick of light from the bottom of my abyss. I saw a smidgen of hope. The case worker seemed gung ho and acted like she was an advocate who could help relieve some of the immense pressure of securing adequate resources.

    Later I slowly discovered a bit at a time many things about our case worker and the counselors we were supposed to get help from.

    Case worker: Divorced (comes into play later) has a grown son who used to steal her narcotic pain pills for her back when he was a teen. He is now a drug addict and the worker still has back issues and is still on narcotics. I know some people have legitimate pain and medication issues but I also can smell a functional addict when I meet one.

    Counselor for me because I apparently am the problem: Spent 6 sessions taking my colorful history, spent 3 sessions b.s.'ing with me (she was very cool by the way) and then had to quit because …get this…she didn't have reliable transportation so got a job elsewhere?!?!?!

    Counselor to help with teen issues in home: Wore flip flops to my house, put her feet up on my couch, flirted at my sweet oblivious husband, took cell phone calls and oh so much more. Has a troubled teen herself that she can't control, is an 'expert' because she works at a group home with troubled teens, one of which went after her with a sharp object and cut her. Counselor missed a session with me because her daughter got into trouble. Counselor was openly hostile about ex (yes we discussed HER problems not mine) and daughter is a pawn.

    Oh yeah, these were the experts who came to my aide.

    I called caseworker to discuss infant easy child's sleep issues and anxiety. Mentioned that husband and I decided that difficult child cannot stay here any longer if he has even a single more violent outburst witnessed by infant easy child.
    Here is what she told me:

    *Difficult teens are normal. If every parent of a difficult teen turned them over to the authorities where would they go?
    *Infants are resilient and she should be just fine growing up around a violent and abusive family member. Things fall off of counters and scare babies all the time.
    *At least my kid isn't as bad as some like hers who stole drugs so stealing food is a blessing.
    *My marriage is on the verge of divorce because I don't know how to handle stress, maybe husband and I need counseling.
    *difficult child only acts out at home so maybe I am the problem (didn't outright say it but came real close)
    *He doesn't have outbursts often so it shouldn't be a problem around the baby, maybe I should prevent them.
    *If I 'lock out' difficult child and the agency has to take him I will have a founded abuse case against me and it will prevent me from getting certain jobs or licenses.
    *Only way they will step in and help me protect welfare of infant easy child is if he outright hurts her. Apparently emotional abuse and trauma is okay.
    *The baby's emotional well being and right to a safe home free of outbursts does not over ride my obligations to difficult child.
    *There are no alternatives besides private pay boarding school. Residential care is for kids who are really messed up like the ones who masturbate in front of their classroom or shove things in their rectum for attention and need surgery (actually told me that, seriously).

    There was so much more but I cannot put into words, it was seriously that long and idiotic of a conversation.

    Apparently I am a drama queen and am exaggerating the seriousness of difficult child problems. Clearly if he really were a difficult child everyone else would see the signs. Since he is only abusive at home I must be the problem and be the one who needs help. My baby daughter will grow up fine because it's normal for babies to be around people who are violent, throw tantrums and objects and scream at the top of their lungs. This has all got to be true because the state paid worker who has the power to take my kids decided it.

    …and think of all the energy I wasted thinking that my easy child had a mood disorder and other issues. I'm out of my mind, it's all my fault and I should really get help so I can be a better parent and not make up reasons to whine about average every day teen problems. I'm lucky my normal mood disorder teen isn't stealing narcotics from me. 'easy child' stealing from me and breaking my things is just a normal part of life.

    Think I'm going out to celebrate that.

    Do you hear me people, we ARE NORMAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    :cheers: Well dang, it's so nice that we're all a part of that same glorious club! Sheesh. I'm sorry about the utter and complete lack of support from these so-called service people. How incredibly frustrating!!!
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I am so sorry.

    Sadly, I am not surprised to hear you story. Who the heck are the other kids that these caseworkers are helping that your difficult child seems like a typical teen?

  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so not surprised you got this advice from social workers who are employed through social services...sad to say. I used to work there and some of the social workers ended up social workers simply because they had 4 year degrees...not even in social work! Yeah...go figure!
  5. Emily1

    Emily1 New Member

    I can totally relate to you. Me, We, husband have been accused of this as well. We are to blame for everything. I had a CPS worker tell me to call the "DR. Phil show". I cannot believe this. Our son's therapist blames the school at this moment for our son being in Juvenile detention.

    I just take it 1 minute at a time.

    Hope you can find reliable good help for you and your family.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    How utterly frustrating! ((((Hugs))))
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Are the counselors assigned through Social Services?

