If you had to choose...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    No this isn't about the past- it's about the future.

    If you had to choose between 1) your difficult child coming home after pulling a knife on you twice and being locked up a few months with the only mental health treatment being "about the behavior that got him in there", after he told the judge he was afraid to come home because he was afraid he'd do something else to get locked up and he told his defense attny something that lead the attny to believe he could do this again, and when he came home your lives would be controlled by people who blame you (the parent) for the kid's problems and tell the kid and you that you are to blame (which only makes the difficult child less controllable) and make requirements of you that you know you probably can't meet but if you do meet, you won't be able to meet your other obligations, and you know when you tried living under conditions similar but not quite as bad before you and your difficult child both deteriorated and you know that next time, your throat might be slit


    2) your difficult child goes to an estranged relative that neither of you like, that has already stated will let a teen drink, do drugs, and have sex, and will more than likely result in your difficult child being molested either by this relative, his lover, or one of his friends

    What would you do? (And you can't afford an attny and the difficult child is 14yo)
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    Ask for divine intervention!

    I would take it one day at a time and try not project too much into tomorrow. Do you have to make that decision? No doubt you are between a rock and a hard place.

    I think I would just try to take care of myself in the moment.

    I would ask my friends for support and lots of hugs.

    I would try to engage in in real life support groups and work on healing my broken heart.

    Hugs, ML
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    From what I am told, I will be contacted within the next few weeks to start working on what I need to do before difficult child is released. If I comply and don't make waves but just go along with WHATEVER they say before and after his release, he will probably come home. If I say I can't control him or I am afraid of him or that I won't do all this because I don't think it's my fault or if I say I won't let difficult child come home, etc, he will be turned over to dss who HAS TO turn him over to a family member unless there is no family member that will take him or unless the family member is a criminal, basicly. The family member would not have to go thru all I've gone thru since it is not a custody battle between 2 parents who have to prove which is in the best interest of the child.

    I checked and the only halfway houses or transitional places for kids coming out of state Department of Juvenile Justice are for kids 16yo or older, so that is out as an option and that is what I was originally going to try for. I would not be able to place difficult child anywhere myself- that's a similar situation as Residential Treatment Center (RTC). difficult child will be on parole and officially placement has to be made by Department of Juvenile Justice, not me, unless they turn him over to dss. So, if he's turned over to dss, he goes to my bro- everyone in the Department of Juvenile Justice here already knows that. I would have 1 year to then do whatever they wanted in order to try to get difficult child back. But in that year, difficult child would be living with my bro. If I didn't do those things and meet their expectations within one year, my parental rights would be permanently terminated. Oh- and while he would be living with my bro, I would be required to pay child support.

    The final decision is the judge's but these are the only available options. Just like with his commitment- once the gal advocated against Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and the PO advocated for state Department of Juvenile Justice and made sure he didn't get into the liong-term local detention, the only option the judge had was either turning difficult child over to dss then or committing him to the state. So although it is up to the judge, the judge only has limited options to choose from.

    The way we were living made me feel like the parent was the PO (and she had no business being a parent) and I was just a babysitter- that she didn't like and difficult child knew it. If the sate allows family therapy (and that is up to them), it would be done instead of weekly visitation and their therapist would decide what to cover.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  4. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I can't imagine situation #1 even though Dan was violent, he never was towards me as he knew I was not afraid of him and if he dared raise his hand to me, I would have taken him out or died trying. Situation #2, someone would have been a really sorry sight if they had dared put a hand on him - he has always been able to defend himself, even at 14.

    Myself, personally, I would take situation #1, and play the game they want you to play. You KNOW there is no fairness to the legal system when it comes to the mentally ill - all they know, all they will ever know, is a punitive response..period I have so been there done that with Danny. The being a squeeky wheel thing doesn't work..at all. The only result is YOU end up going nuts trying to make someone who only deals with black and white look at a shade of grey.

    But I thought this was a done deal with him being in jail for however long? I never stopped advocating for Dan, even while he was in custody, especially when it came to his medications which they never gave him or gave him hit or miss. They probably still have a zillion letters from me which always started "To put you on notice"...I wish I had a dollar for every time I went back to court for an order for medications, and the jail just blew off the judge anyway. I waded thru I don't know how many PO's before he landed with one that got the "mental health issues and problems"

    But I am with ML, if there is nothing you can do now, then take some time for yourself to recoup from the craziness, see a therapist, get yourself some medications.

