Need advice regarding daughter in foster care.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jody, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Hi, I haven't posted anything in awhile. I have been reading but haven't had the energy or ability to post. Mood has been all wrong, very negative so just took a break. My daughter has been in fostercare since July 2010. She had a rough start with a terrible foster parent, but now has wonderful foster parents. SHe is doing really well at their house. There is a father in the household and that always seems to help her. The problem is I have completed all of the items they have given to me to do, above and beyond really. We have court again in April and I don't want her to come home, sometimes I do. Her behavior on the weekends is not so hot. Still throwing fits and talking baby talk and all the whining. Still cursing and screaming at me when she doesn't get her way. I asked her if she wanted to come home, and she said not if you don't have internet. I wanted so badly for her to come home on the weekends, and now that she has been for two months, they are the worst times of my life. It just reminds me of before, only a little scaled back. She can't get a long with her therapist and just recently had to have the police called at the DCFS for her behavior. I think they are going to send her home, but she is getting worse. I don't think I am ever going to be able to raise her. I feel guilty though, for not raising her, but I really can't take it emotionally. She sends my into a state of panick and it's over the silliest things. Has anyone ever refused to take their child back? What happens? There is just no peace with this situation, no matter what I do. I was just beginning to realize that life was nice and peaceful and I didn't have to go thru the abuse. Now it's going to and is starting all over. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you.
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry you're facing such a painful situation.
    Before you take any drastic or irrevocable decisions in regard to your daughter coming home or not, is there ANY chance that you can talk about the situation with her? For you to share with her your concerns and fears and for her to be able to respond... I wonder if lack of communication and absolute decisions in such a situation will lead to heartache, resentment and anger later.
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Would you remind me as to the reasons difficult child was placed outside of the home. Are there any current diagnosis's besides the depression ~ in my humble opinion it sounds as tho there's a bit of attachment disorder going on. I say this because attachment disordered kids generally act out toward mom ~ everyone looks at mom like she's a crazy person. The regression along with the level of defiance brings this to mind as well.

    Did difficult child have any further testing/evaluations while she was in placement? Was there family therapy?

    Before your difficult child returns home make sure you have a crisis plan, in writing, with very explicit instructions....if A occurs B happens. Again, in writing, request the steps you'd need to take if it isn't working at home (i.e. safety for self & toward others).
  4. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    I did a lock-out beecause she was being very abusive, physically and verbally. My health was taking a decline and the stress, was causing me to have emotional issues, memory loss, and just couldn't do it anymore. I was more than depressed. She has bi=polar and adhd and odd. She has had intensive therapy but just doesn't do well in therapy. She gets very defensive and won't participate. I definately will have a safety plan in order before she comes home. She loves me very much, I do know this we are extremely close, probably too much alike, I have some of the same diagnosis. ADHD, and Bi-polar. I understand her way of thinking at times, and understand what she is going thru, but I just simply don't feel strong enough, to care for her all the time on a full-time basis. Weekends are hard enough. I cannot imagine not ever getting away from the issues that arise from being her parent. I love her greatly, but it is so hard to do and to do it well seems impossible. At times I have this popping and cracking in my mind when she is being really bad and then this leads to terrible headaches, and memory issues and cognitive problems. I don't seem to be able to get a hold of it. I have a lot of therapy and see the psychiatrist regularly. Have ruled out other possible medical issues. It's just stress.
  5. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Malika, it is a terrible situation to be in. Thank you for your support. I have talked about it with her and and told her that I might not be able to parent her by myself. I told her how much I love her, but that I think I have had a sort of mental breakdown because of a lot of stress. I just don't seem to be the same person I was last year. My job is so hard now, can't keep up like I used to. Forget stuff that I never would have forgotten. And at times don't care about any of it because, I don't want to lose it altogether. I know there will be resentment later, I hope she remembers how hard I worked and how hard I tried. She never seems to remember that she caused a lot of these issues, it's always someone elses fault.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Hang in there, hon, and take care of yourself. Hopefully one day she will understand, but that will likely take years. Might not be until she has kids of her own. I'm gaining more understanding and respect for my own parents and everything they tried with me growing up.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have no personal experience to share as I haven't walked in yours shoes. I did, however, serve as a Guardian Ad Litem with the court system and I truly believe that everyone needs to focus on "the best interests of the child". In some cases it requires that a Mom not be focused so much on reunification as they are on where their child is most able to flourish. Sometimes it is best for the child to stay in foster...if the foster care is meeting the needs and there is a sense of permanentness. It sounds like your daughter is doing well. If her placement is with an experienced family then that is a challenge for you. Outsiders may think they know what is best for your daughter but each situation is different. Don't let feelings of guilt or inadequacy become your focus. I wish you well. DDD
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I was a difficult teenager (due to a very difficult and complex home background, as well doubtless to my own passionate and intense temperament) and my mother was unable to cope with me and basically "rejected" me so that I had to go away to school. I felt a lot of blame and anger and profound hurt for many years, that I would say had serious impact on my later emotional life and decisions. But... now I am a parent myself of a "difficult" (and passionate and intense child), I understand much more of how overwhelming I must have seemed to her, and how unable to cope she felt. There have been times when I have felt unable to cope with my son and longed for someone to take him away...
    No-one knows your exact situation, and your daughter's - one cannot judge it from the outside and with no knowledge of the highly personal circumstances you face. I do feel, though, that if it is at all possible, both you and your daughter would be most healed by being able to carry on together and for her to be able to live with you again, if you could receive help or therapy that would enable you to do so, and for you to feel supported, and for her to have another outlet for her pain and rage (I had a lot of that too, as a teenager...) I think this is the outcome that would lead to the least regret and damage for both of you.
    The reason I stick my neck out and say that is because I think my mother and my relationship has never healed from that "decision" to send me away, not to have me at home, although we now have a relationship and although I have ostensibly "forgiven" her. It caused a hurt and a rift that would never fully close.
    I don't like talking about these very personal things, close to home, very much - even on the anonymity of an internet forum! - but just wanted to share this because it may help. I do understand how very overwhelmed you feel by your daughter's behaviour and that you just cannot deal with it... I think we regret the things we turn away from, though, much more than the things we turn towards, however difficult... Blessings to you.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi Jody,

    Dude was in many placements, and finally foster care in his life. He's now 20, and not living at home. He was diagnosis Severe adhd (whatever that is) and ODD, possible BiPolar (BP) - I say possible because at the time he was diagnosis he was 10, and we weren't really sure that full blown BiPolar (BP) symptoms emerge until you are well into your late teens early 20's. However he definitely had all the criteria for Conduct Disorder, ODD and traits of Borderline (BPD)/and some Narcissistic traits. He is an extremely intelligent young man, was and still is a beautiful person who had a horrible start in life, had an explosive temper and through years and years of therapy has come a long way. We trialed over 62 medications, he was at times combative, abusive, explosive, and because of his ODD, has gotten into trouble with the law. He still has minor scrapes; but after being in jail? He got a taste of loosing his freedom and despite saying "I don't care if I go back to jail." I'm sure it's the depression speaking rather than common sense days.

    About three and a half years ago (I think) I had a stroke due to his incarceration and run in with the law. I thought it was a heart attack, avoided the ER all day, and finally when I nearly collapsed in the grocery store? DF said - "We're going." So that was that. Dudes reaction was a detachment helper. He said "Is she okay?" then right after that sitting across from DF in the Department of Juvenile Justice visitation room "Can I have money for the snack machine?" After Department of Juvenile Justice? He was sent to another Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that was supposedly phenominal with boys. Turns out the place was a complete dump, the owner was smoking crack, we had it shut down, their donkey died from starvaton - Dude was arrested again under suspicion of breaking and entering which - he didn't, but still..and the place opened two weeks later under a new name. After that? He was sent to 'therapeutic' foster care. The therapeutic basically stands for more money to the foster parents for supposedly going to classes. (here in SC in our case anyway) While in their care? Dude was arrested again for driving a car they were supposed to have locked up, and running from 4 law enforcement groups. He stayed with them for 1.5 years. They were not helpful - they merely collected a check and when they were done? Literally had a secret meeting with the state, dumped him and we had less than a week to prepare for him coming home. It was not good. Not for him, not for us - not for anyone.

