Nothing new :(

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JKF, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    difficult child is still on the streets. Sleeping at the train station at night and bouncing between the day shelter, library and soup kitchen during the day. This weekend is Easter and we were going to allow him to come here on Sunday but now that he got kicked out of the shelter and is officially completely homeless I can't bring him here. Not as a punishment to him but I need to spare my younger son the sight of his cherished older brother at rock bottom.

    He's still next for a bed at Safe Haven through the MHA but who knows when that will be. The office of temp assistance won't help bc according to them he caused his own homelessness so he's not allowed to ask them for housing assistance for 6 mo. I guess in the meantime they are ok with an unstable mentally ill young man living at a train station. I thought they were there to help ppl like difficult child. If he was an addict he'd have no problem finding help. Ugggh! (Note - I'm not saying anything negative about addicts so please don't think that! I'm just frustrated that it would be easier for difficult child to get help if he was on drugs instead of "just" being mentally ill. )

    I wish I could send him to my dad now but I can't until he's stable. Even if my dad said send him now I wouldn't bc my dad has SO many health issues and I can't send difficult child out to him like this. It would be a complete disaster and set up for failure.

    I'm so sad and disheartened tonight. I feel like there's no hope. I'm so scared for difficult child.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  2. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I'm so sorry. (((Gentle hugs)))
  3. Hopeless

    Hopeless ....Hopeful Now

    JFK I am very sorry and just know I have added you and your difficult child to my prayers to get through this challenge.
  4. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    JKF, I am so sorry that your difficult child is going through this. Hugs. Hopefully the Safe Haven Bed will open very very soon.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Very sad news. It really is confusing that they would consider that his mental illness is a choice. I understand consequences, but not all or nothing/no treatment options. This kind of situation is sad.

    We can do better in this society.
  6. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Thank you all so much for the support. We really do need all of the support and prayers we can get right now.

    buddy -I agree. The whole thing makes me sick. We have been struggling for YEARS to get difficult child stable and on the path to a healthy adulthood. Yes he's fought against that and he's made horrible decisions - some his fault, others due to his mental illnesses. He's been in the hospital more times than I can count, a Residential Treatment Center (RTC), a PCR, etc. I feel like the system has failed him miserably. I'm not looking to place blame or pass the buck. I'm really not. I'm just so angry with the whole "it's not our problem" attitude that I've come across again and again on this whole mental illness journey. I want to scream and cry and punch things (and some people!!) I'm so angry and sad and scared to death and I just don't know what else to do.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    JKF, you are hopefully sleeping now, but remember when you wake up, to take deep breaths. Your difficult child, by your own words, is "sleeping at the train station at night and bouncing between the day shelter, library and soup kitchen during the day" this is a kid who knows how to get around, who knows what to do out there, he is very, very resourceful. You are fearful, because you don't know the streets like these kids do, they are masters at survival and getting their needs met. My brother is schizophrenic and lived on the streets in LA for years and years. For a long time we didn't know where he was. When he surfaced, aside from needing a long shower, he was really remarkably okay. I was in awe. It's a whole culture of people, many kids who make that choice for their resistance to authority. Like your son.

    You've got everything together for your son, hopefully he will avail himself to the services, but he may not. You are the one who needs to come to grips with this, learn how to not let it ruin your life and suck up your life force. It's devastating, it's terrifying, it's so, so sad, and yet, it is what it is and you are powerless to change it. My advice to you is to stay in therapy, find a relaxation method that works for you, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, walking in the woods, whatever it is you must do it and do it often, otherwise these dramas will deplete you and take chunks of your life one bite at a time. I know that sounds harsh, and I am not trying to be, I am just showing you the reality, you did everything you could, as weird as it is, now you have to let go and have a life. He is choosing the life he wants, perhaps not from the balance point you would like, but still, it's his choice, and STILL you can't change his choice.

    Try to remember what you felt like when you were starting to lighten up again and feel good, that's the place you want to live in, not this, so as often as you can, choose that, don't go down the fear road, the worry road, send him love, say a prayer for him, release him to what you consider a higher power or spiritual force and go on with your life. You deserve that. Many hugs coming your way.............

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    JFK...please, please, if you do nothing else, hon, try to encourage him to apply for disability. I was told by somebody who works in disability that a diagnosis of bipolar gives one a GREAT chance of receiving it. Along with disability payments, you get healthcare, and mental health care for free, Section 8 housing and a lot of supports. I know this because I am on disability with a ton of supports and I'm not even homeless. Until you are officially considered disabled, you don't get anything. The disability is widely based on your ability to function every my case I just could never hold a job. Your son does not seem able to function either. The functional behavioral assessment is the key and will be given to him.

    If he is that terribly mentally ill so that he can't take care of himself at all, you may also want to become his guardian. I don't know how that works if he is resistant to it, but that would make him functionally a minor again and you get to make the rules, even if he is not at home. I don't clamp down hard on my son with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)...usually I let him do what he wants...but he is not, for example, allowed to buy or own a fire arm because that's one stipulation I made in court.

    For a drug abuser, I would not recommend this, but for somebody who is mentally ill and unable to function it may e the only way he gets help and is not treated as if he were "bad." Some people will tell you that it takes forever to get disability. Although I can't speak for everyone, it was easy for us to get it for Sonic with his Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis and I got it the first time I applied. And the only reason I applied was because I *had* to apply or the Dept. of Workforce Development wouldn't work with me to get me a job. I was absolutely shocked when I was approved. I didn't think I was the sort of person who would be approved because I have great verbal skills, I'm stable mentally on my medication, and except for my normal issues...face blindness, inability to find my way around, inability to multitask....nothing bad was happening to me.

    I hope you explore this option with your difficult child. It is the only way he won't be treated as if he is just a bad kid, and there are A LOT of services once you are approved. He would have a caseworker who would help him find places to stay so that he wouldn't be homeless. It would take him out of the hands of the police and into the hands of mental health professionals, where he belongs.

    I live in Wisconsin. Don't consider this a particularly enlightended state, especially now, yet I still get services and, more importantly, my dear son is looked after well and will have services after I am no longer here. Many governors are increasing mental health services now since the Sandy Hook shooting. Mine is one and he's very conservative.

    I will pray for your family this Easter.
  9. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    These words are so helpful to me this morning, too.

    JFK...sending strength. I'm so sorry this is happening to you, and to your son. It's a living agony, isn't it. Recovering is right. We need to fight the pain and choose, by conscious intent, to cherish whatever it is that we still have.

  10. JKF - Big hugs to you. Listen to RE - her words of comfort and wisdom are always true.

    I totally understand the frustration with the 'system'. We have been through that with difficult child. Especially at his age (17). He isn't really a child any more so none of the child psychiatrists want him but he isn't 18 so none of the adult clinics or doctors want him either. And then there's the "if they aren't an immediate harm to themselves or others" then you can't get them committed to a treatment facility or hospital either.

    The mental health care in our country is deplorable. I read an article the other day that said in a country of 30 million we have 6000 mental health beds. What!!!???

    My thoughts are with you this Easter weekend.