Kanga can't even make it through a phone call

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    and she is suppose to be coming home in a week???

    Kanga called us during phone hours and talked to husband. I was at work but she told him to have me call when I got home. So I did. Why I bother I have no idea.

    Kanga: Mom, I'm ready to come home.

    Me: You know things will be different when you come home. What you did was very, very wrong and you could have killed this entire family.

    Kanga: I know. Daddy told me I'd have more chores and stuff and need to watch my attitude. (said with the air of someone with Daddy wrapped around her little finger)

    Me: More than that Kanga. Everything has been removed from your room except for a few clothes, one blanket and one pillow. You may have your school stuff in there, but that is it. We rented a storage unit and all your stuff is there, so don't bother tearing the house apart looking for it, because it isn't here. If during the next 6 months, you are not violent, you may BEGIN to earn some of the stuff back. If at the end of the 6 months, you have been violent, you may pay for another 6 months rental or we can donate it all to charity, your choice.

    When you get home from PHP/school, you will go straight to your room and do your homework. When it is time to leave, you will walk immediately downstairs and get in the car. When we are out of the house, you will stay near me. Your brothers and sister have all told us about how you have been saying inappropriate things to them. Therefore you are only allowed to play with them when Daddy or I can sit next to you and supervise.

    You will not hurt anyone in this house again -- with your body or your words.

    Kanga: You always take everyone else's side.

    Me: Kanga you tried to kill us. There is only one right side to take.

    Kanga: I hate my family. I'm staying at psychiatric hospital until the end of the school year. (clearly starting to lose control)

    At that point I had her put a therapist on the line and I gave them a heads up that she was upset and to keep an extra eye on her.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Wow! Sounds like you are going to have your hands full. I haven't kept up with all that lead up to this, but if you have these kinds of worries, why is she coming home soon?
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Honestly, at 13, I think I'd have pretty much have the same attitude if I thought I was going to come home and things would more or less be okay and then find out my whole world was turned upsidedown. Don't misunderstand, I think you're doing the right thing but I can certainly understand her loss of control.

    However, is there any way she could start earning some of her things back earlier than 6 months? At 13, that's an awfully long time. Maybe earn back one thing a month if behavior is satisfactory?

    Hope she manages to get control of herself in the next week. I'm sure she is not going to be pleasant to be around.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Hi klmno,

    She is coming home because she behaves in the psychiatric hospital. We are working on our funding application for an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement. We have been told by those with experience in these matters that we have a very strong case and we should be approved but it takes 2-3 months. If she isn't explosive in the psychiatric hospital, then they will send her home and we bring her back each time she blows up.

    I'm kind of hoping she blows tonight. If not, during our family session this week, we are going to review the new rules and structure with her, my guess is she attacks me. That should keep her in the psychiatric hospital a few more days.

    A sad thing to be hoping for :frown:
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    We have stripped her room each time she has a major, violent episode. We allowed her to earn back 1 thing/week the last time (a year ago). I don't think she got the message.

    Most of the things taken could easily become weapons (heavy trophies, belts). I did pack away about 1/2 her clothes but the girl will still have plenty to wear to only need to do her laundry every 2 weeks.

    Her dad told her about her room when he visited her yesterday. She just didn't believe him. She knows I am absolutely serious.

    She has shown no remorse for her actions, still blames us for 'making her' attack us and doesn't seem to get the severity of what she did. I believe they are looking at a diagnosis of Schizoaffective disorder. We've also been told she is a budding personality disorder, lovely.
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    JJJ -

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. I can certainly understand the need for the rules and changes you've had to put into place. I also understand how it breaks your heart to have to do that.

    When easy child was 10 and was diagnosis'd with severe depression, he was very hostile. Towards me it was with words, but I could tell he was barely restraining himself physically. Everyday I was thankful that he was only 10 because if he was the size he is now, I would have been afraid for my safety. I worried as it was.