    If so, find another agency - find a psychologist connected to the medical field. You can ask your son's doctor which psychologists he recommends. Social Services seem to try to smooth things over - they can't change the kids so they try to change the parent. I doubt they really understand the medical side of what is going on. The message they are sending you is harmful to everyone in the picture. Hiding from the problems will only have you walking on egg shells in no time flat. Avoiding a situation at any cost is what Social Services wants you to do. That will NEVER help your son. He needs someone who really cares about him and your family - not counselors who are just showing up and telling you everything will be o.k. if only YOU make sure your son doesn't behave in such a way. If that was possible, you wouldn't be in this situation.

    I think I would also be very tempted to write a letter to the head of Social Services (Those so called counselors have supervisors) about the "services" or lack there of that these "employees" gave you. Put in the letter, "How does so and so's hostility over her ex have ANYTHING to do with my family and getting help for my son? Your employees are more interested in counseling themselves that finding help for us. I request that we are assigned to new counselors who can focus on their jobs and not bring their own personal problems into the picture." Include the list you gave us and how you know this advise is so far off the mark that the supervisors (or management) needs to hear how their employees are not doing their jobs well.

    You need to find a pychologist who has a good working relationship with a psychiatrist. A team who is really dedicated to discovering what is going on with difficult child and can help him with both the medicines and the behaviors.

    My Diva was violent at times during her pre-teen years. Her attitude toward difficult child I am very sure fed into if did not create his anxiety. Your little easy child does not understand what is going on, but I can bet she will grow into an anxiety disorder just from the fear she lives in day to day. You don't have to understand what is going on to FEEL the tension in the house. Babies and children are not resilient to ongoing tension. They may display strength but some day it will come back to haunt them. Some day they will not be able to hold it together and will have to work through the violence in the home memories to grow.

    If you come to the point that you truly believe that difficult child would harm the baby, I think I would visit the court system and ask how restraining orders might work with siblings. It sounds strange but for some reason, that kept coming up in my thoughts as I read your post.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Okay a few things.....first of all captain flip-flop would have gotten a lesson in civility from MY biker fiance. I always love how women come into our home and think immediately that I'm a yutz and he's a "womanizer" because he's a biker and they will just swoon him with a few batts of the eyes. Nothing could be farther from that. What happens usually? He ends up telling them how immodest and embarrassing they are and that they either need to shape up and respect the woman of the house or leave. We share a home, not each other. Kapish?

    As far as her being this 'yippity yap' here's my problems? My body language would have changed. Sit straight, not defeated. Arms crossed -left over right - over your chest, at the edge of the couch, possibly one leg higher than the other and make direct eye contact. Then in a rather stern voice after she lets the conversation lag "I mean you no offense, but I rather thought you were here to discuss our problems, not yours. If you need counseling for your problems I have no suggestions as you were sent here as a help for our family, NOT the other way around. Can we continue or do we need to call someone else, and I would appreciate it if you could limit the interruptions - YOU are making me feel like we don't matter. Again - if you can't fulfill your obligation, let's just shut this down for tonight and reschedule with someone else. No hard feelings because I'm serious about getting help for my family."

    DO NOT THINK I HAVE NOT SAID IT. I have...and people have left my home. Fine---they weren't serious enough to help. I asked them to leave. I finally got serious people.

    Also....and love me/hate me....I do care. This is for your own good. (okay here goes) RELAX. Breathe. There is NO quick fix. There is no magic cure. There is no hospital stay that will do "it". There is no pill that will change him. There is no therapist that has the right answer today. There is nothing that you will do right today, there is nothing that you will do wrong today as a parent. He's got a mental /emotional disorder. It's staying. It's can't erase it. You can't put him there, and it's gone. I say this because I care....but time and time again in your posts I feel your heart breaking because you get so excited over "THE THING". THen the "NO, no this wasn't it." then "THE THING." and honey, it's breaking my heart to watch you. YOU don't understand how he can go from nice to ugly then nice to ugly repeat. Neither does he to a point. Imagine being him. Some of it? Yeah some of it he may be able to get help with - but....BUT this thing this "THE THING" he has? It's here to stay. It won't get fixed by next week, next year or maybe even in 10 years.

    With intense therapy, hospitals, doctors and 65 medications, us going to family therapy, and doing a billion things? MY family is just barely getting by and it's still iffy. Dude is 19. The biggest difference for me? I didn't give up hope, but I stopped thinking there was a cure, or a time limit on him getting well. I pray for maturity...I pray for common sense...hard knocks (and believe me those don't count for much considering what this kid has done to himself) and you have to KNOW any "normal thinking" kid would go - OMG jail time----prison time? NOT ME....and my kid looks at it and big deal, I don't care. THAT is not normal. But he means it. How do you reason with that? ---ya don't. So YOU (Mom) learn to detach, and deal in a manner that allows you to STOP thinking there is a magic something that will fix this insanity. Otherwise you'll end up like I did having a stroke at 42ish. A real one.

