Guilt & worry

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm trying to stay strong, but it's hard to push for difficult child going to Residential Treatment Center (RTC), or at least staying in psychiatric hospital a bit longer, until extensive services are set up at home, when his b-day is tomorrow. I feel guilty about it. I'm afraid of how the PO, then the judge are going to handle this and where they are going to end up sending difficult child. Especially after hearing a poster on my last thread saying her child was sent to the grandparents. If they send my son to my family or this juvy prison, I don't know if I can handle it.

    On top of that, difficult child was talking tonight and I'm not sure how worried I should be about what he said. We were walking thru the hospital (off the ward) and waiting for the cafeteria to open so he asked to see the chapel. We don't go to church regularly, but he has been to a few different ones several times so is not ignorant about churches and he asks about religion sometimes, so we discuss various beliefs (non-prejudically) and spirituality, and the faith that I believe, which in part, includes people making their own choice about their religious faith.

    Anyway, we went into the chapel and it being small with just a few chairs set up and lit dimly, difficult child said it looked weird. Then he said he was almost scared in there because God does not like him. I asked why he would say that, that He loves everyone. And he said that He wouldn't like him because he's bad. I tried to make light of it and said "Oh, so He only cares about perfect people- huh?"

    Then as we were walking down the hall, difficult child said it wasn't about religion. He said it was that he knew he'd done a lot of bad things and he just didn't care. I looked a little shocked, I'm sure, and asked about it. He said that well, he did care, but not as much as others. He said he could tell because of the way everyone talks in group. And he said that he didn't care what others thought of him.

    Now, last week, I went to talk to difficult child's therapist to tell him about difficult child being in psychiatric hospital again. He can't/won't betray difficult child's trust but did discuss (briefly) a couple of things that difficult child and he are working on, which I already knew. One is about how hard it has been on difficult child this past year since losing his best friend and being basicly ostracized from that whole group of friends that socialize with the other boy. difficult child has been very hurt by it and he's had great trouble meeting new friends, except for that one boy who has big problems of his own and I don't want difficult child hanging around him. The other thing we discussed was difficult child saying "he just didn't care" about a whole lot of things. therapist said he wasn't convinced that difficult child didn't really care, but he was working with him to take action that showed he cares. I told him that I agree, because people who don't really care don't have their feelings hurt, because they don't care, right?

    But, after difficult child said all this today- how worried should I be about this? The bright side (if there is one) is that difficult child was honest about it. Does this sound more like depression or lack of conscience?
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    All I know is that from my experience people who say they don't care often care too much and they are trying to protect themselves from their feelings. It's easier to cut off from them and deny them. It's hard to tell from here about the consciousness. Does he care more at times and less at others? What types of stuff does difficult child care about? It might be that he's trying to detach as a coping mechanism? I'm just thinking out loud here. Love, ML
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes- he does care more at times than others- and it changes with the mood cycling. Now that you ask those questions, it reminds me that the therapist he saw last year said difficult child "suffered from extreme self-consciousness". He cares about how others (particularly his peers, but adults too) view him and his school work, clothes, everything, except whether or not he looks unkempt. LOL!

    Thanks, ML!!
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I agree with ML that your difficult child cares more than he's letting on because he wants to protect himself. And I do think this stems more from depression than lack of conscience.

    My son lost a close friend last year in school when that friend made new friends and didn't include my son. My son felt very hurt, but really couldn't make much of an effort to either join in or make new friends because he was experiencing severe mood instability and ended up in day treatment for 6 weeks. He's in a new school this year, but still hasn't made new friends, I suspect because he still feels burned from last year and it takes a tremendous amount of effort to be social. People who are depressed can't put forth that much effort and then their bad feelings about themselves are confirmed when they don't make new friends. I'm wondering if a similar scenario is playing out with your difficult child.

    Hang in there.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, SW!! I guess because of the knife situation, I got worried that he's becoming a sociopath. But the more I think about it, he's even refusing to play trumpet now because he got behind on practicing while depressed and sick and out of school and when he went back, a couple of kids gave him a hard time for not playing well in band class and he hasn't picked it up since. It breaks my heart because he really was good and I thought band would be a great thing for him in high school. Fortunately, the band director is willing to talk to difficult child and work with him to get him back involved.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Do you think if he went to the type of psychiatric hospital/Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that sw talked about, that they would be able to tear down that shell and get to the things that are really hurting him? Or would he learn to harden it more- like he would in juvy?
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I think it depends on the program. This is JMHO, but I believe our type of kids need the kind of intensive therapy that focuses on relationship building first and foremost before they are ready to work closely with a therapist on their issues. If the psychiatric hospital/Residential Treatment Center (RTC) operates on a behavior system, it might not help all that much. But again, this is JMHO.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    How can I find out what therapuetic means they use for real? Any place (outpatient) that I ever call always say they use a combination- CBT and behavioral modification, etc- but then I can always figure out that most are using strict behavioral modifcation shortly after starting with them.

    But, one of our members here had a difficult child that went to the same place the sw recommended. The sw and I did discuss that medication stabilization needed to be primary goal and behavioral management second. This sw is very familiar with difficult child's case because she's always been the sw at all his phop visits and she knows that difficult child has fairly long (for a kid) periods of stability and is not a behavioral problem during those times. He just has age appropriate mis-behaviors then. Also, I know the actual tdocs that are running group at the psychiatric hospital know difficult child's underlying issues because they have never changed and every trip to the psychiatric hospital, difficult child ends up having to write in his journal about it. I just want him to be at a place where that can be pursued more and really dealt with- for more than just a few days and it needs to be more intensive than what he's getting out-patient.
  9. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    If the mental health professionalas at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) understand your difficult child's issues, that's half the battle. Is it possible for you to visit and/or talk to staff at the new facility before your difficult child is placed there?
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'll try- thanks for the suggestions, by the way! I guess I got wrapped up in seeing if it was even a possibility (funding, po, etc). Once the sw recommended a type of place that my personal therapist did, then said a specific place that a member here recommended, I felt pretty good about it. Plus, it is 2-3 mos., not a year or so. It wouldn't hurt for me to call them tomorrow- also, they might have some suggestions of how to get difficult child in. They aren't in this town so it would take me a few hours to visit.
  11. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I am sorry I am so late to this, I haven't been on the computer all day. Just want to send you some (((HUGS))).

    Hang in there. :)
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It certainly won't hurt to check it out.

    I must say that the "I don't care" from your difficult child sounds like he cares desperately and is trying not to show it. My difficult child did the same thing. Tyler even does some of it, esp about not knowing the names of the kids in his class (I think he may have a bit of face blindness).

    anyway, on the "God doesn't like me" issue, Wiz spent YEARS convinced we had him exorcised. When he described what he remembered, it was his BAPTISM! Catholic Church because husband is Catholic and the priest did not insist I go through confirmation. And we had my Aunt and her husband (Dad's sister and her husband) coming in to visit so we had them be the godparents.

    Wiz has OFTEN said that God doesn't like him because he did bad things. It is one of the things we worked on in psychiatric hospital, and at home. Not so much formal religion, as it was never worth it to force Wiz to go to church and then deal with his behavior, but we worked on the concept that God loves us in spite of our mistakes.

    I really think the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is worth looking into. 2-3 months may not be enough though. Can they keep him longer if he needs to stay longer? Or would they give a recommendation to another facility if he needed to stay longer?

    This is all tough to figure out. Sending gentle hugs and lots of support for whatever you decide.
  13. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I haven't read much over the weekend... was super busy ...but here I am. The psychiatric hospital definitely focused on medications and therapy with Youngest.. in fact, she left there on fewer medications than she went in with, yet more stable. That showed me they didn't just throw medications at teh problems, they actually tried to figure out what worked best. There was plenty of therapy, and they remarked on how she progressed with it, starting out with being shy in group but ending up with giving good feedback to others by the time she was discharged. She was there four months.

    Funding is the biggest obstacle to Residential Treatment Center (RTC), in my opinion. That and bed availability, of course. But you are on the road to getting that through the county, I have a feeling things may start to fall into place with this recent hospitalization.

    As for the courts, you have so many recommendations for what difficult child needs I can't imagine them simply ignoring it at this point. The PO of course is another story.. but I think if you go straight to the head of court services about her lack of support to your family, it may help. She can't get away with flagrantly ignoring, and even ridiculing, the fact your son has a diagnosed mental illness.

    The guilt is a normal reaction, been there done that. Each of my difficult children have spent holidays/birthdays in hospitals, so I know that feeling too well. But you are doing what is best for your son .. and there will be other birthdays.

    BIG HUGS again. I'm here if you need me.
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I love that story about Wiz, Susie! What you tried to teach him is similar to what I'm trying to teach my son. None of us are perfect.

    I have called and left message for sw to call me. My primary concern right now is making sure they don't discharge difficult child just yet. This happened in Dec because apparently the psychiatrist in charge (and who decides on admission and discharge) doesn't talk to the sw or read her notes from the family meeting. If we can't get him in some place, or get emergency county team meeting lined up (which I know can't be done today), I at least want these recommendations in writing so that I can present them with letters from therapist and regular psychiatrist.

    I will call the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) shortly. At this point I think it's important to get him in somewhere quick on the basis of needing medication stabilization (it's a little hhard for the PO to over-ride that) and if he needs moved, then worry about moving him. Because he's a typical teen except for certain periods of time, whn quite frankly the medications have never completely controlled, the profs seem to be convinced that if medications were right, difficult child would be functioning fine and needs some interventions to manage it all, but not extreme bahavior management. I would think that 2-3 mos would give them enough time to figure out if that's completely true or not. Especially since late winter/early spring is his most manic and difficult period. So, if they can get him thru that period successfully on medications, fine. If not, I would certainly think they would recommend something else- or a longer stay if needed. I can make sure they are aware of that. Most are willing to at least write out recommendations even if they can't provide them.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Crazy! Was there individual and family therapy or just group therapy or would they tailor that based on the child's needs?
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    sorry I missed this.
    My difficult child says that a lot. But he absolutely cares. It's just the thing he says when he's exasperated or depressed. Somemtimes I think of it for a code expression for "I just don't want to deal with it."
    You've gotten some great responses here.
  17. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There was both individual and group. It was a set schedule, so nothing individually tailored about that, but I felt like they addressed Youngest's needs very specifically.