For those who did Residential Treatment Center (RTC), are your kids still upset??? Even years later?


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Okay - my son as some of you know has been a handful since he was 15 (2001). After many, many interventions (counselling with more than 6 counselors, medications (about 5-6), school expulsions (from two different schools), hospitalizations (3), jail (2), our son was sent out of state to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) where he stayed for 6 weeks. It was determined that he wasn't psychiatrically ill, more behavior based. This all occurred in 2001. After he returned from Residential Treatment Center (RTC), he did return to day treatment school (which was a big joke), finished probation (for stealing from us) and then ended up being kicked out of the house four months before he turned 18 (Feb 2003). He moved back home in Jan/Feb 2004 and lived with us till July 2006.

Fast-forward to now...he has an infant son born Nov 2006 whom he has seen a few times...he was not there for the birth and is not too interested in being a part of this child's life. However, we see the child and their family at least weekly and keep the baby and his older sister overnight also.

Last night while we were dropping off the baby and older sister (not our son's child), the girlfriend tells me that difficult child has never forgiven us for sending him away to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) when he was 15!!!!

We are talking 6 years later here guys! He was gone for only 6 weeks. We took extra time, went there, looked the place over to include their state inspection history, etc...It was not a bad place. However, in retrospect, it didn't do anything becuase he doesn't want to change.

Now...I don't bring up the holes in the wall that difficult child has done, the fact that he smoked pot in my house, the fact that he has wrecked a fairly new car, etc.. question (for those of you still reading) is this: do your kids feel that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was a waste? Do they still blame you? Do you have a relationship with your child now?

My son only calls when he is out of gas, has a health problem (I'm an advanced practice nurse), etc.. I don't contact him at all anymore. He doesn't work because all bosses are idiots and he is so put upon, etc. (You guys have all heard this excuse).


(the future) MRS. GERE
That's a good question, Judi. I really don't know if Rob harbors ill feelings or not. He's never mentioned it. I know we've both worked very hard to look forward and not back because looking back is so devastating. I'll have to ask him the next time I see him.



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Thanks Suz - I think too that my son is bringing this up now because our relationship is non-existent unless he wants something. I do feel horrible for him that he is missing so much with his son.

Sue C

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Hi Judi,

I don't know if Angela resents the 10 days in drug rehab or not. She is 27 now and doing great. About a year ago, I asked her if she was sorry for all her drug use when she was younger and the hell she put us through. Her response was, "I didn't take drugs." I said, "Yes, you did." She said, "MOM, I was a kid and that was a long time ago!!" So I dropped it, and I will not ask again. But you know what, Judi? Even if she does resent going to rehab, I don't care. We did what we felt was right for her at the time. (and no, it did not help her stop taking drugs but it did stop the physical abuse toward her sister, so it was helpful after all)

I don't think Melissa resents the 2 weeks in the mental health hospital. In fact, she brings it up once in awhile because we drive past it quite often on our way to various places. She said she LIKED it. But she says she didn't like the year of weekly counseling sessions we made her go to. She says they were a waste of time. She recently told us that sometimes she just sat there while the counselor stared at her, and then she'd finally talk after about 30-45 minutes (of an hour session). She told us we had wasted our money. Again, we did what we felt was right at the time, and I don't feel it was a waste of money.



Active Member
Thanks Sue - that's kinda the take I have on it. We did what we did at the time with the advice of professionals that we trusted. I don't think we did anything BAD, just that it didn't help.


New Member
Hi Judi,
my dtr went to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in Utah (we live in upstate NY) for 8 1/2 months when she was 16 and then she went to a dual diagnosis rehab in NY state for 4 months when she was 17. She doesn't resent us for sending her (the 2nd time she was court ordered to go) and while she doesn't seem to think she got a lot out of it I think she learned a lot--she has a lot of insight into her problems and how to handle them and also understands what makes other people tick. She stays in touch with many of the girls she got to know and seems to have fond memories. She does seem to get why we sent her.

Sue C

Active Member
Judi, we also did what we did with the advice of professionals. I wish a "professional" would have suggested emotional growth boarding school. I'd only heard about it on this Board. I truly truly truly think that it would have greatly helped Melissa. She is 21 now and so immature and naive and has an anger problem and has this great fear of being alone in the house and this need to be needed by a boy (thus, her devastation and angry feelings that Brandon dumped her but she tries to hang on as just his "friend" hoping it will be more).


Active Member
Janebrain - thanks. My son is still so immature and stupid that he continues to make wrong choices. My difficulty is that now that he has a child, it will be devastating for the child.

Sue C - That is the way we handled things also. I'll admit that although hubby and I are both professionals, we didn't have a clue as to how to deal with this.

