New here

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by edej, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. edej

    edej New Member

    Hello this is my first time here, a friend reccomended I join. My 13 almsot (this week!) 14 year old daughter is currently living out of state at a therapeutic boarding school. We found out she was cutting this past November and had her admitted to short term pysch hospital which did nothing. She stopped cutting but then started using erasers to erase her skin off. Oh this is after we locked up all the medication, scissors and knives in the house. She said it was a game at school so we talked to her and told her its a form of body modification and not allowed. Things were quite for a while then I found she had erased the skin off her wrists during inhouse detention because she was upset to be there. We then told her if we causght her hurting herself she was going back into the hospital. 5 days before Christmas she got a hold of some scissors and cut her arms up along with using her fingernails to dig the skin off. Since it was just before Christmas we couldnt bear to admit her so we didnt. Then mid January she was having such a bad day, crying and sobbing over some issue with a friend. It scared us so bad we took her to ER and she was admitted to different short term facility. At the ER she said she wanted to commit suicide by asphixiation. When I went home to pack her clothes I found a suicide note in her clothing drawer. After about 12 days they wanted to discharge her into an out-patient facility but we refused to take her home since we cant keep her safe. They helped us find the facility she is at now. She is being defiant there not participating as she should be and not doing the initial work kids do when they first get there (like reading the care manuals and writing an autobiography). After almost a month she still cries to us that it is a horrible place and she wants to go to a regular boarding school. It just is breaking our hearts and we are sad all the time. But also relieved that I know she is safe and that I dont have to live on pins and needles afraid she will hurt herself.

    I dont know all the abbreviations and what not here so maybe someone can help me? I tried to search cutting but all it showed me was a post for 2007 and all the responses were backwards and I never found the original post. Is there a better way to do this?

    Thank you
  2. edej

    edej New Member

    Just found all the abbreviations and what things mean so here is my signature now if it helps
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to our safe haven.

    Does she have a diagnosis and is she on medication? If so, what is she on?
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Dear Edej,

    Welcome to the Board!

    Usually the first thing any member will tell you is you have found a soft place to land. Meaning when your world is falling apart around you? You can come here, sit and type, read and almost loose yourself in the kindness, understanding and hopefully humor you walk away with. Along the way you can pick up some pretty good information in this world that a lot of the outside world may (or may not) give you about your child. Years ago when I came to this board; the world was not kind to me or my son and I learned a great deal from other members. My son now 20 is learning life the hard way. I'm wearing a proverbial rhino suit. (thick skin).

    A few things that I'd like to tell you as the Mother of a child who started in the state psychiatric hospitals at age 5. Nearly all of the hospitals that you will send your child to are SHORT term. Meaning a term anywhere from an overnight observation in a l.o.s. (line of sight) in which a nurse on 24 hour duty just keeps an eye on your child for self-harming behaviors anywhere from cutting to suicide, or anywhere up to possibly a maximum of 30 days, or rather what your insurance will allow on a maximum. Occasionally more, but doubtful - and what usually happens is a transfer recommendation from the head psychologist and team. Either they have added medications which take XX amount of days to work in a childs system or they felt there was nothing more they could do to help, or your child absolutely refused to help themselves, OR the team discussed it and felt a bed in a longer term facility would be more appropriate. Hence therapeutic boarding school, emotional growth boarding school, wilderness camp, state mental hospital, locked mental facitlity if they are a risk for running, residential care facility, foster care, therapeutic foster care - call it what you will. The research and checking of these places is UP TO YOU. My advice after 15 years in the trenches? DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE you send your child? Make unannounced visits. Ask questions, ask for references. Talk to the psychologist, ask how long the staff has been there, their turnover rate of employees. Check to see if they are hiring employees on monster/or local papers.

    As far as quality of care and assistance with outside resources? You can usually find that help locally or regionally, but who do you ask? There are organizations that will help, but seldom advertise. So you have to nearly KNOW who to ask, and you know no one at this point so it's like a dog eat dog circle, of getting NO help when you are standing there begging for help. Amazing isn't it? You'd think all these 'professionals' would come out of the woodwork to offer their services since you see people dying to get into college to "chance the world" and "become social workers" and yet it's almost laughable when you are the one looking for services - it's like you get an echo when you say "HELLOOOOOO" is anyone there to help us in the hall of graduated social workers. Personally? I knew they were there? But they are so overburdened by a world and a system of parents that are absent, on drugs, don't care, grandparents that are raising kids - it's like GOOD parents get put to the back of the line - and THAT to me was almost an oxymoron. But very true. So be prepared for THAT.

    Also be prepared to tell every caseworker and mental healthworker, and psychologist, and psychiatrist, and 1st year student social worker that sits in on your case - Your ENTIRE life story about you, your husband, your child. It gets to the point you will get SO tired telling this story over and over and over and nauseum. I recommend you write out and START keeping a journal of dates, times, medications given, and odd behaviors. Type it if it's better - and then hand it over to whomever, but you will save yourself a lot of time and aggravation. The reason? Well this like I said is a high turnover business, and if you get lucky and have the same counselor or psychiatric from the get go? Good for you. Rather doubt it. And that's ALSO a bone of contention or may be with your daughter. Counselors come and go - so your kid starts telling them how they feel and then BLAMO - counselor gone - new one in - and they start all over trusting someone. VERY contradictory - because they all preach consistancy - yet rarely accomplish themselves.

    Another thing that comes to mind - medications. OH if I had a clicker...I think we trialed over 62 medications before we quit. It finally sunk in with me at about the 20th medication that medications aren't a cure - but with medication and counseling we had 'help' towards a better lifestyle. Not a cure. We would still have good days, bad days and AWFUL days - and really out of control days. And even hospital days. Cop calling days. Hole in the wall days. I'm glad to say most of those are past.

    As far as the cutting and suicide attempts? been there done that - not fun. I won't even tell you what I did about the cutting. Okay I will. I grabbed his arms and threatened to help and it freaked him out so badly he stopped. As far as the suicides? There were 3. 2 were for real = both hangings. One in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and one in jail. Both on Zoloft. Made me the same way so neither of us can take that medication. The other was a supposed 'tylenol' overdose but it was an act - to which I gave no merit - and had him hauled away in an ambulance alone - to face doctors in the ER alone, and they gladly screamed at him ALONE, and got everything ready to pump his stomach in a "grander than usual style" to which he chose to fess up to the fakery -on his own. After seeing that we were'nt buying it? He didn't use it as a tool to control us. There have been no more attempts since - ohI take it back - there was one since he's been on his own - and I texted back - I love you, nice knowing you, please leave your dog in a safe place so we can come get her. That stopped that. I'm not callous - I'm detached from the "circus" of attention gettting. To date I haven't had any more attempts, and while I think he may still use it with others for attention - it holds no water with us. He hasn't cut himself since I offered to do it for him properly either. It maybe different with Apsies than BiPolar (BP) kids, and he has more going on than BiPolar (BP) - but that's another post.

    I hope this has helped. If you need resources for assistance in your area? We can probably post some links for agencies for you to check out.

    NAMI would be one that comes to mind. If you have a Department of Disabilities - that would be another. Others will be along soon with suggestions and help.

    Glad you are here! Welcome!!!! And enjoy the time you have alone to refresh and recharge. It also is always my recommendation that if you aren't already in counseling to get there. This is a lifetime commitment and you are going to need all the help on your team that you can get. Trying to stay one step ahead is hard.....using a professional that has good sound advice and can help you level the playing field a bit and give you a non-biased opinion never hurts.

  5. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Welcome to our "home". You will find alot of support here.