    He's going to get older.....YOU can get off the rollercoaster. Give yourself that. It hurts, it's hard, and the help that you're getting now? WOW....what a stretch to call it help huh? SO what do you do? BE THE WARRIOR MOM and don't let THEM walk on you. You don't need the stress of little miss flip flop in your house. The next time she comes? You don't want her there? SHUT THE FLIPPIN DOOR. You think she's flirting with your husband? ASK HIM to tell her to leave. If you keep her and she keeps talking about herself? TELL HER TO SHUT UP OR GO HOME. You're not her parents....and TELL HER - YOU DON'T CARE HOW THEY DO IT AT THE Residential Treatment Center (RTC). YOU HAVE HECK ON EARTH IN YOUR HOME. BIG FAT HAIRY DEAL. AND ..... infant will not grow up normal in a chaotic home.....(idiot) it can....possible, but there is the possibility for that child to grow up stressed out. Call your Dad ask him. I'd ask him if there is any strings he can pull to get your son in some kind of placement SOMEWHERE...YOU need a break.

    I'm sending you 1/2 of my moxi kiddo.....(hands smile too)

  9. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Thanks Star. I always hated the voice of reason.:D

    I fell into the trap of hoping for a cure. Seems crazy now to say that knowing full well there isn't one. The doctor said he could maybe outgrow this after the hormones fade. I kept feeling like his difficult childhood was my fault (essentially it is because I made very bad choices) and that if he turned out messed up it was my doing.

    I also spent 4 long, lonely miserable years trying to help ex husband. I knew he would never be well but I kept thinking, if only the next medication helps, if only he could stop being paranoid and realize he needed help...

    I HATE mental illness and the way you lose someone you love one tiny piece over an agonizingly slow amount of time. Most of the time they are too angry and lost to care. It's the care givers who watch the slow death of the person you knew and the birth of a beast you don't recognize. To make it even more cruel you may sneak of glimpse of your loved one like a ghost, just long enough to recognize how much you miss them before they fade and the beast consumes them again. It's like they wake up scared and confused and you want so much to reach out and save them. Then in an instant they're gone and hate you again.

    My difficult child will be the second I have lost this way.

    The funniest or saddest thing about it is that I have survived worse, many times. I just miss the part where life was about living not just about surviving.

    Mostly right now I weep for my baby. 10 months old, sleep issues and pulled almost a bald patch in the back of her hair due to stress. Of all the most painful things in life is to have to choose between saving one child or another. Then after the horrifying decision is made and the guilt is overwhelming realizing that you can't make that choice afterall, there is no real help. I can't afford boarding school, end of story.

    difficult child is infant easy child's favorite person. They have the closest sibling bond I have ever seen. They are like magnets and only seem whole when together. It is because of that I know no matter what choice I make the baby will suffer. The choice is growing up seeing how men are from dysfunctional difficult child 15 yeaqrs her senior or losing (being abandoned) by the one person who she loves the deepest.

    I don't want to sacrifice easy child in the hopes difficult child may improve. I don't have that choice. Even if I did it would haunt me to my death bed.

    I told DCFS where to put their services. My dad is mostly useless as he dumped plenty of dysfunction on me and works in the prison system. All he could suggest is agood parole officer...out of my home state.

    I just feel like a shadow of my former self. I'm not sure I will ever be the same after all of this. I miss the person I used to be before life stole my soul away. Maybe I'm depressed but can you blame me? I can't remeber the last time we were a happy family. Such a sad way for a baby to grow up.
  10. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I have to be honest with you Farmwife ~ this sounds like budget cuts, iffy hiring standards & such.

    Saying that, you cannot not hire someone because their child has a mental illness or the worker takes pain medications. Whether she's a functional addict doesn't come into play. I've fired in home tdocs because of their simplistic "cure" that never came.

    I'd hang onto those services - then I'd become real good friends with whichever of your team seems to be the best advocate of the group. Then you teach them how to be an advocate. I had to do it with my team - also after all these years, neither of my tweedles are cured. They are waxing & waning depending on the season, their moods, etc, etc, etc ,

    wm has a team of 13 very commited professionals; kt has a team of 8. It took me years & I now know I can count on these individuals.