  5. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    sorry, I was posting at the same time you were.

    My suggestion, do whatever they want you to do, psychiatric exams, therapy, medications. You only have two options - what is the best one for your son??

  6. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    To protect my son, I would jump through every hoop they threw at me, even if it were on fire. I know that you are tired. I know that you are mentally and emotionally worn out by the last few years. But...letting him go to your brother is not the answer if you really believe that he would be put in harm's way.

    Personally, I would find a job and secure housing in another state, walk away from the house you're in now, and start all over again. When difficult child is released they can't make you stay in the area, and they can't make you jump through their hoops from another state.
  7. JLady

    JLady A ship lost in the night

    I have said a prayer for you and your difficult child. These days I have spend a lot of time praying for guidence. It is the only thing I can think of. None of us have answers but God has all the answers. I often ask him to either open the doors or close them. That is a difficult prayer.

    I understand that there may be people here who do not believe in God. Please, take what you want and leave the rest. I don't mean to offend anyone. Just trying to help. Wish I could do more.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I had been doing that- the PO ordered an in home therapist even though I knew we needed much more in order to keep going- and I mean survival. difficult child had already had 2 acute psychiatric hospital stays in a 6 1/2 week period. He had a knife to my throat demanding a pack of cigs 11 days before we even had the introduction with the therapist. I had called cops about 4 times in the last month alone. We aren't talking about a kid that just rages- we are talking about a kid who could commit suicide or homocide, in my humble opinion. The psychiatrist recommended psychiatric Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I wanted this too, and so did the people at the previous (different) psychiatric hospital. Department of Juvenile Justice wouldn't let me put him in. Of course, if I just give him the cigs and don't report him, then I'm in trouble for contributing to delinquency- it's in his court order not to smoke. difficult child knows I'm in this poition- that's how it got to this point. Playing along with certain things is one thing- playing along with them sitting there telling us difficult child is doing this as a reaction to me and it's my fault has served nothing but making him worse- not going to school, etc. The more I try to straighten out the mess, the more conflict there is between difficult child and me. And now it's to a paoint where he's going to be an abuser if something doesn't change.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    He'll be on parole. That will transfer, along with his record and any notes from Po and gal, to wherever we go. Oh- they can order me to do whatever they want while he's at state- but check this out- the state will not require him to take his medications.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you JLady- no offense taken whatsoever.

    PS- Marcie Mac- you are exactlty coorect about the system. To me, it stands to reason that I should be able to discuss these things with these people, or at least the gal. But, you see where that got things. Heck- the only thing these people have left to tell difficult child is that I deserved to have a knife held at my throat. Mind you- I was not (and have never) abused my son sexually, physically, etc. And to me, that would be the ONLY way to justify a kid doing this to his mother- unless she was letting someone else abuse him, and that has NEVER happened either. And they KNOW these things have not happened (no abuse). It has never been accused by anyone, even by difficult child, and NO psychiatrist or therapist has ever said they thought something like that was involved, much less dss, school, or even PO.

    Re the psychiatric evaluation- I have to wait until my court date to address that. I'm already seeing a therapist, although I'll probably have to switch. I'll do a thorough psychiatric assessment and agree to a treatment as it pertains to difficult child. I won't agree to a diagnosis. treatment plan and medications based ONLY on one personality test alone- no history or interview. And, I'm not agreeing to anything that has nothing at all to do with difficult child or parenting. My therapist has suggested not allowing difficult child to come home until I know I'm safe and to remind myself that it is up to the system to make sure difficult child is placed in a safe place if he's not home. Given how much I resent this entire situation because it came about from difficult child breaking the law, not me, I think my therapist has a point. But I am willing to try to work something out. Still, I have drawn some lines and have to stick to them.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  11. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It sounds to me as though your projected outcome of #2, is more definite than #1.

    I think there are many things that may happen, or may not happen, with #1. Much of it depends on how you choose to handle the situation. I think between now and the time that difficult child may be discharged, it's a good idea to do more intense therapy with your own counselor, and perhaps join some support groups for families of the mentally ill. The stronger and calmer you are, the more likely the outcome of #1 is to be positive, no matter what the powers that be think or do.

    I, too, would do whatever I could to not let #2 happen, no matter what I had to do.