    We DID however learn a lot about weekend visits. So I can tell you this much. Whenever Dude was here for the weekend and he acted out? IMMEDIATELY we called his caseworker, and the foster parents. He went home RIGHT THEN. If the behavior wasn't right? He went home. No excuses, no second chances. This was worked out with the therapist - not my decision - it needed to be this way. The reason there was no second chances? He already KNEW coming into the house - THAT WAS his chance. The charts, and honor system, clothespins system - all that jazz didn't work before and it wasn't going to work now - so no---sounds harsh, but no second chances. This was it - behave or don't. There was no discussion. In the car, back to foster care. It never got ugly.

    As far as her not getting along with the therapist? Well - I can tell you this much. We had an AWESOME therapist. Several people will disagree vehemently, and that's their right, but I will stand on what I hope I am seeing now. I say hope, because you just never know with difficult child's - so this is my thought. We went every week, sometimes 3x a week. Mostly 1x for Dude, 1x for the family and once for myself. This went on for almost 15 years. On and off because when Dude was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s out of town? We had therapy, but he went to the therapist there at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), when he was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in town? We picked him up and went to therapist here, then took him back to Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Sometimes - most times Dude would NOT participate. Therapist said that was his choice. Sometimes they didn't seem like they were doing much - played cards, played checkers. It was still time together. Dude would often say "I know what you're doing - you're going to let me win so it builds my confidence." and then the therapist would win. Blew Dudes mind. Therapist would say "If you want to win - you have to win, I don't give anyone anything in my office." And then it was on. He was giving therapy even when Dude thought he was outsmarting him. Dude loved to win. He loved a challenge. So he would come back the next week, and Dude would win.....but they talked first. So we were blessed to have a clever therapist. Other times - kids just arent' going to be into talking, but the fact that we got him into a pattern and habit of GOING each week meant something. Dude will be the first to tell you he hated it, didn't participate, but he listened while that man talked. Thinking he was so smart he wasn't getting anything - but you know what? Now at 20? He's finally using those tools and that stuff STUCK - and even Dude laughs because he'll catch himself saying "I remember what Dr. H said." and I'm floored. For years - the kid refused to do ANYTHING this man suggested and now all of a sudden? He's doing it - and then it hit me - (slaps head) HE HAS OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANCE DISORDER STAR ----duh. So why would he admit to using something he was being told by someone in authority at a young age.....? He'd have to store it, then use it later. duh, duh, duh. And he is. It's like a boomerang.
    Another thing we were told by our therapist and a lot of therpists is that sometimes people just don't click - therapists shouldn't be offended - find ANOTHER one. I dropped people for years until I found this guy. one woman was checking her cell phone - (swear) and I said some off the wall junk to see if she was paying attention (she was not) and I got up and walked out. All the way down the hall shes chasing me and I'm doing talk to the hand...ugh. Then yelled AND DO NOT BILL ME - CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? GOOD. Not everyone gets along. Not everyone clicks - no biggie. But I'd say after three months - your therapist will know. Not you - YOUR THERAPIST should admit - this is not a good match. You'd know almost immediately. Your kid is going to tell you BEFORE she even meets the therapist - so unless there is really uncomfortable reasons - and each therapist is "I don't like him/her" in a few sessions? Just stick with it. I personally can't talk to women - no idea why, just don't like it. So maybe it's time to ask your daughters therapist what he thinks? Time to move on? Find someone he things CAN help her. Get more creative. Whatever it is - it's not working.

    As far as YOU not wanting her home. Well you have a right to feel that way - and my thought was always this: I AM THE ONE THAT HAS TO SLEEP AT NIGHT. She's attacked me, she isn't attacking the fosters. She's happy there, I'm happy with her there even though I love my daughter and the ultimate goal is reunification - WHAT HAPPENS when you send her home, she's here for XX period of time and she attacks me again? That's not good for all the work SHE has put into herself and it's certainly not safe for me. What is your plan then. We need a plan IN PLACE NOW before you EVEN BEGIN DISCUSSING moving her because I WILL NOT move her home without a safety net for EITHER of us. PERIOD.

