In need of advice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by totiredtofight, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. totiredtofight

    totiredtofight New Member

    Last night difficult child 2 did not call home like she always does(she always calls between 6:30 and 7:30). Worried that something was wrong i called the psychiatric hospital at 8:15 to find out why, and was told by staff that a lot more kids were calling home than normal and she would get to call soon. 9:00 rolled around and still no call from difficult child 2. i called back and was told by another staff member that they were done with calls for the night and he would find her so i could talk to her. After about 5 Min on hold difficult child 2 picks up the phone she sounded very distant and depressed so i asked her why she didn't call.
    she said "i couldn't". so i asked her were you told you couldn't or were you just busy with something else? she said "yes" .. yes to what you were busy "no" you were told you couldn't call "yes" well why didn't you say that i asked her she replied "i cant" which lead me to ask if someone was standing there listening she said "yes" after a few minutes of silence she whispered "mom they hurt my arm i cant straighten it or bend it with out it hurting" i told her i would find out what was going on suddenly she said "mom i have to go to bed now" and hung up.

    with all that being said ... i have only been able to make the trip to visit once in the 3 weeks she has been away and then there was a bruise on her arm and forehead and a sore on her cheek she told me she didn't know where the bruise on her arm or the sore came from but that she hit her head on the wall .. this past Wednesday her uncle went to visit her, and saw a bite mark on her forearm and what looked to be adult fingerprints on her upper arm. she would not tell him where they came from when i asked her about it on the phone she said there were no bite marks or bruises on her. so after i talked with her last night i called to speak to the nurse manager. she said that there was nothing she could do but pass it along to the advocate then asked me how she could "convince" me to trust staff and that none of what difficult child 2 had said happened. i explained to her that i understand my child has issues however she would not lie about something like that (which i fully believe after the bruises were seen by myself and her uncle). over the weekend i was called, as i had been once before that she had assaulted staff and was put in the "hold" however when i call and talk to staff or they call me they never give any details of what happened or its cause just the generic "shes fine" or "she was placed in the hold for assaulting staff or peers" .... I'm really starting to think this is doing more harm to her than good.

    i did talk to the advocate this morning said he would look into it but no word yet, and trying to get her psychiatrist and therapist on the phone takes forever .. if i call at 8 am they might return my call at 5 PM
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Just from my experience - unexplained bruises/marks on your kid are a *huge* red flag. If at all possible, you need to get up there today and see firsthand what is going on.

    I allowed myself to be convinced by staff in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) #2 that bruises left on my son were... well, I guess "reasonable" would be the word. I so desperately wanted to believe staff... but I shouldn't have. There is absolutely *no* reasonable excuse for handprints to be left on a child, nor bruises, and especially not bite marks.

    If a child cannot speak freely with you on the phone because staff is listening, that's another red flag. Absolutely, most of thank you's phone calls were supervised, but there's a difference between supervision and intimidation.

    on the other hand, I understand that our kiddos can sometimes make a mountain out of a molehill, or worse yet, just flat out lie. But .... I think in your daughter's situation, you need to get up there, see her *privately*, and do not hesitate to pull her out if you suspect improper treatment/abuse.

    About 3 months after I pulled thank you out of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) #2, it was shut down by the state due to abuse. I felt horrifically guilty, still do. Follow your gut. There's enough in what you're describing to make me think you need to see her today.

    I'm so sorry.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    ToTired -

    Hi and Welcome,

    These situations often makes us doubt every reason why we put our children where we did in the first place because we get just a break of time to give our brains time to think and parts of us forget the master mainpulator that is where they are for reasons that they are. on the other hand.

    My son has been in countless placements and by that I mean if I tried to list the places he's been and the kinds he's been in? I'd loose count - AND I have nearly sued, and pulled him AMA, not that I'm proud but I've also threatened staff for choking and holding my son against a wall as a means of punishment. He's had necklaces stolen, and we were able to pull video of that. In most instances? We were able to have him released AMA - BECAUSE of video - which NO Residential Treatment Center (RTC) will EVER show you. You just see an ad in the paper, or on their web site a few days later looking for staff. All places in jeopardy cited - we're all only human. I cited on place in Augusta GA, - meet me out in the parking lot and I think we'll even the odds. I had no takers - they actually held this male staff member in the building until we left. (No I'm not joking my son had red marks on his neck)

    My son has had concussions, been sent to the hospital, been hit by cars twice, had broken noses, by staff and finally a broken jaw from another peer and had to have his jaw wired shut. He's also been arrested and lived in such horrid conditions we had the state shut the place down for child and animal cruelty - they opened short of two weeks later, under the same supervision of the same state that shut them down. Nice huh?

