First Meeting With Staff and Son!


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We met yesterday. It takes me a minute to digest and to mull over the information I am given.

Son: Listless, head down, inaudible, jumpy, crying, and nothing of the son I have known

psychiatrist: business like, professional, discussed past medication history, current recommendations, son's response to these medications

therapist: a bit more personable, concerned, horrified by son's abuse, not making any headway with son

OUTCOME: son is suffering from severe PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicidal, shutting down protective behaviors, staff believes he is not a habitual user at this time, but if not treated for above there is a real danger of increasing drug use/ abuse

Me: sad, can't stop crying, want attorney to sue the pants off the system, lost, not coping well


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Me: sad, can't stop crying, want attorney to sue the pants off the system, lost, not coping well

Oh Pasajes - my heart breaks for you. All you are feeling is so completely understandable.

In my opinion, you should contact an attorney and sue the pants off the place. It's not always easy to find a lawyer willing to take on the State, but you might try calling the ACLU or other such organization and tell them what has happened. Perhaps they can steer you in the right direction. The facility needs to be thoroughly investigated and shut down! I know what you say Texas is like...and I'm sure you are correct...but the Feds have authority over the state - go over Texas' head, as it were.

As for your son...he's right where he needs to be, getting treatment for his issues and injuries, both physical and emotional. You get help for YOU too.

I am so very sorry this has happened to you both. You and he are in my prayers.


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Absolutely horrifying.

I wish you all the strength you can muster and hugs for you and your son. Your son did not deserve what happened and he is so young. This is the time to get them out of those habits, NOT terrify them by giving them PTSD.

I also say sue them.

Calamity Jane

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Oh, I am so very sorry about this. I'm sure you're not thinking straight, as you're processing it all yourself, but no one should get away with this. Big, understanding hugs being sent your way.


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I'm angry at him and for him. It's just frustrating. He deserves the help and they deserve to be punished.

On the other hand I am worried for you. Make sure you take care of yourself.


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I'm angry at him and for him

That just about sums it up. He broke the law and he was justly sentenced. He turned around and broke probation and it was justly revoked. All of that is true and right. I am still angry at him for his criminal activity. He put himself in a position where what happened could and does happen and not just to him. He was told what goes on behind the wall. All he had to do was follow the rules and he didn't. All of this is true.

I would not want to see anyone in that bad a shape. This my youngest and he is suffering big time. I bounce between indignation for what happened and out right fury that he put himself in that situation. It is a c r a p p y place either way.


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PASA, a lot of what your son needs is already in place to settle himself, regain functioning and recover. Now he will do so. This is the hardest time I think because the shock/emergency phase has ended and the reality is seen and felt. He will get better.

So will you. Pasa, you need support. You have PTSD-type symptoms too, I think. This was a horrible experience. Honor yourself for what you have been through. This is not a head ache. This is a trauma. It will not soon get better. You are in the beginnings. Life must change now, so that you can move through this too.

I think above and beyond here, you need to try to connect with parents' who have, and whose children have suffered similar traumatic events.

There must be a parent's group of children in similar circumstances to you. Can you establish phone or internet contact? Where ever they are ...try to reach out.

You need to get a good therapist, and possibly to get on medication, I think. This would be too much for anyone. You have been traumatized too.

Your son was in a University Hospital. Do they have support and treatment for you there? Psychiatry, Therapist, Support Group??

Now is the time for exercise.

Now is the time to do think about doing all kinds of nurturing activities, especially with other women. I like the textile arts and needlework. Done with other women it is real therapy. Try.

Since the beginning of time women have mended together by working with their hands in a circle. Needlework with other women can be a form of loving meditation.

Spinning and weaving in particular are very therapeutic. And you would learn a new art form.

I would call the Feds. Monday. Actually, I would call Loretta Lynch, the new attorney general. Right to her. You will not get through but it will get attention. Ask for an investigation like what is happening in all the police abuse cases throughout the country.

This is no different. Regardless of your son's racial identity, children are a protected class.

