difficult child 2 to be discharged Friday home; his twin in tears

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by seriously, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. seriously

    seriously New Member

    difficult child 2 is continuing to be withdrawn, anxious and is obviously isolating in the psychiatric hospital. He did agree to start new medication but that's it.

    So the discharge plan calls for him to come home Friday.

    So far no offer of an out of home placement has materialized. I'm not surprised. I called the one place everyone has recommended. $13,000 a month and our health plan would pay zero toward that. So no we won't be putting him in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) ourselves.

    easy child was in tears this morning - which is very unusual. She is always very private and hides her distress. But on the way to school when I said she looked sad she started to cry. I feel so bad about this - I wanted to cradle her in my lap and make it all better. This is exactly the opposite of what she wants and so I just sat there and asked short, simple questions and waited and waited for her short, simple answers.

    She feels angry. She feels guilty and partly to blame for her twin's behavior. I told her that he was the only one responsible for his choices and told her that I felt she was not picking fights with him or making it worse like used to happen sometimes.

    I tiptoed around the group home question and would gladly smack the CPS worker for bringing that up with her. It has clearly increased her distress big time.

    She asked when he was going to be released and I told her probably Friday. She said "so what, he can come home and blow up every day again?"

    I told her that wife and I were working hard to figure out how to manage things better so he didn't blow up. She just looked away and silently cried.

    I offered my hand and she slowly reached out and just held my fingers with hers for a little while.

    I thought about offering to have her stay home for the day but controlled that impulse. She will be distracted and probably feel much better if she goes to school. She is a total social butterfly and has a huge crowd of friends. I hope she doesn't just feel alone in a crowd.

    She got out of the car and went to school without any bounce in her step.
  2. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    I am so sad for you all. Not only do difficult children take a huge toll on parents, but also on other family members. I am so sorry about the difficulties with out of home placement. I know some private RTCs have scholarships, but probably very few. What a &*(&^%& country we live in.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Is there a therapist you daughter can have access to? Someone who can pick up on her side of the picture, her fears, etc.? Because this person could be the key to getting the right services for DS... in that, if DS is putting daughter at risk, how to protect daughter?
  4. seriously

    seriously New Member

    left a message for her therapist already but no return call yet.

    easy child sees her tomorrow night.

    I think the danger to easy child is that she doesn't walk away from a fight so if difficult child 2 really focuses on her she is likely to get physical. Since he's now bigger/stronger she would get hurt. If she stays out of his way she only has to hear/witness the fights with us. Not that this isn't damaging to her but it's not what CPS means when they ask if she's in danger.

    Our parenting therapist last night did a sequence chart for one of the episodes last week. When she said she only had 15 minutes left, we brought up the out of home placement stuff and tried to talk to her about it. she said that their agency would not make a placement recommendation - i.e. she wasn't going to tell us yes or no or anything approaching that.

    She said she never loses hope - that she has seen amazing things when it seemed impossible that a family's situation could be turned around. I asked her point blank if there was something obvious that we were doing "wrong" and she said she thought we needed to stop feeling guilty. She said she sees this with pretty much all the families she works with and has experienced it herself. She said we have a huge number of challenges between the medical illness and procedures, mental health problems, extended family stuff, external stressors, lack of support network and we have done the best we could. But because we feel guilty about some of these things (especially difficult child 2's serious health issues) we haven't always made good decisions and have let difficult child 2 develop some really difficult behaviors. Now he's a teen and we are trying to change course and it's not easy. In her view, parent's guilt leads them to make mistakes like choosing the wrong battles to fight.

    We feel confused because last night she was talking about when we should walk away instead of hold our ground with him. I think she was saying we have to make de-escalation our priority instead of holding firm on the rules. Or maybe that we need to be much more narrow in our enforcement of the rules.

    I don't know. It feels like we keep doing what we think they are telling us to do and not getting it "right".

