My son in boarding school and working hard

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toreapartwomanoftwo, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. toreapartwomanoftwo

    toreapartwomanoftwo New Member

    After many months struggling with difficult child violent behavior, he was driven to a Boarding School in Nevada last October. It was the most painful desition that I had taken in my whole life, it was horrible. I had to hire a company to take him away, they came at 8:00 AM when he was sleeping. I kiss him good bye, my kiss woke him up and I just told him, "this people is driving you to a Boarding School", and I left the house. I never cried so much before, I didn't want to come back home because didn't want to see it empty without him. I didn't have any other choice. I did everything I could, I tried all the resources possible, and nothing worked. difficult child did so much damage, he took over the first floor, my 12 year old daughter was terrified of him, even the dog, once very close to them. I called the police soooo many times, he was arrested twice, once for taking my car and crashed it and once for destruction of property (my property, my house) and put on probation and house arrest, all this didn't stop him, I am very sure he still managed to used drugs, I sure hated him because that wasn't my son, I didn't know where my real son went.

    All the stress took a tol in the relationship with my husband and he decided to leave, I call it runing away. Me and easy child were in so much pain, but all that worth it. difficult child writes to me once a week, he was before behind in credits and now in about 4 months he will graduate HS. Of course he wants to come home and he is working very hard in school and in the program. I know he has change for now, but the Representative who I talk to, told me very honest that most of the students go back to their old ways, because they are still growing, but is not as bad as before (Of course they need to graduate in the program) which It'd take about 2 years to graduate.

    I think my son is back now, the one that I had before and sure I want him back, but I am worry to take him out and seeing going to his old ways. He will be 17years old in May. He is planning for his future after HS.
    Now my question is: should I leave him there until he is 18 or until he finish HS? besides the school is expensive and he wants to go to College after, HHHAAGG!
    Put him in was the best think that I did for him but the most painful, we are relax at home now , but before was terrible.
    I am finally allowed to visit him in April, the last time that I saw him was in October 3d and I have talk to him twice over the phone.
    I don't regret that I sent him away, I would do it over and over again, so to all the parents out there: take the pain to send your difficult child away, give yourself some peace and one day your difficult child will be thankful to you because you did it. difficult child tells me now (THANK YOU MOM FOR GIVING MY LIFE BACK)
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would make sure he is there for at least a year. The representatives usually know what they are talking about, from what I hear. Can he take correspondence courses or some other courses to continue his education if he is graduating high school at 16?

    I know my bro graduated HS at 16 and then went straight to college. Bro was very much a partying difficult child and he did pretty well even with the partying until he went into an upperclassmen dorm at age 18. He managed to get more F's than I knew were even possible. All he did once he left supervision of mom and dad's house (not super strict) was to party.

    Keep your son there. Let him work on either his general ed requirements (pretty much the same for most degrees) or an associate's degree online. Returning to the same friends, etc... will drag him back into the sub abuse and NOT be good overall. Let him stay at the boarding school until he has 12-18 months MINIMUM to let the new habits become much firmer.

    Sending support whatever you decide.
  3. I admire your courage. Our local and wonderful Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was purchased by a Utah group and they introduced a new program where you only was allowed to visit your child once they reached level 3 and we both passed a seminar, which could take months.

    I remember a Dr. Phil show where he recommended that such a long period without parent contact person to person should be avoided, but I respect the fact that it in some cases could be necessary.

    I seriously considered the new program and they suggested that I could see her through a one-way window if I worried too much. Then all the news about several of their Residential Treatment Center (RTC) being by the authorities abroad closed down reached me and made me worry even more. I know that foreign countries are not so developed when it comes to therapy, but it planted a root of doubt anyway. I ended chicking out and I am somewhat ashamed that I didn't follow through.

    But with the help of my brother she is now going for a 3 week wilderness. I would be crying anyway, but my brother have offered me to take her in if the therapy leaves her with some of her old pattern. He is living several states away and that is a good position for me to give her some conditions for her to live by so she can return home.

    I have to say that I admire you so much.
  4. dadside

    dadside New Member

    Dr. Phil is right in advising against any program where you aren't allowed to go for many months without being able to visit your child. You shouldn't have to go more than perhaps 2 - 3 weeks before talking with him/her either. The 2 - 3 weeks is to get the child to accept where they are without going on endlessly about how they have "learned their lesson" and have "changed" and "promising to be good' -- if you'll only bring them home now. But I know of no good reason why you shouldn't be able to visit your child within a couple of months, and that long for much the same reason as limiting early telephone contact.

    There are excellent therapeutic schools (residential ones are sometimes called TBS, Residential Treatment Center (RTC), EGBS) with programs ranging from about 9 months to the 18 month range. (A few are longer.) One excellent school - therapeutically more intensive than many - said it took about 6 months for them to get across their program, and another 2 - 3 to make sure it (the program) "took" with the student. The owners of that school have another excellent place that has a longer program - serving students with different personalities and issues, so there is no single answer to how long. Still, most places workiing with "typical" students do a good job in 14-18 months or less.

    Toreapartwomanoftwo, your son may seem to be "back", but new patterns aren't well enough established to hold, especially if he came back to the same connumity environment. As susiestar noted, he should be able to do college courses (correspondance or online) once he finishes high school diploma requirements, so he doesn't need to leave the program to continue his education. I would look further into what it is about the school that has them still prohibiting parent visits. Maybe a different (perhaps "transitional") placement would be in order ... I really can't tell. But only two telephone calls and no visits in 6 months is just not right.

    Lucedaleblessed, don't expect that a 3-week wilderness experience, however good, will be enough if your daughter's problem behaviors were well established - as they commonly are when such placements are considered. I do know of one organization that had foreign programs closed, and can find numerous charges about many of their domestic ones as well. But that doesn't mean most programs are bad. In fact, the opposite is true. But, there needs to be a "fit" between student and program. One size does not fit all!

    Seldom will any program be enough. Often changes are needed at home, and parent seminars etc are usually provided by the therapeutic schools. And there need to be student-specific follow-up supports for them after any program. Students graduating the programs do not automatically revert to their old ways, but they do need support to maintain their restored better course in life.
  5. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Just putting my two cents in, I would vote for keeping your son in the program as long as you possibly can. The situation you described in your home sounded so awful, that I think it will take a while for the changes to really become part of his behavior. And I am learning the hard way that bringing a child home before they are ready is a big mistake. My son has been home from a six week diagnostic program and drug rehab (he was smoking a lot of weed and has emotional problems as well) for three weeks and he is already pushing against our rules and I just learned that he has smoked weed again. The representatives of the place he was at in Pennsylvania warned us against bringing him home, that he should have gone to an Residential Treatment Center or Therapeutic Boarding school, that his recovery is not finished, but we didn't listen (for reasons I won't go into now). there is a possibility that he will either go to juvie or an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) very soon.

    Congratulations for having the strength and love to send him away to get the help he needed, and for protecting your easy child. I have a 12 year old easy child who has been relatively healthy, but her older brother and sister's antics have scarred her emotionally. I'm trying to protect her now as well as getting help for her 16 yr old brother.

    But whatever you decide, I'm sending my support to you.
  6. Dadside. Of course not all programs are bad. As I have stated the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in our town was a kind of military school before the present firm started to run it. It was tough, but they learned discipline and was a part of the local community. Unfortunately some people needed attention and gave the place a bad press.

    It is somewhat more shut off from the real world now, but still there are successstories.

    I don't expect a miracle cure from her wilderness stay. That's why we have this transition plan with my brother. He himself had a rough youth and he lives rather remote. A perfect place to leave her while we etablish new rules to live by.

    I spoke with a lot of parents who had kids going through the program the present management runs. A mom I spoke with had her son placed up in New York first and then on Jamaica because he resisted the treatment. He returned home aged almost 19 because he faced the streets if he left on his own when he turned 18. The "honey-moon" lasted almost a year before he just left her and started to live on the street. While it doesn't sound like a success story, the parent seminars teached her skills so she became a better parent for the siblings and I guess just the fact the they had experienced a brother being removed by strangers from his own bed during the night told them who did run the home.

    For me there is no drugs involved as far as it can be tested, but I would like to get a full night of sleep without being afraid of her leaving through the window.
  7. CRS

    CRS New Member

    I can truly relate to your story. I sent my daughter who is not 13 away last year to a residential therapy treatment program. She has been gone for over a year now. She had been diagnosis as ODD and clinically depressed and they threw around bi-polar but way too young to completely diagnosis.

    She was totally out of control, abusive, cutting, running away, in the wrong crowd, would not listen to adult authority and the list goes on.

    Well a year later, she is still struggling and fighting. She has so darn much anger and hatred built up inside of her. She so needs to release.

    This was the hardest thing that I ever had to do as a mother but I do not have any regrets.

    Thanks for listenin and I just keep praying for her to get better.
  8. Dollhouse

    Dollhouse Guest

    You are brave -- you did what I should have done last year (all I was worried about was him graduating. he graduated and the same problems exist) and now I am paying the price as my child is now 18 and getting worse. Let your child get help for as long as they need to.

    Best Wishes,
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Count me in as one who thinks he is putting it on good for the school. I'll bet as soon as he gets home he reverts back to the way he was. I'd actually make him go two years with many visits before he came back. You want to make sure it sinks in. Taking him out too early can be he worst mistake you ever make. Good luck though, no matter what you decide ;)
  10. If I had the money I would agree. I got this offer from our local Residential Treatment Center (RTC) down the road.

    They have a boarding school in Mexico and while I worries because they kill each other over drugs, the school has some kind of agreement so the local police keeps security inside the school. They have a 7 day scared straight program but do also have a normal year round program exacly like they offer in the States but cheaper. I got lot of email-adresses to satisfied parents and one caught my eye.

    I found the blog: PARENTS OF A TROUBLED TEEN

    3 years they paid for and the daughter was kept safe until she became 18. She reverted back to her old ways when she became 18 but as the parents I have spoken with told me they are given tools during the program so they can stand on their own feet if they dont agree with the house rules.

    I am very serious considering the scared straight program if the outdoor program fails and she manages to play my brother, but we cannot afford a year round boarding school. The job situation is worse than ever down here.
  11. toreapartwomanoftwo

    toreapartwomanoftwo New Member

    Thank you for all your advice.
    difficult child is graduating HS this summer. He is going to be 17 years old in May and is hard for me to believe this because he was so behind in credits, but he is working very hard in boarding school. I am not sure if he will stay there since the economy is so bad.

    difficult child wants to be a chef as soon as he finish HS. I am a worry about him finish HS early since all his good friends are going to be in HS still, while he is in College, besides all his good friends have moved away and I am worry that he contacts the bad ones, even do I called all the bad friends and told them to stay away from difficult child and my house and I block their phone # and I even called their parents and told them to keep their children away from mine.
    I wanted to share with you what the letter that he sent me from difficult child here it is:
    Today some parents whos kids were in the program came in to talk to us, they said to us that it was very hard for them, and they are still paying for the payments from here after two years, dang thats a lot of money, they also said that after a while about their kids started to mess up, but it was mainly because of the feeling of loneliness, because here you have 26 other kids with you all the time, and going home its really lonely, their was this mom whos kid took his exit plan, and he made a plan with his mom, on what he was going to do, when he got home, he needed to get a job, and go to school, and he actually did all that, and he is now going to college, I found that really cool, their was this person who got pulled, about seventeen years old, and he also did pretty good, the parents, said life outside is often the hardest for the ones, that actually graduate, because they have been here for so long that, things change so much, that they really dont know what to do, because its really lonely.

    I got some news, mom you are reveiving this letter from a senior in highschool, yup that's right I am a senior! I cant believe it, the classes that I'm taking right now is Algebra 2 Spanish 2 English 12, I am going to take some art that I need to, and I will take an extra year of science, and math its going to look so good on my transcipt, and thats it Im dont after that, but I would like to do some P.E. credits at home to finish them real fast, I could get a diploma in really 3-4 months from now, all I need is 5 credits of P.E. It will take to long to do them here, what do you think of me doing five credits of P.E. at home? I also got 2,000 points I have been earning a lot, I lose points but everyone loses points every week but I have been gaining about 100-200 points a week so thats really good, mostly for finishing a year of a class you get about 100 points.
    well have a nice week- love from your son
  12. habibi

    habibi New Member

    To everyone...NEVER place your child in a foreign behavior modification facility. Go to the following link and read the U.S. State Department warning about such facilities;

    Also, read the Federal Trade Commission's advice about choosing a facility for your child;
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  13. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    My son was in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for 10 months. The way they explained it to us, they needed to be in treatment at least twice as long as the drugging went on. However, that is also no guarantee. As you mentioned, they are given the tools, but need to use those tools when they are released.

    I also found the loneliness was hard on my son. Since he had been gone so long and no longer kept in touch with his drugging friends, there really was no one for him to socialize with. In his Residential Treatment Center (RTC), he lived and went to school with 11 other boys. They held each other accountable and it seemed to work.

    Once my son started going to AA and met a few people there, he did well. He eventually dropped out of AA as those that he had met had either moved away or reverted back to their ways. He's only recently started going to AA again, and I do think it's helpful.

    There are AA and NA programs, though it is sometimes difficult to find a program for older teens, young 20s, which is helpful to them - as they can relate more to them than "older" addicts. You can always try calling outpatient places in your area and see if they have any suggestions.

    My son did stay until his 18th birthday, and actually he could have stayed longer. For him, I think he was ready to leave, as eventually they do have to make it in the outside world.

    It's still a long journey and one that is often filled with bumps along the way. They might relapse, but if they bounce right back, then you know they've learned from the past and are using the tools they learned.

    Hugs to you. I know it's hard.