How do I accept that she is coming home?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by JJJ, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I know it is 165 days away. I know there is a slim chance it won't happen. But I cannot deal with the fact that Kanga will be coming home. When she comes home, she will be just over 3 years away from 18 -- a long, long time. My heart is breaking for my other children. I am grateful that we were able to get them a year and a half of a normal childhood. I'm sickened and scared that it couldn't be more. husband still wants to bury his head in the sand and pretend she is better. I will need to protect us all alone. I can't count on him to protect the others. I'm so scared that one of us will be seriously injured or worse before anyone understands how dangerous she is.

    It is 3am and I cannot sleep. It is like this after most phone calls with her. Residential Treatment Center (RTC) staff demanded we call and visit more often. It tears me up to do so but I'm afraid they'll send her home earlier if we don't. We are just 11 days away from the first sibling visit. The kids don't know. I don't know how to tell them. We aren't going to tell them until we are almost at her Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    If husband beat the younger kids and I, the law would remove him from our home and forbid me to allow the kids to see him. But because she is a minor, I am required to have the kids see her and to "reunify". How crazy is that???
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Oh JJJ - I hear you and I'm so sorry. That last paragraph sums it up so well. I can't tell you how many times I said the exact same thing to police/hospital staff. Apparently, mothers are not afforded the same protections as everyone else yet if something happens to our other kids at the hands of our difficult child, we're responsible. It's a real catch-22.

    Safety plans deluxe is all I can tell you. Keep your cell phone on you. Get the other kids together and come up with a plan. In our home, the 2 younger kids' rooms are upstairs and there's a door at the top of the stairway. The last time difficult child lived here, we installed a keyed lock on that door so they could get to a safe place and stay physically safe (it did not protect them from the absolutely vile verbal abuse he spewed). medications and sharps (forks, knives, screwdrivers, cleaning products, etc) were locked in a lockbox, and I wore both keys around my neck 24/7. I talked to village police beforehand (they still remembered difficult child) and gave them a head's up that he was coming home. At that point, SASS wasn't doing any in-home services and were useless in a crisis because we have MH insurance, so we started the hospitalization merry-go-round again when things fell apart.

    It's not ideal, by any stretch, JJJ. It's impossible to fully protect our other kids if they're in the same house, so for me anyway, the goal became how to keep them as safe as possible.

    I would tell the kids before you head up to Residential Treatment Center (RTC), so you can all together work on a safety plan. I really understand how important it is to preserve the peace and protect everyone. I felt like it was really important for my kids to know that I was *not* sacrificing their safety (if I could help it).

    Since Residential Treatment Center (RTC) has been totally taken in by her behaviors there, I'd seriously see if you can set up audio and/or video monitoring of a family space so that you can have a totally objective record of her interaction with- the family. It may be that she honeymoons during the home visit - in over 100 home visits now, there has been *1* where my difficult child lost it. One. But if Kanga does revert to form, the only chance you have of being heard is if they can hear it firsthand, in my humble opinion.

    I'm truly sorry. I think you need to keep raising the warning flag, loudly, with everyone you can think of - SASS, DMH, Residential Treatment Center (RTC), everyone. But also in the meantime you need to find a safety plan that will keep you all safe. Many gentle hugs to you.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi JJJ--

    I am so sorry....and I know how badly this Hoovers all the way around. And unfortunately, you know very well that it means that you will be "on guard" 24/7 as soon as she arrives home.

    Keep the kids separated if you are not in the room to supervise. For my difficult child we set up plenty of entertainment in her being separated was a "good" thing because it meant that she could play video games without having to share or take turns.

    Remove all weapons.
    Put locks on doors.
    Install surveillance cameras.
    Make sure the dogs sleep next to your bed at night.

    I wish there were better answers than these....but so far, that is all that I (or any of the therapists we've worked with) have come up with.

    Sending (((((hugs))))) and support.

  4. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I am so sorry. I can totally understand your feelings. Even when my daughter is in a short term hospital I dread the day of her release. Only parents like us could ever understand that. We get a taste of peace and then dread the day it is taken from us. Especially for the other kids. I have felt the same way in the past, many times.

    I am confused though. The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that Kanga is in has a set date for her release??? I never thought they did that. My daughter has been in 3 rtcs and never had a release date. It was always to be determined, by her progress and her behavior. What if in 165 days she just is not ready to come home, what then? If you feel that it is a saftety issue for her to come home isn't there a way to fight her release?

    And yes, I think it is crazy that our children are permitted to abuse us and their siblings. I have often said that to the police when they have been here for my daughter abusing me. I argued with them on a few occasions. "If I punched my daughter in the face, you would no doubt, arrest me. Why is it okay for her to assault me?" Of course, I always got the run around, they could never really come up with a good answer to that question!

    I am so sorry. I hope that you are able to make other arrangements, or better yet, I hope Kanga makes much progress over the next few months!

    Keeping my finger's crossed for you. :)
  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    In this case, reunification should not be the game plan ~ you know it, I know it, in my humble opinion Kanga's case managers know it. Acceptance isn't the goal here. A safe plan is the goal. Bringing Kanga back home is putting you & your entire family at risk. (I know preaching to the choir)

    If Kanga cannot stay at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or is "cured" then there should be a drop down to a group home. Is something like that available in your state? Be aware that I say this with great consternation & care on my part ~ is it time to disrupt this adoption? Is it time to step away from this child to get the rest of your family in a safe place?

    There are some children that cannot or will not be helped. There are some children that cannot be reached. The adoption/social services community knows this & fights it like crazy. They do not want those kids on their hands. Saying that, I hate seeing an entire family crumble due to one child. The community doesn't want it nor does social services an entire family in need of services. Again, preaching to the choir.

    You know that kt & wm cannot live together & in some ways they are more in control than Kanga. When wm did come home & stayed here 5 months it was an extremely anxious crisis ridden 5 months. However, wm was told before he came home that there is a line in the sand & if he steps over that line he is back out of the house. He had to know & my service providers backed me up 100%. wm, as you know, eventually stepped over that line & has not lived here since.

    Acceptance can & will come with a crisis/safety plan. You cannot continue to live apart. That just isn't healthy for anyone. That plan needs to include when/if Kanga steps over your line in the sand. As much as possible live "normally" as any family would but have that plan in place. Get your case worker behind you. Find one advocate that will fight to the death for your family.

    JJJ, I can't express my sorrow to you over this situation. It's a nightmare that just never ends. Fighting the "system" is a stressor you just do not need right now.

    Enjoy these 165 days ~ put plans in place. Know that we are here for you no matter what.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Linda made some valid points.

    I'm so very sorry. You're right, the system is so messed up.

    Any chance of transferring her to another Residential Treatment Center (RTC)?

    This is why I think long term facilities need to be available for families. I know they were criticized when they were closed in the 70's and early 80's. But not all of them (even state run) were bad. And it provided a place for those who simply cannot function at all in normal society. And kanga is obviously still at that level, even though they want re-unification.

    I won't get on my soap box.

    Saying prayers for you and the family that a good solution is found.

  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry. I can feel your sense of dread.
    You've gotten some good advice and ideas here.
    Definitely, locks on the doors. Cameras are a good idea, too.
    I agree, don't tell the siblings until you have to.
    Many hugs. Try to sleep. This is your personal time, away from Kanga so please try not to think about it so much until you are in the thick of it. Get lots of sleep.
  8. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I sit here and shake my head on your behalf. I can't begin to tell you how much I feel for you.

    We went through so many roller coaster rides with the difficult children. Both with each other and with easy child. I truly breathed a sigh of relief when difficult child 2 was told he could never live here again. He strikes fear into me. So many people don't see it. He has this sweet disposition for strangers. When they tell me what a good kid I have how sweet how caring I just shudder.

    I would fight this (I know you must be). It is so not healthy for anyone involved. Any time you need someone behind you holding you up...I am there. Fear in your own home bites the really big one. Fear for your other children is even worse.

    Many hugs.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. There are no words to express how strange and stupid I find this plan of "reunification". I think you need to contemplate disrupting the adoption. Not saying you should do it, or shouldn't do it. Just that you, and husband, should THINK about it.

    You need to work with a therapist to help deal with this. Making a safety plan and starting to implement it is a good idea. I think the other kids should have personal alarms so they can sound them off if they are in danger and no adults are right there.

    (That REALLY helped Jess deal with the panic - it seemed to help her feel empowered.)

    The kids should NOT be surprised with Residential Treatment Center (RTC) visits or home visits by kanga. They need time to prepare, and to find coping tools to help them with this. You may need in home help for them to deal with this. At least, in my opinion.

    I am so sorry. Sending 200% support for whatever you decide.
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am just here adding my hugs and strength.
    I am feeling just utter sadness at the whole situation.

