At wits end...what are my options?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Where to now?, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Where to now?

    Where to now? New Member

    My 16 year old daughter has just come out of a month of residential treatment at a behavioral heath center which made no difference whatsoever to her attitude or behavior and the insurance won't pay for any more. She was doing 6 hours a day "partial hospitalization" therapy before and is doing it again. She is on three different medications and diagnoses range from depression/bipolar/borderline to "she's a teenager." She is constantly suicidal and cutting and when she gets 2 seconds on the internet she finds a strange man to hook up with and has them drive to my house where she meets them at the end of the drive. Tonight I caught her sneaking out (for the umpteenth time) and once again the loser (they are all different losers) did not even show up. She doesn't care about the danger she puts herself in but insists it's the only thing that makes her happy (Brief bad sex with an uncaring stranger). She has no friends. Frankly she's not very nice and only wants to talk about herself so this is not a big surprise. She has had no phone for ages and no access to internet but during a visit to her dad she found a library computer and made her plans (I told him not to leave her unattended, but I suppose that was too much work for him.) She has had a very privileged life and while her dad and I divorced when she was 10 it is not acrimonious and I always call and involve him when stuff happens. She was on the phone with him tonight...while standing in the dark at the end of the driveway while I waited.
    She has been violent to me, put pictures of her private parts on the internet, has a very volatile temper, stolen from me and from stores...basically she's a nightmare. She turns 17 in July so unfortunately I cannot throw her out of my house as my gut tells me to since she is a minor. Despite all the help we have found for her the situation seems hopeless. She has been in therapy and on medications for nearly 2 years. She has always done well in school and been very ambitious but that is on the rocks after her residential stay.

    I'd really like to just tell her to leave and close the door behind her. Yes she is in emotional pain but I have no idea how to help her and she's destroying my life. I feel like she's going to end up dead one way or another. She really needs to be locked up in a therapeutic setting but without the insurance paying it is unaffordable. (If anyone knows an affordable place please tell me. The ones I've looked into are 60K+++ a year). Besides, the place she was just at, despite being expensive and luxurious, seemed disorganized and chaotic and she managed to get into both sexual and violent incidents there. I suppose when you put a group of unstable teenagers together bad things happen.

    What are my options? She is a minor and the next year and a half until she turns 18 seems like an eternity in hell. I would gladly turn her over to the state to be raised by professionals or just people with deeper resources of compassion than me but I don't believe that is a thing. On her third emergency visit to the mental hospital they just wanted to turn her around and send her home and I refused to come so they said they would call Child Services to my house. What would happen to me if I refuse to parent her any more? Her dad also wants to relinquish parental rights. Clearly we are unfit parents that we are even considering this, but I don't suppose they'd see it that way.

    What are my options? Do I have any at all? Or do I have to put up with her drama and strangers coming to driveway/into my house while I'm out until the day she finally kills herself in my house?

    At my wits end.....
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so very sorry that you are dealing with all of this. I know it must seem very hopeless. I really wish I could give you a great solution to help you manage this.

    Have you ever filed charges on her for stealing from you or being violent to you or damaging your property? When she does have these strangers come to have sex with her, if they are adult men, did you ever have the police involved with her? To help her see that the consequences could be very dangerous to her?

    One way to get some resources for help is to get the cops involved. I don't know that it will really accomplish anything long term though. It will make her very angry at you and it will strain your relationship. It may even damage it permanently. That is something you have to think about. I am pretty sure I would take that risk if my child was putting himself or herself in such hugely dangerous situations, but I am a nut for safety issues.

    Something you can do is to go to your County Courthouse and speak to the Court Clerk to ask about a CHINS petition. This is a CHild In Need of Supervision. It means your child needs a probation officer and would the county assign one. You could also try to get her into one of those "Scared Straight" type of programs where they visit the jail. I don't know if you feel that would be appropriate.

    Have you thought about the dangers to yourself if she is bringing strangers into your home? You may want to speak to the police to see what your legal options are if you encounter a stranger in your home having sex with your daughter. What if he is aggressive? How will you know if she invited him or not? What can you do to make him leave? What are her rights and what are yours? I would do this when she is NOT at home.

