Involuntary Commital

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Belzog, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Belzog

    Belzog New Member

    Here we go loop-dee-loo, one more time. This last weekend my older son stole $76 out of my purse. Now, I usu. don't have cash, but he reimbursed me for a red-light violation and overdraft fees on Friday, and like an idiot I didn't deposit the cash right away. Sometime around Sat. the cash grew wings and flew away.

    Monday he went out to sell some ciggarettes he bought with his own money (he had $20 left over after paying me back) for bus fare for Tues. Who knows if that's even legal, probably not. Anyway, I thought it was a little odd when he came back with cash AND all the ciggarettes, so I decided it was time to search him.

    What I found: $44, some in one shoe, the rest in the sock on the other foot; and a folding knife in his diaper. Nice.

    A few minutes later I went back to the bathroom to check on him, because he said he was constipated, and he had blood all over his hands and the front of his private area. He said he pinched a pimple on his... equipment. His hands were covered in blood, that seemed odd. I had him lie down on the plastic sheet on his bed and inspected him carefully for cuts or something and besides a small hole where he indicated he found a pimple, there seemed nothing else amiss.

    I decided his life didn't seem imediately at peril so I decided to call the police. My thinking was thus: stealing money from anyone other than me could lead to him getting physically hurt, and I don't want that so I need to encourage him to see this kind of behavior as unnacceptable.

    After talking with both my boy and me separetly, the officer advised me that gaining more criminal convictions would eventually lead to him being unable to go to college or get a job, though she would be more than happy to arrest him, if that's what I wanted.

    Since the thrust of my action was to help, rather than hinder, him, I decided to go with plan B, which the officer provided me with.

    So today he's safely installed at one of the local funny farms where, nurses assure me, he is behaving like a perfect angel and complying with his doctor-ordered self-care requirements. If he's going to be so good for them, but so rotten for me, why can't he just stay there?

    The stupid Psychiatrist told me that Seroquel is "not a nice pill." Duh, really? Does she think I can't read? In our family session yesterday she shared with me that my son said the Zoloft is helping his depression. What?!? The Seroquel is what made him tell me, "I don't feel like sh*t anymore." And if he thinks any of his medications are helping, why do I have to give it to him to make sure he takes it. I also told her that he plans to cease all medications and mental health care on his birthday in Aug.

    "What? Didn't you tell them that?" I asked him when everyone looked so shocked. At that point he informed me I shouldn't address him because he would not talke to may and he asked to be taken back upstairs becaue he was done.

    This is his third committal in 13 months, + a 2-day respite stay. I don't think any of this will do any good until he's ready to engage with his issues. Til then it's just spinning everyone's wheels.

    You know what's really dumb? I want to be over-reacting. Nothing would please me more than if they told me he's fine and I'm the controling witch he says I am. Well, maybe one thing would please me better. I think it'd be swell, if something would help him "turn it around." Ya know?
  2. MyFriendKita

    MyFriendKita Member

    Wow, you've had a heck of a week (understatement, I know). My son also went off his medication once he turned 18 (because he didn't need it-yeah, right), and the last 18 months have been h3ll. I finally blackmailed him into starting medication again, and he has been so much easier to be around (with the exception of today, but that's another post). But, like you, I have to give it to him, or he doesn't take it (he tells me he does, but then I find it laying someplace). And I know the second he's out from under my control, he'll stop taking it again, and he'll be h3ll to live with again. Hopefully he won't be living here when that happens (husband has assured me he (difficult child) WON'T be living here unmedicated).

    I wish I could offer some advice, but all I can say is a lot of what you're going through sounds familiar. Including the stealing :mad: . It sounds like you're doing everything you can. I hope things get better soon.
  3. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I don't know what you mean by "funny farm". If, by chance, you mean a psychiatric unit at a hospital, I'm perplexed by why he's there. I'd be surprised if the insurance company will pay for any sort of extended stay. Based on what you've described, I'd be surprised if they paid for more than three days.
  4. Belzog

    Belzog New Member

    Yes, I meant acute care psychiatric hospital, but I thought "funny farm" sounded lighter. I also refer to it as the looney bin. I'm a very jokey person, and I don't mean any disparagement, it's just my way of coping. If I weren't laughing, I'd be crying, but I do that too.

    This is a different hospital from the one he stayed at both other times, so I'm hoping for different/better results. I did mention he had knife in his diaper, right? That's carrying a concealed weapon and illegal here.