  6. edej

    edej New Member

    they are still testing her, previously they diagnosed her with severe-moderate depression and borderline personality traits which she fits perfectly. She is on Lexapro 20mg and Abilify 7.5mg.
  7. edej

    edej New Member

    Thank you for your post star. We were the ones that found her Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and there is little turnover there, most employees being there from 6-12 years. We couldnt do any drop-ins since she is 6 hours away out of state. Our state has many laws protecting the kids so the kids can get up and leave anytime they want so we had to go out of state.

    I have been seeing a psychiatrist for about 2 years now since my diagnosis of Bipolar and my therapist since November every week.

    That's a good idea about writing everything down, I had a binder I carried around with me for my little one who saw a boatload of doctors trying to diagnose her and it did make things easier on everyone.

    I found a NAMI support group and we go on the 1st to our first meeting.

    My friend who recommended this sight has been a wealth of knowledge and pointed me in the right direction.

    I think I just need to hear some stories about other cutters and kids placed in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) so I dont feel so alone in my decisions.

    Now we plan to battle the school distract to pay for her placement.

    Thanks again
  8. 4timmy

    4timmy New Member

    OMG this is SOOOO true and drives me absolutely to the brink of insanity just thinking about the possibility of this in our future.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    So HAPPY you joined the board edej :bigsmile: (You'll recognize me after you read my sig, lol). To coax out some of the people who have experience with cutters in their family, I suggest you start a new post with the subject line having something to do with cutting so that people will know at a glance what you're wanting to address ("Experience with cutters?" or "Advice for dealing with teenage cutter?" etc.).

    I hope the NAMI meeting proves helpful for you and husband. Sounds like difficult child 1 is still fighting the "program" at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I don't recall what medications they started her on (please add that to your sig when you get a chance so we don't keep asking you) -- have there been any improvements? Changes?

    Sending many hugs for you, my friend.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, edej. I am so sorry for you and your daughter. And the rest of the family who are impacted.

    I'm glad your daughter is on Lexapro but with-your history of bipolar, I'd suggest (okay, I'm not a dr, this is a mom point of view) Xanax, as well. And I'm not sure that Lexapro works with-bipolar ... others here will weigh in. But your daughter has major, major anxiety issues and no way to cope with-them. She needs talk therapy as well, to learn how to "think" her way through her anxieties, and maybe something physical, like running or gym. All stressed out and nowhere to go, Know what I mean??

    Stay with-us. You've come to the right place. You'll literally read about yourself in others' notes. Scary that there are so many of us here who share similar stories.


    P.S. Star's post has some fantastic background and insights.:consoling:
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome!

    My difficult child is/was a cutter...

    She was especially bad last year because she found a whole group of cutters at school to hang out with. I actually intercepted a few facebook messages where they planned to bring razor blades and band-aids to school so they could cut together. Nice, huh?

    And even though we had locked up all the blades, difficult child found a duplicate key to husband's tool box and stole a whole pack of razors and brought it to school.

    I called the school - notified them of the situation....and frankly, they made me feel like *I* was causing a problem because now they were required to do a search of the girls for having dangerous weapons on school property.

    This year, I have not seen as much cutting - although difficult child will carve Japenese symbols into her arms and legs with paperclips or pen tips and then try to pretend that she didn't (O? I didn't even realize I was doodling on myself - gee whiz!).

    So it's ongoing...

    As far as Residential Treatment Center (RTC), we feel she would benefit - but difficult child is covered under we can't get the necessary referral to have her placed anywhere.
  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I did that eraser thing once. But, I was a easy child and it was only once. It was a 'thing to do' in school that year. I guess when it started hurting I stopped.....and that is the difference with your difficult child.

    by the way - you can hover your mouse over the abbreviations and it will give you the definition.
  13. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I'm new here too and have found everyone very welcoming.

    I'm sorry for what you are going through with your daughter but it sounds like you are doing everything you can to keep her safe. I imagine it's VERY hard with her out of state. ((Hugs))