Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Sorry- really- I've got to get this out but I haven't been sitting here worried about it all day- I just found out at my visitation with difficult child.

    The mental health person in detention is telling difficult child that he never needed to be in psychiatric hospital- that they would not have discharged him if he had needed to be there. Now, this is what PO's position always was- every time the acute psychiatric hospital let difficult child come home after a week. Our psychiatric hospital here and my insurance co. doesn't pay for more than that- but this mental health person was referring to the place SHE had him tdo'd to in Feb. Anyway, he was discharged because he had to go to court- that is listed in his discharge papers as the reason why and he is listed as "improved but not recovered". I don't think he needs to be in psychiatric hospital right now- that isn't what bothers me about this. What bothers me is that he was discharged on the Fri before his Mon morning court because the GAL failed to arrange transportation for that early Mon morning and our sheriff's dept would not transport during off-hours without prior direction from the courts. The GAL knew when the court was, and the psychiatrist tried to call her to remind her ahead of time, but she never returned the psychiatrist's call. Then, she sat outside the courtroom complaining that the psychiatric hospital discharged difficult child the Friday before.

    So, here is a gal clearly covering her rear and then going into court acting like she's siding with PO against me, yet she didn't want difficult child discharged. She is the one that had difficult child put on a chins 2 years ago and had it put in his court order that he had to get mental health treatment, then when the psychiatrist/tdocs disagreed with PO, the GAL sided with the PO. I swear I don't think she even knows what position the PO is taking. The gal has always had a bad habit of not returning calls and lieing- yes, really lieing- in court to make it sound like she "got info from someone" when I find out later that they never even spoke.

    I feel like I am the only one telling difficult child the truth. Not because these people are trying to lie- they are just making a lot of assumptions, never check into stuff, and are primarily out to cover their butts. Do you think gal has been over to detention (50 feet away) to check on difficult child or talk to the mental health person there? NO. For someone that seems to know so much about what difficult child needs, and care so much about his best interest, I would think she could go talk to this woman and let her know that difficult child was not discharged because people decided that he didn't need treatment anymore. This woman is telling difficult child he will be punished if he says he has suicidal thoughts. Here I have taught him to tell someone if he has thoughts like that or thoughts like he's about to explode and hurt someone else. The profs have worked hard for a long time to get difficult child talking about his feelings and opening up. Maybe this is their problem with me- lord knows they are doing everything in their power to undo what the profs and I have tried to accomplish with difficult child.

    At least so far, difficult child knows I'm telling the truth. They had told him at the psychiatric hospital that he was being discharged because of court, too. But now, Department of Juvenile Justice wants to "cure" difficult child by getting mental health profs out of his life. (I don't call their behavior specialists at state juvy mental health profs.)
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would be very cautious in taking what difficult child tells you literally, as far as what the mental health person told him. They tend to hear things their own way sometimes, sort of like a game of telephone. I would even call the mental health person and ask what exactly what said... I'd bet it was slightly different.

    If difficult child senses you are this wary of the power-that-be, he may be playing on that. I know none of us like to think of our kids as that manipulative, but I think we have to keep our minds open when hearing these types of things, especially when it comes to giving us negative reports of what's going on where they are. The guilt card is a mighty powerful one.
  3. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    Sounds fishy. A mental health worker at the Department of Juvenile Justice is telling your difficult child that he'll be punished if he's suicidal? That he never needed to be in psychiatric hospital? Either your difficult child is pushing your buttons, or someone over there needs to be reported. Call up the people in charge of his location and make a complaint. There's no need to get worked up about the PO or GAL---they have nothing to do with this, as far as I can see.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh, he definitely can be manipulative, but I believe what he says on this one. Mainly because I did speak to this lady after court and the only other mental health person there was the one teleconferenced in during team meetings with psychiatric hospital and I heard her attitutde first-hand. They are clearly Department of Juvenile Justice people, not mental health people, even if they have the role of counselor.

    Anyway- the word "punishment" was mine, not hers. difficult child said he was trying to talk to her about suicidal thoughts (I don't know if he meant 'talk in general' or if he was saying he'd actually had them), and she told him that if he reported suicidal thinking there, they would not tdo him again but would lock him in a room by himself with no clothes or bedding. That is about his worst nightmare, and a punishment in my mind. She had told me that they were not going to tdo him again. difficult child said the reason she gave him was that 1) if the psychiatric hospital could have helped him, he still wouldn't be feeling that way and 2) the psychiatric hospital discharged him so he must not need to be there.

    eeky- it might be difficult for someone who isn't a parent to understand this, but if everyone except the parent is telling a kid that his only problems are his mom's fault, it makes it a little difficult for that mom to be an effective parent and leaves the door wide open for the kid to manipulate and play one against the other. difficult child knew this was the PO's position for a long time and had gotten to a point where he would refuse to mind me at home because he knew the po would blame me, not him. It's not like he's an adult now- he plans to come back home after his release so if he comes back home after having more people try to convince him everything is just my fault, we would have even more problems.

    I know they have a "suicide room" and that is what it is for. I don't think he is suicidal right now though- now what happens when he's transferred to some place worse, I don't know.

    There are several, at least, in Department of Juvenile Justice they don't believe in mental health issues in kids and just believe kids need a swift kick in the butt. My bro is that way also and this could explain some people believing him more than me. Plus, I think there are some that thinnk I taught him to 'play" suicidal or mentally ill to avoid consequences- intentionally. The PO had said difficult child had only been cutting (from Dec thru Feb) to manipulate me and that it was no big deal. She told me to ignore the cutting and any talk of suicide. I can tell you that when I was a teen, my mother was that way with me.

    What seems odd to me though is that if these people believe that way and think the MI is just an excuse, why did they make sure he got ordered to get it? - although that wasn't PO's doing. Anyway, I have only been trying to follow what mental health profs told me- maybe it is wrong- maybe difficult child doesn't have MI but just needs Department of Juvenile Justice's behavior mod- I sincerely hope they are right and that this "cures" him.

    He's showing signs of anxiety in there, but his behavior has been really good the past 2 weeks. He usually talks about things going on in detention at visitation- no sob stories or arguing. Once he gets transferred, they don't make him take his medications. I'm suppoorting Department of Juvenile Justice's behavior mod while he's in there. If this works, then there are several psychiatrist's and therapist's that have been wrong- I just wish they wouldn't blame me for all this and acknowledge that I've just been trying to follow what they've said. If he continues to keep his cool and behave well, I'm going to talk to them about taking him off all medications.

    I think he should go to some transitional place when he gets out, before coming home. But I have such a label on me right now, they won't consider anything I have to say. And, I don't think they have a transitional place for 14yo's. It's my understanding that if a kid that age can't go home right away, he goes into dss.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  5. Ok, so if this person really did say this to difficult child, WHY??? I don't get why adults and professionals would say things like this to kids. This could pit kids against parents. Kids also have a huge time of misinterpreting things. I know my son does. A lot of times, he hears what he wants to hear out of a conversation and totally spins it to what he wants to hear. Just like when my difficult child was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC), it would frustrate me to no end when they would tell him things before they had discussed it with me.

    I am sorry you are having such a hard time.


  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Some people really believe it- like if a person tells a kid that it isn't their fault they were molested- but in this case, nothing like that happened. Apparently, it's more like they think I brain-washed difficult child so they are trying to un-do it.

    The PO told difficult child some things were my fault right in front of me- and her super flat out told me on the phone that he thought the only problem difficult child had was me- that I was the source of difficult child's problems. The gal gets told this from PO, I assume, and assumes it's correct without asking specifics- I think that because the gal went to court and said I was difficult child's problem (I heard this myself) yet the gal had already told me before court that she knew the PO didn't believe in mental health problems in kids. This is why I think the gal didn't really look into things- there's 2 years of history with her so there has been previous evidence that she has a habit of this.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't know your difficult child but with our 18 yr old difficult child he very often doesn't "hear" what is said correctly although he believes he has. Communication skills can lead to grave misunderstandings. Also, with difficult child, he "sometimes
    exaggerates a bit" to make it more interesting. His intentions are not bad it is just his social immaturity that leads to these problems. He does not lie or preplan to misrepresent.

    Since you can't really impact his treatment or daily living (unless there is evidence of abuse that can be substantiated) perhaps it would be best to tell difficult child "let's talk about things other than who-said-what or rehashes of the past". If he were going to be there years as originally thought then it might be a different scenario. Since it is just months...there's no way you can do anything positive to change his evironment. Talk about the dog, the television shows, the books, your job search, any positive news from family or friends. Just chit chat. DDD
  8. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    Sigh. I'm not sure what my "not being a parent" has to do with this. I gave you the exact same advice as Crazy. :D All I meant was either your difficult child isn't quite being honest (whether intentionally or not!), or the Department of Juvenile Justice worker needed to be reported. And that the words of the Department of Juvenile Justice worker didn't have anything to do with you GAL or PO. You made it clear that your GAL hasn't had any contact with the people over at detention, so I was confused why you were bringing her into this new issue. Also---GALs represent the legal interests of children. They're not guardians, and I can't imagine a situation in which a GAL would voluntarily visit a detention center to visit a child that has no pending legal case, to inform the workers there of facts of the situation that they SHOULD already be aware of. With your difficult child's history, the Department of Juvenile Justice worker was out of line. But how on earth would the GAL have known that conversation had taken place? Or know that Department of Juvenile Justice was disregarding his medical history, which from what you've said, is clearly documented? It confused me. That's all.

    But having read DDD's post, I find myself 100% in agreement---that's maybe a better way to phrase what I was trying to say---Sis never hears what people say in the way that they mean it. It's always warped to fit whatever HER view of the situation is. Which is so much fun--can't tell you the number of times I had to explain why her teachers don't hate her, or why Mom and I do, in fact, love her, and why she was "mishearing" us.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The GAL had been over there telling him 2 weeks ago that it was "his mom's" fault that he was there and the PO told him that this past week. That was in a different thread- I think some of this confusion has to do with just posting on a forum where all people aren't reading every thread- not that I expect them to, it's just difficult to know what someone has read previously. I do believe him because I've heard them say similar things myself. I'm pretty sure I'm not that delusional. LOL!!

    We probably spend an average of 50 mins talking about chit-chat things and maybe 10 mins talking about things like this. I don't have a problem with that- I think he needs to be able to talk to someone about what is bothering him. He hasn't been transferred yet which means he does not have any kind of therapist assigned to him. I don't know how much, if any, that will change things. Another insconsistency: the mental health profs (outside Department of Juvenile Justice) say to push for family therapy and anything else possible while difficult child is in there so we can work some things out before he gets out in order to prevent him coming home with nothing being any different. That's very different than taking a "don't talk about it" approach- I don't know yet where the state Department of Juvenile Justice stands on this, but I will obviously do it whichever way they say. I did tell them (the people at state Department of Juvenile Justice) already that his psychiatrist/therapist at the last psychiatric hospital said we needed this.

    I'm trying to support their (Department of Juvenile Justice's) efforts and him by telling him that maybe so much of it isn't a mental health problem and we need to go along with this method for as long as he's in there. I don't really see these conversations as re-hashing things. It isn;t like we are talking about things that happened 2 months ago or a year ago. And it's not like I can fool myself into thinking that once he's released, all problems are solved and he can just come back home and he'll be a easy child and we won't have any further issues to deal with.

    I'm not filing any complaints- I know they have a suicide room at their detention centers, which obviously means they aren't tdo'ing all kids when they are concerned about suicide. There is nothing I can report.

    The simple way of putting all this is that the gal says she wants mental health treatment for difficult child just like I do- and this is what she says now as well as 2 years ago. But, when there was conflict between the PO and me which usually was because the PO was trying to tell me to do things that went against what I thought and what the psychiatrist/therapist were telling me and the PO didn't care to hear any of that from me, she would just tell difficult child that I should change and I was this way or that way, leaving a lot of tensions between us- especially when the PO refused to take any action before things got to this point and wouldn't even respond to the psychiatric hospital- the GAL hears there is conflict between the PO and me and goes into court stating how "bad" (so-to-speak- not her exact word) I am. If she had taken the time to look at specific things that were done, said, and disagreed upon, she might have come to a different conclusion.

    I'm only bringing all that up for the benefit of those who might read this and not get the jest of why this is a thorn in my side. The defense attny suggested asking for a change in gals- he isn't real fond of this one either. Hopefully, now that difficult child is not at home for a while and ONE agency is solely responsible for care, supervision, education, and mental health treatment (if you want to call it that), some of this can get resolved. At least during processing, one person or team will be looking at psychiatric hospital records, what the PO wants, etc. Hopefully someone will notice that his charge and what profs say and so forth do not add up with what PO says. I don't care anymore about having her held accountable- I care about getting everyone on the same page so that we don't have such a mess when difficult child's time is up. If their way works and there is no mental illness, then I am happy to work with that upon difficult child's release- but gal will have to get on board with that too and mental health treatment needs to come off the court order. If he has MI, then they will substanitate that and these people need to accept it and get off my back. In theory anyway. LOL!
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    As far as him manipulating- oh, he was playing it up big time before he got arrested this last time. But I don't think this is what he's doing now because of how he's acting and things he's saying. For instance, he told the judge and everyone in court that he was concerned about being released right now because if he went home right now, he was afraid that he'd just do something to get locked up again. His defense attny told me that difficult child had told him just before court that he needed to be locked up because he "thought he was about to do something very bad". Even after difficult child testified to that, the gal stood up in court, pointed her finger at me, and told the judge in these words "right there is his problem". Keep in mind- he was in court for pulling a knife on me, holding it near my neck, and demanding that I give him cigarettes. If it had been his defense attny, it would have made sense because they try to defend their client by blaming "the victim", but this was his gal- his defense attny had already plead guilty for him and was the one to put difficult child on the stand to testify.

    Another example: when difficult child told me what gal had told him- about him being sent to state Department of Juvenile Justice and it was my fault- I just looked at him and difficult child said "don't worry mom- I know the truth and I know why I'm here". He also said he just wanted to do his time the best he could and come home.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I just got a call- difficult child was transferred today. :( I can't begin to tell you what it feels like to know that your 14 yo just went into a juvy prison. This would be a lot easier to deal with if they had any kind of success rate but they don't.

    I can't see him for 30 days now. I don't know why they have that policy- he'll be in processing/assessment and review so it's not like they are doing anything rehabilitative at this point. I know I have to keep medication insurance on him, but I don't know if I get his medications refilled and drop them off like I do when he's in detention or not. I don't know so many things about this.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Klmno, my post was not suggesting manipulation. My post was indicating that our younger difficult child "sees" and "hears" things differently than the average bear. With Aspergers and mood disorders it is not unusual for the conversations to be "received" and/or "repeated" with a different bent.

    From the bottom of my heart I am truly sorry that your son is where he is. In order for him to survive and for you to endure, I believe it is necessary to assume the people in charge know what they are doing. (if they do NOT know what they are doing, you have no power or control to change that!)

    Somehow I am a little bit surprised that if his time of incarceration has been so radically reduced that they would spend one month processing him into the larger facility. Many times, however, I have been sadly surprised by what "the system" seem to think makes sense.

    Keep doing your best to focus on what you can change. If it is a paint job for the bathroom, or a haircut, or fantasy time for your personal enjoyment........DO IT! Hugs. DDD
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, DDD- I do realize that people are trying to be supportive. It's hard over the net to see expressions and so forth, which does hamper communication at times.

    They gave him one phone call- he said they are getting ready to shave his head. He's under the impression that they keep it shaved the whole time he's in. I don't know- he's in a "processing" place now and they keep the kids there from 30-45 days. (For some reason, that is standard policy no matter how long the kid is going to be in state Department of Juvenile Justice.) It might be that they just keep the head shaved while they are in this place- it doesn't matter- I told him his hair will grow back and it's ok. (He wasn't wwashing it anyway since other boys could see him in the shower, he'd been keeping one hand with his wash cloth covering his personal area and said he couldn't get to shampoo to wash his hair.)

    One of the administrators of this place and principal of the school (same person- held 2 positions) was just busted for having a sexual "relationship" with an inmate- and I've heard that state juvy is like a grown man's prison, if you know what I mean. I told difficult child to defend himself against this, that he did NOT have to go along with ANYONE doing anything to him.

    on the other hand, in some ways I trust the state system more than the local Department of Juvenile Justice system- lord knows the people in our situation couldn't have dropped the ball any more.

    Anyway, I may call tomorrow to try to get some questions answered, like medication refills and blood draws. Other than that, I have to wait to hear from them. They will, supposedly, review ALL records and do some educational testing- which is good- and then decide his length of stay and which facility he goes to. I've been told that he won't go to the facility that I was most worried about because of his age. He's been told (and my therapist who used to work in processing said also) that it will be one of two- one is for mental illness/Learning Disability (LD)/MR and the other is for the middle school age kids, mostly. Both are relatively nearby so that isn;t a problem.

    As far as time he'll be in- the max for what he's committed for would be 18 mos but the lady at state Department of Juvenile Justice that I spoke with said he won't get the max because this is his first time being committed. The staff at detention told difficult child he would get 3-6 mos. That sounds a little optimistic to me, but he does REALLY well in structured environments and is entering this processing place with a very good report from detention. Plus- I've been told that they don't like to keep kids with MI in there long. This previous 2 weeks being held awaiting transfer counts and so will the 30-45 days in processing. It is beyond me what they expect to accomplish if he only has a few weeks left after that- but maybe it can be a rude awakening in some cases and be effective as a scare tactic.

    We'll see in a few weeks, I guess. They will give him a range of time- if he meets their goals quickly, he gets out on the short end. If not, he'll stay the long end of the range. My guess is that they will want him out before school starts in the fall.

    Also playing into this is the parole officer that will be assigned over the next few weeks. He will be calling me then to tell me what I have to do while difficult child is in there in order for difficult child to live with me when he gets out. So, I have to meet whatever deadline is given difficult child, too.

    I love him so much. He did need consequences for what he did. I just wish there were consequences available that had a better success rate. The recidivism rate here is pretty bad- especially for a kid getting into the system this young. My son doesn't handle transition back into the real world very well. Even his previous short stints in detention- he goes back to school and thinks all the boys want to hear about this. Then he can't make friends with "good" kids. So the kids who are doing drugs and sneaking out and failing gravitate toward him. He gives in because it's quick and easy "friendship". I try to keep him from hanging out with kids like that, he complains, then others start telling me I'm just being over-protective. We've been through this 2-3 times already. He does so well when he's in a secure environment and away from the real world that it's easy for others to assume that I/home must be the problem. in my humble opinion, it's living ITRW and needing everyone to be on the same page without giving him a way to manipulate so easily that is the big struggle. When he's ITRW and things start to go awry- like no friends at school and poor grades and me grounding him- he gives up and shuts down emotionally and becomes a complete...well....he becomes very difficult to live with. He steals, he's defiant, and then of course, he became violent. He told his therapist that it was hopeless so nothing mattered.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  14. ML

    ML Guest

    I just want you to know that I will have your son in my prayers every day. I know this is very hard. Let us know how we can best support you during this time. Love, ML
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Sending continued support!
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you, both!!

    I'm working on a list of questions to ask state Department of Juvenile Justice people- in between running errands and other chores.

    I decided that the next time I speak with difficult child, I'm going to remind him that he was bald the majority of his first year of life and nobody held that against him and he survived it and I still loved him!!