How to Deal...maybe

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Robinboots, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    This is likely to be a jumbled mess of thoughts, ideas, plans, progress...or lack bear with me, please! Tried to explain it to husband this morning and he just didn't quite "get it".

    Having trouble sleeping, working, thinking, etc. No surprise there. I am, however, exercising, taking vitamins and my blood pressure medications, eating fairly well, and keeping alcohol to a minimum, ha. I get done what I can get done, in between phone calls, texts, worrying, thinking, planning, etc.

    This is it:

    I always said difficult child would be at home anywhere, that you could drop him in the middle of a crowded airport, or wherever, even at age 6 or so, and he'd be fine, he'd manage. So why am I so freaked out now, when he's 17? Well, because of his diagnosis, and it's about time he gets himself together because he's almost grown, right? And, of course, because he's running around, doing who-knows-what and, very important here, *I* am responsible still.

    Which is what we're trying to get the judge's cooperation for - to make us NOT responsible. Looks like he's not going to do anything until April 7. I can probably hang on that long....

    Here's something that occured to me this morning:

    In 8 months and 10 days, difficult child will be 18. Now, I was certainly hoping that he'd go all the way through high school and start college - and those are just the basics, honestly I was hoping for much more. So, if I thought he was "capable" at 6, why not now? I mean, in some ways he's more mature than his chronological age, and he's usually had "older" I could look at this as though he's already 18, right? Because another 8 months isn't going to make that much difference, right?

    I mean, let's pretend he was doing the "normal" things. He'd turn 18 halfway through his senior year of high school. And the things he'd be "normally" doing would be the things he's doing now - well, except he'd be HERE and BEHAVING. There isn't much difference, I suppose, except he gave up a nice home and family to couch surf and the car he was buying for...whatever it is he's really doing.

    So, in a nutshell, he's just jumped the gun a bit, age-wise, right? So I can stop freaking out. And stop feeling guilty. Maybe.

    His DJO asked me yesterday what *I* had done to get him help. I told her about the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), which is just for CO'd kids, and she asked "what else". Well, when your kid's in custody, home for 9 days, back in detention, then taken into "protective custody" for 7 months, how much can you do? Or maybe I should have done more....

    Sorry this is so long. Congrats if you made it all the way thru.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Did you attend to his medical needs? Did you ensure he had access to a good education? Did you feed him nutritious food? Make sure he had a bed to sleep on? In which case, you attended to his basic needs.

    Did you show him you loved him? Did you give him clear and consistent upbringing? Did you guide him towards a future life with some idea of good moral code? Then you were more than just an average parent, you were a good parent.

    Yes, he has jumped the gun a bit. He has a medical diagnosis which could explain some of his behaviours, but in his mind, he is an independent adult now. He also has made you feel unsafe in your own home and is continually doing damage on various fronts. I agree, you need to be made not responsible for him now, but that won't stop you being his mother, it won't stop you loving him. But it is what you have to do in this situation.

    I have recently read a book about scarily similar issues, it is by Australian journalist Ann Deveson. In her case, her son developed schizophrenia and became a huge problem, despite when younger showing so much promise. The book is certainly not a "how to" manual, if anything it's a 'how not to" but it also shows how you put things in place to protect you legally, you get the protection orders or whatever, but when the kid comes home and wants a hug, you're there.

    There is a link to an interview Ann did for an Australian TV biography show, it gives you a deep insight into the woman. However, I couldn't get it to open the second page.

    Here is her Wikipedia entry -

    From Wiki, the book she wrote (which I recently read) is called "Tell Me I'm Here". It's about her son Jonathon.

    See if you can find the book to read. It might give you some clues on what to do as well as what not to do.


  3. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Thank you. I'll check it out this evening. I'm just so torn about all of this, and yes, I did all those things and more.....
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont think that was a very nice question but I guess it could be a valid question.

    I know that whenever I walked into a courtroom when my son was a minor my Parent Report was in my hand and I had copies for everyone. Actually, I had already submitted them to all court personnel ahead of time to be read. In that Parent Report it listed everything about my son. His medical history, when I first found out there was something different about him, when he was first identified with a diagnosis, which ones, all doctors seen, all testing done, all medications and results, behaviors both good and bad, all parenting classes I had taken, my hopes and dreams for my child, and stuff I cant even remember.

    The courts found this invaluable. It showed them that I had been actively working to get help for my son since he was a preschooler. I wasnt just in denial about his problems. I wasnt just showing up in court and suddenly saying...oh my son has xxx wrong with him now. He had a history of issues. His mental health case folders were 3 3" binders full of documents when he was 12. Heaven only knows what size they were when he left the program at 17!
  5. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had a write-up full of "what I had done," too. A sort of timeline of a couple years worth of "what I had done" and "what Youngest had done." I gave it to the judge, her court-appointed attorney, the social worker, the director of DSS, the FAPT team, the short-term hospitals Youngest stayed in, the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). It helped immensely in my fight for her. It also helped ME .. because once it was all down on paper, I could say "wow, look at what I have done. And look at what she has done, despite all my attempts to help her."