    Why not make her go live with her father? I personally would feel very unsafe if my child was bringing strangers home, especially random people she met online for sex. I would not be able to live with her if she could not stop doing that. I just personally would not be able to handle it. It might upset my child, and maybe my ex, but my child would have to go live with my ex where he could deal with the random strangers. It would be FAR safer, and maybe he would see that she truly does have problems that require him to give the supervision that you asked him to provide.

    I did manage to find a placement in a Boy's Home for my son that would be at no charge to us. It was one of the best places for troubled boys in my state. We wound up making another choice, but I will tell you how I got the placement and the scholarship (it was for 4 years, all of high school). It started with my son being very violent and not being able to live at home any longer. I had to have the cops remove him because he was fixated on killing his little sister, and beating me to death because I was the obstacle between them. He was 14, but bigger and stronger than I was. He just wasn't meaner yet. Even the cops were afraid that one of us was going to end up dead very soon.

    I got a notebook and wrote down the name of a couple of people who might know the names of programs that would take my son. 2 were priests/reverends at our churches, 2 were counselors that I knew either through school or that we had seen for therapy. I called them and told them very briefly why I needed a placement for Wiz (my son). When they didn't have a name, I asked if they knew anyone who might know of a placement. I wrote those names down.

    If I teared up when I told our story, I tried to be composed but to let the emotion show in my voice. I didn't hide the fact that I was terrified that I might end up with a destroyed family. I was desperate and let it show. I kept track of each place that I called, the person that I spoke to or wanted to speak to, the time I called, if I left a message, and if I needed to call back. I always asked if they knew of anyone who might know of a placement.

    I spent 2 days making these phone calls and filled a 1 subject notebook. I ended up with a bed in a home that is incredibly hard to get. We would have had to participate in the program and do some volunteer things that they ask all parents to do (if the boys have parents), but that was the only cost to us.

    I will say that the next couple of years are going to be very hard on you. I would strongly suggest reading "Parenting Teens With Love & Logic" and other Love and Logic books. They might help you give her some logical consequences for her actions. This probably won't change her actions much, but it will help prepare her for the real world where there WILL be consequences for what she does.

    Birth control should be one thing that you make a top priority for her. Preferably a method that she does NOT have to think about every day. The shot that lasts for months, or an IUD or the implant that lasts several years if she can tolerate it. Something that will take care of the issue so that you don't end up with an infant to raise also. She is nowhere near ready to handle an infant. Many parents with difficult daughters have gone so far as to pay or bribe their daughters to have long term birth control. If this is something you can afford, and are willing to do, and she is resistant to birth control, I would strongly suggest this. Sadly, even at age 16, if she decides she wants a baby, she can choose to get pregnant and keep the baby. Guess who gets to pay for it? Mom and Dad do!!!!! Or should I call them Grandma and Grandpa!

    I am glad you found us. It is a shame that I couldn't give you more positive information about finding a residential placement. Others will come along soon with more information and advice.
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  3. Ugh! I’m so very sorry you are going through this.

    Our lives were very chaotic due to our son. We enrolled him in a boarding school for juvenile teens. Yes, it is expensive but the past 12mo have been so peaceful! His school definitely has an institutionalized feel and I wish he would receive more therapeutic care, however he’s not a willing participant. But it does offer us solace knowing he is safe, not on the streets, having a warm place to sleep and regular food to eat.

    Have you discussed emancipation with her? You would have to go through a lawyer/court but you would no longer be held responsible for her.

    Can you get a bank loan to assist paying for a boarding school?

    I hope you are able to get some plans in place and find some relief. Hugs to you!
  4. Where to now?

    Where to now? New Member

    Thanks for your response Susie and I really appreciate you sharing your experience. I did start keeping a diary of my experiences with her and used detailed accounts from it to get her into residential. Of course barely 3 weeks later now she's back thanks to the insurance company.

    I have involved the police by calling 911 twice to have her taken to the mental hospital. The last time she was taken to the mental hospital handcuffed in a police car. Nothing seems to get through to her. I don't think she can be scared straight, unfortunately. It's sad that hoping she'll do something that I could get her arrested for is actually starting to seem like an option. I saw a petition against for-profit juvenile detention in my state and my first thought was--this exists? How do I get her into it? I am opposed to for-profit prisons so this tells you what my mental state is. Mostly the stuff she does is not something that's actually a crime as although the men are adults a 5 year age gap is legal in my state for sex. Her theft is petty shoplifting or forging a check for $31 or something. In my experience calling the police for unrelated petty crimes I find they're uninterested.

    I'd been wondering about the CHINS possibilities so thanks for that. I just looked up my state website. Looking at the relevant statute it looks like they will send social workers to my house to talk to us and then bill me for it. In your situation there was an imminent threat to life and limb and I don't have that to get anyone excited. I fully understand the dangers to myself from her sex activities and social workers at the mental hospital have made that clear (with vivid local examples) to her but she just doesn't care. I may call them and talk about the options for an "ungovernable youth" but I'm not too optimistic that we would get us anything more than another motivational speech.

    I'm not even sure that paid residential treatment facilities will take her as she is suicidal and probably quite capable of killing herself and that seems to be a no-no for everywhere (I have just spent hours online looking).

    I've begged her father to take her but he won't. His uncaring attitude is likely one source of her issues to begin with. Also, he lives in NYC so that would give her many opportunities to find trouble.

    I will look into the Love and Logic books. I've already taken away every possible privilege so short of locking her in a dog crate (don't worry, I won't!) I don't really have anywhere to go with consequences.

    I 100% agree about birth control. The pill made her even crazier so I need to get something non-hormonal and long-term arranged asap.

    I'm sorry to sound so hopeless and I do appreciate the feedback and shared wisdom. In my case I suspect that what she's doing is not scary enough to get us real help.

    If I could find a cheap residential program--preferably in the wilds of Alaska--to send her to until she turns 18 that would be ideal. It would have to be one that takes people with a mental health diagnosis, though, which seems to rule out nearly all of them. And most are for boys only. I wish I could find a way to actually help her but right now that feels hopeless. She is going to her 6 hour Partial Hospitalization therapy today.
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    If you call CPS and ask for help, they will try. I had a really bad situation with an adopted child once and they were amazingg and paid for every bit of help for our family and put the boy in residential treatment and severed the adoption. Until it was severed, which rarely happens but his abuse to our littles was very severe, we just had to pay child support. So one way to state residential treatment at low cost is CPS. But it looks better if you are the one asking for help than if somebody turns you in, although even then they will help. It is for your peace of mind mostly. If she had been like this since early childhood this may just be how she is and she would have to want to change very much and be willing to work hard in order for any therapy to help.

    Did Daughter have any very early chaos and changes in caregivers or see or experience abuse in the first three years of her life? Is there any mental illness or criminal behavior on either side of his biological family tree?

    I am sorry you are going through this.
  6. Where to now?

    Where to now? New Member

    Thanks Looking for Peace. A boarding school looks like the best option to me. The trick is finding one that takes girls with mental health issues. There seem to be way more of them for boys. We would do emancipation if it were possible but in our state it is almost never granted. If there's an affordable boarding school anywhere on earth that would take her and keep her until she's 18 I'm interested!!

    Thanks SomewhereOutThere. I will look into CPS. She doesn't have any trauma at all other than divorce, which was about as untraumatic as they can be. She has had a very privileged and peaceful childhood. I suspect authorities will look differently on a biological child and tell me to suck it up--I have heard this from a mental hospital nurse who was horrified that I had been mean enough to take my daughter's phone away! When I told them she was violent toward me there attitude was "that was yesterday, today we will release her". I will certainly investigate, though. I appreciate the input.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  7. Unhappymom

    Unhappymom New Member

    I am so sorry to read about your issues. I have dealt with these same problems since my son was 5 yrs old. Hes 40 took years of enabling, stress and financial ruin to finally cut ties with him. Its been 3 months, so pretty recent. I am a psychiatric nurse and deal with others having these issues. You'd think i' d have all the answers....nope. My son in his teenage years, was verbally and physically abusive. He threatened to put a gun to our heads. We slept in our bedroom with the door deadbolted. He had complete control over my life and and my home. He stole from us, got kicked out of one school after the other. I called child protective services and was told hes not abused or in danger. They couldnt care any less. We had a 2 yr younger son in the home. I intervened between the two as the older one was attempting to harm him. I got pushed away and as a result fell and broke by ankle. I pressed charges on him for simple assault and he was arrested. We had peace in our home that night. When my court date came and we went before the judge FINALLY there was someone who listened to my story. He court ordered child protective services to remove him from my home.and find a placement for him. All was well, we visited him. He caused problems in each home he was sent to. At age 17 child services deposited him on my front door step. Here we go again.. not their problem anymore.
    Fast forward the next 20 years. Its been money for rent, cars, food. Hes done illegal things that i dont know much about other than someone is always looking for him. With IRS, DMV and various other places looking for him he left the county....still...didnt abide by that countrys laws and was deported back to my doorstep. Passports, dental work.etc and several thousands of dollars later we flew him back "home". I have enabled this guy his whole life by never allowing him to find his own solutions to his problems....we put him through counseling, refused.medications for his explosive behavior..he is manipulative and exptremely smart. Theres always a threat of killing himself if i dont send him money. He has sucked every ounce of happiness out of me to the point he is on my mind 24/7 with worry. I cant live my own life because im too usy fighting his battles. I finally said 3.months ago thats it. He contacted me that he needed 3k for.medical treatment for a broken arm..i.cant now be responsible for his medical expenses out of pocket because he chooses to be irresponsible.and make poor decisions with his life. I blocked him on mine and his dads phone. Ive closed my facebook and messenger accounts. The saying "What you allow...will continue." Is displayed in my home to remind me every day. It was tough around the holidays not communicating with him., but he has disrespected me, used me and financially drained me. At age 64 i need to be happy, you do too. If u can get child protective services involved (you.didnt say if there was a younger home) or elder abuse if a child is abusing a parent.....or.... the next time she threatens to harm herself have her taken to the local hospital for a 72 hour hold for evaluation. If she is a danger to her self or others which it appears from what youve said, she is....1 screening document and one psychiatrist is all that is needed to have her commmited (in most US states) where she will get the needed psychiatric help. I wish you well. Its not easy.
  8. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Unhappy Mom;

    I have no words to ease your pain and trouble. I just want you to know you are not alone. Please know this. We are mother’s first and foremost. And it is a wonderous miracle that we ever succeed in detaching and not enabling.

    Where to

    I am hopeful you are able to find a good residential school for your daughter. Be good to yourself and I hope you find some peace.

    You are not alone. Big hugs.
  9. I think I sent you a personal msg. Did you receive It? I'm new....not sure what I'm doing.
  10. Midwest

    Midwest New Member

    I don't know about the laws in your state, but the way my daughter was finally removed from our home was when we wouldn't allow her into the house unless we inspected her purse. She was living with her Dad and he knew she had a weapon (large knife) and drugs, and he told her she would not be allowed into the home until she turned them over along with her phone. She of course would not, so we called the police. They told him to let her in the house and he refused without first getting the drugs, weapon, and phone. She would not. So, they called me to get her. I refused and said I would not come and get her unless she gave up her purse and turned over the weapon, drugs, and phone. So the police actually hung up on me, and told my husband they would prosecute him for locking her out of the house. He said "GO FOR IT". So she went to a temp foster home, CPS became involved, and we told them the story of the years of her abusing us and her refusal to take medication. We were threatened repeatedly by CPS and I provided written statements from a therapist and her psychiatrist that she was a danger to myself and my minor child. They still tried to get me to take her back and I refused until they could give ME a written statement by a psychiatrist that she was no longer a danger to us. Of course there's no way they could ever get that. After that I hired an attorney and that's the only way I finally got CPS off my ass. So, she remained in foster care for 2 years although she was put in residential for awhile, but she took off from there and then the residential facility put her in juvenile detention because she took a phone and various other things when she broke out of there. Last fall however she ran away and moved across country. She now calls us as she's come to realize we are the only people ever really cared about her....and she has a job, a place to live, and food to eat and that's probably the best that I can hope for.