    Settle down, take some deep breaths & rethink the situation.
  11. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    I get what you're saying but they both have had to miss work/appointments with me, always show up late when I am waiting, don't return calls etc. They were more unprofessional than should be tolerated by their employer. My point wasn't to discriminate against an addict or parent of troubled teen. The problem was that they obviously weren't experts if one admittedly bad mouths her ex to her obviously troubled teen who she can't control and the others son became an addict via an illustrious start using Moms medications. Not exactly people I want teaching me how to be a better parent. I quite honestly know more about them than they do me, intimate facts like one sleeps with her boxer who tears holes in her sheets with her claws, the addict son dropped the dog off at her house along with a parrot. The others daughter dyed her hair to make her mad and her ex's new wife creates havoc with her parenting.

    I know the job is stressful but I became the counselor.

    The DCFS workers are trained to help kids who are abused by bad parents not vice versa. I frankly got the creeps from their level of service. I was voluntary and grateful yet they made a big show of having to come check out my house several times and see the kids to make sure they are still breathing. There was no case against me, I handled a redirection of a mentally ill kid the best I can. They were just a resource for counselors, really really bad ones. I could have told them to shove off anytime which I just did.

    I don't have the time to train/nurture/coddle an advocate. I expend all of my gas fumes of energy in my empty tank on my own problems, you know? If I have to baby them along I may as well do it myself. With help like that who needs help? ;)

    I have other resources, a fantastic psychiatrist that everyone is amazed we could get in with. She is much sought after in our area.

    I have a church group who will be by next week for in home family sessions for a couple months followed by all the follow up mentoring we need. This person has a masters and good references.

    I'm not lost and alone just really mad that these people made empty promises. Ultimately all they did was drop a few phone numbers and waste a few months of my time on appointments for their counseling.:faint:

    I have just been through so much and didn't need the invasion of my privacy and worst of all false hope.

    False hope they fed me...special school, special counselors...oh yeah we'll handle it all. Everything is going to be alright. We have advocates, education specialists etc. etc.

    I didn't need to be told that. It was all smoke and mirrors.
  12. BeyondWeary

    BeyondWeary New Member

    Ah yes, my father used to tell me that people in the mental health field went to school to FIGURE THEMSELVES OUT! I have met some real wackos too! :crazy2:

    How true - and we are supposed to have nerves of steel and the patience of a plaster (not plastered) saint when dealing with our difficult child's!

    Down with parent abuse!!!

    Hang in their pen pal! I hear 'ya! ;)
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I think the trouble is, there's one huge pigeonhole they put everyone into, regardless of the original reasons or circumstances of the referral.

    There must be some good people in that system, because good people start somewhere. But a system like this could also so easily become the repository for all the bad workers, therapists and counsellors, the ones who just go through the motions or have too many issues themselves. Sure, you could complain up the chain of command, but when a mob gets this rotten, they tend to protect one another.

    All I can suggest, is to get an independent professional opinion which you can wave under the noses of these people to say, "Look! We aren't the usual mob, our starting point is actually here, not over there. Now let's get on with some real work here."

    A lot of the stuff you described sounded to me like staffers who already knew that you were further down the path than they could help; so they simply got out of it what they could (ie a job done, a pay slip tendered).

  14. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Budget cuts in social work is nothing new. Over the past 20 plus years, there have been less and less staff available to do more and more work just like every government office. They are overwhelmed and the only reason some stay on is because it is a government check - more than likely those in small towns are making more than any other job in that town. They get burned out and pretty soon just show up and do a minimal job to get that pay check - doesn't matter if it is a job well done or not - very very very difficult to get fired. (clarification: Not all workers but enough to make the system miserable)

    Case workers have loads that are unmanageable. My largest gripe are the people who are dropped so easily from assistance. Why are they dropped? Because they don't do their paper work. Understandable (they don't want to, they don't understand, ect) but WHY is the case worker not making sure the paper work is done? There are so many people who are unable to understand or even care that when they are given something via the mail to complete, they best complete it. This can be solved by calling their case worker for help but they don't want to be bothered putting the effort into contacting their worker (especially if there is not a good relationship between the two - some workers come across very bossy). They think the worker should be keeping their financial open no matter what and who cares if the coverage is dropped, someone will take care of them. (note - I am saying SOME people have this attitude - not all)

    So, hundreds of people have their assistance terminated because they do not complete the review. Then, when they loose that income or have a medical need to fullfill, the process of reapplying starts all over. They are not allowed to use the previous info, they must complete an entire new app. Thus thousands and thousands of government hours are wasted on getting people back on assistance that should never have been dropped.

