I'm still struggling- need votes!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Dec 23, 2011.


What would you do?

Poll closed Dec 28, 2011.
  1. Allow difficult child to come home knowing you have no input on the terms or requirements on you

    3 vote(s)
  2. Refuse to let him come home, meaning he goes to group home and reunification will not happen

    5 vote(s)
  3. Get it before a judge so at least difficult child knows you fought for him

    5 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ladies, this might be more of a question for those who know the hx of difficult child and myself over the past few years but all I welcome the opinions of all who have kept up with our story . I go back and forth with this a hundred times a day. difficult child could come home and we'll be bombarded with services by people who are inexperienced and aren't even focusing on the real problems in the household. I think of the MST experience, DF's experience, and others. I think of difficult child's future if he comes home and commits another offense against me- not to mention my own safety or what MY personal repercussions will be if he steals, damages, etc, property I'm responsible for at this point. I also have to think of the stress and anxiety it causes us both to bomabard us with this koi and how that increases the likelihood for him reoffending.

    on the other hand, I think of how it seems to solidify his future as an adult if he goes to a group home that leads him to 'independent living', encourages them to get a job and on their own (aka quit school) asap, has a 4th anger management course with no additional MH treatment, and never gets the family/internal/MH issues addressed. At worst, he'll be dead, or he'll join a gang and end up incarcerated again- at best he'd become an adult who commits domestic violence. Yes, I think all signs point to that.

    It's not my choice, however, I can refuse to allow it if they try to send him home. I would win that fight and I'm positive.

    Then, I could spend the little money I have getting an attny to get this in front of a judge so the judge can make the orders, not a PO. I could also save the money and possibly have a chance getting it in front of a judge to fight for what I think is in my son's best interest. While that leaves me with less - or no- chance of winning, it doesn't cost me anything and still lets my son know that I fought for what I thought was best. And, FWIW, I fought an order before the court before and won. However, the toll it took on me was immense.

    My dr says don't let him come home, others say let him come home. All I can do is wonder why the PO/super don't have enough sense to figure out that the kid needs an answer that falls between coming home with an inexperienced person giving him a talk about all this and throwing it away altogether and sending him to a group home with gang members. For crying out loud, it's cheaper to do something in between, was recommended by the MH profs, gives difficult child the best chance short and long term, and seems like the only common sense answer to me. But it wasn't "their idea". Yes, that's what I'm hearing. My gut tells me the reason they never considered it is so they can force my hand. But I'm cynical and it doesn't matter anyway- we are where we are now.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Honestly, I think if this was my son, I would bring him home. But that is me and Cory never committed violent offenses against me. Hell...you only have so many more months to go before he is an adult and I think you can make it that long with him home.
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Since you asked . . . I have never thought that he should come back to your home. There is just too great a chance that he will hurt you or commit another crime against you. He is so close to being an adult that I would let him go to the group home and hope for the best.

    I agree with your doctor.

  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Differing opinions...lol. I agree I am a wuss where it comes to my sons. Perhaps that is why I cant get anyone to do anything...lol.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It's ok- just like I mentioned on another member's thread, this helps us moms who are struggling with decisions know that we aren't nuts for stressing over these decisions. Speaking just for myself, sometimes I tell myself it should be a no-brainer. But then it's not. I've even had an attny tell me there'd be no way he should come back and another tell me he should and another tell me it's a big struggle. But PO and his super, on the other hand, were writing the parole plan without even looking at the file or knowing the hx or that this was difficult child's 2nd commitment. And then I'm criticized by them for not having faith in them or believeing in 'the help' their providers can offer? Yeah, right. OK, we could do 'time' with these people- if difficult child and I can hold it together and keep viewing it that way. There just seem to be so many variables. If it was a situation where my son was at risked for getting high, as bad as that sounds, it would be a no-brainer.

    And what the hecfk is it with these csu people not being able to learn from the hx of what happened before? They all want to start from scratch. If they contacted difficult child's PO from last year, I'm pretty sure he'd tell them something different.

    I don't know- I'll keep an eye on others' opinions about it- really, it does help me.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I think the answer lies within your own confidence to deal with difficult child in a dangerous situation. It is possible that your son is no longer any danger to you. That would be nice, wouldn't it? But what would it take to make you feel like you could handle it even if he was dangerous?

