Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by BloodiedButUnbowed, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    I have not posted in quite a while and thought I would provide an update.

    Wife and I are working on things. Some days are good, some days less so. The stress of YS' situation - the fact that he attempted suicide, that it nearly succeeded, and that none of us can escape the fallout - overwhelms all else at the present time.

    YS continues his recovery and is presently focusing on physical rehab. We were informed that he will likely be discharged home in a couple of weeks with a recommendation for a partial hospitalization program to address the suicide attempt. Insurance says now that we are two months removed from the attempt, they will not pay for inpatient psychiatric. Not that three to seven days on an inpatient unit would be much better than a month or two of partial hospitalization. At the moment he is not suicidal. He is not a safety risk.

    YS is making great progress cognitively, he is now almost back to where he was before this tragedy. He has some memory issues but these are slowly improving as well.

    We are blessed by this outcome and I am always grateful even in the midst of the chaos.

    Meanwhile things with DS are once again growing concerning. He is jobless and truant from online school. He looks disheveled. He is avoiding visiting YS in the hospital. When he does visit they barely interact. This weekend my wife noticed that DS has cigarette burns on his palms. She asked about them and he made an excuse about having fallen. I wasn't there that day, but my wife is 100% sure these were cigarette burns.

    We were supposed to have DS over for a visit the next day. He refused to respond to our texts confirming the visit. In the end he didn't show up, and didn't text or call.

    We know that YS has cited DS' volatility and violence as one of the reasons for his attempt. We know that YS is keeping secrets about DS. We think they need to be separated for YS' sake and frankly, his safety. We are hoping that YS will choose to live with, or at least spend a lot of time with, us. Their father would never consent to this and doesn't believe DS has a problem. Given DS' history of violent behavior when confronted, his father is also likely concerned that DS would lash out and cause serious damage if he addressed it.

    Wife is considering legal action to protect both boys and force their father to address DS' mental health and truancy. My personal opinion is that DS is going to end up in jail or dead barring a major change in his lifestyle. We have no idea what he is up to, but we know it isn't healthy and it probably isn't legal. He won't talk to us unless he wants something. He is beyond our (wife's and my) reach at this point.

    More updates as I have them. Thinking of you all.
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  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Thank you for the update BBU. Most of us know this Limbo so well. I have said so often the three paths for my son are jail, rehab or death. And a long lingering sad life before his demise is all we see.

    I do hope that YS continues to do well. I also hope you are able to secure a stable environment away from DS for him.

    Thinking of you, stay strong and be good to yourself.
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  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    so pleased.

    as i understand it (limited) 12 and over the judge takes strongly into account the child's prefeences as to custodial parent. let alone the child's needs and safety.

    in this case with the behavoor of older son, the vulnerability of the younger, and his acutecand continuing fragility and neeeds itvwould be criminal to place him back there.

    the parents feeings cannot override the best interests and protection of the child. or even the child's preference after a certain age.
  4. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Well, the boys will both want to stay with their dad. Neither one of them wants to be with their mother. The thing is, their dad's home is unsafe.

    We would probably have to go through the courts to argue that the children are neglected.....evidence being DS' continuing descent into mental illness/inability to function, and YS' situation speaks for itself....

    The problem is, taking their father to court would alienate the boys from us even more.

    It is a very difficult situation.

    If neither of them wants much to do with us anyway, we may as well take comfort in knowing that we have done everything possible to keep them safe, whether they realize (or want) it or not....even if the only result was mandated counseling/therapy sessions for everyone, it would be better than status quo.

    Soon YS will be released from the hospital. The brinksmanship, the posturing and bargaining over his destination after that is turning into WWIII. YS wants to go with his grandmother, wife wants him with us, dad wants him home. Screaming, yelling, constant conflict. It is a nightmare.

    I am not directly involved and will continue to keep myself safe on the sidelines.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    does y s want to go with his grandmother or father? i am not clear.

    it sounds like his wish to be with grandmother has been consistent. Can this be honored?

    I wondering why cps is not involved. clearly the hospital staff is aware of the conflict. therapists are aware of the circumstances of his attempt. he is being thrown under the bus again. his needs. it seems to me. can his mother not see this? that it is his welfare she is responsible for. that her welfare is based upon his?

    how hard for you.
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  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Why has someone not gotten CPS involved? Is there not some way you can get allegations of abuse by the brother in to CPS? Or neglect by the father? Or both? They would HAVE to be investigated and that takes time. Of course the wagons would circle around the father or D S, but something would be on record. I would likely find a phone booth and make the call anonymously. But only if you can forever keep your mouth shut regardless of the fallout. It can get ugly for a while.

    Maybe it would be best if you just kept yourself out of this part of this situation. Nothing you say is really going to do anything to improve the situation. They won't listen to you. I think they have proved that. They will probably turn on you for anything that you do, at least for a while. Your wife may apologize for it later, mostly because we tend to lash out at the ones we love when we are at our lowest levels of control. I am sorry that they are using this as yet another opportunity to have a Scream-Fest. How do they not understand that the future of this child is what they are dealing with? All their yelling and screaming about what "they" want and what is best for "their" rights and beliefs does NOT take into account that this child is in free fall and will be back in free fall if he is left alone with his deranged brother again. It just will be that way.

    Trust me. I know. I never got as far as your Y S did. I always managed to find a reason to talk myself out of it at the last moment. Or a reason to kill my brother rather than myself. My mother still won't accept that it was that bad, truly that my life was in danger back then. She feels I overreact to conflict. I may. That doesn't mean that he didn't hold knives at my throat and guns at my head.

    So I know what it is like to keep secrets about your sibling from your parents. The father would not believe Y S because if he believed him, he would have to do something. I have been there done that with my own parents. He may have freedom, but he is living with people he does not trust. I was smart enough to know I needed someone to set limits and to ask for them. Most teens are not that self aware. I don't know if he would end up appreciating the limits once he had them or not. I don't know him and how spoiled he is. Or the limits your wife would set. I do think he will end up hurting himself or being seriously hurt by his brother in the future if you don't separate these boys. I just don't know that you have the power to do anything in this situation.

    It can svck to be a step parent.
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  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry, what a nightmare for everyone involved.

    I have no advice, only empathy and compassion for you and all of the family.

    You are an incredibly strong, resilient woman. I have enormous respect for how you've handled yourself throughout this ordeal.

    I support you in whatever choices you deem necessary to take care of yourself and whatever attempts you make to keep the boys safe.

    Sending prayers, hugs and warm wishes for all of you.
  8. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    YS wants to be with grandmother at first, then when he's more independently mobile, move back to his dad's where he has spent his whole life.

    Our concern is that DS and YS cannot coexist under the same roof. None of this is in YS' thoughts right now. He has been hospitalized since Labor Day, and it is now nearly Thanksgiving. He wants to go home and that is understandable.

    My wife will have to decide what to do. This is her mother, and her son.

    Aside from possibly placing an anonymous call to CPS and then never speaking of it as long as I live, I am powerless to protect YS.

    If anyone was serious about acknowledging the dangers posed to family members by DS it would have been done long before we reached this point. He strangled my wife and STILL nobody was willing to acknowledge that he is dangerous. Lots of kids are depressed and act out in some way. Very few attack their parents. And he has done much more than I, and we (wife and I), know about. YS hints but won't disclose.

    My wife, who can be prone to exaggeration, said the hospital psychiatrist doesn't think Dad's house is a safe environment for YS.

    YS will not willingly come to live with us, and I doubt a judge would force him to do so. He would probably choose Grandma if he could not live with his father.

    Regarding the limits my wife would set, if YS came to live with us, I'd be the primary caretaker, as my wife is very detached emotionally and has no idea of how to interact with her kids, sadly. Back in the days when we had them every other weekend for visitation, she'd be in the other room with a book and I'd be playing Xbox with them, talking to them, etc. And I would be STRICT. As just one example, after he began recovering Grandma bought him a new phone. That was bad enough, but he has locked it with a 10 digit passcode! In my opinion, a kid still hospitalized after a near death experience, resulting from a suicide attempt, which was documented in his text messages, has no right to any unsupervised electronic devices, let alone a device that isn't inspected daily at minimum by a parent!

    I agree that disaster may strike again. It's a tragedy, it really is, but nobody will do what is necessary to protect YS and I don't have the (legal) right. Meanwhile my 8 year old niece is starting to show signs of possible problems, and I want to give her my time, love, and attention.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Unless y s will speak up against his brother a call wont do anything. Most investigations are very short and require proof. Thats why so many abusers get away with it. The kid is afraid to talk to CPS. Or, worse, is not believed. This second happens more than you think. Most "investigators" are under trained, very young, have yoo many cases and are overwhelmed. Many make poor decisions. The one thing they listen to all the time is sexual abuse allegations in which case you have a great chance of losing all your kids even if you didnt do anything wrong.
    As foster parents, hub and I learned about CPS in classes run by them. You can try them, but dont expect much. People call CPS for revenge all the time and they are picky about what they take seriously. It is against dad's civil rights that he lose custody due to mental illness. There would have to be proof that he abused Y S.