    Case workers are given way too many cases to keep on top of to be trying to contact their people to offer help in keeping the assistance open. Way too many to actually be of real help. Like in everything, you will have those workers who are fantastic and really do care and really do work for your benefit but you will also have many who just are not a good fit for the job.

    There is a bigger push to get people to be more responsible for themselves. That is fine and dandy, but there are so many people out there that can not receive a confusing letter in the mail and understand it. (Have you seen those state health care notification letters? Why can't they just put it simple, "you need to fill out:" "You have been approved", whatever - they are not written in everyday language for every person to understand.

    I really believe social workers should have time to meet with their people and make sure everything stays current. They should have time to track down their clients and let them know the form is on its way, would you like help?

    I don't think Farmwife is saying these people are not capable because of their personal lives, I think she is saying they are uncapable because of how they bring their personal life into the job. Sure, people with those home issues CAN do a great job at work IF they are not bringing the issues up with their clients.

    I don't think a lot of social services counselors are trained or capable of dealing with behavioral health issues. They try to send the message, "Live a better life - make better choices - and all will be well." They have no clue of when someone may not be able to make better choices because of a medical condition such as ADD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, ect. They really don't have time to learn about each of their cases and do a good job.

    Every person deserves a good counselor. Like Farmwife stated, if you are in the position of needing help, you should not have to be training the help. And when the help is so far into the unprofessional behaviour, you don't hang on to them and try to pretend that they are of any assistance. She has her own kids to work with, she doesn't have to teach the teacher.

    And like everything else, this is NOT an everything or nothing situation. Not all counselors are this horrid!
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Farmwife, I would still write a letter of complaint. It may not go anywhere but how else will the supervisors know and get this into their personal records if they don't hear about it? If the agency gets enough letters maybe it will come up in a review somewhere down the line. If the agency does decide this person is not a good fit for the job, this letter can be used in a dismissal case. It may not standing alone but if enough are gathered you never know.
  16. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    I would love to file a letter of complaint believe me. I am usually the type to make things known be they good or bad.

    However, I now have an adversarial relationship with a woman who has the authority to yank my kids out of my home. difficult child has outbursts that are often on the verge of requiring intervention by law enforcement or the worker in some form or fashion.

    Essentially he needs redirection away from babys presence when he is violently beligerent. It turns into a scuffle. A fist fight between a 15 year old and a parent doesn't look well for the parent. We do what we can to be gentle but he likes to escalate things. He is also 6'2" and has a disorder. The cops can see it but there is a mandate that requires the information be forwaded on to DCFS.

    DCFS and I did not have an amicable parting. I fear a future visit from them. They have the power to make my life a living H e double hockey sticks.

    Sure I could fight it, sure I could get a lawyer but the hassle is hardly worth it. If they stepped in and I won a law suit it would still be many months of unimaginable worry, stress and trauma if they took the baby. I would literally end up in a psychiatric hospital or prison if someone took my baby. I would snap, flat would be the straw on this camels back in a very ugly way. (there is a long painful history leading up to my blessing easy child. None of which apply to this forum) Needless to say but I seriously pity the fool that ever tries to come between her and I.

    edited to add: I really am stable and not planning on acting the fool. I just have a very short fuse when it comes to someone messing with my bear cubs. My protective maternal instincts have always been on overdrive.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  17. Bean

    Bean Member

    I don't have much to add to what everyone else has already said so well, but I know your pain, your stress. I'm working with a PO right now who has a completely different take on things and has not been of much help to my kid. It's been rough. Sometimes I just feel like the system sucks, and ultimately it is up to the individual.
  18. Alttlgabby

    Alttlgabby New Member

    Apparently I am a drama queen and am exaggerating the seriousness of difficult child problems. Clearly if he really were a difficult child everyone else would see the signs. Since he is only abusive at home I must be the problem and be the one who needs help. My baby daughter will grow up fine because it’s normal for babies to be around people who are violent, throw tantrums and objects and scream at the top of their lungs. This has all got to be true because the state paid worker who has the power to take my kids decided it.

    I feel for you! I really do! I am having one of those days as well today, although my daughter is not violent, she does steal, lie, sneak, etc... today I found my oldest daughter's graduation tassel in her pencil holder.. totally DESTROYED! Yesterday, she got money from some boy at school to go to the basketball game after school and claimed he was her "friend" yet couldn't tell me his name and she had no classes with him! And after I told him NOT to give her anymore money... she gets MORE money from him for candy, knowing that I am sitting up in the bleachers! @@ And how is it that these kids KNOW EXACTLY what they are doing, yet make excuses for their behaviors...and they snow the teachers at school into thinking they are just the sweetest thing you ever saw? :mad: