Call from social worker

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JKF, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    So, to fill you in. difficult child has been in the psychiatric hospital for a week for threatening suicide. I've had minimal contact with him and haven't done any of the usual calling and trying to get him help, etc that I would normally do in the past. Why? Well, because at this point it's truly a waste of my time and energy. 1. difficult child doesn't want to follow through with anything and help himself and 2. He's burned all of his bridges and no one will help him anymore. So I sat back and did nothing and I've been 100% ok with that. I've actually had a very peaceful week. Until now.....

    The social worker from this psychiatric hospital just called me here at work. She was absolutely HORRIBLE! SO MEAN!! She was very judgmental right from the get go and said things like your son is homeless and mentally ill. Why won't you take him in? Why won't you or any other family members try to help him? I tried to explain and give her a brief history but she cut me off and was very rude. She said they are at a loss and they don't know how to help him. That THEY called MHA and OTA and neither will help him. She said he's burned all of his bridges. Really b*tch? NO f'ing kidding!!! Even though she was rude and trying to intimidate me and make me feel guilty, I was very firm with saying NO. At the end of the call, she basically hung up on me.

    This call triggered my PTSD big time. I had a full blown panic attack right after the call. Shaking, sweating, unable to breathe, dizzy. The works! It was so reminiscent of the hundreds of calls like this I've had in the past regarding difficult child.

    And to think, I lived like that for YEARS. Dealing with these people day after day, and call after call after call, having to explain myself over and over and over again. Panic attacks several times daily. Wow. This was a huge reminder that I don't ever want to live like that again. I've done a really good job at pulling away from my difficult child and I know in my heart it's the right thing to do at this point. It's been the hardest thing I've EVER done in my life and it's nearly destroyed me and the rest of my family but I've come a long way and I can't turn back. I love my son, I'm devastated that I can't help him, and it kills me that this is his life, but I KNOW I can't change his situation. I have to keep reminding myself of that.

    Anyway, sorry for the rambling and lack of structure with this post. My brain feels like jello right now and I just needed to vent.
  2. hopeandjoy66

    hopeandjoy66 Member

    Go ahead and vent. It does help. I do believe you did the right thing by standing your ground. You are worth as much as anyone else. As far as the social worker is concerned, at least from where we are, they are on a mission to get a bed opened up and that means setting something up so someone in the ph hos can be discharged. I think it is for them... whatever it takes to make this happen. Nothing is usually easier than preying on a guilt riddled mother, then when the strategy doesn;t work, they are totally pissed off. Good for you to hold your ground. Not your circus, not your monkey. You have already done the three ring circus for years. I am thinking about you and sending hugs.
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  3. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    It is frustrating to get those calls. I hate when my son's case worker calls me so that I can speak to him about whatever issue he is having at the time. If I could have gotten through to him before he landed there, he would not be there now.
  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    I'm sorry this happened to you. She was WAAAAYYY out of line. It is not your job to help an adult who has dug his own pit and has refused your help all along. In fact your parenting knowledge and experience tells you otherwise...that stepping in to bail him out now will enable and prolong his dysfunction (and make no mistake about it, it will).

    That she was accusatory or rude to you is unprofessional and inexcusable. I'm sure Hope is right, that she has a pay scale related to how many people she can clear out of the hospital each week. This is HER problem, not his problem, and not your problem. Remember THAT. HER problem. You definitely don't need to take on a strangers issues!

    I can also be brought to tears by the judgement of people working in this field. Fortunately the good ones "get" it, and don't ever go there. She isn't one of the good ones. YOU on the other hand, are fine!

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    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Bottom line - you held your ground under intense pressure. You didn't cave. Sometimes, they want us to make their jobs easier, and will use all their influence to convince us that we should warp our future for people who don't want to make an effort. I'm sorry you had such an extreme reaction and am sending gentle hugs your way. Take care.
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  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I wonder how many adult children like ours that she has.
  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Personally, I'd call or write to the hospital and complain. No one in any position has the right to be rude to you or question your decision to not take an adult into your home. I don't care who he is. What if he didn't have parents? What would she do then? If the parents are unable to deal with his issues, that's exactly how she needs to proceed. Her behavior was beyond unprofessional and I'd report it to whoever her superiors are, even if it's the administrator of the hospital.
  8. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    My sister was mentally ill and I saw the most passive/aggressive behavior on the part of the hospital staff it's amazing that such sick people are in charge of such sick people!:beafraid: Here is something to make you feel better - it was the Social Worker, not you!
  9. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Hugs JKF

    I hope you're feeling a bit better now.

    I agree with previous posters who suggest that this social worker has a heavy caseload and is looking for a soft option to unload her clients. You're not a soft option any more - and that's good.
  10. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    This is one of the major, MAJOR, things that brought me to my knees in torture. Calls, calls, calls from everybody, explaining it over, and over , and OVER again and deep down inside you just want to yell "**** YOU!!!!!" It is a form of HARASSMENT. Man, I can't even explain to you how the phone call thing was the WORST for me. I am getting PTSD just reading YOUR story. It's scary, horrible and torturous.
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  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Oh this brings back memories. I think every time I hear the words..."so are you Cory's M...." I would just about scream back..yes Im his mother, what of it?

    I had a social worker who must have gone to school with the one who called you. Cory was in the psychiatric hospital when he was 13 and was just being dxd with bipolar. I knew we only had a few short days to get as much info and action done as possible before they tossed him back at me. This stupid social worker wanted us to do a "family therapy" session with Tony, Cory, her and me. Cory was so zonked out on the medications they had him on he was barely alert. I got straight to the point of asking her pointed questions about services etc and she got mad because I wasnt playing nice nice with Cory. I wasnt hugging on him and all that. She actually asked Cory how it felt to have a mother who didnt love him and then told Tony that the only problem with Cory was I was a cold witch and he should take the poor boy and leave me behind...lmao. Tony laughed at her and asked if they could move in with her so she could help mend Cory's ways. She sputtered.

    Dont even get me started on social workers....I worked for social services and I have little use for them.
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  12. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Knowing what you have shared about going through because of JFK, it makes me angry that the social worker acted so horribly. I agree that a complaint should be made about her...complete with quotes of some of the things she said.

    ....and, I am so sorry that she caused you distress.
    I was so mad when I read your post last night. grrrrr
    There is no excuse what she did.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Do something fun.
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    OMG, Janet!!! I would have told her to take him...I'd give her permission. She could raise him for as long as she They don't understand that the things that they do make us feel cold toward them, especially if they are fresh from telling us how evil we are or that we should die.

    Although I have a lot of respect for GOOD and COMPASSIONATE psychiatrists and psychologists (that is about 15% of them), social workers are maybe behind people who refuse to work in prestige (this is my personal list They don't have the schooling of higher level mental health professionals yet they act like they understand the human brain and behavior. They don't have the intensive training to know that. I have had very bad experiences with them, both for my son and myself. CPS social workers are, in my experience, the absolute worst because they weld power over our children and many don't even have any children and certainly not children that behave like ours.

    JKF, do report her. How horrible for you to have to hear that garbage, especially after what you have been through with and for your adult child. You have done everything possible for him.

    This post reminds me of the mother of a friend of 36s who had normal children and a Brady Bunch attitude and called me to SCREAM (I do mean scream) because I made him leave. She asked, "Don't you want to TALK to your son?" I said no, I didn't. She blasted me for ten minutes. I listened. Nowadays I would have told her, "You have no idea of the circumstances" and just hung up, but that was then. Three weeks later she threw him out too. Haha. I got no apology. Granted, she is not a mental health worker, but we go through so much with our grown kids, make horrible, heart-wrenching decisions about them, and then we have to put up with this.

    I'm really sorry you had to deal with that.
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  14. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I'm completely flabbergasted. Really. No words.

    I'd have probably taken her head off.
  15. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Yes, and I agree that they mostly feel since they can't place them, if they can bully you into it they have done their job. That is what I meant by the passive/aggressive behavior. I was legal guardian for my sister who was both mentally ill and developmentally delayed. To say, when hospitalized in mental health they neglected her needs would be generous. Finally I REFUSED to place her in ANY mental health facility that could not also meet her physical needs as well. This prompted a call from the social worker asking me, "where am I suppose to place her where they can meet all her needs" It was priceless when I answered "exactly" Like I had some magical key to the door of "proper treatment" Cray-cray!
  16. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    JKF I am so sorry that you had to even go through that. I agree with you 100 percent. With the new pressures to get people out of the hospital and not readmit them for the same diagnosis, I am afraid this type of thing may increase.

    When my son was stabbed a few weeks ago, I went to the day shelter he frequents and talked to one of the social workers there. After we talked for a while and my exhusband and I decided to pay for a motel for a while for difficult child, the social worker turned to me and said: oh good that makes me feel better about. I was really wondering.

    I thought she was out of line and what she said hurt me but I didn't say anything.

    If people only knew the absolute h--- we have been through for nearly five years with him. And how much we have tried over and over and over...until we finally learned the absolute hardest way touching the hot stove again and again and again...I can't believe anybody would say things like that to any of us.

    We love our children so much.

    It is cruel and abusive---not to mention ignorant and unprofessional---for anyone to say things like that.