    I ALSO can tell you despite all this? There were a LOT of places that had expemplary care, caring staff, wonderful managers AND all of them had video - every, last, one. So it gets to a point where these kids KNOW how to self-inflict or they learn from other kids or they'll even ALLOW other kids to bite them to get out. Some trade things like clothes, and mp3 players, ipods - to get bitten, hit - so mom and dad will come get them.

    My first line of questioning to the staff? WHERE are the video monitors. WHO looked at the tapes during the time (TIME) my daughter claims this happened. And trust me - these kids know WHERE these are, when they are on, where they are NOT -----and will claim those places and times that staff abuses them to get you to take them out of that placement.

    Okay - so fine. You believe she's being abused. Now what? She comes home? What good does that do her? None. In the very far recesses of your mind you may be thinking that part of you thinks "If I take her out of there, she may think I'm saving her from this place and she'll pull herself together and it will be a little better at home." IT.WILL.NOT. So stop thinking that. It will be better for about a day - if that. I pulled my son out and it was better for about 3 hours and it went down hill fast.

    So first plan of action to any "rescue" operation is - See.......what is available for moving her. What other places are available. Call the bluff if you think there is one. What's the worst place available? Mention that - and just let that roll around for a day. IF it's a bluff? You say that place and the kids there will know - they've been in the system long enough and she says XXY place and all of a sudden ABC place isn't abusing her. IT stops. If she is really being abused by STAFF and you say XXY place? Its not going to matter.

    These are tactics our caseworker used with our son and amazingly we'd find out pretty quick which times ABC was just "I think I'll work it out with mr. mean. and the rest of the kids."

    There is also Mom sense - and you're already questioning her motives - so that says something too. I had NO doubts AT ALL when I walked in and saw the choke mark on my sons neck that day - NONE. That and the fact that when I said "I want to see tapes....NOW." Tapes were reviewed, kids were talked to - and all of a sudden Mr. so and so - wasn't available.

    The time my son got a concussion? I had no doubt either - Staff was fired IMMEDIATELY.

    The time the necklace was missing? I demanded staff empty her pockets - when she said no? I had my fiance stand there with the manager and drove over to the finance manger office - her pockets were emptied in front of them - she was fired on the spot.

    So trust your instincts - but also remember why she's there. This is really hard I know. Hang in there. But if you do believe your daughter? Find a place NOW - and have a place for her to GO TO - BEFORE you move her. Don't ever let her think she's just coming home because of a complaint - she has to work the levels - THEN comes home.

  4. totiredtofight

    totiredtofight New Member

    strange the school counselor just called me to check on difficult child 2 and to find out when she would be coming back to school (difficult child 2's 30 days are almost over) when i told her about the issues i was having she stated that 2 other students were there and having similar issues (she couldn't tell me exactly what was happening with them) and that her company (a behavioral health clinic ran by the state) was trying to look into the problem so i guess as soon as she calls back to say she has the paperwork i will be signing a release of info form for her to talk to the psychiatric hospital about difficult child 2.. hopefully this all gets resolved and doesn't harm my child farther
  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I agree with slsh on this one big time! difficult child 1 has been manhandled in different schools in the past. The red flag for me is the whispering into the phone. I'd show up unannounced and I'd take a subtle look at any other residents that are walking around. See if there are any "unspoken" words that are being flashed around via eye-contact. I don't like the idea of contact with the parents being a bargaining chip.

    Trust your "mom-gut" and check it out. I'd also dig around on the web to see if there are any reports of abuse at the facility.

  6. totiredtofight

    totiredtofight New Member

    also on both visits she did not know anyone was coming to see her
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    totired -

    FYI -

    If you think that this place is harming your daughter? You can go there NOW - TODAY and sign her out. You do not need anyones permission. It's called signing her out AMA - or against Medical advice.

    The fact that there are two other children involved in alleged abuse allegations is serious red flag issues and coupled with the teacher calling you about two other students? Not good.
    If she's supposed to be there 30 days and has XX days left or X days left and you have a bad feeling? Go get her out. Apparently your Mommy sense is saying NOT RIGHT. Your daughter doesn't deserve to be abused EVER.

    Unfortunately there isn't much YOU will be able to do as far as law suit, but at least you can protect your child. If her plan was to go back into main stream school anyway - sounds like it's futile to keep her there especially now that there is more to this story. Personally? I'd be there tomorrow. Doesn't sound like this place is doing anyone a service.