    I think I'm going to get The Explosive Child out again and re-read the Baskets part. Maybe that's what she was trying to get at and refreshing my memory about that will help me "get it".
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Your therapist is surely very well intentioned and perhaps has much expertise/knowledge. But... she is not the one who has actually dealt with this situation, day after day and on the ground. I would think you have to trust your own expertise and intuition.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    UGH!!! and DOUBLE UGH!!!

    IOW - this therapist doesn't know....but it must be your fault somehow just the same.

    Seriously, I wish I had the answer for you...

    This whole thing is so frustrating for families who have nowhere else to turn!

    Sending ((((hugs))))
  7. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    You know, when my son was about 12 and unstable we were having lots of rages. I almost hestitate to say rage, becuase I am not sure that is right, but he would start throwing stuff around etc (to the point where we called the police one time because he was so out of control) and it would really escalate when I would tell him in the thick of things the privileges etc that he was going to lose if he didn't cut it out. We could have threatened him with anything under those circumstances and it only would have served to ratchet up the out of control behavior. It was so wierd, it was out of control behavior but there was some strange element of control in it as well.Hard to explain.

    Clearly your son has serious mental health issues coupled with teenage issues. I think that perhaps you therapist is maybe trying to say that no one wins when things get escalated and really look at your priorities. Take medications, no violence, etc. Some of his behavior seems to be deliberately baiting you.

    Having been there done that, I think focusing on deescalation might be useful. Yes it does feel like you are giving in, but escalating things to a crisis point when there is no help in sight is not helping either you or him feel good about yourselves. AT this point maybe the priority is to see if you can get a semblance of a positive relationship back with your son. It doesn't mean buying him stuff or anything like that, but maybe there are lots of battles you might let go of around the house. It is so hard because it feels like you are just giving in to this bully.

    Ask the therapist, what is the line in the sand and what are the battles you should pick. Can your son be left alone when things start to escalate? Could you just go to your room maybe? I am not saying any of this is your fault, but insanity is just keeping doing what isn't working so maybe a new strategy is in order.

    If I had anything to do over in my parenting it would have been to do a better job picking battles. Guilt, right? Boatloads.

    Good luck
  8. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    Hi Seriously. I am sorry your family is going through this. It is an exhausting and worrisome situation. I'm glad your easy child shared how she was feeling, instead of bottling it up. My two difficult children, especially difficult child 1, cause constant stress and tension in our home. Day in, day out. I worry to no end about my PCs. I encourage them to become involved as many activities outside our home as possible to help keep them away from it. It helps a bit. Is your daughter involved in activities, sports, or volunteering? That may help her. It doesn't solve it, but it may give her a positive way to step away from it for a bit.

    Also, it isn't your fault. I'm mad at the therapist for saying such a thing. We are ultimately responsible for our own choices and behaviors, even raging 15 year olds. Hopefully, he will see that one day and will make the changes necessary to improve his life....and your family's.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Its always a tough one when they are too well to be in the hospital and too ill to be at home... and there IS no where else to go. No answers... but lots of thoughts go your way.
  10. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    I was hoping you'd be able to get a longer breather there... Sorry to hear that no outplacement is available for him at this time...

    If your easy child is taking it so hard living under one roof with him - and I know you said that there was noone else for him to stay with - might there maybe a family member or grandparents for her to stay with for a while instead?
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sigh. I feel so badly for you all.
    I was thinking the same thing that MuMofOCDkiddo said--can easy child go somewhere else? Our easy child, much to our embarassment, lived with-friends most of her senior yr in HS, but it did her a great deal of good. She had room to breathe, to sing (she's always singing), didn't have to lock her bedroom door or hide anything, could eat what she wanted, and didn't have to listen to yelling and screaming and things breaking all the time. Mostly, she didn't have to feel responsible for anything, didn't have to feel the need to "fix" anything.
    In regard to the therapist, I would ask for specifics, as others mentioned. She's too vague and sounding too much like you're not supposed to feel guilty, but if you do, you'll act guilty and give in too much. WHICH battles are important?
  12. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I was going to suggest re-reading Explosive Child again as well actually. I think that is exactly what your therapist was talking about. It is exactly the pillowcase situation - you knew it was in Basket C - but you forgot to put it there. (No guilt there - at ALL - just a frame of reference.)