    If you would be in constant fear...sleeping with one eye open...always waiting for that "shoe" to drop - then NO, your son should not come home under any circumstances.

    If, however, you feel that you have some plan that works and makes you feel comfortable having your son in your home - then bring him home and deal with the PO's baloney as best you can.

    As for what kind of plan you would need to make you feel safe? Only you can say... Deadbolts? Security cameras? A close neighbor you could call at any moment? One of those "panic buttons" you wear around your neck?

    If there is absolutely nothing that would make you feel safe and secure in your own home with your son around - then HE SHOULD NOT COME HOME.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think thats it. Absolutely Cory knew that there were things that simply would never, ever be tolerated or he would die. Not just be punished...but be killed. Ok...not killed but seriously hurt. To this day he knows that. Lay a finger on me or his father? Not on his life. He was too afraid of what either his father would do to him or what his brothers would do to him.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    klmno - this is a hard call in some ways; in others, not so much. My first concern is your safety and peace of mind. Having to lock stuff up in your trunk and keep keys on your person is no way to live, especially not when the kid is so close to 18. on the other hand, I really do know how badly you want difficult child home.

    I think something else you have to consider - "reunification" is a bologna term at this point. in my humble opinion. It's not a matter of reunification anymore - it's can these 2 adults live safely in the same home, because for all intents and purposes, difficult child is an adult. You and difficult child are still a family - always have been.

    Being the pessimist that I am, I think you have to look at worst case scenario in both options. (I'd skip worrying about whether or not difficult child knows you fought for him - if he doesn't know now, well... he never will.) I think a really *really* important factor is how much more can you do? How much more are you willing to go thru for this kid, if he continues to not be willing to do for himself? Is it in you to have him arrested one more time should he pull a similar stunt as last time, with what I'm sure would be the associated guilt I suspect you would feel, unjustified though it would be? Are you willing to continue to jump through whatever hoops the powers that be set up for *you* to jump thru? Do you think difficult child gets any of it, or do you think it's going to be right back to the same struggles you had before?

    I didn't vote in the poll, but my gut says don't bring him home now. in my humble opinion, he's done nothing to earn back your trust. If he were anyone other than your child, this wouldn't even be a discussion (I hope!!! ;) ). Regardless of what your decision is, the outcome is not not NOT written in stone. Look at thank you. Yes, we've been on several round trips to Hades with- the kid, and absolutely, from age 18-20 was sheer torture as we watched him fumble around and make some *really* bad choices, but ... he survived and he's doing better, and he is the *only* reason he is doing better. We couldn't do it for him. Your kid could crash and burn in either setting, or he could do well in either setting. Again, it is entirely up to him and that's why I really think a huge factor in your decision needs to be how much more *you* can be put thru. It's not selfish to think in those terms. Quite frankly, it's time for difficult child to buck up and get on with his life. I have to admit that I'm a bit concerned that if you do bring him home and it goes bad, it will once again be all your fault (in his eyes) based on some of the things you've shared recently about him being scared and quitting and being "institutionalized". Argh - on the other hand, if you don't bring him home, it will be your fault... so pretty much, you're toast in that regard. So fault and blame need to be removed from the equation, because the reality is, it's *entirely* on difficult child's shoulders at this point, even if he doesn't get it.

    Finally, you have to be able to live with the choice you make. If you chose X over Y, will you be able to sleep at night? If things do go really bad... well, I don't want to say can you live with it, because of course it's excruciating to watch our kids suffer, even if it's because of their own dumb choices... so... I think you need to be able to make peace, once and for all, with whichever choice you make, come what may.

    Again, my primary concern is your well being. I don't think either choice is going to be easy, for him, but especially for you. From my perspective (which is old and tired and just plain worn out), I would make the choice that is best for *you*.

    Hugs to you. I know it's just terrifying to try and do the right thing and weigh so many factors and have the unknown variable of difficult child thrown in there for good measure.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I wish I knew what to tell you. You know I insisted my son not live with us because his violence. I might consider letting him live with us now, MAYBE, and I might not. At this point I don't think he would hurt me, but I also don't think it would be good for any of us.

