Just touching base...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hi, everyone! I'm getting a little antsy again. I'm supposed to meet difficult child's parole officer on Monday and sign some agreement- for what I don't know. I called and left a message for him earlier this week but he never called back or sent a copy of the "agreement". I called and left a message for difficult child's cm at the state Department of Juvenile Justice (where difficult child is right now) and she never called back either. I wanted to ask her about standard protocol for tranistion planning and some other things.

    difficult child's staffing meeting is on Tuesday- this is when they "decide" (really- I think it's "announce") what difficult child's length of stay range is and where he is going and what program he'll be required to complete (ie- anger management, substance abuse, etc). So....here is the same ole carp of them using the strategy of waiting until the 11th hour before springing something on the parent to either sign or refuse. SIGH. I will never understand how the very people who are supposed to be helping people understand negative patterns and break them are the very ones who'll handle things in a way that creates tension and defensiveness and bad attitudes to begin with.

    I do feel like I've failed my son. The problem is that there hasn't been a single person in Department of Juvenile Justice to date that I think has made better decisions or done more for him or us or even seems to really care about what is in his best interest. But, I guess I'll be dealing with it all in one way or another until difficult child is grown.

    Please keep us in your thoughts as I try to stay busy this weekend and Monday and prepare myself for whatever might happen.

    The letter I received from difficult child this week said there are a lot of gang members in there. He said he is trying to stay away from them but it's hard. Also, he said the other kids think he's in there for a sexual offense (just rumor- no truth) so he's having a rough time staying out of trouble. Apparently, he hasn't gotten into any trouble as of yet but he's worried about ending up in a fight and getting more time in as a result. I'm worried about him getting caught up in a gang, which would follow him when he's released.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sigh. I feel for you.
    I assume you're giving him major league kudos for staying away from the gang members. That must be so hard for him, to sit and listen to that with-o decking them and getting into a huge fight.
    Good luck on Monday! I hope you get some sleep this weekend.
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I so feel for you KLMNO---I know you have done everything to try and help difficult child---you have not failed him. You are in a position right now where, unfortunately, you have little or no control. Don't take this the wrong way, but you see to me to be a lot like I used to be---a "control freak." I was awful. And I know how hard it is to feel like it is to loose that control and feeling helpless and hopeless. I thought I had to know everything about everything, all the time. I thought I could fix difficult child if I only could control everything. As he aged, and struggled against my control, things only got worse. I finally, when he was 19 and in big boy jail, let go of my control. Now, I understand that he was 19. He was an adult. And your son is only 14, and still a child, but had I stopped trying so hard when he was younger, maybe he would have learned then what he learned at 19---that he had to change to change his path in life. You can not control what they require you to do. You can control whether you sign the agreement or not. You can't control what they do if you refuse to sign. You can't control difficult child's sentence. You can't control what happens to him in Department of Juvenile Justice custody. Focus on what you can control, and let the rest of it go or you will end up making yourself sick or worse.
  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Just letting you know I am thinking about you guys. Like always, I wish I could do more. Anything even just to put your mind at ease.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Ladies! I have some things I want to get done this weekend, so that will help.

    I don't know about the control thing- obviously, they have control of difficult child. It's the taking control of my life when I didn't break a law while I'm still responsible for maintaining the home-yet they don't care if their rules that make impossible- then still blaming me if difficult child does something wrong that will always rub me the wrong way. I don't think they have a right to take over my life. If they want in control of difficult child's, then they should take responsibility for it, in my humble opinion.
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I"m thinking of you also and wanted to say what in your gut, you do know, You did not fail him at all. we have all watched you fight your way through this and all the mess of jerky doctor's and supposed trained ppl it came along with. YOu always prevail and will continue to do so.

    Keeping your mind busy is a good idea. What thoughts do you have about what to do this weekend??
  7. maril

    maril New Member

    Sending positive thoughts your way. It must be exhausting. I can't imagine how you keep going, but you do ...

    I think you have been a remarkably strong mom, and I bet your son does, too.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks- I'm planning to start the yardwork- my neighbors have already mowed their lawns and I haven't done it yet this spring. I need to clean the house some- go an extra mile in difficult child's bedroom, I guess, with washing sheets and so forth because I didn't do that after he was arrested. And, I was thinking it would be a good idea to type my thoughts up about all this- not because I plan to give it to anyone, but it helps me get the "emotion" out of it all so maybe I can summarize better to the parole offeicer and not sound like an out-of-control mom, if you know what I mean. Oh- I need to pay bills, too.

    I'm working toward a night out for dinner, too. LOL! I need to do state taxes but when the irs refund comes in, I might go out for the evening. I guess I'll make a restitution payment out of it, too. :(
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind that you probably will have a fifteen minute meeting and they will be sharing what their decisions are with you. You will likely be passed a bunch of papers like at a real estate closing with not adequate time to read all the fine print. They are not going to be seeking exit plans, I bet. They are just trying to place him where it seems appropriate and where there is a bed.

    When you leave and go home write down what you recall was said and by whom so you will have a record of the meeting for your own use. I would be
    absolutely amazed if the conversation was a rehash of the last Court events
    or included things like possibly alternate placements upon completion. They are government. They have papers that have to be signed. Do not prepare for a meaningful meeting as you will be stressed about a non event.

    The yard and a good meal sound like positive moves! DDD
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hey, DDD! I won't be going to the staffing meeting- the meeting I was referring to is with the parole officer. He's located at our county Department of Juvenile Justice (the court and probation and detention area). difficult child is at the state Department of Juvenile Justice- where the staffing meeting will be on Tuesday. Supposedly, the parole officer needs me to sign some agreement with him about preparing for difficult child's program and conditions upon return home beofre the staffing meeting. I know that makes no sense but I did read online that this is Department of Juvenile Justice's policy. They claim it's because they start planning the transition home upon the official admittance into state Department of Juvenile Justice. The way I look at it, they are saying I have to sign an agreement when they haven't even told me what the transition plan is. I might not sign it- which I'm sure won't go over well. But I don't do well backed into a corner. The thing is, once I sign it, then I can be held accountable in court for not doing whatever the parole officer requires- and that includes if he orders mst and the mst guy says meet him at 4:00 every Tues and Thurs and I can't- as an example. But those details won't be written in the agreement, so basicly, I think the agreement is a blanket commitment to do whatever this guy tells me to do. It isn't like adult probation/parole where the requirements pertain to the offender only- these people put more on the parent than they do the kid.

    on the other hand- you could be right- maybe he will tell me what the decisions for difficult child are. But, they all claim that those aren't finalized and announced until the staffing meeting. I don't know that anything they will do could surprise me at this point.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member

    That sounds like a good weekend!! Yard work can be so calming right? it totally calms me. do you wanna laugh there's this new therapy called horticulture i think it's called where it's basically that yard work, flowerings, planting to rehabilitate ppl or help those with emotional issues or upsetment.

    i love going out there getting my hands dirty and stuff.

    going out to dinner sounds good also!!

    is it nice out there today where you are??? we're at 65 already and going to 75 today. totally insane. i'm taking difficult child to get shorts than she actually has a play date today! finally.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm not trying to be negative.........I swear. BUT remember what happened in Court. Everyone but the parent was involved in making an advance choice for difficult child. This "may" be the same type situation. I just want you to be prepared. The agreement has to either be very vague or very specific. Chances are it will not be specific. So, I'm guessing, it will probably say I Suzie QQ as the custodial biological parent of difficult child agree to work in conjunction with Department of Juvenile Justice to assure my son's success.

    They want an adult from the outside world to agree to work as a team member. You're it. When the time comes IF there choices are things you strongly disagree with, then you can draw a line in the sand. Trying to draw a line in the sand before the sand is in place :confused: isn't going to work for you, for difficult child or the system. I expect you have to be prepared to "float". DDD

    by the way, I will be very pleasantly surprised to find out I'm wrong when you post late Monday. I would love to be wrong ;).
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This is exactly what I think, too. What worries me is knowing how they are over there- when difficult child nears his release date, there is no discussion about what we need at home. There are orders and if I've signed this thing, I can be taken to court for not following them. Everyone outside Department of Juvenile Justice agrees that difficult child and I need family therapy prior to his coming home. The parole officer says that it's up to the facility difficult child gets placed in. The way this is headed, difficult child will just get released one day with nothing changed between us except he'll be coming home with more demands on both of us from Department of Juvenile Justice. Signing the darn agreement was exactly how the PO could order whatever and hold over my head that difficult child was alloowed to be home on probation due to my agreement to "work with them" so I'd be taken before judge if I didn't do whatever she ordered.

    If it was a situation where the "orders" from the parole officer were going to be discussed with me first, before putting them in place, it would be different. If it was a situation where they ever bothered to ask exactly what kind of problems we had at home/between us that needed addressing, that would be different, too. But they don';t do that here. They treat the parents of kids in Department of Juvenile Justice the same as if the parent is charged with neglect or something and order the parents to do ABC and tell you they don't care how much hardship it causes.

    I understand that this guy can't know just yet what difficult child will need when he comes home- but I can't agree, discuss, or disagree until I know either. Plus, they are supposed to set up a transitional plan- do they really? From what he said before, it doesn't look like they do. Then, that makes me think difficult child should be released to a group home for his/our transitional period. If they ever plan to discuss that, I'd like to know when. I don't think they will discuss it if they think I'll just sign whatever agreement, then take whatever orders he gives out. Some of it wouldn't be such a concern for me if difficult child had committed a different type of offense. But given how bad both our emotional states had gotten and his offense for pulling the knife at on me, I think it is only reasonable for me to make sure they are taking into account that we need to work thru some problems or this could end up being a bigger disaster.

    Someone (Crazy, I think) had a suggestion on my previous thread about writing on the agreement that I will make every effort to work with them, but cannot guarantee that I will be able to meet every demand, or something to that effect. I don't know if he'll let me do that or not. Anyway, from what I read, this "order" the parent without discussion of needs or feasability is standard iin this state, but I have a feeling I get it worse because of my label. This is just another straw in the basket for moving to another area.

    difficult child called this morning ( he only gets 5 mins on the phone) so I guess he behaved well this past week again. So far so good on that count.

    Jen: 88 degrees right now- expected to hit 90 over the next couple of days!
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Does anyone know what will happen if I don't sign?
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Don't know what will happen if you don't sign. Just wanted to let you know I've been thinking of you and keeping you and your difficult child in my prayers. Hugs.