difficult child still not doing well (update call with CW )


New Member
difficult child has been calling from jail once a week for the past three weeks now. The last call he was so messed up. He was crying and the inmates were making fun of him. When he wasn't crying he was yelling at them. He says he has been moved to the "crazy pod". That is where they put the inmates who just aren't managing in the general population. The prison doctors are still experimenting with his medications. He is now having panic attacks (new for him) and nose bleeds and he just had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) that he needed treatment for. He was despondent because he tried to send me a mother's day card and it didn't come through for him either time he ordered it. Also someone stole his Harry Potter book that his sister sent as a Christmas present. His cell mate speaks no English so he has no one to talk to most of the time. All little things but for him they were huge stressors. It is time for him to get out and get some real help. This has been dragging on way too long. Someone was supposed to see him today from socialization services to talk about a homeplan. difficult child is reading that as: he'll be getting out soon. Unfortunately one has nothing to do with the other. He will get out only when there is a bed opened up for him in a group home. That could take up to a year. I keep thinking "what can I do to help him?" Since I cannot take him back under my roof there is little I can do. I make phone calls peridocally and try to keep his name fresh in everyone's mind. I think they all would like to just forget about him. His case is too difficult and frustrating. Everyone feels like their efforts will only be wsted because they all seem to believe that difficult child will just end up right back in prison shortly after getting out. Maybe they are right but this doesn[t change the fact that difficult child is getting more mentally ill by the day. He cannot do much more of this. He is going to crack and that could mean any number of things none of them good.
His MH caseworker is on record as saying that the way they are treating him at prison is making him at greater risk of suicide. difficult child is down to getting through his day second by second. He really is a child in an adult body in so many ways. It is so sad.

I took my granddaughter out for lunch the other day and a Downs syndrome child for whom I had been an aide a few years back was the host at the resturant. I spoke to him and he is doing well and seems to be enjoying himself and his adult responsibilities. While I was thrilled for this kid and his success at getting and keeping a job it stirred up all kinds of feelings in me. Here my difficult child could do so much more than this kid as far as academics went but he could not keep a job due to his mental issues. He could not resist peer pressure and he became both a victim and a victimizer who went on a wild ride that destroyed his life. It is all so complicated. It would seem one can never predict which difficult child is going to do well and which is going to fail in life. Both of this kids had interventions from infancy. Both had good people in their lives helping them to be the best they could be. One appears normal in appearance the other is obviously handicapped. One goes to work everyday with a smile on his face the other is on the verge of suicide in a county prison where he has managed to ailenate all the staff and other inmates. When they were two the prognosis for my son was way better than for my student. It all seems so random. I find myself wondering if anything that we do as an intervention really has any impact at all? Is a difficult child's ultimate fate genetically predetermined? I just don't know what I think or believe anymore. -RM
RM, I wish there was something I could say to help. No one knows why some throw everything away while others overcome the odds. I don't believe things are predetermined, though, genetically or otherwise. Please don't despair. Hard to see what impact for good we have sometimes but I believe that anything you do for another is worthwhile even if we fail to see results. No telling how things would be if you hadn't tried. Saying prayers for you and difficult child.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

I don't have any words of wisdom. But I did want to send you some ((((hugs)))) and let you know I'll be praying hard difficult child gets the help he needs quickly.


Well-Known Member
"It all seems so random. I find myself wondering if anything that we do as an intervention really has any impact at all? Is a difficult child's ultimate fate genetically predetermined?"

I, too, have been pondering this quetion more frequently lately. difficult child has had more intervention than many of my students at school who are far less intelligent than he is and they seem to function quite fine. Is the issue mental illness or drug addiction?? Which needs to be addressed first? If he didn't abuse drugs, would the MI still cause him to do "illogical" and illegal things?

My husband has a cousin "Les" who has been a difficult child his entire life. His brother committed suicide in the early 80's when Les was a young teen. The brother was diagnosed with severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)---but I imagine there were missed diagnosis. Les went through public school, went to college, but never held a job in his entire life except 6 months as a motel desk clerk because he had probation for a drug charge. His mother was a school teacher and his father was a well-repsected elected county official. His mother and father protected him as long as they could. He began using drugs in the 80's and continued for the next two decades. His father died in early 2000. He and his mother was left alone. His mother was in bad health and Les was left to care for her. At one point, in 2004, DSS intervened because of possible neglect. The family all came together and tried to help. Les's mom didn't want anyone mistreating her son, so she fought all in-home help. In July of 06, Les was arrested for elderly neglect in connection with the death of his mother. The coroner and the mortician have both told me they have never seen anything like it. He was found quilty in April of this year. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He is 48 years old. He has no one left. The druggie friends he ran with for years have disappeared (after they broke in a stole most of his belongings). The family who tried to help get help after the first neglect charge was made and got "egg" thrown in their faces have disappeared. He is all alone in a world that his mother helped create. Genetically he had issues similar to my difficult child and other difficult children in this family. I grieve the future my difficult child may face. I see in Les what could be---and it scares the heck out of me.