    Physical safety has to be the top priority. I know if he comes home the PO, etc... iwll provide what they consider to be "services" for him. Would this mean that you could not also take him to see a MH person to deal with these family issues outside of what they provide? Would you have to even tell them? Would he be receptive?

    What assurances do you have an/or can he give you that he would not harm you again? What he did to you was extreme and I do not think you have fully dealt with it yet. Your PTSD is extreme and so is your wariness with MH professionals. It would be hard to find a MH person that you trust to counsel you, much less to help the both of you. I don't know that difficult child coming home when neither of you has had any real help with the issues that surround his problems with the legal system and his crime against you and abuse of you., would have even a prayer of success.

    I also dont' know that putting him in a group home with a bunch of gang members would give him a prayer of success. What does he have to say? Would the 2 of you be willing to work with a MH person if he came home, esp if you kept it away from the PO and CSU people? I say that because all the PO/CSU people have done is yank you around and cause more harm and put you on waiting lists. So I see no reason to include them if it can be avoided.

    We can vote and vote and vote but it really is not our decision. YOU have to make this one and it is YOUR safety and difficult child's that is at stake. I will support whatever you want to do, well, choose to do because I know you would rather have a lot of other choices than either of these two right now.

    I am sorry I can't be more definative.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I love you, Ladies! slsh- you somehow always know how to click with me. DJ and DF and Susie - you're right in there, too!

    If I go with difficult child not coming home, how on earth do I ever tell him/ It would be easy if PO made it sound like it was them but they don't- they give me the spill about them having 'ultimate' authority then go tell difficult child they made this choice because of me- just like GAL did when difficult child got committed to Department of Juvenile Justice in the first place. (Have I mentioned how csu has the brains that are in conflict with everyone else in the world? Even people in the detention and juvie prison tell the kids it's their own actions that got them there.)

    Susie, difficult child is telling me he wants to come straight home. He also told PO and the reentry lady that. Now, what he tells PO's super next week on the videoconference could change but I doubt it. I told him to think about it and try to figure out what he really thought would give him the best chance- I'm still his mom and wouldn't 'desert' him. I told my attny that I told difficult child that and that seemed to distance her- why I don't know- I thought it was preferable over trying to put words in difficult child's mouth especially given his age and circumstances.

    Also, difficult child and I both cringe at the typical MH treatment at this point- it is fear of bad experiences. That sounds like an excuse, I'm sure, but when it has been inadequate and ended up in volatile situations that resulted in difficult child spending the majority of his teen years incarcerated, it is a real fear. For both of us. It's so easy to give up. It's so frustrating to know they could allow, if not provide, what we need- but they won't. The last time I talked to difficult child, he said 'no way' to family therapy. I really believe it's because he feels that cringe that I do. But then, he told rentry lady and me that he'd try his hardest no matter what the orders. And of course, in private, he told me he's really scared- he'd rather die than go back- what if he can't make it- and that he'd rather just stay in there because it's all he knows and easier to put up with, Honestly, I'd probably have all those thoughts too if I was in his position.

    The kid must have something I don't though- if I spent all that time incarcerated as a youth then they told me I'd go to a group home to age out, I'd commit suicide, honestly- there would be no way it would happen no matter what carrot they dangled in front of me. Goodness- as I told PO's super- I'd give my right arm if it turned difficult child around and assured he'd have a happy, normal, productive life from here on out.

    And just what you point out, Susie- that is my predicament.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  11. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Klmno, I know this has to be hard. Like it's already been said, YOU need to feel 100% safe 100% of the time in your own home and if he doesn't already know how much you've fought for him after all this time, he never will. As for telling him, you could say something like "I have really thought long and hard about this and I realize I am still scared of you. I love you with all my heart but I just don't trust that you won't hurt me again and for my own sanity and safety, I just can't have you come back home." I am so sorry you are having to make this choice and I hope I never have to face that one, but ultimately, how do you think he'd feel if you allowed him to come home and he snapped again and permanently maimed or killed you?

    {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you no matter what you decide.
  12. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    How do you tell him? Honestly, I think. It's a decision you've wrestled with, lost sleep over, and just chewed to death, and you feel that it's best for *both* of you for him to go (wherever you decide). I'd let him know that regardless of which setting you choose. If you do decide to bring him home, he needs to understand that it was not a given.