    I am sorry. Do something wonderful for yourself today JKF. We care and we're here for you.

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
  17. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so sorry JKF. After all you've been through and all you've done that woman's actions were inexcusable and in fact reprehensible. You did a stellar job of setting your boundary under severe circumstances.

    Be very kind to yourself now.

    I look at those kinds of things as helps me to redefine it in my own brain...........rather then feel like a victim of the person or the circumstances, I perceive it as a test for my own growth, so that I can see how far I've come in my own recovery, in my own healthy the world of gfgdom, you would get the purple heart for the courage it took, the strength it took and the power it took for you to stand your ground. For that you can celebrate your victory, you stood your ground under absurd circumstances of judgement and ignorance and you came out a winner. That's how I would view it JKF...........celebrate how far you've come to handle it the way you did.

    Sending you warm, caring thoughts today..........
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  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think there should be some rule that you MUST live with a difficult child as your responsibility for X years before you can be a social worker. I lost count of the number of absolute idiots that we dealt with. From the abusive to the parents ones to the 'he just needs regular beatings' ones, very few of the social workers were useful for anything at all. The best ones were often the ones hwo said outright that we found more resources than they knew of, and had already done way more than they could, so they could nto help us or judge us. Sadly, most of them thought they had the magic fix for our kids, and usually it amounted to giving the difficult child anything they wanted. I will say that even Wiz thought these 'solutions' were stupid. Mostly he found them stupidly hilarious, which made him egg the SWs into ever more stupid suggestions. Very few of them ever caught on to the manipulation, which makes me wonder how they train these people.

    Good for you for not falling for her abusive tactics. I would complain to the head of the hospital system that she works for. Not her boss, the BIG boss of the hospital. There is no call for such unprofessional treatment, and hospital heads HATE to be told that employees are abusive. Plus, your son is an adult, so really telling you everything likely violated his HIPPAA rights in some way which is another thing head honchos hate to hear! It is an easy way to get the hospital off your back, if nothing else.

    Next time, tell the SW that HIPPAA means that she cannot discuss your son with you, so she should call your son about this. Yes, your son is in hte hospital, but this is HIS business and not yours, so she should contact him. Give her the runaround, if nothing else it can be entertaining to hear them try to talk their way out of your circular logic. Or it can be to me, but I have an odd little mind when annoyed by mean people over issues like this.

    the large and small of this is that you don't owe your son anything. He is an adult and the sooner he stops depending on you, the sooner he will grow up and manage his own life. You did everything you could and then some, and he didn't respond to any of it. So now he needs to figure it out for himself because he sure won't listen to you except to manipulate and abuse you. You owe it to yourself to NOT sacrifice your life on the altar of his mental illness. If the SW doesn't like it, well, she can go talk to him or sacrifice her own life on the altar of his mental illness, Know what I mean??
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  19. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry.

    You are doing the right thing, and you handled it well!. If your son is ever going to change, he has proven that it will not happen as long as family is there to support him.

    That social worker has no stake in your son's future. You do.

    You are his mother, and you are doing the right thing for this child at this time. This is the thing that hasn't been tried.

    You did good, JKF.

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  20. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    I get so much strength from reading your replies. I sometimes read them over and over and it truly gives me peace. Tomorrow difficult child will be released from the psychiatric hospital and will be back on the streets. It's been such a peaceful 2 weeks. I gave him some phone numbers to shelters in the area where that particular psychiatric hospital is but he said that bc it's in a different county he can't go. I would think homeless is homeless in any county right? Perhaps I'm missing something.....

    Anyway, he called yesterday and asked me to buy him some warm clothes when he gets out tomorrow. I said that he needs to talk to the people at MHA and the soup kitchen and try to get clothing from them. I know they have clothing vouchers so he needs to go that route first. Plus, I honestly don't' have the money right now to buy him clothes and second, even if I did I really don't want to give him anything at this point. Not even warm clothing. Horrible huh? And to top that off I don't even want to see him. I truly don't. It's so hard for me to see him homeless. I don't have the strength to see him like that anymore and I'll definitely be continuing to keep my distance.

    Sometimes I feel like the worst mother in the world. I doubt myself and beat myself up with guilt and regrets. Yesterday was a particularly bad day for me but then I read something that COM wrote in another thread about making a timeline of all the things that have led us up to this point and all of the things I did to try to help him get out of this situation. I did and it really helps to see it mapped out on paper. Thank you for the suggestion COM. It's truly a great one and helped me quite a bit. I feel stronger today. I honestly don't know what I would do without all of you and the wonderful support and advice you give me in my darkest, weakest moments........