(the future) MRS. GERE
RM, it's so discouraging but I have to take a similar stance as HWGA as far as our kids are concerned. I do think that genetics plays a huge role as to their adaptability to life choices but maybe, just maybe, we have had some small modicum of influence for the long haul.

When I read stories like katmom's I'm sometimes kind of relieved to not know what else is happening on Rob's extended biological family tree because it would probably scare me senseless, too. I hope that makes sense.

I sure wish they would get your difficult child's medications squared away. I'm so sorry.



New Member
I'm really sorry to hear that he's obviously not getting the help he really needs. I hope a group home opens up much sooner then a year.

I don't know either what makes our difficult child's change or not, and if our intervention has anything to do with it, but I do know in the end I'll always feel better knowing I did everything I possibly could to help my difficult child. Right now my difficult child is doing well, but I also know that it could change at any second, but I will not ever have to question whether I did enough or not.


New Member
Does your son have an "official diagnosis"? I'm sorry i have been off the forums for a while and can't recall. If not, then perhaps that is what you should be aiming for at this point. When my son had his "break down" in prison, I pestered them until they did admit him to a diagnostic unit. Finally he was diagnosed with bipolar II. This was a break through moment for me for a lot of reasons, but mainly because then they are forced to treat him.
This consisted of a 30 day program in which he did make quite a bit of progress. It was shortlived however and that is a long story I won't go into now.
You say they are trying different medications so I am assuming they are treating him for "something", not just playing doctor.


New Member
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: STILLjustamom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Does your son have an "official diagnosis"?... You say they are trying different medications so I am assuming they are treating him for "something", not just playing doctor. </div></div>

My son's only diagnosis at this point is ADHD,depression and borderline MR. They are indeed "just playing doctor" in my opinion. They trialed him on lithium, ADs and Mood tabilizers at a nurses suggestion. difficult child never saw a doctor and no one ever asked for his medical records. In addition they are relying on difficult child to tell them what is working and what isn't. In my opinion my difficult child is most likely a misdiagnosed Autism spectrum disordered indivitual. He also has a rare genetic disease that can affect the brain part that is often malfunctioning in an autistic person. Actually from what I observed last summer when he was off everything for two months, he probably doesn't need any medication at all. The presion medical staff have had him so pumped full of drugs his whole body is shaking uncontrollably. He has had hemoragic nosebleads, panic attacks and seisures since they started trialing these medicines. He has never had any of these symptoms before. I have asked for a nuro psychiatric several times but they say that no one will do that for him. In addition, difficult child is of legal age so they do not have to listen to or consult me anyway. Instead of trying to get a clear picture of difficult child's needs, they pump him full of the wrong medicine and them punish him /when he acts out. Recently they threw him into isolation for three months and would not allow us to see him except once a month for an hour. Why? Because he, a documented retarded indivitual with poor scial skills and impulse disorder, unscrewed two screws from a vent cover to show off to his fellow inmate. They treated it as a genuine escape attempt even though difficult child didn't enter the vent and had said he had no intention of doing it at all. he further stated that he was "just fooling around because he was bored" -RM


New Member
Karen, I too know I did everything I could for him but unlike you I sometimes wonder if that was the right thing to do. I often think that if I had done nothing difficult child would be so obviously handicapped that there would be no question as to his abilities and disabilities. He would have been in a group home for handicapped indivituals early on and maybe none of this legal stuff would have happened. But not having the ability to see the future I operated on the premise that difficult child needed all the services available to bring him along as far as he could go. That is why the thing with my Down's student really hit me. We all go on the assumption that the best course is to advance them as far as possible but that can be a double bladed sword as in my son's case.

Suz and HWGA, I used to firmly believe that also. It is what kept me doing foster care for all those years. I will admit that I still have a very small flame of that hope flickering in the more remote areas of my heart but it truly has mostly died out for me. I oftem feel like I wasted my life trying to accomplish the impossible. I thought that I was going to change the world one child at a time. Instead I find myself wondering if I had any impact at all and if the sacrifices which brought all kinds of sadness onto my family were for naught.

Daisylover, Thanks for the hugs and prayers they are truly appreciated.

Barbara and Janet, I know you understand thank you for your kind words.

Katmom, I know my difficult child's genetics are flawed. I pray that all the new research they are doing on the human Genome project and the advancing physiological approach to mental health issues will lead to better lives for others afflicted with poor MH in the future. Unfortunately the stuff they are learning now will not be put into good general practice for years to come. Science and medicine tend to evolve slowly and with much controversy.

Thank you all for reading and responding. I know I can be such a downer sometimes. -RM


Active Member
I am so sorry and I do know how depressing jail can be. many a time ant was yelling at inmates or they him as we tried to talk. it sounded like a human zoo in the background.

can you call the ACLU or contact them online. (american civil liberty) they are all for prisoner's rights.

also call your congressman and state reps office. my state reps office was instrumental in moving ant back to his home county. call them.


New Member
Thanks Janet for the imput. I am waiting to hear back from difficult child's MH worker. I am hoping he can give me a better time line.
If this does drag out much longer, I will definately get agressively pro active again. I think I am going to have to start writing down the minutes of every phone conversation I have pertaining to difficult child's situation in case I do end up in court. I am also going to find out if NIH still wants to see my difficult child. They had wanted him for the human genome project research. They were going to do all his testing for free. -RM


Active Member
RM, I am so sorry for your pain and your hurt. I usually hate this time of year. When I read about all the HS graduates and how they are succeeding it makes me quite sad. I can so relate to you seeing one of your former students who is succeeding albet with disabilities and yours is not.

I do understand your questioning yourself and that you have done. I know I constantly think, should I be doing this, am I crippling/enabling, what happens when I'm not here?

I don't know whether it is fate or just poor choices (everything seems to be based on choices lately) that some of our difficult child's can advance and others don't.

I do know you are a great warrior mom who has fought many battles for your difficult child. This current battle though is being fought by many and in many states.

My state has been notorious for housing mental ill inmates with not enough funds to treat them properly. We have had inmates who gouged their eyes out and still were not sent to the State Hospital for treatment. We had a lawsuit recently at the state level. People were sued, resigned, and there have been some changes. $$$ is what is needed to make the changes. Beds have been contracted and those who are mentally unstable are being treated and then will return.

I don't know if NAMI or your state attorney's office is a place to start for you. I suppose the MH person who is supposed to call you back is the right place.

Sending you some {{{sunny hugs}}} and some cyber strength. My prayers and thoughts are with you.


New Member
Sunny, I agree that this is not a lonely battle. The social worker at the prison says that more and more they are warehousing the mentally ill. He says that all prison employees now have to take seminars on handling mental health issues within the prison population. He said that even when he has severely mentally ill inmates in crisis he often has to wait months for a bed before he can have them transfered out to get the help they need.

As for me, some days I feel like I should be out there advocating and lobbying for better mental health services. Other days I feel like I have given my life to this allbeit on a much smaller scale and I need to know peace and begin taking care of me. If I choose the former I will be sacrificing much of what I desire to do with the rest of my days. If I choose the latter my religious background and my champion of the underdog personality won't allow me rest without some smigeon of guilt.

by the way I already contacted NAMI and they have no legal advocate in my area.


Active Member
RM, I know and feel very much the same. I just can't say it as eloquently as you did.

I don't think in the near future there will be a viable solution to this mess.

There have been countless articles in our newspaper on the budgets of the judicial system and the drain that the mentally ill are causing. Then our legislature is not allocating enough to cover the costs. It trickles down to inappropriate or non existant medication being administered and people waiting in cells for months until beds are available in a treatment center.

Now that FL has found some $$ and created some beds. In 6mo to a year, will those people become stabilized and mainstreamed back into the prison system? will there be enough $$ to adequately maintain them on the current medication regime?

When I went to the NAMI Parent to Parent class, they did educate that mental illness does stabilize itself. I just don't think that happens until our difficult child's are older. so yes...they will be the ones who will suffer.

in my humble opinion, I do think you need to get yourself as healthy as you can and then and only then can you even attempt to try and change a system. Personally...I don't have the energy.
Well, sometimes it can't be about the results, RM.