    It's hard to write and say that as her sister is a brilliant professional, and both my husband and I are professionals. She was always difficult as a child, but once puberty hit it's like she completely lost her mind. I hope some day she will change but at this point, we're good with how things are now. I know that sounds pathetic, like we're the worst parents in the world, but I've left out the years of us taking her to doctors, psychiatrists, therapist, mental hospitals, special schools, teachers, tutors, the list goes on. We are STILL after almost three years still paying medical bills and legal bills due to her and all we went through. And I know this sounds horrible, but I'd rather pay the bills than have her in my house. Last time I saw her in person she jumped on me, beating me in the face while her foster father pulled her off of me. We took her for a visitation and she wanted me to take her to her boyfriend house and I refused as I only had approval to take her to eat and then back to her home. She calls me on the phone now, but only when she wants money. And I usually only answer about 50% of the time.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You do NOT sound pathetic!!!! You sound like an AMAZING parent to an incredibly difficult child! You still answer that phone sometimes when she calls for money. Not every time, as you know it can upset you and there are times that you just don't want to cope with all of it, but you do answer that phone sometimes. That is INCREDIBLE!! When you consider all the things she put you through, it is amazing you answer that phone at all!

    I had a violent child who would abuse me (such a tame word, abuse, for all the he(( they put us through, isn't it?) and I know, truly know, how hard it is. I also know how hard it is to pay those bills when they didn't accomplish anything. Sometimes just writing a check for one of those bills could trigger a flashback for me. I really resented having to keep paying for "help" that didn't accomplish anything. I hope the bills are easier for you than they were for me.

    A large part of me felt like a horrible parent for a lot of years, especially when my son's problems kept getting worse. Then my son went into a psychiatric hospital for a fairly long stay (12 weeks). I learned something there. Most parents of kids like ours are NOT involved with them. You took your daughter to all kinds of therapy. You did what you could to help her. Heck, you are here asking us how to help her. Many parents just don't care enough to do that. They just let the kid go and figure she will "grow out of it" or that it is "just a phase". You are one of the really great parents. She is lucky to have a mom like you. There are a lot of moms out there who wouldn't answer the phone after all she has done. You still do. That is actually quite a lot. Keep up your boundaries, don't tolerate any abuse from her. It is probably good that she went out into the world and got to see that most people would not tolerate her behavior. I am willing to bet she had to learn some hard life lessons, and still has some to learn. Let her learn them.

  12. Midwest

    Midwest New Member

    Thank you Suzie! What you wrote is probably the nicest thing anyone has said to me over this whole ordeal. Thus said, I don't talk about it to anyone except my husband and my attorney. And if you want to hear one the most ridiculous part of this story, get this. CPS ordered us to go to therapy to try and "mend" the relationship. This therapist told me my expectations were too high because they had determined that she had experienced "birth trauma" and all of this was the result of them using forceps when she was born. So the doctor was at fault and she wasn't to blame for any of her choices and never would be. She went on to tell me how she had another patient who kept calling himself "trash" and that was the result of his mother leaving him in a dumpster as a newborn. He "remembered" that and now all of his actions are the result of him living up to his memory.

    I laughed in her face. But I went on to every one of my scheduled therapy sessions. She had to write a summary for the judge who was involved and her summary said that while I was compliant, she didn't believe that I "respected" her findings. It couldn't be that my daughter behaves this way because she has a long list of mental health disorders and won't take medication. NOPE. It's all because of birth trauma. And the entire time she was in CPS custody, (almost 3 years now) she went to the psychiatrist TWO TIMES and was never forced to take any prescribed medication.

    And do you want to know something even more ridiculous? Just YESTERDAY, I got paperwork from the court that she was no longer a ward of the state. She hasn't lived in their state for almost a year now, but all this time, the agency that CPS has managing their cases has been collecting money to "help" a kid they haven't laid eyes on. A few months ago, I finally had my attorney call the states attorney to clue her in on how this agency has been scamming the state. And my attorney told me that IN COURT the agency actually recommended that she "continue to be under their care and management as she needed their guidance!" She lives 20 hours away! They have had zero contact! And she's almost 19! So many wasted tax dollars.

    I could go on and on. Thanks for listening and for your kind words. I truly appreciate it.