    When I told thank you he couldn't come home when he had to leave TLP, I was pretty blunt. I told him I'd seen absolutely nothing to indicate he was ready to abide by our home rules and I simply absolutely wasn't going to go back to living that way again. I loved him and I'd help if I was comfortable doing it, but... I was done with- gfgland. In some ways it was liberating, but mostly I remember feeling ill and crying, a *lot*, for a very long time.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm thinking that's 'the moment' that po's super is trying to create next week with this videoconference, so that will be her moment not mine. First she told me it was going to be a conference for all of us to get things on the table then they'd make a decision (yeah- like I haven't heard that before) but then she called me back 2 days later to inform me she'd be talking to difficult child first, then she'd bring me in for the end. I can only assume this is going to be 'her moment' to lay down the law to me over what the po's orders are and my requirements. Frankly, I'm not so sure I'm going to show up. difficult child knows he has to abide by whatever they say. We don't need the drama. They can send me a letter.

    I'll deal with difficult child and try to work on our relationship in private. I'm going to see him Sunday. I'll express concerns again and see how things go. I don't think I will be prepared on Christmas to tell him his destiny. I'm not so sure I will even be positive aabout it then. But most definitely, I can express concerns about his future and what happens if "A B and C".

    I most definitely agree that this kid needs to know it wasn't a given, no matter what.

    If I wasn't a single mom and had other people here to help oversee safety, this would be a lot easier. on the other hand, it's not difficult child's fault that I'm a single mom and all he has either.

    It made quite an impact on me when difficult child was released last year only to find me selling stuff from our nice home- furniture that had been in the family and stuff he knew I'd worked for, etc, - and he threw his arms up in the air and told me to save myself because he was 'going back'. Yeah, I get him giving up- but I also get him bailing out on me after all that had happened. Somehow I'm thinking a 20-something 'mentor' doesn't have the answer to this. And half the people in csu MIGHT if they cared enough even to know about it. *sigh*
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont think we can blame "20 something mentors" for any of our kids problems because out of all of the people that Cory had as behavior techs, the only three that were really bad- only one was under 30. The rest were in their 20's and did their jobs well with a very difficult child/teen. 3 may sound like a lot but I think we went through about 12 or more over the years.

    I dont know. I do wish you had a short term group home available. I wish they had a transitional program to reenter him back into society. They do with adult prisoners. Why not juveniles? I think this is the time when mental health should be stepping in with group homes to step him down into a level 3 group home so he can prove he is capable of living in a family type setting before he reenters your home. Sigh.
  15. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I haven't read the other responses, no way could he come home. That's just based on my owm experiences with my difficult child. He had to SHOW ME he changed. By not allowing him to come home, he HAD to cease that behavior, I wasn't doing him any favors here- in the long run. Not to mention the stress and anxiety level of my own self. He did show me, and we do have an excellent relationship now, it took a few years, and I KNOW I made the right decision years ago when I wouldn't allow difficult child home. They come back klmno, it might take a while, but they do.
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Didn't difficult child himself say he should not come home?
  17. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think slsh expresses how I feel. Your son is basically an adult now; how will he handle things when you are traveling a week for business - how will you handle it wondering if everything is ok? As we have learned here over the years, many are families with different addresses (as Linda, TimerLady, coined may years ago) but still a family. And if difficult child doesn't know how much you love him, have gone to bat for him, and desire the best for him by now, he hasn't made any progress.

    Of course the most important factor is your safety.

    I would worry less about what difficult child thinks and more about what is best for him moving forward. Follow your gut.

  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm not comfortable with voting but I will offer some input. My computer "lost" a lengthly well thought out reply to your post in the wee hours of the morning. That means this one will be shorter, lol, because I think I'll go on a rampage if I lost another long one.

    I think you are factoring in a few concerns that aren't too valid. The first is GH living with gang members. I know that in his six month stay at a Department of Juvenile Justice s.a. facility difficult child learned all about gangs from members. When he came home he recognized signs, colors and ethnic groups. In our small community there are five known gangs. difficult child's have to make choices and the secrecy and commraderie of gangs is tempting. Living with a few in a GH is going to be a step down from juvie prison.