    All that aside... try to take this ONE day at a time.. and focus on you and your reactions for now. Keep in mind that when our lives have been enmeshed in chaos for so long, it's difficult to learn to live with the peaceful days.... sometimes we inadvertently create more chaos for ourselves because quite simply, we are used to living that way. Rehashing either past or future issues can keep us in chaoric thought quite easily, and keep us in that panicked state. The only day you can do anything about, is today.

    There's an Al-Anon poem about "Today" somewhere.. I need to find it.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, I'll try to clarify this. It isn't a situation where difficult child does some amount of time and then he comes out on parole and then the parole officer decides what we need to do. It is a situation where as soon as they figure out how much time difficult child is to do and where he'll go and his "goals" while he's in there, they get the parole officer on board and he/she contacts me and tells me what I am to be doing before difficult child gets out. This will be in a few weeks from now that this will start, from what the state Department of Juvenile Justice told me last week. I will have to do those things in order for difficult child to have a chance of coming home when he's released. Thhose things will be based on whatever PO and GAL want. (Mind you- no one is even considering previous psychiatrists or tdocs anymore.) Then, when difficult child is released, there will be more to do. Apparently, a lot while he goes thru a transitional period, then if that goes well, it should lighten up after 6-12 mos. He'll probably be on parole until he's 18 though. Of course, if he comes home and this doesn't go well, it will be me blamed again and then they will most certainly turn him over to dss. That is unless he does slit my throat.
  13. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    It sounds like you are basically going to be walking on a tight rope for a long time. Of course with no net.
    I really don't know how you will ever know if you are doing good enough or what they want? It is like they are just setting you up to fail as a parent in their eyes... so they can blame you.

    I once again have no idea how you are getting through this. I am impressed by your strength every time you post.
  14. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I have to tell you, (with some trepidation) I'd be looking at situation number 2. I've lived it with wm ~ he doesn't live here because of his dangerous behaviors toward kt & myself. Period. Do I like it? No Do I feel like a good mom ~ not really. However, I couldn't continue at the rate wm was throwing things at me, at kt.

    I fought & attended every therapy there was; didn't matter wm was determined to be a threat in our home. husband put his foot down & demanded placement in another setting.

    Since that time kt & I have had time to regroup. We feel safe. I didn't abandon my son. He made choices or was unable to control his illness (however you want to frame it) that were a danger. We could not continue to protect kt & in the long run, myself with wm here.

    So I elect number 2. If your difficult child pulls it together & learns new skills along with therapy then give him a chance to move home.

    Just my humble opinion on the matter.
  15. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I don't know what to say... I don't think you should have to live with fear and violence in your own home. Neither solution is a good solution...

    After thinking about this for awhile, I would have to agree with Linda (Timer Lady). I just don't think bringing your difficult child home is worth risking your sanity, your life.

    Of course I'm not in a position to offer advice as I've never been in a situation as difficult as the one you're currently in. All I know is that in my humble opinion, a line has to be drawn somewhere... Your difficult child has crossed this line...

    I'm keeping you and your difficult child in my thoughts and prayers... Hugs... WFEN
  16. artana

    artana New Member

    Have you called some lawyers to see if they'd work with you pro bono? I have a feeling that you are being snowed under with legal garbage when there are other ways to get your side heard. I really worry that unless you get a lawyer, this will keep happening.

    I found a link to get you started:


    Unfortunately, I can't remember what State you're in, or I'd try to help out more.:(
  17. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I'm with Linda. I'd be looking at option #2. I'm not clear if you are against him moving with your brother because he is gay or if there is reason you believe he will hurt your son. I'd make sure my son had the phone numbers to call in that state if he felt in danger but I would not bring someone who tried to kill me and has stated that they might do it again back into my home. I think the best you can hope for is that he has another psychiatric emergency while at Department of Juvenile Justice and that they begin to see your side.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks everyone. I'll have a lawyer assigned when my case comes up for breaking the court order to have the personality test.. I will have to ask him/her some questions. One issue is that when it's not really me on trial but I'm ordered by judge or po to do something, I'm not even sure it's appealable (sp) because there was no judgement against me since I was neever charged with anything- except for breaking one court order and that was recent.

    When difficult child pulled the knife out on me this last time, I told him he'd have to earn his way back home. Thus, Residential Treatment Center (RTC) did look like the best option but it was profs who had already brought that up. I had told his latest psychiatrist and others that before difficult child comes home, my authority as his mother will have to be re-established.