    If their safety net is - In home therapy, or continued work with your psychiatrist, blah blah blah - TELL THEM STOP STOP STOP.....and literally put your hand up and say YOU ARE NOT HEARING ME AT ALL.

    Then say "I want a written plan, A written SAFETY GUARANTEE in place that states IF XX daughter becomes violent in my home with me, or in school - this guarantee from you says that YOU will personally come and get her within 2 hours, and transport her to such and such place - no excuse like "there is no bed" there is "No availability, no space at this time" and guarantee MY SAFETY and HER PLACEMENT in either a locked Residential Treatment Center (RTC) facility for XX days for observation and medications tweek for no longer than 20 days while you and I discuss an appropriate FOSTER HOME which is IN THIS TOWN."

    See the things that they get you on - after they remove a child from foster care - and send them home? Then things go to pot? Uh.....yeah well they kinda move on to the next worst case, a younger needier child......and you? You're yesterdays news. OR they set you up for failure and hang you out to dry, and you are left to take whatever is available which could be (not kidding) The state mental hospital. A hospital for the childrens criminally insane towns and miles away. A foster care with a family in the next state. An Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that you wouldn't put your dog in. Or this bologna of in home therapeutic services with Mental Health and those are typically college students working through course hours for their first year Associates Degrees. No, I'm not kidding. You are teaching THEM. (I've given so much information to so many students) and scared the bejeezers out of a couple who changed their degree. (not kidding on that either). One look at our life - and - Social work went to computer science.

    So anything else I can help with - just ask. We've been through the wringer like a lot of parents here.

    I am happy to say - despite it all? My son and I do have a relationship today - long distance, but it's better than it's ever been, and while I am certain we couldn't live together I do hear I love you, I miss you, and I wish we could see each other...and it's sincere. Someone had told me that three years ago I probably would have hit them with my Anti-depressant bottle.

    Hugs - You can PM me too if you'd rather go there.
  10. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I do not have experience with the foster system so I will let others respond on that issue. I know Star has been through it and back as has Timer Lady, and I would definitely seek out their advice.

    However, I can completely relate to being a single mom trying to raise a defiant difficult child. I developed severe PTSD over it all, and this sounds like what you are struggling with as well. That crackling sound in your head, sounds like you are having a PTSD flash back, probably triggered by something your difficult child is doing in that moment. I know there are some new treatments for PTSD. EMDR (sp?) I have heard is wonderful.

    I can completely relate to living the way you are - and when Matt turned 17 I could no longer could do it either. I sent him to residential at that point. Regardless, I still get triggered now when I am around him, and I still have nightmares and flashbacks. Raising these kids could be the hardest thing that any one person might have to do - it is just constant, in your face, chaos, stress, and abuse.
  11. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Hi Jody ! I don't have much advice to give but I am here for support and hugs ....
  12. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Thank you so much for the information and the support. I went to a meeting regarding her therapist yesterday. She is going to keep the therapist that she has and she won't be coming home until the new school year starts. I am relieved. I hated even writing that. I need more time, I can
    t deal with it in my face all the time. I guess I am just not there yet. Maybe it is PTSD, because I can tell you, being around her does bring back all of the old physical feelings and so much panic that I do not feel like myself, what so ever. I do have some good news. I was able to read a book for the first time in many months. I'll explain. I could read it before, and I could give you a definition of all of the words, but I couldn't put the story together, it's as if I never read it. I could read the page time and time again and it would not remain in my brain. I couldn't put page 2 with page 1 and tell you what it was about. I am an avid speed reader and it just bothered me terribly. I thought I was never going to be okay again. I read a 7th grade book of my daughter's. It was interesting but not too long and I was reading like I had always been able too. I am so excited, I love too read. I can watch a tv show and have been watching it for 1 1/2 hours and when it goes off the screen for commerical, I cannot remember what I was watching until it comes back on. That is starting to decrease too. Stress, and dealing with this by myself for years has taken it's toll, but I am ready to get better. I just don't ever want to be there again. I am afraid of when she comes home, it will really do me in. I don't want to have a complete break.
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Glad you are feeling better. Hugs. DDD