Through calling the AG you will speak to people. Get names. Each person will tell you about 3 more. You will soon no how to proceed.

I think if you immerse yourself into fighting this, it will be a form of self-help.

I would also call the AG in your state.

The Prison Law Office in San Quentin, CA (not the prison). While they handle class action lawsuits they might be able to those handling abuse cases for individual plaintiffs.

There is an organization called Texas Civil Rights Project and within that the Prisoners Rights Program, including those in juvenile prisons. They do few cases, mainly those that will affect many people, but would also be a place to start for referrals.

Another idea, to start with. Law schools often have "clinics," in certain areas of law, such as prison, elder law, etc. I am thinking of this type of thing as a place to start for referrals.

PASA, I for one am not surprised your son is crying and jumpy. Wouldn't you be? What happened to him was outside the realm of normal human experience. He was terrorized.This is the normal and reasonable response to what happened to him. You would want this response. He is beginning the first phase of healing. Not defending. Not covering up. We all start where we are. This is not a bad thing.

Finally, those treatment team meetings are meaningless. Do not take it seriously.

The important thing is that the psychologist is appalled and deeply cares.


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Copa, Thank you for your kind response. I met with the independent ombudsman that oversees the juvenile justice correctional department. They have a copy detailing the "alleged" abuse. I have an attorney who is now our representative in the follow through with them. I also have the ACLU, NAACP, and the Rio Grande Project working on this complaint as well as dredging up other unanswered documented complaints from other parents and youth, and those are just from the central Texas parents support group for incarcerated youth. I have been in counseling for years dealing with PTSD.

You would think that I would feel like I was doing everything in my power to do something about it, not just for my son, but any kid whose bad decisions land them behind bars, but it doesn't. All of that ,and him being where he is, is not going to make a bit of difference if he can't or won't change. This is the part that has me stuck right now. I understand that it is up to him. I understand that I can't change him. I understand that he does not think like the majority of law abiding citizens. My prayer is that he learns from this.


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pasajes every time I read your comments I hurt for you. I don't know what you can do that you aren't already doing. I wish I knew what to say, it's beyond me. I just wonder how much of your son's attitude is because he is there and feels like it is useless.


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Nancy, I believe that it is partially how his brain functions, partially a long string of negative experiences, and his belief that people should bend to his will. A prime example is his attitude about the use of weed. It is still illegal in Texas. I don't want it in my house legal or not. I do not want him to go to prison for using or selling it. His take is that I should let him have it in my home because I don't want him to go to prison. This makes perfect sense in his world. it's a deal breaker in mine.


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I'm so sorry!

I can relate on seeing your son like that. It is the most disheartening thing.

At least he is in the place he needs to be right now and you are doing things you need to do.

I have no words of comfort, but I will keep praying for two of you.


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You would think that I would feel like I was doing everything in my power to do something about it, not just for my son...
Me: sad, can't stop crying, want attorney to sue the pants off the system, lost, not coping well
Remember the phrase The Banality of Evil in the book of the same name about the trial of Adolph Eichmann. I never read it but will try to soon.

I think the underlying theme is that we think that evil wears horns but it really looks like us. Eichmann was a bland functionary who sent thousands to their death. Without a thought.

The people who hurt your son were probably civil servants with a mortgage, or on the way to one.

You had no choice but to turn your child over to their custody. They were mandated by the Constitution to protect him because he was in their care, a child.

They did not. Instead they tried to destroy him, you, and all of us, putting ahead of the public trust their absence of morality, lack of integrity, personal powerlessness and self-hatred.

How could that not unnerve any parent, if not permanently deprive them of the capacity for trust or security?

On the FOO thread we talk a lot about believing as small girls that it was our fault that people hurt or neglected us, because we are bad. We accept that we are bad because it would be worse to feel that we are targeted for no reason. We gain a false belief that we have some control, at a great price.

I think victims of trauma and parents of difficult children hang on to the same illusion as do victimized children. I caused this bad thing to happen. Because if we accepted we and our children are so vulnerable, and we cannot control or stop it, it would be too scary.