    His education has been derailed from the fast track due to his choices. been there done that. on the other hand if he truly wants a specific career he will find a way to achieve it. We all know he is smart enough. Time will tell if he is dedicated to it.

    He does not respect "the system" or authority and for years has perceived them as intrusive dolts. As adults many of us have seen the ineptitudes etc. but it's different with teens. I recall that recently when you visited with him he said something like "I'll talk to my friends here and find out what I should say and do when I have my next meeting". I think that's relevant. difficult child's are manipulators to get what they want. I don't see him as likely to conform to rules imposed by "the system" and believe he has learned how to "beat it" if possible.

    Another factor is that nobody knows how many months there will be between release and his birthday. I don't really it is a very long period of time. It could be a healthy transitional time for him.
    Socially? He would likely have more acceptance and support in a structured setting than facing lots of strangers in a judgemental neighborhood high school.

    Oops...I did it again. Sorry if it's too long but it's complex. Hugs DDD
  19. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    thank you again, Ladies!

    DJ, they do have fed funding available for short term GH with reunification the goal and requirements that are almost identical to what I'd asked for and said I thought we neeeded. Whether it's not avalaible in this jurisdiction or just not convenient, they might very well refuse to consider any option a parent requests, or just not considered, I don't know. I am sure reentry lady was psuhing this long term- not for difficult child alone she is just really trying to sell this program and get beds full-The other thing I considered is that maybe PO really did think that's what he was ordering but I find that so hard to believe since he works closely with and communicates a lot with reentry lady. All I know is that the reentry program he's accepted to is the long term and reentry lady described the GH requirements- those plus what I found online match the description of the long term reentry funding requirements. Supposedly, my attny is going to have a conversation with them aboout this to clarify. However, I'm losing faith in attny's willingness to advocate against what they want. When I brought this subkect up to her, she said "she would call and try to get clarification and see if there's any flexibility". Now that leaves the door open for them to say "yes, of course there's flexibility", which is a non-definitive answer in a lot of ways. I would prefer she get a little more to the point, as DDD suggested before "PO-did you intend to order long term or short term", then "since short term is LRE, why wasn't it considered", and suggest short term then change to long term if short term isn't working.
  20. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I must have looked and thought about this post for over an hour and the only thing I came up with is not to vote. Not much help. Danny was in the system from 14 to 17 - juvy, Residential Treatment Center (RTC), Juvy, Boot Camp. Because of situations he found himself in and bad moves when he was younger, when he is arrested, he goes straight to the gang unit in jail. He is not a gangbanger by any stretch of the imagination-he knows people in gangs but thats about the extent of it (though he did claim bragging rights when younger that he did belong-still don't know if that was some type of "acceptance" thing or trying to save himself from grief in jail or some male macho crapola, who knows

    For me, home was always the option without reservation. But having said that, I have never had to deal with any personal violence with him. He knew I was not afraid of him - had he raised a hand I would have taken him out or died trying-told him that many times, sometimes eyeball to eyeball - he never tempted fate

    If there was one thing I learned about the "system" - its you cannot work WITH it, only AROUND it. They never do what they said they would, or do what they were supposed to do. Never Ever.

    As an armchair observer, I would think the group home would be the way to go and see how it plays out - if he comes home, or goes there, and does the same ole and get in trouble, its all on him. Took Danny a few goes in the system before he figured out free is a much better place to be. I think it would be overload with all of the negativity with the system and angst to come back home right away - a group home is not a life sentance on living there. Chances are on release to them, he will have a brand new PO anyway -I lost track of the ones Danny had - maybe two good ones in all that time.

    If the track record for our most of our boys on here is any indication, they will be still stumbling around,bumbling around and screwing up till around their early to mid 20's. It would be wonderful if they all could, upon release, "get it" but that is probably not going to happen. They will get heady with the freedom each time till they emotionally catch up on their real age. I had to give up the education song and dance with Danny till he realized he needed a GED and went and got one on his own. Had to wait till he figured out the "job" thing and what you can and cannot do if you want to keep one. Had to wait till his life was uncomfortable enough to go back on medication. I think the hardest thing for me was to step back and know I had control over absolutely nothing much and gave myself some time to figure out how to work around the system