difficult child pressing charges


member since 1999
Egads... honestly I just don't know how I feel about this. Long story short, there's a peer who clocked thank you but good a couple of months ago, witnessed, unprovoked. Peer got consequences. Apparently peer attacked thank you again today, allegedly unprovoked again though I haven't talked to anyone who witnessed it (SW who arrived after the fact called me). thank you wants to press charges. Staff will support this choice if he insists. Not their usual MO but ... they're more open to it if resident is "not invested" in treatment, which is apparently the case here.

Now, obviously, my more pressing concern is what staff will do to try to prevent this from occurring again. I'm waiting for call back from unit manager. This *will* be very strongly addressed.

However, I have such incredibly mixed feelings about thank you following thru on pressing charges. On one hand, he's advocating for himself. He's correct in that he has a right to be safe. on the other hand, can we talk about pot calling kettle black? While thank you maintains he's never assaulted anyone "unprovoked", his so-called reasons for some of his assaults boggle the mind (not getting a tuna fish sandwich being the most ridiculous that I can recall on short notice). I also pointed out to him that he is living in a unit full of difficult children, and unfortunately violence is part of the picture as he knows from personal violent behaviors - I'm not excusing it, just stating it as an unfortunate fact of life, just like the language, the sexual issues, all the junk that comes with- even the best of RTCs. I also think this sets a *horrible* precedent since I don't for a second believe he's done with- *his* violent ways despite his protestations tonight (last assault by thank you was a mere 2 months ago).

I felt like I was dancing on very thin ice - trying to get him to relate to this behavior, identify with it, understand the similarities to his own choices. It is once again thank you expecting everyone else to be held to the letter of the law (literally this time) while excusing his own behavior because in his warped thought processes it's justified. I think Residential Treatment Center (RTC) staff also has to be very involved in this because... well, for goodness sake, it's an *Residential Treatment Center (RTC)*. We're not talking well adjusted kids with no issues. I also was distinctly disturbed by thank you's high moral ground: "I'm doing this for all the kids on the unit, Mom." And what happens next time you flip out, thank you? There's a double standard here that he is incapable of seeing.

Also can't help but worry about retaliation from the peer.

On yet another hand, I've wondered I can't tell you how many times over the years if we've done thank you a disservice with- all the psychobabble, hospitalizations, and Residential Treatment Center (RTC) stuff. If he walked out of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) tomorrow, assualted someone, and ended up in front of a judge, I cannot conceive that he would get a free pass, even with his impressive psychiatric history. He knows the difference between right and wrong. He controls his rages up to the point of losing control - basically intentionally losing control. He will and should be held accountable once he is out of the insulated Residential Treatment Center (RTC) setting (and maybe/probably should have before???). So is his pressing charges logical consequences for peer? And can thank you live with- logical consequences the next time he attacks someone?

I told him that the decision would have to be his and I would support whatever he decides to do. But I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and a near-certainty that this is going to come back and bite him hard. Glass houses and rocks and all that.


Well-Known Member
Thin ice, indeed! I can see the dilemma. Wish I had some advice. But I can send good thoughts and wishes for strength and clarity.


Active Member
Hi Sue. Our son basically has never forgiven us for his four psychiatric hospitalizations, two Residential Treatment Center (RTC) stays which all together added up to less than 6 months of his life. He is now 21 and has severed all contact with us. Were the hospital stays necessary? Yes, I still feel in retrospect, they gave us a break. Did they help our son? Nope, not at all. However, I can now look back and honestly say that I did what I did with the best of intentions.

That is what you guys have done too - you can't look back and doubt yourself. You did what you did with the best of intentions and did what you thought was best for thank you.

Yes, he will eventually have to deal with the "outside world" and how will he do? Again...we can't predict the future. You have always impressed me as such a dedicated and loving Mother - thank you is lucky to have you. (Although like a lot of our kids, he may not admit it).

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

It will be hard to watch this play out. Our difficult children are such an enigma...it's so hard to balance this.

I imagine thank you, given his feeling of power over this situation, will press those charges with little thought as to his own actions.

I hope it doesn't come back to bite him in the behind. Payback is hell. :slap:


Well-Known Member

how typically gfgish! Taking the "moral highgrond" in this case could have many repercusions for thank you. But he cannot think beyound being wronged and being the savior for all. On the one hand you want to be proud of him for recognizing the proper channels (not taking it into his own hands and going back and beating up the kid), but it certainly would make my head spin that he cannot see the connection between his past hehaviors and this boy.

My difficult child is like that in some ways as well. He will stand up and identify a wrong and demand justice when 90 minutes ago he was doing the same thing! Perhaps you can I can come up for a name for this particular gfgish trait! How about Meblinder disorder?

You've told him you will support any decision he makes here. So, you're stuck watching this play out. I hope it goes well.



New Member
Yeah. What comes around goes around. I hope it doesn't come back to bite him either, Sue.

Sounds alot like difficult child 2. He and thank you sound very similar. He throws stones. Good thing HE doesn't live in a glass house. Can't ever look at himself, though, and when he does, anything negative is always someones fault.

All you can do is stand and watch. Give your opinions. I hope this works out for the best.



member since 1999
I talked with- unit mgr last night. He was very supportive of thank you pressing charges. Said attack was completely unprovoked and peer's intent was to hurt thank you, which usually is *not* the case during the scuffles they have. Peer has been moved over to hospital side and clinical supervisor will be calling me today to discuss safety plan in case peer returns.

thank you didn't fight back, barely was able to cover his head - has marks but nothing serious. He never does fight back. He never attacks peers physically, only staff and other adults who he knows will not respond in kind. He used to be pretty good at only provoking peers who wouldn't get physical, but he seems to be losing that radar (but again, this incident was out of the blue). The fact the my son is exposed to this level of violence really hit me last night... it's not in my frame of reference. I think I've only seen one real fight, and that was at local HS when Boo was attending. husband was less than helpful by pointing out that unless thank you gets his act together, this *will* be his frame of reference because he will always be with- other difficult children. I feel sick.

Sharon - Meblinders it is, LOL. Isn't that just the sad truth?? Mgr did hear my concerns about thank you's double standard and will be working with- him on that, to try to get him to see that there really is no difference between what this peer did and what thank you does to staff. There is no justification for violence and consequences outside the realm of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (or now, *in* Residential Treatment Center (RTC)) are a bear.

We shall see.


Well-Known Member
Maybe, just maybe, if difficult child does press charges, he will see that any attack on someone can land you in hot water. Maybe he needs to see the judicial system in action to see what happens to someone who attacks someone else---and this will prevent him from ever stepping over the line himself.