    I was told by a CPS worker who was training us that they need a bruised or fractured body to do anything, that the bar is very high. Neglect means not feeding. Allowing 24/7 videogaming and not forcing good grades or hygiene or curfews is not on the radar and is hard to prove. Verbal abuse is even harder to prove. This worker explained, "Everyone has a different idea of verbal abuse so a judge wont rule on it." True? She insisted when my jaw hit the floor. She was apologetic about it, but stuck to her guns.

    For a parent to lose custody, he has to practically shoot heroin into his kids arm and somebody has to see it and report it while the needle mark is still fresh so that it csn be seen.
    Or if sexual abuse is alleged. Then, for precaution, often all kids are removed even if the kids say it didnt happen.
    Its a mess.
    At the same time, CPS and court are all we have. Dont be afraid to try. Just dont expect anything.
    I do hope there is a solution. Custody is tough. My sons ex has been trying every which way to get full custody of my grandson. Five years!!! She hasnt gotten anywhere as the laws in Missouri are 50/50 unless a parent can prove abuse, but she keeps trying and the people paying for this lawsuit are both many thousands of dollars poorer. I wish custody issues were easy. At d s age he also has a say so about who he lives with. Like I said, its a mess but I hope for the best. Hope y s will speak up or call the cops. He has to be willing to possibly tick off Dad and older brother. If he denies abuse they will likely be done.

    Trust me, family law and CPS is all about the parents and nothing about the best interests of the child most of the time. My son is not allowed to trash or bring up his ex's child abuse of grandson. Unless he has pictures and proof, HE will be seen as just a bitter ex even if Grandson agrees and Grandson is too afraid of her and stepfather to say a word against either one.

    Its all about the lawyers making money,really.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  10. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    It saddens me that YS wants to go back to that environment.

    My home life as a teenager was unsafe, crazy and nearly zero parental supervision. I should have asked to go live with my dad as it would have been safer. Like YS, I would not willingly left my home as messed up as it was. I think when you are a kid and you live with chaos day in and day out, that you simply don't understand how life could be better. I hope for YS that one day he learns to value his own personal safety.
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  11. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel


    I am truly feeling the tension in your posts and know it is coming straight from your heart.

    I have one question for you. It is burning in my mind.
    If Dads place is unsafe and both kids refuse to live with mom? What will become of the both of them? Perhaps step one if Granmas house and next step is disassociating with Dad.
  12. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    LBL your question is one I share. There is nothing that can be done. The fact that YS' attempt has driven everyone further apart, instead of closer together, speaks for itself. The worst part is that each parent and the grandmother are only thinking of themselves. Nobody is considering YS' safety, health, welfare, or needs. He is a true lost child.

    If I could legally get custody and move away with him, I would, but I cannot. All I can do is offer my love, understanding, and support. I have always done that and will continue to do so. I doubt he will reach out to me in this way as he used to do when he was younger, because in his young mind I've failed him due to my allegiance to my wife. This dysfunctional family system, full of hatred between my wife and her ex-husband, goes way deeper than me. I cannot escape from it and unfortunately, neither can he.

    YS is aligned very closely to his father. No way will he disassociate from him. It is us he will disassociate from.

    We received word today his release from the hospital is imminent. Such good news but it is tinged with anxiety and sadness. We don't know what happens from here. Grandma is not on speaking terms with either parent as of today.
  13. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    What a turn of events and such a turbulent time. The serenity prayer comes to mind BBU.

    Detachment from that which will take you down is important.

    Staying calm in the face of such adversity is much like trying to spit into the wind and not get wet.

    Use your tool box of resources and be good to yourself. You will need strength to endure this ongoing trauma as it continues to unfold.

    You are compassionate and kind and regardless of the fact that these are not your children by blood, you are bound to them with heartfelt love and compassion.

    Today is today none of us know what tomorrow will bring.
  14. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    So brief update....Grandma and my wife are now in an all out war. Court is being threatened, my marriage to wife is being used by Grandma as proof that my wife is a degenerate. (Grandma is homophobic among many other things)

    Of course all of this screaming is taking place in YS' hospital room though YS himself is out of the room receiving treatment.

    YS is still planning to go home with Grandma after his release from the hospital this week.