    I'm not so worried about coverage of his stay. I'm paying the other hospital $40/month, I figure $20 towards each stay, and they haven't sued me yet. So... no worries. I'll just be paying his medical bills til the end of time. If money is only worth what you spend it on, then I figure there's nothing else I'd rather spend it on than my children's health and safety.
  5. Belzog

    Belzog New Member

    I have a list of requirements for my son to live here after he turns 18 next month. It is a detailed list, but falls into 2 basic catagories: express interest in being alive now, as evinced by self care/hygiene and community involvement; and express interest in having a future by going to school. Other items include basics like: don't break the law, don't lie to me, do household chores. See? It ain't hard.

    Unfortunately, he has passed the deadline for "toeing the line," and has to move out. I told him he can't get it in gear 2 days before his birthday. So he MUST move out, but if he wants to come back he is welcome, but he will find himself out the door again if he reverts back to his shenanigans.

    Also, I have informed him that I think it would be a good thing if he stayed here til he has another place to live lined up, but that is dependant on his behavior as well. I had a sit-down with him this last weekend and told him if he does the things he's done lately after he turns 18, I'll drive him to a shelter or somewhere, still working on that.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sigh. I'm so sorry. You are so frustrated. These kids clearly can't see the long-term consquences of their actions.
    Wish I had more to offer. Just support.
  7. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This all sounds very familiar. Hugs.
  8. Belzog

    Belzog New Member

    I don't understand why he's being so cooperative and compliant in the hospital. It seems damned unfair that he's puttin' on a show for them, but is such a butt at home. It's enough to drive a person to drink or something.
  9. Christy

    Christy New Member

    How frustrating! I'm sure you are at the end of your rope and have been there for some time. It is so hard when we become the enemy because we are trying to help. I have a tendency to joke around to keep things light as well as and using sarcasm. I learned not to do this with my difficult child because he is too literal and doesn't get it. I would caution you if you speak in a similar fashinon to your son, he may not get it and feel that it is antagonistic.

    I hope this latest psychiatric hospital visit proves helpful and he is able to pull it together before he turns eighteen. Have you contacted any local agencies that may be able to help him live independently since self-care seems to be an issue?

    Good Luck
  10. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ahhh good old "honeymooning." A well-known phenomenon to many of us ... they get to the hospital, and are sweet as pie. Who me? Angry? Aggressive? Violent?! Look how good I am, how compliant? See?!

    Have they set up any kind of "family therapy" session yet? I know they do that here fairly soon after someone has been admitted. That's where sometimes buttons get pushed and the staff gets to see the "real" difficult child.

    Enjoy the respite .. know he's in a safe place for now. Hang in there.
  11. I'm sorry you are having to go through what you are with your difficult child. What you are experiencing with difficult child being so "compliant" for the staff is what I have heard of being called a "honeymoon". I completely understand your frustration. When my difficult child was inpatient the first time, I was totally frustrated that they were not seeing him there! Even when he was inpatient for 1 month, he never really acted out like I know he does at home. He might have little episodes of oppositional behavior but none of the explosive stuff he does at home. The staff are usually aware that difficult child's "honeymoon". I mentioned to difficult child's therapist last time he was in about this and how I feared he wouldn't exhibit the behavior while he was there and then they would just send him home, I was told they are aware of this and that they sometimes see kids who "honeymoon" for a month or more. That being said, my difficult child's last acute inpatient was 4 weeks and they were able to stretch that but otherwise he would have probably gone home in just 2 weeks because he was making top of the chart everyday!

    My difficult child is currently in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) since 7/1/08 and I still wonder about the honeymooning and how long it will last. I keep hearing he is doing wonderful, he is really working hard, etc., etc. Yes, I know he is probably working hard, but I also knows that he is working it. My difficult child seems to thrive when he is inpatient, he loves the real controlled structure that they provide. I can't provide that kind of structure at home, I am a single working mother.

    Good luck to you,

  12. Belzog

    Belzog New Member

    Yeah, they told me on the phone today about the honeymoon. I, too, wonder if he likes the uber structure there. And the attention. Nobody waits for him to pee so they can check out what he made at home. The nurse I talked to this morning said the do lots of tests, then the test them. Like they try to push their buttons to see what they'll do. We did have a family session too. He declined to talk and when they asked me why he was there, I mentioned a few behaviors, then the social worker prompted me, "Is there anything else? Don't you have more?" Then the flood gates opened. "Stealing: unacceptable. Carrying a knife: unacceptable." etc. I got on a roll and before I could stop I had reeled off a laundry list of complaints. Maybe that is what they wanted, I dunno. But it made me feel bad. He advised me not to address him because he wouldn't answer me, then asked to be taken back upstairs.

    It's like it's this big problem between us, but it's not just us. He's been stealing from the store too. And the knife carrying thing has nothing to do with our dynamic, at least not directly. Right?