Remember that old movie everyone always shows at Christmas?

It's a Wonderful Life.

And the main character is shown what life would have been like for those whose lives he had touched, had he not done as he did.

The thing is though, that in the day to day world that existed because of the main character's influence, it seemed that he had failed.

That is our situation, now.

Everything we have done, the hours and the months and the years that added up before we knew it ~ none of that helped a thing.

Maybe it did though, RM.

We have to hold faith that, whatever we decide to do now, our efforts, our time and loving attention to every smallest detail ~ none of that was wasted.

And you are not a downer, RM. As I recover from what happened to all of us, I am amazed to realize just how traumatic these experiences have been for me personally, and for husband, personally.

Let alone how it affected our marriage, our extended families, our social lives.

You did the best you knew to do with integrity, RM.

You did succeed.

The outcome was not what you hoped for, what you worked for ~ but you did succeed.



New Member
I'm so sorry for your son. I think it's terrible that as young children, we as a society do everything we can to help all difficult children, try to put them on the right track. We know and believe these kids are suffering and their behaviors are more often then not completely out of their control. Then they become adults and all that empathy goes right out the window. They are no longer people with illness, they are now criminals!!! That just stinks.

Hang in there. :smile:


New Member
WOW! I Have been away for a couple of days and therefore have only just read your recent posts.

Nomad and Sunny, I will continue to take care of me no matter what I choose to do from this point on.

Sunny, Please explain what you mean that Mental illness does stabilize itself. Is that in regard to the individual or the system?

Barbara, Thank you for your kind words. Most of our difficult child's are both victim and victimizer. They traumatize us and all those that love them and/or reach out to them but they themselves are also traumatized by their addictions and those that take advantage of their weakness. It is so complicated and you are correct that we can never truly know the extent of the impact we have had or if it be positive or negative or mixed.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: branbran</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I think it's terrible that as young children, we as a society do everything we can to help all difficult children, try to put them on the right track. We know and believe these kids are suffering and their behaviors are more often then not completely out of their control. Then they become adults and all that empathy goes right out the window. They are no longer people with illness, they are now criminals!!! Hang in there. :smile: </div></div>

Here also it is so complicated. They are indeed mentally ill and deserve understanding and empathy but they are also in many cases committing criminal acts. How should we as a society meld out consequences and serve the need for justice while treating the mental illness also? Should these criminals be released back into society once they have been stabilized even if their crimes are of a heinous nature? I do not advocate that mental illness become a get out of jail free card. I don't think many people do for that matter. So how should we handle this? Reopening facilities for the criminally insane (gosh I hate that term) and staffing them adequately in is an expensive endeavor. Victims of their crimes should not have to pay increased taxes to fund this. Yet without support from the government and a national policy that would ensure that equal measures are enacted across the country there is no real chance for adequate and lasting change. Perhaps another lottery so that participation is voluntary? Maybe the government can provide the funding for education and advocacy while the lottery actually pays for the programs and facilities? Can a national lottery raise enough funds for this? I just do not know.

What I do know is that mentally ill inmates spend longer times in jail than other inmates who commit the same crimes but do not have a mental health problem. In addition the chance of re-entry into the judicial system is far greater for those with a MH problem than those without. and the number of inmates in jail with mental ilness has risen dramaticly in recent years.

Even sadder is the report recently released by NAMI in which 48 statesmental health care systems were rated. Not a single one got an A. Only five states received grades in the B range. Eight receive Fs. The national average grade is D.


New Member
I am not going into all the problems of the system ~ Just want to share a short story.

When my son came home the last time he slowly started slipping back into old habits including using drugs. NOTHING I did or said made a difference. I was on the verge of telling him to leave and my parents made a deal with him.

If he did basically all that was expected of him at work and home and changed his attitude toward us, they would go ahead and give him the money they were holding for his car.

I witnessed my son turn back into my son that had been lost. He made the choice to do the right things. He lived by the letter all the up to the day he got his car.

Then that same day, he turned back into the difficult child.

He has been gone ever since.

I know every situation is different, yet I do believe that wrong choices are being made. I believe right and wrong have been taught and they have no desire to do right.

The reason we do all we do before they turn 18 is that after that date they know we have no say. They are never just tossed out, we do everything humanly possible to get them to change.

Then the time comes that we can no longer survive in the turmoil, that other members of our family are suffering and we have to let go.