    YS brought up going back to dad's house for an overnight visit this weekend, wife and I were both emphatic that it was too soon and he has not had the psychiatric treatment he needs at this point, to ensure that he will not attempt again. YS did not hear this well. He now claims he doesn't remember why he attempted - this after providing a laundry list to the previous hospital of all the reasons why he attempted. So either this is a memory lapse or he is trying to deflect because he doesn't want to talk about it.

    YS is still angry that he is being told he can't go back to Dad's. Our hopes that he may choose to be with us are in ruins. He has made clear that he doesn't consider our home to be an option. He hates my wife, and doesn't feel much better about me at this point.

    Things between wife and ex husband are also bad with arguing and posturing back and forth over who will take YS.

    My wife is accepting that this is YS' choice and he is not choosing us.

    We had plans for DS to come over yesterday afternoon. As was the case last week - no show, no call.

    I am doing fine, just saddened by the ceaseless drama, negativity and horror I married into.
  15. JRC

    JRC Active Member

    I am so, so sorry. I'm not sure that I see what can be done here to keep YS safe from himself and from DS. This is one of those situations where you can see the train wreck coming but can't do anything about it. I hope for everyone's sake, however, that miraculously YS beats the odds and doesn't attempt again and isn't hurt by DS in the meantime. ((hugs))
  16. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    You have really been through the wringer.

    You are very strong and I hope that your wife and family appreciates your commitment to all of them!
  17. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Believe it or not things have gotten worse since my last update.

    YS announced that he intends to return to his father and that he hates both me and my wife. He brought up my and wife's argument from last Mother's Day, the last time he tried to spend the night with us, the night he snuck out of the house, as if it was the penultimate example of child abuse (it was a bad argument, but it was hardly what he made it out to be, and the night it happened I tried to talk to him about it and apologized for my part in it, and the fact that he overheard it). He raised all kinds of complaints about his mother and about me. The poor child is confused, and upset, and just wants to return to his home, and he is being pulled in all directions by the adults in his life.

    Grandma and his father got into such a heated argument about where YS would go once discharged, that they caused a scene at the hospital. YS witnessed at least some of this. Meanwhile, earlier in the morning, Grandma cursed out my wife, who happens to be her daughter, using the foulest language you can imagine.

    This is even worse than Jerry Springer. I feel so badly for YS. I don't take his tirade personally. There is not enough room in his young life, dominated by strife and domestic violence, to have a positive relationship with his father as well as his mother, or anyone associated with her. His grandmother is the exception, but she really is evil incarnate.

    I am so blessed by my family of origin and I feel so awful for wife and YS.
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  18. JRC

    JRC Active Member

    Oh no. What a toxic soup. Is there a social worker on staff that is helping manage his care? Can you talk to him/her? i would find out what can be done to find some kind of extra guardian appointed by the courts to help manage his care. No one seems to be willing (or in your case *able*) to do it. I'm so sorry. Ugh.
  19. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I agree with JRC that some outside professional intervention is necessary. I feel so badly for you BBU, how stressful his must be.
  20. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Just a final update on this thread.

    Wife and I visited YS yesterday, his last day of inpatient hospitalization. After the family dramatics of the previous day we had no idea what to expect. As it turned out he was friendly, seemed happy to see us, and was more engaged with us than usual. He even wheeled himself into the hallway to escort us to the elevators at the end of the visit!

    YS is definitely confused. He seems very easily influenced by whomever he is with at the moment. Last night he had a very difficult time maintaining the thread of conversation. He seemed more cognitively impaired to me than he has in some time. The complaints we've known about for years are being magnified by his grandmother and his father, and YS is picking up on that.

    Wife and I are feeling that YS may be struggling with his sexuality. I've spoken of this before. It is a classic case of "protesting too much." Many times in the past YS has spoken very defensively about "not being gay." He is homophobic, more so than others of his generation which by and large, is far more accepting of sexual diversity than my own.

    But oddly, he has always enjoyed dressing up as a female. We have a recent picture of him with his girlfriend. He is wearing blush and eye shadow - he looks beautiful to be honest!

    Then last night YS, out of the clear blue, began speaking of a male friend whose mother accused YS of "molesting" the friend (I've mentioned this incident here too). He described this woman's anger and the threats she made toward him. He referred to it as "funny" (this situation is a good example of the cognitive challenges we are seeing).

    My theory is that since wife is obviously lesbian, YS may believe he has inherited his same-sex attraction from her, which would explain some of his rage toward her.

    I will continue telling this story under the new thread I just posted.