happy but sad at the same time...

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Karenvm, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Karenvm

    Karenvm Member

    Hi all.
    After many phone calls, very little help from the psychiatrist, we finally found a residential facility that was willing to accept my son into their "diagnostic 45 day program". It is not a substance abuse program, but more mental health with some substance abuse help as well. It's called "XXXXXXX" (not sure if we are allowed to name facilities?), and is about an hour and a half from where we live. My insurance is covering it (thank goodness!). Of course, my son had to consent to go, which was not easy, but I told him he needed to go somewhere for help, and he turns 18 in June, so better to go now to a pediatric facility, than an adult facility. He signed the consents. we brought him on Monday. It's a huge place, something like 260 acres, with multiple "houses" that hold about 20 kids each, all diffentiated by the needs of that group of kids. There is a beautiful school building, where they go daily, a huge gym, pool, and the grounds themselves are just very nice and peaceful. Of course, it's still a "facility", and no 5 star hotel, but still. I felt very comfortable leaving him there. The therapist, psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, social worker all were SO wonderful. I got my first phone call from my son on Thursday night. I didn't expect it to be good, but it was really bad! He said he hates it, I "have to get him out of there", the "other kids are crazy" (yes, I am sure that many have much more significant behavioral and psychological issues than he does), and that he can't possibly stay. Of course, I told him he would adjust, and to just focus on getting the therapy he needs, and that the other kids don't have to be his "best friends". The thing is, he has been so "out of control" at home for the past year or so- eats when he wants (including in the middle of the night), stays up till all hours playing video games, sleeps late, etc. The restrictions he now has are likely very hard for him right now (bed time at 9:30 for a 17 year old is rough!), but I think that is exactly what he needs to get him back on the right path. They are going to try Depakote as a mood stabilizer, and keep him on Lexapro. And they switched him from adderall (which I hate, because of the abuse potential), to Strattera.

    I know in my heart he is fine, and that he needs to be there. Plus, it's SO incredibly peaceful at home- I don't walk on eggshells, wonder what his mood will be like when I get home, etc. I also know that it is probably normal for me to also feel very sad, and wonder if I am doing the right thing for him. It's just so hard to hear your child beg you to come and get him. Last night, he called again, and was just plain angry. He said that I lied to him, and that he was going to be there for three months (that is news to me- he was only accepted to the 45 day program, but of course, if he needs more therapy, he can stay as long as the insurance will cover it!). Said he will kill himself if he has to stay there. Complained about everything. I told him that he could not come home yet, and he said he hates "all of you people anyway". Ugh. I also told him that I planned to come and visit on Sunday (visiting is Sat and Sun), but that if he was just going to be rude to me, I would not be coming. He did ask that I please come, and he won't be rude. I do know that when I get there, it's going to be a begging session, him trying to convince me to get him out, which I will NOT do (I worked too hard to get him there to begin with!). My husband is not going with me to visit tomorrow (much to do at home, he will stay home with the other two kids), so I know it will be hard for me. I am very good at keeping the happy face, and being firm, even though on the inside I am dying!

    So many of you have stories so similar to mine, and kids that seem just like my son! I know those of you who have been in my shoes, know exactly what I am facing right now. And the doubt I am feeling about the whole situation, even as irrational as it is! Truth is, our home is so peaceful right now, and I feel guilty for enjoying it!

    Thanks for listening. I find this board so incredibly helpful, just reading about things others are going through. Makes me realize I am not alone, I am not crazy, and I am not a bad mother.
    Lasted edited by : Feb 16, 2013
  2. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Karen,

    I edited your thread to take the name of the facility out of your post. Members can PM you if they would like to know the name.

    Of course your son doesn't like the facility. He doesn't get to do whatever he wants to do. Let the staff know about the phone calls and set clear boundaries with your son. When he starts to say things like that, just say, "I'm sorry, difficult child. You need to take your complaints to the treatment team. This conversation makes me uncomfortable so I am going to hang up." And do it.

    You are not a bad mom. You are a very loving mom who went to great lengths to get your son into a place for the treatment that he desperately needs. That makes you a wonderful mom in my book.

  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member


    You are not a bad mom at all, although of course your difficult child will think you are for leaving him there. We were faced with that after our difficult child was in her treatment center for 30 days and thet (and us) wanted her to saty another 30 days. She almost walked out one parent day and she did try to leave on her own one Saturday with some former clients who came to visit their friends and they had to chase her down the looooong country road after they ran off the other visitors.

    I'm glad they switched him from adderall (which I also hate because of the abuse potential) to strattera. My difficult child was on that for several years and did well on it, no bad side effects at all.

    Don't feel guilty about enjoying the peace and quiet. It was heavenly when our difficult child was in treatment. I had forgotten how peaceful life could really be.It will make you more committed to not ever going back to those chaotic days.

    Good luck tomorrow and stay strong. He may pull on your heartstrings but nothing changes if nothing changes and if he comes back home it will just go back to the way it was, even though he will promise it won't.

  4. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    You are doing all the right things - stay strong, Mom! He wants his way, and will try to get it no matter what.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi Karen - I'm so sorry for your aching mother heart, but at the same time, you do sound like you are really strong - you know this is the best option for your son. Hang on to that.

    My experience with- my son in RTCs was that there was usually a period of begging, pleading, threats, and bargaining. I'd get tales of mistreatment, how he didn't need to be there, promises of better choices, yada yada yada. My very best suggestion for you would be to stay in close contact with staff. What you get on the phone is probably only a sliver of the whole picture - I was utterly *stunned* during my son's first Residential Treatment Center (RTC) stay (granted, he was much younger) when I finished a tearful pleading phone call with him and called staff back to ask them to keep an eye on him because he was in such a horrible state of mind - according to staff, my beloved son got off the phone with me, wiped away his tears, and was cheerfully playing games in the common room with his peers!!

    While I know you have a long drive today, I think it's important to define your boundaries, what you will tolerate during the visit, and then if he crosses those boundaries, kiss him, tell him you love him, and leave. Keep it light. More than once I've driven over an hour to see my son, walked in, gotten nasty attitude or threats or whatever, and turned around and come home. It's important to show up and be there for him, but I think it's equally important to not be a verbal (or physical) punching bag because he's ticked over the consequences of his poor choices. in my humble opinion.

    Good luck today, and hang in there.
  6. Karenvm

    Karenvm Member

    Thank you everyone. Sue- you described exactly what our phone call was like!!! (he even told me the other night that he does not have any sheets on his bed, but when I asked to speak with one of the counselors about it, he said no one was available!). I will take all of your advice with me when I go to visit today.

    Thank you for the pep talk everyone, it really helps!!!

  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Of course there wasn't one available. LOL Typical difficult child behavior. Stay strong knowing that you are doing the right thing.

  8. Karenvm

    Karenvm Member

    Hi. The visit went well. I met first with the therapist, who was excellent. We then met together with difficult child, which also went very well. He was not angry with me, and treated me well. Even got a hug and kiss goodbye. What he is most sad about is the living situation,and other kids in his "house". The group has kids with significant anger issues, among other things. He said there are frequent fights. My son is more of the quiet type, and I guess he feels he does not fit in. He has been doing a lot of reading. He said that during the week its better, because they go to school most of the day. The weekends have a lot of down time, so he is bored. I also found out that he actually did NOT have any sheets on his bed! I was a bit angry about this, and mentioned it to one of the counselors, who was surprised. I dont know if Sean never mentioned it to anyone or not, but they apologized. I brought him a new set of sheets and told them I expected them to be on his bed tonight. Other than that, the visit went well. I know that by having so much structure right now is good for him, its what he needs. The therapist really feels he has bipolar, which is what we have been told before, but none of the medications he tried made a difference (likely because he stopped them too soon). She was talking about trying lithium, which is supposed to be very good for bipolar.
    Thank you all for your support! I do feel better after I read your posts and responses to mine.
    This is a crazy road that only those who have been on can even begin to understand!

    thank you.
  9. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm glad that the visit went well. Keep us posted.

  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm glad the visit went well, that he was appropriate and that he wasn't lying about the sheets.
  11. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl Member

    This may sound strange, but I'm so jealous! I've been trying to get my son to consent for treatment, with no luck....yet. I'm so happy for you and your difficult child!!!! Keep us posted. Look forward to hearing the awesome end result! :)
  12. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    It is very typical that our difficult children manipulate us when they are in treatment. Mine tried to work both ends against the middle most of her treatment. Do not
    let him pull your heart strings. You arefeeling all the same things I felt both times we placed our daughter. By the way, she had us convinced the other kids were
    so much worse than her.Dont buy it.....some of those kids ended up on medication that really leveled them out. Unfortunetley, no medications have ever done that for
    our difficult child. If I remember, your boy was violent in your home. This is the best thing for him and the rest of your family. It is a lot easier to see other people's crazy b
    before your own. Let him blow steam, but be firm that he is staying.
  13. Karenvm

    Karenvm Member

    Thank you! Exhausted, this is exactly what I needed to hear right now, as I just hung up with him, and he told me how bad the food is, how he is going to starve, etc. It just makes me sad! He is a good person, just needs to get treatment for pot use, and also likely bipolar disorder.
    Wakegirl- I too felt "jealous" in the past when others got their kids out of their house too! Now that mine is out for now, I am still not happy! I am less stressed for sure, and calmer, but I feel so sad for him!
    i need to stay focused on the WHY part of it all, why he is there, why this was the only rational next step.
    It is just hard.

    Thank you for your support.