    However, he was violent with difficult child who was 7 at the time. I came downstairs to screaming and difficult child had red marks around her neck where easy child had been choking her. I was brand new to all of this stuff and felt way out of my league and had no idea what to do. It wasn't until I told therapist about it and he asked me why I didn't call the police that I even considered that possibility. It just simply never occurred to me. I never left them unsupervised after that and did tell easy child that if he laid a hand on her again that I would call the police...explained domestic violence to him and the laws.

    That's a long stretch from having your child in a psychiatric hospital and/or Residential Treatment Center (RTC), I know. But I know just how heartbreaking all of this is and the need to protect everyone else.

    It really stinks.

  7. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    I am just so sorry.

    Offering a shoulder, an ear, a prayer, and some hugs.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh, I think I have a little more understanding now. This sounds like an acute psychiatric hospital and you're in process of getting something long term. With her problems, I'd almost want to do the "earning things back once a week" and not hold against her that this didn't work 1 to 2 years ago. I know you're upset and angry right now, but it almost sounds like you two are just keeping each other going. Don't get me wrong, I'd be PO'd too and at witz end. Can you work on the game plan during a family session? This just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen right now, in my humble opinion.
  9. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    JJJ, is there any way Prozac caused Kanga to be this violent? easy child/difficult child 3 had terrible raging on Prozac with suicidal and homicidal ideation (at age 9!). We're not sure whether she'll end up with a mood disorder diagnosis like her siblings, but we are definitely weaning her from Prozac and finding something else to treat her anxiety. Her psychiatrist is amazed at how much better easy child/difficult child 3 is as we continue to lower her Prozac dose. Just wanted you to consider this possibility because it can definitely happen.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I second that, Smallworld- it can definitely happen!
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Heather - we have called the police for assistance and medical transport. Once they tried to get me to press charges because she had kicked me in the face. I declined because she was just 12. I'm trying to find out if police involvement makes it easier or harder to get funding for the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and accepted into the one we want.

    BBK - thanks

    Klmno - My original impulse was to take her room away entirely and make her sleep on a cot in our room. Then I decided I really liked the locked door between us while I'm sleeping.

    I'm going to let her earn back "people" first. i.e. if she follows the rules, she can call her friends on the phone, she can go to practice, she can come with when we visit relatives. Then she can earn back "activities" i.e. watching tv, playing Wii, going to the movies. So she will have some frequent incentives to make good choices. The way I'm planning on explaining it to her is that people are the most important thing in your life. She will be given many chance to learn to treat people with safety and respect. As she shows that she can treat first her family, then her friends with respect, she will show me that she can handle the distractions of activities and eventually stuff.

    You are right that we do tend to feed off of each other. I have no tolerance for hurting others and she takes my anger at her as 'proof' that she is right and I don't love her. To be honest, there are days...but usually I do love her :smile:
  12. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Smallworld - She was violent long before the Prozac but she had her dose dropped to just 10mg/day; Geodon was discontinued due to TD (tics). She is on Cogentin but I believe that is a short term plan since the tics have stopped, I think they are going to wean her off that this week. She started on Depakote yesterday.

    I'm hoping they add Clonidine as it looks like she won't be able to take any AP. She needs something to calm her down.
  13. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Depakote, in all likelihood, will calm her down, but it will take 6 to 8 weeks at a therapeutic dose for full efficacy. Is the plan to keep her on 10 mg Prozac or wean completely?
  14. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I don't know what the plan is for the Prozac. It is on my list of questions for my next phone call with the psychiatric hospital's psychiatrist. We haven't had a staffing yet at this new hospital although I did talk to the psychiatrist briefly to give consent for the Depakote. He also asked if we were going to be willing to take her home. I said yes, provided she is under control and we will all be safe. When I spoke with adoption preservation, they asked the same thing. I asked about a temporary placement in a home without any other children pending Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but was told for that we'd need to give up custody. I said no and the worker was surprised because she said most of her calls are people looking to disrupt the placements. I hope it never comes to that.
  15. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Triple J,

    I've heard very similar telephone conversations out of wm; it sounded so eerily familiar. I know that so well & I'm so very sorry, angry & frustrated for you.

    I'd like to ask how (please don't hurt me) the psychiatric hospital will know if Kanga will be safe in your home? I'd also like to ask why adoption preservation isn't working on getting PCAs in your home to help with the one on one needed for that safety? At least until Residential Treatment Center (RTC) opens up.
    I would think that they'd jump to bring in a worker versus a disrupted adoption. And you & husband cannot do this 24 hours/day. It's simply not possible.

    You know all this & I'm sorry for the lecture.

    Gentle ((((hugs))) to you this morning. I hope that an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) bed opens soon.

    PS: When Kanga comes home is the psychiatrist willing to prescribe a PRN medication? When I see kt escalating to any degree I try to catch it with a dose of that medication. Sometimes it helps - other times not. We use the zyprexia &/or seroquel as a PRN depending on the level of agitation/dissociation/physical aggression displayed.
  16. Peaceful

    Peaceful New Member

    JJJ, you've gone through a lot and have your hands full and you're handling this admirably. I can see that everything you've shared you're going to do should help your difficult child get her life back that's she's carelessly thrown away so far. It's different when you have a child who's crossed the line from being mentally ill with a bunch of labels, to one who has harmed you and threatened your life, if not tried to take it.

    I know that when we would visit our difficult child in the psychiatric hospital, she would show her true colors in family meetings. I've also taken to saving any voicemails I receive so they can hear what we hear. And additionally, video recording or digitally recording episodes for the record as well.

    I call the police. They are CIT and very good in our area. I don't know what I'd do without them. If my daughter had kicked me in the face and they came, the state would have pressed Domestic Violence charges on my behalf. Since she is committing DV, you may want to consider pressing charges when these types of things occur. She's not always going to be 13 and she'll be in for a shock at 18 if she kicks someone on the face and they press charges and she goes to jail.

    We were told in no uncertain terms by Social Services (they were contacted when I was a target of difficult child's behavior one day to offer me protection from her) that becasue we have a younger son who is exposed to, and had been harmed by, difficult child's actions that they could take him away from us for not providing a safe environment. In other words, it was difficult child or my son allowed in the house. There was no way I was going to let them take my son who had never done anything except be related to a sister who's MI and out of control at times. They complemented us on how we were dealing with everything so far and helped us develop a plan to show we're keeping everyone safe in the home. This includes calling the police when difficult child breaks the law or difficult child's out of control. Just something to think about.

    I hope this goes well for your family and can totally relate. Please take care of yourself and your children and know that you have support and understanding and prayers coming your way.

  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Many gentle hugs JJJ.
  18. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Linda - our clinical supervisor said that legally we are not allowed to refuse to take her home but we can press the psychiatric hospital to assure us that she is stable and we are safe (how they can tell that, I don't know either but supposedly it will buy us a little more time in the psychiatric hospital).

    Adoption preservation assigned a case worker to us but told us it was unlikely we would get contacted until after the holidays. They also gave me a number to call for respite (and hopefully PCA) staffing.

    There was discussion of Seroquel - I am going to ask for a PRN.

    Peaceful - I believe at 13, the state will now press the DV charges if the same situation came up again. Our safety plan is pretty stringent and she won't be allowed alone with any of the other children. We are hoping that she will attend PHP pending an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) bed opening. That should keep her away from home almost the same hours that husband is at work. I'm hoping to have a PCA for the two evenings that he works late. One adult will supervise her and the other will be with the younger children. I'm documenting all over the place that I tried to get her placed out of home pending Residential Treatment Center (RTC) so if DCFS steps in, it should be clear that they need to take her, not the other 3. Worst case scenario, the younger 3 and I will start sleeping at my grandmother's (I think she'll let us, but no one will let Kanga).

    Sharon - thanks
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hugs and good luck.
  20. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I don't have any words of wisdom. I just want you to know I'm thinking of you. Living with violent difficult children is definitely HE77 on earth!!! I hope you get an appropriate placement for Kanga soon. In the meantime, I know you're doing everything you possibly can to keep your family safe.

    Hugs, WFEN