difficult child just called. He got 15-21 mos with the possibility of a 4 mos early release, which means he could be out as early as July of next year, 6 mos before he turns 17yo. I am so glad because I was afraid being in there until he was over 17yo would just ruin what little chance he has left to ever get past all this and learn necessary life skills before turning 18yo and getting out of high school. He is very lucky- he could have gotten 18 or 24 mos and actually should have if the guidelines were followed strictly but I've heard that sometimes they "forget" to read the part about adding more time on if a kid behaves well while in processing. I didn't tell him about the job- I want to do that in person tomorrow. A lady came by and bought all the books on mothers raising sons, bipolar in kids, and difficult child issues. She said she has 3 boys and one just turned 10yo. I just said "good luck, I wish you well, and Bless you for the road you'rre going to have ahead of you". Thank you all so much for sticking with me thru what has been the toughest period of my life. I have realized the past few days that I have to let go of myy dreams for difficult child- they just simply aren't going to happen- at least not the way I'd hoped. And I have to be a mom to who he is, not who I wish he was. And if any of those dreams I had for him are to ever happen in his life, it will be because he wanted it for himself and he made it happen and all I can do is try to support and assist him thru it at this point. And I realize now that I can't expect him to live his life to fulfill my dreams- not that I ever did really- I just saw so much potential in him. But he has to form his own dreams and reality at his age. It's much sooner and much more cut and dry instead of gradual, as I'd hoped, but I'll adjust. I watched Dr. P a couple of times on TV last week. He told a group of parents that while we all sacrafice for our kids because we love them and want to do what they need, when/if it gets to a point that our lives are going down the tubes and the kid still isn't getting any better, then it means the disorder has taken over our lives as well as theirs and we are enabling the disorder, although not intentionally. The only way to not let the disorder destroy everyone once it gets to that point is to save ourselves, then try to help our kids from a different angle. But letting it continue to destroy us isn't saving the kid. Food for thought, at least for me. It's feeling guilt and like a failure of course, that leads us to this point. I am praying that the jurisdiction I move to actually believes in MH treatment, not just behavior mod, and that the substance abuse program difficult child is required to complete while in Department of Juvenile Justice is a good one with a good therapist who gets it, and that difficult child ends up getting it and wanting to change as he matures another year, that him being kept informed about me pulling myself up and out of this mess over the next year helps him have faith in himself that he can do it too, and that I somehow find a way to be a better parent to him by next summer.