    If only I hadn't gotten divorced so much, or not moved so much, or he didn't have health problems, or his bio-father had kept in contact, or the sky was green or something. Right? I just wish I could fix things, like I did in the old days. You know, how when they fall and scrape their kneed and you hold them and sing to them and kiss them better and put a band aid on it?

    There is no bandaid for an attitude problem, or whatever this is. And you can't hug someone while they are trying to slug you.
  13. Belzog

    Belzog New Member

    Update: I saw my son in a family therapy today. He hasn't called me since I saw him last Tues. He breezed in like nothing in the world was wrong. And asked the coached question of me that I believe they prompted him with, "What do I have to do to come home?" Well, right there I nearly fell over laughing. Is that supposed to be a joke? "Uh... your self-care, don't break the law, and you know what else? Some help with all stuff I am doing to help you find an independent living situation would be nice." He gave me some song and dance about being too busy to call. Gee, you know I've called 1-3 times daily to check on him.

    He's been pulling "super son" all week, every time I call it's the same thing, he's participating and compliant and even showing initiative with his self-care. What a crock. He never gets up before noon at home and he's up at 7 AND in the middle of the night to do his self-care?!?!

    There's just about nothing he can do to prove that things will be any different at home. He's fully capable of doing all he needs to do when he's here, he just won't. The psychiatric. suggested I compile a list of chores he could help with while he's in the hospital, checking up on various applications and "irons in the fire." Great, now I have to work at finding work for him to do so that he can try to convince me he'll do what he never has done when he gets home.

    "What if I just won't take him home? Can I do that?" They said they'd keep him there till his 18th birthday next month, then it's basically out the door. The psychiatric and social worker didn't even have a consensus on whether they could drop him off at a homeless shelter or not.

    So regardless of whether I think things will improve or not, he'll be home one of these days and I'll be stuck with him till his birthday, then what? Just take him to a shelter like his outpatient psychiatric nurse lady suggested? that seems like a horrible idea.

    Oh, I just got the Section 8 housing application back in the mail. They said try re-submitting when he's 18. After that it'll take 3 or more months to find him a place. And then what? He doesn't have the skills to live independently, and that's assuming his SSI comes through.

  14. I'm so sorry that this is so tuff. I can't imagine being in your shoes with your son approaching his 18th birthday. Truthfully the thought scares me. Your son sounds like he is just not "getting" it. And once he reaches his birthday, then what? I can see your frustration!

    I understand what you are saying about your difficult child being compliant, doing his self-care and stuff. My difficult child is being compliant, only having a few episodes of oppositional behavior - whatever that is supposed to mean. I have a treatment team phone call this afternoon, so I will probably hear the same stuff "he's doing great" "he's a good kid" etc., etc., etc. and "oh by the way, he gets a 8 hour pass this weekend, when do you want to pick him up?"


  15. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Does your locality have a rehabilitative services agency? You might talk to the hospital social worker about that, she should have contacts there and tons of other places. The agency here can set up people with housing, jobs, training, self-care, etc. I would start there.
  16. Belzog

    Belzog New Member

    Have to call Independent Living today. Part of treatment inpatient is for him to help me with some of this getting-ready-for-independent living prep stuff. Trouble is, all the forms have been completed, it's just a matter of keeping appointments, which we can't do because he's inaccessible at the moment.

    Just have to keep everything on hold for now.
  17. seekinghope

    seekinghope New Member

    I too am a newbie here but I can offer you my experience.
    My difficult child is only 15 and only newly acting-out, but his actions were so out of control that I feared for his life, our life. or someone else's.
    When he gets in that flight or fight mode I truly am not sure what he is capable of. His anxiety levels are so far out of his control, the swearing,the pacing, etc. I know if I did not intervene something terrible would have happened.
    I had him involuntarily committed; he too complies there, but I truly think he does better with very strict structure. Most of his anger is generated towards me because I am the "rule enforcer." and he can't manipulate the Dr.'s there.
    I simply told them I would not take him home; period!
    I was able to keep him there until the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) took him. I also know two other boys there had similar issues but no drug use, and they both went to group homes to continue therapy before going home.
    That knife situation makes your son's situation very serious. If he is elevating in his bad behavior the Dr.'s should be extremely concerned about him not being in a supervised facility until that is addressed.
    I am so sorry you are going through this. I notice a lot of us seem to have the same kid just different variants.
    I hope this helps. I don't where you live but in my particular situation I think living rural helped me, not the volume of kids makes it easier for the facility to hold the kids longer. On the other hand living rural limits specialty Dr.'s and support programs.
    Good Luck....