Maybe we did make a bad decision. However, we made it with the best of intentions. However, I think our relationship will never be the same. My husband and I have discussed this. We both deeply love our son but can't abide his behavior. For now, its better that he is living elsewhere.


Well-Known Member
Hi Judi,

Oh yes, young difficult child. He still harbors resentment over the 4 1/2 months he spent at drug rehab. He says he will NEVER send his child to a place like that.

Sorry, I had to edit this cause bottom line is we all did the best we could at the time and nothing was done to hurt, only help them. And no one, would/could do better than we the parents tried/did at the time for our children.

I reread where this information came from...your grandchild's mother.
I'm not sure why she told you that. What purpose does it serve? Are you guys taking care of difficult child's baby out of guilt for difficult child? What does difficult child's baby's mom get out of this...telling you about difficult child's resentments over placements in the past?

pity, blame, guilt...I just sense emotional manipulation might be going on.

Judi, you didn't cause your child's issues, they were part of the package. kids who are healthy and cope with the stressors/changes of life don't go to "these places". Our's needed the extra help and it was provided.

If your son asks you "why" or try's to blame you, I think it's important to remind him that you did all you could to help him and the rest was always up to him. It's important to be respectful of their choices and consequences. To remind them of what their "will and way" gave them...what they gave to themselves.

You did a ton Right. You listened to professionals. You drove the distance, provided the means, were involved in the process. You looked it square in the eyes and did not give up. The willingness has to come from within. NOT You, me, nor ANY professional/system/rehab/school/jail, can flip a switch and force them to come to the correct conclusion's.

The willingness to accept responsibility for what THEIR choices/thinking/behavior determined seems vital to their longterm success. If any of us are limited by our past it is because it is self imposed. I am learning to free is a good example to both of my sons.

I suspect your difficult child wants to excuse some of the behavior he has difficulty accepting in himself. If it's always someone else's fault, they did this to me, etc. He's the poor victim and who can ever blame him...but his choices do have power and determine outcome. Life doesn't just "happen to him".

My young difficult child and I have a strong relationship in my opinion. But I have to admit, because I have been so willing in the past to accept full responsibility, guilt, blame, etc for any of my son's problems...I think this has allowed him to divert attention away from what he needs to do for himself by making it my problem not his, about me, not him.
That's not healthy for either one of us.

Just like my mom told me once upon a time..."When you grow up, you get to make the best decisions you can at that time for your children and if you want to do them differently then I have done for you, that will be your right as they are YOUR children."

I hope you are not allowing yourself to be used Judi. The guilt these kids can heap on us to continue getting their way is immeasurable. It's disrespectful and abusive and we DON'T deserve it. But they will use whatever they think works.

I hope if there are grandbabies involved at some point by my difficult child's that I will be able to let my difficult child's own their decisions while at the same time not allowing the grandbaby to pay for them. What a difficult dilemma.

I know a 14 yr old who has been raised by her grandparents past several years due to difficult child mom's issues. It's a very painful situation to me.

I hope you will take good care of yourself. I am doing my best to do that too. Have good days and bad days. There's no time like the present to be on the side of "solution" rather than part of the problem. My "meetings" help when I'm open.



New Member
WOW I remeber when we checked out a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) place, but we never sent our difficult child. It wasnt because it was a bad place, they just thought difficult child wasnt bad enough for the program. I beleive you have to do what you have to do. If that is the feelings he got out of the whole program then so be it. I am sure it also made him realize it wasnt a place he wanted to go back too either.

Wheterh they ae a difficult child or not, I think there is always something in there lives they will not like and harbor against us. Just dont go down the "guilt trip road " with them.



member since 1999

This came up several month ago with- thank you. It may be premature, since he's still in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (6 1/2 years now and counting) but he's definitely not angry with- us. He is just now starting to feel a sense of loss, mourning really, over not having been in the home, and is *intensely* jealous of his sibs because they "got to live here", but he also (for now) completely gets that we had absolutely no other alternatives.

Not to say at some point he won't get really angry, but I expect it and I have no apologies. We did the very best we could under awful circumstances. I won't defend or justify the choices we made. It's done. thank you can either continuing moving on with his life or he can waste it being angry over the past. I *hope* that the various discussions we've had over the years about his past bad acts (which only he initiates, I'm over them) has at least planted the seed of forgiveness and reconciliation and not being able to change what's done. Again, we did the very best we could, only with the best interest of him and the rest of the family in mind... I hope he will continue to understand that but if he doesn't... nothing I can do about it.