    As far as easy child - I feel so sad for her - and you - yet no words of wisdom. I guess just keep reassuring her that everything is going to be OK, over and over again - and instilling in her the hope that she so desperately needs. Hope can never hurt...even when it lets us down....it is always an anchor.
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Last night I was thinking of you. Our CD family is quite amazing. I, too, was wondering if there was a safe place she could go when things get out of hand...or somewhere else she could stay to avoid the painful stress. It just seems like such a shame that her positive way of looking at her life could be undermined by exposure to difficult child. Hugs. DDD
  14. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Ditto what every one else has already said. Just sending hugs and keeping you all in my prayers.
  15. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I agree that sending easy child to school is best -- the fact that she has a lot of friends is great because she will need to lean on them for support, as much as kids that age can give it. Just being away from the chaos that difficult child 2 creates will be good for her. If there's a special friend she could spend the weekend with, I'd vote for seeing if that could be arranged.

    Deescalation is very important when our difficult children are walking on such a fine line of stability. It takes a lot of extra effort on the parents' part to figure out what the trigger patterns are and a way to work around them. That's not to say they are avoidable, but there are usually ways to redirect and/or diffuse things before they get really ugly. Only you and wife will be able to sort that out by sitting down and really looking hard at what you've seen.

    My husband took a long time to figure this out -- when difficult child 1 was starting to ramp up and become aggressive, husband's impulse was to meet it with yelling, intimidation and sometimes physical restraint, which was like pouring gasoline on the situation. At the time, he could easily overpower difficult child 1, but it made for a very protracted and emotionally charged situation and got everyone upset. He's slowly realized that he can't meet the raging bull head-on.

    I hope you're able to regroup and feel ready for difficult child 2 when he comes home tomorrow. Praying for peace for you all!
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There has got to be a way to find funding for this kid. I would start with A and call every single agency known to mankind even if they dont sound like they have anything to do with what you are looking for. If nothing else can you install camera's in the home so you can video his rages so maybe others will actually see just how bad things are.

    When I was looking for placements for Cory years ago, I got online and started looking at places like Lutheran childrens homes. Then when they couldnt help me...they gave me other contact names...and I kept on going. I just kept a running list. I have no idea which psychiatric hospital you use but consider using the state hospital next time because they will keep him longer normally.
  17. seriously

    seriously New Member

    Just talked to social worker at the psychiatric hospital. They are discharging him tomorrow but he is participating in the groups and doing better. He told her that the new medication (seroquel) seems to be helping. That's so good to hear, I can't tell you.

    She's going to ask him if he wants to go to school tomorrow and if he does she'll try to arrange an early release around 9 am. Otherwise we're shooting for 5 pm.

    She also told me that one of the wrap around team had been there and talked to Joseph. She told the social worker that they were going to be able to come and do some TBS with us and sounded really excited about it. TBS is where they come in and spend several hours here coaching difficult child 2 and us through interactions. I'm not so sure about that but I'll take it until it's clear that it's not helpful.

    I pulled out The Explosive Child and went - Oh Yeah, why didn't I pull this out and re-read it sooner. I spent the morning thinking everything through because it was clear difficult child 2 was coming home whether it was appropriate or not. And I decided that we really need to pull back and de-escalate instead of "holding the line" right now. For whatever reason, difficult child 2 cannot handle that right now - not like he could 2 months ago.

    So we'll see what happens. I am feeling more confident than I was a couple days ago. easy child is still obviously down. She has a school dance tomorrow night and I said she could go. I think the thing that will help her the most is for things to calm down around here. But if it looks like it's going to be more of the same, I will call her best friend's mom and ask for her to come spend the weekend with them.

    Will keep you posted.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sounds like there is at least some framework of a plan coming together...
    That alternate-plan for easy child sounds like a good idea, too, if you need it.

    More thouhts coming your way...