This is why I think you still feel powerless and want to take action, almost anything: to reverse this sense of victimization and impotence. PASA how could you not feel this way?

You were powerless to stop the authorities when they put your son in the juvenile prison. You had no control and were forced to trust others. When he was there you were forced to believe those entrusted to care for him would do so. Instead they abused him. On purpose.

This is not on TV. This happened to you and your child. What in heaven's name would make this trauma go away in 2 weeks?

My son and I went on the train Friday. My son became verbally aggressive towards a train employee. By the time I arrived 3 burly men were ready to eject my son from the train in the middle of nowhere.

I saw these men to be perfectly calm, absent of ego. I saw that they handled themselves with responsibility, thoughtfulness and with kindness. Consequently I had the confidence they would protect the passengers, the train and my son. Because of their conduct I had no sense what so ever that they served anything other than the public good.

With your child the exact opposite occurred. In every way.

In every respect these people destroyed any sense in you that you or those close to you would be safe from them anywhere. Anytime.

You did not allow this. You were forced to it. You lived it. You witnessed it. The Banality of Evil. How could you feel differently than you do?

This is a life changing event you experienced. Whether you were beaten or not. Your child was placed in danger, in peril, by the very people responsible to protect him. This is among the most difficult of situations in which a parent can be placed.

Everything in a parent's heart clings to the idea that she can protect her child. She cannot. We cannot. That you were unable to protect your son from this PASA is not your fault.
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Son: Listless, head down, inaudible, jumpy, crying, and nothing of the son I have known
OUTCOME: son is suffering from severe PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicidal, shutting down protective behaviors, staff believes he is not a habitual user at this time, but if not treated for above there is a real danger of increasing drug use/ abuse
OK, PASA. Let's look at this.

I do not doubt the veracity of the diagnoses. And I accept that any good cheer he showed after his surgery was the pain killer. Except I do not.

I think that a part of his down and out attitude might be because he got caught with the marijuana and is slammed back into confinement.

Which is to say he does not like the consequences.

Had he been la, la, la, la, doing what he wanted, the center of attention, planning for the life of riley with the new job and the marijuana, flirting with the nurses' aid, soon to be in your house and boss...his attitude might be different.

This does not mean he is faking it. It means to some extent he feels sorry for himself. How could he not?

I would not put forth any of this to the professionals. Or to him. This is just another point of view, so that you are not in so much agony.

If you begin talking to your son about his future life as an adult, he may take heart because you are thinking of him as such. There may even be vocational counseling available through the program.

Something may motivate him: A hobby, job training, an independent living situation....something. Now might also be the time to think about applying for SSI, and getting yourself named as payee.


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He is not talking to anyone. He refuses. He does not want to talk to me. Every word out of my mouth sets him off. If I say anything positive, he snarls and spits. I am giving him his space.


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Pasa... if he says ANYTHING to ANYBODY, that whole institution is going to be in trouble. So he will have been threatened majorly, before being sent off to your care, to NEVER say anything "or else".

He doesn't trust the system to protect him. He may not be totally wrong.


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So he will have been threatened majorly, before being sent off to your care, to NEVER say anything "or else".
Now I am thinking that the reason that he was more open initially was because he was under the influence of narcotics. Now that he is not, he is protecting himself.


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Pasa - Oh I really feel for you.... it is such a hard situation to read. Is there anyone there that you trust at all and can get a good read on your son. My guess is he may behave differently when you are not there to see his behavior.... He is angry with you and he wants you to know it. I think giving him space is the right thing to do for right now. You do not need to accept abuse from him.

My son has treated me similarly in the past. He went through a pretty long period of just being angry at us because we wouldnt let him just go party with his friends in high school without supervision! I think as he has gotten older, been in several rehabs and met others with parents who really did not treat them well he has put it into perspective.... and now he is 23 instead of 16. Now he can actually tell me he loves me... for years he could not and definitely would not. So take heart about that part of things... his feelings will change as time goes on.