    Anyway, I think I know what "issues" the gal is in an uproar about now. She made issue of this when I testisfied last year- a lot- but since most educated people don't view it the same, I don't think, I really thought she must have been just trying to prove a point in her questioing of me. But now, I think she really believes that issues can't get resolved thru therapy- that the person needs therapy regularly for the rest of their life. This is the only thing that adds up- especially after the judge got that funny look on her face and told the gal that it had nothing to do with why we were in court that day.

    I'll discuss this with my therapist tomorrow. I just hope when I get an attny assigned that he/she is a little more knowledgable about some things than the gal is. If we can get far enough along in therapy, maybe my therapist could write a different letter before my court date- one that says a teen who is raped and later goes thru therapy and resolves it doesn't necessarily have a debilitating mental illness that makes them a lifelong defective peron and unfit parent. The gal kept asking why difficult child didn't already know all this, why wasn't I in therapy continuously all my life, why did I think I was over it, etc. When I explained that my family treated me like a "tainted" person, the gal seemed to understand that moreso than understanding that a victim of a crime can become a survivor and not live their whole life as a victim. I tried to explain that the goal of the therapy in my 20's was to get over it- process it, get past the ptsd symptoms (although I didn't use that term), get control of my life, forgive, and move on, not be dependent on a therapist, which I accomplished. The judge seemed to get it- the gal did not. That didn't mean that I might not need therapy intermittently thru life, which I also explained, and I also let them know that I seek that out when necessary and there are times I asked tdocs and/or psychiatrist their opinion regarding parental decisions to try to miminmize dysfunctional traits being passed along to difficult child. She doesn't trust me to be in charge of it and in court she kept focusing on me "dealing with my issues", not how I might be triggering difficult child, and there have been NO other issues EVER specified. I HAVE to be the one in charge of my mental health- that was a big focus in my therapy. Oh well- if they go along with a thorough assessment, this should get resolved. If not, I guess we'll see. This GAL would have me playing a victim, on a handful of medications, and calling a therapist nearly everyday if she had her way. LOL!!

    That info wasn't meant to re-hash anything- it was meant to fill in some gaps of info.

    And I am praying that a parole officer is assigned who gets a small fraction of the concept that difficult child needs to be held accountable and that I need authority in my house- not to be portrayed like an untrusted babysitter to difficult child.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  19. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    There are concerns (major ones) I have about difficult child living with my bro- if he was straight and had the same history, lifestyle, belief system, etc, I still would not be comfortable at all and there is MAJOR reason to worry. I just don't have evidence.

    I never taught difficult child to "not love" his uncle and neither of us turned our back on him for being gay.

    That being said, I am taking all advice here and mulling this over for a while to see how things go. If difficult child was 17yo and this stuff just happened, or if local foster care was an option he wouldn't be coming back here for a while. He is physically able to take care of himself fairly well. But, he has no defense when it comes to emotional stuff or manipulation or seeking approval from males-especially adult males. He seems to be on a good track with his sexual development though and I'd love to keep it that way.

    Just to make sure my "lines drawn" re. therapy are clear- if I'm psychotic or delusional, I'm will to treat it. If I'm triggering difficult child in some way (whether or not it's a result of any mental illness), I'm willing to change that and try to work on better ways to interact. If they don't like the fact that I have familial tremors and want to medicate me for it, they can jump in the lake. One written personality test alone cannot determine these things.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  20. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    This is where I get confused again, and maybe that's why the PO/court system is too? You say that there is MAJOR reason to worry that your son will be molested/raped/emotionally messed-with/whatever if he goes to live with your brother. But then you say that you never turned your back on him, and that you never taught your son that he wasn't "good people".

    I can see why the legal system might be confused by that. Generally speaking, if you think someone is the type of person to molest children, you warn your kids to stay away from them. Instead, you've told us you didn't warn your son about him (never taught him to "not love" his uncle), you let him have contact with your young child (didn't you tell us your brother innocently/not-so-innocently kissed him while making faces at you at some family gathering?), and you didn't turn your back on him (gay, straight, or otherwise, child-molesters either need to agree to help, or need to be avoided).

    I'm NOT saying any of this is your fault. But in case you have to defend against your difficult child being sent to your bro again, maybe you need to sit down and analyze why all of these factors, plus a lack of legal proof, makes you look less-than-truthful to some people who don't know your specific situation. It'll help you address the concerns that the court might have with your beliefs---it'll sure as heck make you look less "crazy" to them. :tongue: