Letter from Justin - ??? Read between the lines ladies

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DavidH, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. DavidH

    DavidH Guest

    Got home tonight,,, letter in mail.. sweetsweet loving letter.. but I want you pro's to read between the lines ... word for word the letter goes....

    (on his address line he puts, 7 months 10 days as of 3-1-08 (meaning how long he has been at Residential Treatment Center (RTC))

    Dear Daddy.

    I came back last night and it was really hard because I sat on the bench in front of the erc building where we sat down and did my goal sheet and I got checked in from the visit.

    I was sitting there and looking at the empty parking lot that a green car of yours was parked not even 15 mins ago, I was looking looking at the spot where BJ used the bathroom and just all of it reminded me of being with you and BJ and like I was just with you at home and it is just really hard coming back.

    You know what else happend? This really pi ss ed me off and made me sad is that the three dollars and something you bought me of Burts Bees Wax chapstick that you bought for m, well they lost it and it just started making me think of why I didn't get the generic brand and I didn't because I wanted it to be name brand and I'm sorry that I made you buy it so please take the money out of my wallet it is the least a start of paying you back for all the things that you have done for me. I vow to pay you 20% of all my paychecks until I go into the Navy.

    Something else that happened is when I came back the new kid M. E. is on run risk for I think saying he is going to run. He and some other people are really frustrating me because they cross my boundries a lot, well I wouldn't say others but mostly him becuase when he is around me in line he gets way up on me

    I miss you so much

    Love your Son your Boogie

    P.S. I hope the toilet starts to work also on the 19th when you come for my family session please bring my sleeping bag and those clothes and tobogan I left at home
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think he's trying to lay a guilt trip on you so maybe you'll take him out early. But I don' t know him...
  3. emma123

    emma123 New Member

  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    David, I read your post about your visit this morning and had the same thought with this letter: sometimes it's best not to analyze every minute and read between the lines because even with kids in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) there's a lot of typical teen stuff going on. Take the good, release the things that you are powerless to change, accept what's in between.
  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I'm probably a fool because I haven't dealt with Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (yet-I'm going to go ballistic here pretty soon-difficult child 1 has me at the end of my rope!), but I'd like to think that he took a look at how hard he worked for the pass to spend the weekend and wasn't "sweet little Justin".

    Uh-oh! How dare he act like a typical teen! lol

    Who knows? He may have wanted to talk about this kid over the weekend and didn't and now he's p.o.'d at himself for not talking to you. Keep in mind that his maturity is probably no where near his age as of yet, so he's feeling it worse than he normally would!

    Keep the faith!

  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    A little manipulation, a lot of love. I'm willing to bet that if something happens and he loses privileges or the like, it will because of M.E. rather than his choices. He's still young but he's growing.

    I don't know how much you and he have discussed what put him there. I do know that in my daughter's letters to me (and mine to her) there was a lot of discussion of what had happened and how it could be handled differently in the future. I'm surprised that isn't required more there. At my daughter's Residential Treatment Center (RTC), past behavior was discussed in group and family meetings, but the parents were told to write about what had happened and how we felt, our fears for the future, what we could have done differently, what our child could do in the future to prevent the same thing occurring. It really did seem to help both parent and child in seeing things on paper, not just a bunch of words.

    I am concerning there is so much emphasis on things. We weren't allowed to take our kids shopping on family visits. It was emphasized over and over that we were not to buy things with our kids during those visits unless it was specifically discussed with a counselor prior to the visit and then it was only allowed to buy items such as shoes, bras for girls and even then was pretty limited. There was a commissary where the kids could buy necessities like
    Chapstick. Any items purchased at home were to be mailed to the child and approved before they were given. This saved on contraband being brought in and put all the kids on an equal footing (most were from very wealthy families but some were court ordered and some from middle class families who basically mortgaged their souls to save their kids). Clothes were very specific -- not quite uniforms but darn close. I'm surprised he is allowed to bring so much in.

    It does sound like he's doing pretty well and you have many reasons to be proud of him. There's no question he loves you tremendously and that's a huge plus in having him work the program to come home.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Again, grain of salt, I've never been the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) route, but I see a kid who might be trying to guilt a little, but mostly had a "woe is me" evening and wrote a letter to dad about it. And like Beth said, maybe even thought a little about the past weekend and truly missed it.

    Agian, I don't know your son or the dynamics of Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but that's what I read.
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Ya know, tho, Star may be right, too. My difficult child could not handle deviation from the norm. Any inch bend in normal rules resulted in about 2 miles taken before he was reined in again.

    Might be a good idea to skip the next nice-ity purchase until a specified date is set to go buy such item. (IN this case, you make mental note of the guitar and later use it as a reward for something). I recall now that the purchase on a whim thing set my difficult child in motion and he expected more purchases on whims...

    Regardless, he's made AMAZING progress. I'm am praying he'll come out a complete success story!
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Ya know, I didn't see any manipulation in that latter. A tiny guilt trip maybe, but not necessarily. He mentioned that it was hard to come back. Yes, it IS hard for him to come back. Kudos to him for being able to express that appropriately.

    He mentioned paying you back for the lip balm. That could be his guilt getting to him for accepting that guitar without eing as gracious as he could have.

    As far as the other kid at Residential Treatment Center (RTC), to me that sounded like him venting. Wherever he goes, for the rest of his life, there will always be someone that rubs him the wrong way. He will learn the skills to deal with that.

    Bottom line, he did say he missed you, but he asked you to bring this and that when you came (as though he needed them, as though he were still planning on being there awhile, and was comfortable with it) and signed it using your pet name for him.

    All in all, that was a very sweet letter.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I read it and got more of what BBK did. I think he expressed a little of how HARD it is to have to go back. This gets worse the closer to release he is ("I only have another week, what is the point of driving all the way back there and then just doing it again???" - be prepared for this kind of thing. It is pretty normal, in my humble opinion. We just told our son that he needed to "complete ALL his work. And wouldn't there be some sense of accomplishment when he was done? We would feel that." We told him this kind of thing.)

    I think the bit about the lip balm was nice. He was saying he sees how tight things are financially, regretted demanding the more expensive item, and offered to pay for it. (from what I read). I would let him pay for it. This sets a good precedent. It also says you know he is growing up and will allow it.

    It also may be a round-about way of apologizing for the request for the guitar. I, too, have done the Disneyland routine on home visits. making it more nice than everyday life. We are so HAPPY to have our kids back we want to shower them with good things so they are happy to be with us AND so they know we really see the effort they are putting forth to get healthy.

    Making the guitar a reward for a future goal is a good idea. Maybe time on the guitar or lessons in the same amount as he spends doing something he needs to do and doesn't want to do?? (by the way, check out Fender's website. They have some pretty cool giveaways, including one that gets a free tshirt if you get a form signed saying you "test drove" a Fender guitar, though this may have expired).

    It is hard NOT to count the days you are away from loved ones. Many soldiers in my bro's Army base had similar countdowns. I know it was considered a VERY bad sign when some of the children on my difficult child's psychiatric hospital unit stopped counting. It meant they thought they would be in their forever. for some of them this was true, but it was still sad.

    I think he wanted to talk about the other kid but kept putting it off. It is hard to talk to someone about a big problem, esp for males. Women vent, have groups like this were they ask for input and do collaborative problem solving. This does not generally seem to be as typical for men. Maybe he wanted to talk about this, as it is important to him, but kept waiting for the "right" moment. And somehow that moment never seems to walk up, slap you upside of the head and say "Now, talk about problem M. E. NOW!" Or at least that was the way it was for me as a teen.

    There is some guilt trying to be distributed. MAybe you should let him know, as part of talking about why he is there and what he could/should do differently in the future, that letting him go for that long is a sign of how serious, even life-threatening, the course of his behavior was.

    His love for you is so very clear in this letter. Please save it with his babybook or other keepsakes. It will mean so much to you in the future. AND it is great to have to share with his children - FAR into the future!!

    He clearly has a desire for things. It read pretty typical teen to me. I know the letters about stuff we received were far, far more demanding. And this is AFTER they made him rewrite the letters to make them less demanding, entitled, and ME ME ME ME focused.

    Check in with the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and see what is up with this other child. Is there something that needs to be dealt with? Do they need supervision more so than he normally does or than he does with the other kids? Is he worried about this other kid? (sometimes they can be so worried about another kid because confidences have been shared. Justin may feel he can't break confidence but the other kid is in over his head - again, been there done that)

    I would not bring stuff to family days unless Residential Treatment Center (RTC) said he NEEDED them. Not just could have them. But be SURE to touch base with Residential Treatment Center (RTC) about the other child. And, on a phone call or at your next visit, ASK about the other child. It lets justin know that you are interested in what HE feels is important.

    He so very clearly feels loved. And loves you. His progress is beautiful to watch. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  11. DavidH

    DavidH Guest

    Well, I am glad I posted this letter and the other post on the visit.

    I think the biggest thing is I give to much trust in what people say - Even my employees and I get burnt 90% of the time for doing so.. A problem I have had my whole life... I find it hard to be ugly or say NO always too willing to give my all to everyone... As they say "one of the nice guys" and yes they always do finish last!

    I think it is time to get our family theripist to start coming to the home to have our weekly sessions going again, as he left it up to me for when I am ready and closer to when Justin is to come home.

    I just do not want to believe that Justin is so smart that even after 7 months in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) he is still able to manipulate me and me not even see it.

    As far as things he went into Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for he is doing very very very well, his issues now are consistancy on the little things I posted about a couple of weeks ago.

    I do not want the wool pulled over my eyes (wth does that mean ha ha)

    I want to believe life changing changes are being made by him because he sees it needs to be... but he is so stinking smart.... he does not beg to come home and accepts he is where he is for his actions in the past and admits the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is helping him.. I can take and accept that it is hard to come back and be there, and I am fine with him expressing it..

    As far as the guitar, I think it was a mistake now... I had even told him I would not buy, but he would earn it so he can appreciate it even more than me just buying something... I did buy it simply because I have said no to it for so long and it has been the one thing he has wanted to learn for so long... most times it is always buy me this buy me this and it goes away after a while... or I have bought big ticket items and he never used them or only did until the newness of it wore off.

    Ugg this is a tough spot to be in... because I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I want to make sure it is not my imangination.. but a real train coming down on me.. (if that makes sense to you .. bonus!!)
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I, too, think Justin is moving toward typical teen behaviors. It also seems as though he is making progress.

    From my perspective, I think that now is the time for all three of you to identify how you have been glued together in deference to the abnormal behavior patterns of your Dad, Justin's Mom and then the results of Justin acting out on the stressors. The "good news" is that Justin knows that you both love him and want the best for him. The "not so good news" is that you and Grandma both turn to Justin to meet your needs
    emotionally....that is a strain that a teenager doesn't need.

    I'm thrilled that you are working (although perhaps living to work may be the case instead of working to live?) and addressing your addiction issues. It would be great if you found an adult social activity to widen your horizons a bit. Even bowling once a week would be a big change
    and reduce your isolationist tendencies. Grandma needs to be involved
    with a peer group or a volunteer group so that she, too, will be capable of letting Justin move toward adulthood.

    My post is a bit presumptious, David. I realize that. on the other hand, my experience indicates to me that it is probably a fairly accurate picture.
    My husband and I have "lost" our identies many times over the past years due to the absorption and exhaustion that comes from difficult child stress. We still
    have to work at separating from the kids. Owning our own business we
    have also worked seven days a week too many times.

    It is not good for you, your child or anyone else for you to rush through time keeping busy without taking the time to work through who you are
    and what you like and what you need. Your search for self will lay a path by example for Justin to find who he wants to be as an adult. DDD