Intro and our story...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by hollyda, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. hollyda

    hollyda New Member

    Our difficult child is 15. She requested permission to live with her bio-dad Nov 2011. As she was very stable and had been doing well, we allowed it. In Nov 2012, she asked to come back to us. Turns out the reason was that she was having trouble. After two suicide attempts and a psychiatric hospitalization (JUST after the psychiatric hospitalization), she told us she wanted to live with bio dad again. We said no. She's not stable enough, he doesn't know her medical/psychiatric needs, and he can't give her the supervision she needs. So she went over our heads and talked directly to her bio granddad. I don't know what she told him (no telling with her), but he asked me. I explained the situation. I told him she was NOT stable. I told him she needed 24/7 supervision, therapy at least once a week, and psychiatric care for medication management. I know that's a huge burden for him. I told him about her entire history. He said he could handle it. Frankly, at that point, I was so worn down, and at least I warned him.

    Well since she's been down there (May 2013), she had a suicide attempt, a psychiatric hospitalization, and recently, she ran away. I'm the one that called the cops to have her picked back up (despite the fact that I'm in Washington and she's in Texas). So after the cops picked her up, she told them she's been sleeping with the 27-year-old "best friend" of her bio dad. CPS came in and they won't release her to bio dad & bio granddad. They say that they can't believe they didn't know what was going on and they can't trust their supervision. So until the investigation's complete (probably a few months at the least), she can't go back. For now, she's staying with a teacher and seems to be okay.

    The caseworker called me to explain all this. She needs to be with family or in a foster home within a couple of weeks - staying with the teacher is temporary. I'll be honest: I don't want her back. She's deceitful, violent, and toxic to the rest of the family. But I was willing to drop everything and fly across the country to get her because that's what she needed.

    Then I spoke to her on the phone. I explained the situation to her. I explained that in a couple of weeks, she's either going to be in foster care (probably a group home, given her age & diagnoses) or she's going to have to come back with me. She said she'd rather go to foster care.

    I'm not fighting her. If I fight her, she's going to make everybody's life miserable. We just had a house fire and we may be looking at my husband getting kicked out of the military soon; we CANNOT have her creating drama and causing problems right now. And if she's refusing to come home willingly, that's exactly what she's going to do.

    We have looked at Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s. Many of them take our insurance but have lengthy waiting lists, and if my husband ends up without the Army, we won't be able to afford to keep her in a place like that. I don't see that we have an option. If we take her back, it will pose a huge risk to our other four children and to my husband's career (without which we can't afford anything!).

    My husband agrees with me. My mother in law agrees with me. My sister says that I'm her mom, so I should do it no matter what the cost. I try to explain that I'm also a mother to four other children and I have to consider them, but that doesn't matter. "What kind of mom would let her daughter go to foster care?" she asks me. She thinks that it's not killing me to see my daughter suffering and know that I can't do anything about it - to have to choose between my one child and my four others. But I don't really have another option. I just wish that it didn't hurt so much.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I'm very sorry you are having so much trouble.

    Can you give us some back ground on your daughter? It's hard to just jump in there and give you any advice without knowing some history. What was s he like as an infant, toddler, in school? When did she start having trouble? Are you divorced? Sounds like she barely knows her father. What has been her diagnosis? Any medications? Anything you can share will be helpful!

    One bit of advice right off the bat. This is YOUR child. The rest of your family doesn't get to chime in about what YOU should do. They don't live with her and hearing their chit chat is distracting and makes you feel guilty. If you have a difficult family that likes to put in their .02, you may want to detach from them for now or cut off all talk of your daughter to them and make sure they know it's an off limits topic. It doesn't help to have Sis, grandfather, aunt, kissing cousin, teacher, friend, enemy etc. telling YOU what to do with your child and making you feel guilty. Tune them out. They don't have a clue. They don't live with her. You are a young mom, which is fine, but I'm guessing Sister is young and still growing up. Her opinions are stereotypical...she doesn't live with stuff like this.

    You have tiny children. IF your daughter is violent towards them OR to ANYONE she *should* live away from home for everyone's safety including hers. How did she get this way and who diagnosed her?

    Welcome to the board, but so sorry you have to be here. Many here have been through or are going through life with a violent child.
  3. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Welcome. There are some on here who had to pay lots of money or fight very hard for foster care for their kids. And it wasn't because of lack of love. It was just the opposite. The best place for them is out of the home.
  4. hollyda

    hollyda New Member

    As an infant & toddler, she was always precocious, but pretty much okay. We started noticing in third grade that she would go to extremes to make her point. By fourth grade she would throw books in school if she didn't want to do her schoolwork, but I could still control her (even though teachers usually couldn't). By fifth grade she was having constant trouble in school. She often had to be restrained because her fits were so dangerous. She had a psychiatric hospitalization for the first time in fifth grade (it was either that or let the cops take her from school) and was diagnosed with depression. She was pretty much in therapy constantly after that. Her second hospitalization was about 6th grade and she got a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, & bipolar tendencies.

    Then 7th grade, she got arrested. She was trying to sell her Prozac at school and despite what she told her probation officer, she told me that she was trying to raise money to run away with some friends. She had yet another hospitalization, this one diagnosed her with CD. Once her probation stuff was finished, we homeschooled her. She did GREAT! Even her therapist noted that she was doing phenomenally well. She thought she was good to return to school in eighth grade, so we allowed it. She continued to do well and was very stable.

    Then she asked to go live with her bio dad & bio granddad. She knows them pretty well as they only lived an hour away from us and saw her pretty frequently, but they never actually had her overnight when she was really bad. But she was pretty stable at the time, and we talked through several ideas, coping skills, etc., to prepare her. And she seemed to do fairly well at first, until her "first love" broke up with her. She started asking to come back with us (we were in the process of moving at the time), and it was obvious she was having a hard time. We got her back on medications and she had two suicide attempts and a hospitalization when she was here.

    In the past eight months, our family has dealt with a cross-country move, the death of a grandparent, and a house fire (that destroyed everything). Our 11YO was diagnosed with a tumor on his vertebrae and had to have two surgeries: the first to minimize the tumor and the second to remove the vertebrae and replace it with an implant. During the second hospitalization, difficult child had her suicide attempt. So in addition to two active toddlers, we've got a son who's disabled (for now!) and my husband is likely to get kicked out of the Army for failing a recent physical fitness test. We don't even know whether he'll be able to stay in. There's been so much chaos in our family for months, and I can't see bringing her back and having to constantly battle her as being healthy for anyone.

    My BFF and I were talking. I explained that she needs 24/7 supervision, and that her bio dad & bio granddad can't provide that. My BFF said, "In fairness, you can't provide that, either. You've got several full-time jobs right now and adding her into the mix is more than a full-time job." And she's right. We homeschool, and we're trying to keep my husband in the Army and still plan for the possibility of him getting out. And everything that's going on is just a lot to deal with. And I just don't have the financial, emotional, or time resources to have her here again.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Usually I post long drawn out responses. In your case it appears to be a no-brainer. Foster care is available. She wants to go to foster care. Your "at home" family unit will benefit if she does go to foster care. I see no reason to even second guess that option. Go for it. It's possible that it could be a wonderful environment for her. I hope so. Hugs DDD
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Obviously, she hasn't walked a mile in your moccasins. She has no right to comment - and you have every right and reason to ignore.

    Unless you've been to the wall, or the edge of the cliff, or even the bottom of the canyon, like many of us here.. you have no idea. That's where SHE is at... no idea.

    YOU have to figure out how to provide the best possible care for both your difficult child and for your other kids... and for yourself. If it takes foster care to cover all the bases, then... foster care it is.