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LMS - This is not news to us that our son won't ever forgive us (his words). The girlfriend is actually very respectful and thankful. She works full-time and goes to school full-time and lives with her parents to save money. However, her mother does not want to raise the new baby (our grandson). I totally agree with this. husband and I have talked about adopting this child. That's the only way I would agree to raise him. I don't want custody issues to crop up. She is also talking about going after our son for child support. However, since difficult child doesn't work, that kinda is a bum deal. He'll just end up in jail. I don't feel I'm being manipulated by her at all. However, I do appreciate you bringing this possibility up to the surface.

Jen - you are so right. We did what we thought was best and went to a lot of additional trouble and expense to ensure our son was in a good place. HOwever, if you don't want help, you don't take even well-intentioned advice.

SLSH - our son in some way does feel a sense of loss. He is jealous of our older son (easy child) because we only have positives to say about him. However, we raised both sons in the same environment and love them both. Again, it goes back to doing the best you can at the time.

I guess I'm beating myself up over nothing (again). However, it does hurt that we don't have a good relationship. It also hurts us the way he ignores his baby. He was raised with two loving parents and an adoring older brother. Not a guarantee for a happy outcome though, unfortunately.


Active Member question (for those of you still reading) is this: do your kids feel that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was a waste? Do they still blame you? Do you have a relationship with your child now

I feel the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) did not help ant but it did contain him and prevent him from self destructing. he was there for almoast two yrs.

ant feels it was a waste, but he also knows and understands why he was sent. he has said many times how ashamed he was for how he acted and that it was all his own fault.

we had no relationship from his age 18-21. he was too out of control and any contact led to arguments and broken stuff.

on his 21st birthday, he called me at midnight and said he was going to overdose. I told him I could not help him.

a few days later, he called, ready to come home and face jail, and all the penalties it took to get right again.

that was over 2 yrs ago. he is fine now.
getting more lovable daily.

tell your son that when he has a grown child who is causing mayhem and about to self destruct....he can then make his own decisions on how to save his son. tell him you do not regret what you have done and that it was all caused by his own actions.

no guilt.


Well-Known Member
Cory was in either group homes or Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for most of his teen years. Actually he started at age 11 when he was in a wilderness camp for 16 months.

We have actually talked about this whole situation and Cory fully understands that it was his actions that caused him to be placed. He isnt thrilled about the fact that he was sent but he doesnt resent us either. He has said several times that he knows we did it for his own good and that it would have been far easier on us to just let him run wild and get into all sorts of trouble.

Now even saying that, he is convinced that HIS child will be We shall see.

Oddly enough he is starting to really regret the choices he made back then such as blowing off school. He now wishes he would have just done things more normally but he admits that I couldnt have made that choice for him.


Well-Known Member
My easy child/difficult child resents the CD family! Well, at least it sounds
like he does. Just this week I asked him why he would be
upset that I have cyber friends. His reply was simple. "If
I wasn't such a screwup you would have real friends." You
have no choice but to sit and type with strangers!

Sad...but true. DDD
(although the CD family does not fall into stranger category)


Active Member
Ants Mom - I truly appreciate your posting. So much of what your son has gone through, my son is following. I hope that my son one day opens his eyes too. I still have faith.

Dammit Janet - I had to laugh about your son wishing he hadn't blown off school. My son said the same thing - he has his GED and did 13 hours at community college but still wishes he had finished high school. Going to HS for three years and still being a freshman is kinda dumb - even he agrees - lol. Thanks.

DDD - I can relate. My son doesn't know about the CD board mainly because he doesn't live here. However, he resents the time we spend with his brother - easy child. Thank you.


Active Member
Although I didn't send either difficult child to Residential Treatment Center (RTC). The reason I found was due to difficult child 2's behavior which we had thoughts of sending him to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

Your difficult child if I'm not mistaken is BiPolar (BP). BiPolar (BP)'s bring up all kinds of things, current and in the past.

I personally feel it's a control issue also. They (our difficult child's) don't have control of themselves and it's very bothersome.

I'm sorry your difficult child is not having a relationship with his child. Do you think maybe he's thinking it's better that he not have a relationship for fear of getting close or for fear that he won't be able to continue it?

I think you and husband do a bangup job with your difficult child.


Active Member
Thanks Sunny - no my son isn't BiPolar (BP). The only diagnosis he ever had was adhd (which they decided he didn't have after all) and depression.

Yes, I do think you have hit the nail on the head. He doesn't want to start a relationship that he can't finish! Thanks for everything. I really appreciate it.


New Member
My difficult child was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC), among other things. I don't know if he's angry about it, he hasn't spoken to me in 3 years. I do know that he blames me for everything else in his life, though. I don't know if it helped, but it got him out of my home, which made me feel safer