    It is just ridiculous that family is not protected. We are so lucky that K is still so young and that things have not gotten so bad.

    I am thinking of your family.
  11. C.J.

    C.J. New Member

    You know your children - and how they will respond to the surprise (to them) visit with Kanga. Can you stop for breakfast/lunch before you reach the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and calmly explain to them what will be taking place later in the day - what they will see, who will be there, safety plans, length of stay, reassure them (while not trying to drive, too) that you are still in control, and if Kanga misbehaves, they will be able to leave the room and go to a safe place?

    Wishing all of you a safe journey.
  12. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Can't really add anything here -- I just appreciate the helplessness and frustration you must be feeling over the situation and where it seems to be headed. Can't be good.

    So you have 2.5 months to prepare for this Plan B. No doubt you will come up with something to keep everyone safe. I hope your husband gets it together and sees things for how they really are, and quick. You don't need an ostrich.
  13. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    JJJ, I thought about my response to you & I hope you don't feel it was overly harsh. It just seems that your state offers little in options to keep the family save.

    I have to remind people time & again that it's Family Health & Social Services not Child Health & Social Services. The system puts all of it's efforts of the "problem child" & nothing into the family dealing with the day to day stress & dangers created by said child. It's FAMILY - look at your card & see what department you work for.

    I'm also reminded of wm ~ we're maintaining a family of different addresses for very valid reasons as you are for Kanga.

    Sweetie, I know you know this; the "system" forgets on a very regular basis. Please know when I offered disruption as a possible solution I did it with all the understanding, respect & care I have for you & your situation.
  14. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Thanks all.

    Linda - we looked at disruption and our lovely DCFS was going to charge us with neglect in order to take her back and threatened to take all 4. Since she got the state grant right after that to pay for Residential Treatment Center (RTC), we didn't pursue it any farther.

    Our biggest problem is most staff at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) don't see her as dangerous. The nurse and her therapist are the two that seem to have the best grip on her but even then they are not seeing the big picture. I did get Kanga to admit to the therapist that she puts on an act for staff cause "they'd never believe me". The real reason is closer to "I get warm fuzzies and things I'm not really suppose to have because I made myself the favored child and I'm not ruining that be letting them know I'm hallucinating and craving violence." It shows me that she does have significant control over her violence but just wanted to hurt us. Kanga will, of course, deny saying she puts on an act but the therapist will document it.

    As far as surprising the littles with a visit, Eeyore's therapist thinks that he will esculate if given any warning of the exact time. They have been working on skills for handling the visit although he doesn't have an exact date. Piglet is in a very important competition that morning so we do not want her nervous (her competition is closer to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) than to home which is why we picked that date). The visit is scheduled to last just 20 minutes (we're eating McDonalds, taking a family picture and leaving) and we are going to give the kids 2 hour notice that we are going so we can talk it through.
  15. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry, JJJ. No advice or suggestions, just hugs and support.
  16. Lori4ever

    Lori4ever New Member

    I'm so sorry you're family is suffering this way. If staff doesn't see the true picture, in my humble opinion it means they're too lazy to do their job. Is it possible to find a different place for here, one with a better fit for the family?
  17. Janna

    Janna New Member


    I'm so sorry that you are stressed with this. 165 days goes fast - it seems like a long time, but it's not enough to get everything to happen the way you want.

    I've been through this reunification stuff more times than I'd like to recall. And you know, the thing is, they can breeze through. B just did - he finished up 7 months at an Residential Treatment Facility (RTF), and they told me he matured, became very family oriented, blah blah, etc - but in reality, the minute he was out, he was back to the same PITA he's always been. There's been no change. I'm just trying to get him out of here now (we emancipated him) into his own place.

    The CHILD has to WANT to work. That's it. If not, nothing's gonna work.

    I was wondering, too, about a step down. They offered that to us with D in his last Residential Treatment Facility (RTF). He would have went to a "theraputic" foster care for a period of, say, 6 months to help reunify him back. They didn't offer this to us until almost the end, but I'd ask.

    I hope things go ok with the visit.
  18. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    The others have given you good advice. My heart goes out to you... Your post just makes me so sad and angry at the same time. The system is totally pathetic!!!

    Although I've been afraid of difficult child 1 at times, it is not on the same level, or anywhere near the same level of fear that you and your family have experienced. I just know how I felt in the past and can't even imagine the HE77 you're going through now. Your situation is heart-breaking...

    Please know that I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers... WFEN
  19. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Thanks all. I love all the support from this board.