Putting 12 yo difficult child into Hospital

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by WSM, May 19, 2009.

  1. WSM

    WSM New Member

    It's all complicated. We are supposed to take him tonight. husband wants me to stay home with daughter just in case she's upset. He says he doesn't need the support, and he has nothing much to say alone to difficult child, but it's likely to be a 3-4 hour procedure and sees no reason for us both to go through the hassle.


    Apparently this is an accute care facility and they will only take him for 5 days. The associated long term care facility is 3 hours away and has a 3 to 4 month waiting list.

    But the therapist says difficult child is (quoting my husband): "He said he "didn't want to say too much last night in front of difficult child" but he feels difficult child is very very disturbed and needs immediate help. Gosh - I thought that is what he said last night."

    The therapist also said this was the first step to long term care.

    husband is exasperated and melancholy. The therapist said to admit him tonight and if there is any trouble give him a call. He doesn't think there will be. Then after they've evaluated difficult child, husband has to ask the hospital for further placement recommendations. husband also should contact DCF (the Dept of Child and Family/CPS) and ask for assistance. And also contact any judge difficult child was before. Judges have a lot of pull in these situations. And finally, we have to contact his school and make sure the hospitalization gets into his records.

    It seems like we've contacted all these people and they all know and nothing's been accomplished in the past, but maybe with a therapist and psychiatrist backing them up with recommendations, it will make a difference this time.

    husband is discouraged, he's hoping difficult child will be gone at least through the weekend. He's sure difficult child will charm everyone and pull the wool over their eyes and come strolling out with a clean bill of mental health. husband hinted at that last night, but the therapist said there are two kinds of professionals in the child mental health field: those who understand regular children with big problems and those who understand disturbed children (?with regular problems? <my thought>). He said a lot of professionals really don't know what they are looking at when they see disturbed children and try to treat them like regular children. But people who are used to very disturbed children are not going to be fooled. difficult child's fooled so many people, I can't help to think he will again, but this therapist isn't concerned.

    And we have no choice but to try this, there are no alternatives.

    The therapist seems to take it for granted that difficult child will be put into long term care, and seems completely convinced that difficult child must have it. But I don't know how much pull he has. on the other hand, he has probably 25 years experience, and we know nuthin', and we have not alternatives, so we go this route.

    I think husband is disappointed. I think he was hoping difficult child would be gone longer to give us all a break. He was elated to find out we have 90 days of insurance. And we are all signed up and paid for to go on a cruise on Jun 13, and last night husband said 'he's likely to miss the cruise' then he thought and said, 'it was starting to make me nervous about him going and causing trouble, I was kind of dreading taking him'. But then later today husband emailed me how this wasn't what he dreamed of about being a parent, a father and son outing taking difficult child to the mental hospital.

    I have a friend at work who used to do intake for kids at a Residential Treatment Facility (RTF). She says the first night they sedate the kids because it's such a shock for them and to easy them into their new surroundings. She says also that a lot of times after a long stay kids really do come out better.

    They were talking on putting difficult child on the 'big gun' medications, I'm assuming that means anti-psychotics maybe? Why would they do that and release him to parents who don't know anything? You'd think they'd keep him for adjustments and observation?

    I think after the initial shock of suddenly committing him now, we became resolved to the idea that it was coming and it was time, and finally something intense was going to be done. And now we are finding out it's just a band-aid, a bridge, and that alot more scrambling and finagling and persuading and hassle is going to be necessary to get a summertime resolution. Of course we'll do it, but we are so tired and the struggle does seem endless.

  2. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Is sounds amazingly difficult. You are doing the best possible. difficult children drain so much out of us, and good solutions are so difficult to find. I wish we had a better system. Hang in there
  3. maril

    maril New Member

    Many hugs to you. Take it one day at a time. I know it has been so difficult and understand how it seems endless but at least now he is in an environment where he can receive professional help daily and there is hope for admission to a long-term facility.

    It is definitely an adjustment for all. Keep hanging in there. Don't hesitate to ask questions of staff, etc., to get a good idea what the plan will be. You have been a good mom and supportive wife.
  4. WSM

    WSM New Member

    therapist says that difficult child is 'very, very disturbed'.

    I wonder what that means. Or what he thinks that means.

    He thinks difficult child needs 'immediate help'. But I don't know that difficult child is that much different than he was a year ago.

    I'm very confused.
  5. PumaMami

    PumaMami New Member

    He's so young, and those wards are no fun. It's unlikely he will fool seasoned professionals, though. So it may really help.

    Your 8 yo girl might be scared even if she doesn't say so. It's good to have someone with her, too. My difficult child used to get really scared of his step-sister when she was having issues.

    I've watched my now-20 yo step-daughter with severe schizoaffective disorder go in and out of hospitalizations and residential the last six years. The visits there are sad, but they enjoy the company very much, even if reluctant to show it. It's true they won't keep them long, but even 5 day visits have helped a lot to stabilize my step-daughter and get her on the right road with medication adjustments and recommendations.

    We have a 12 yo boy that just started Abilify, and I brought him to the ER a couple of weeks ago at 3am with mania and mild hallucinations, but he wasn't "a danger to himself or others" so didn't go inpatient.

    I hope all goes well for your family and your difficult child. Hang in there!
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Hang in there -- there are many here who have been down this road, some very recently, so hopefully they will chime in to reassure you and share their experiences.

    in my opinion, you should go with husband -- find a sitter for the younger sib if you have to. I think you have a lot of valuable insight to share that husband may not be so forthcoming with or have the presence of mind to reveal. Things that are VERY relevant. Pointing out that your difficult child will likely "honeymoon" with the facility staff is important do. Asking about the transition plan for bringing him back home is important as well. I can't imagine they'd start him on medications and send him home without being sure he's moderately stable or having some kind of follow-up plan for his treatment.

    Perhaps a call to his therapist will help clarify what you can expect in the coming days. Make them explain it to you.

    It may feel like a bandaid, but it really is the first step in a long journey towards recovery for everyone involved. Your husband needs to probably grieve the fact that his son is simply not healthy, never will be without the proper treatment, and cannot continue on the way he is. I hope they can get him settled in a more long-term facility so that the rest of you can enjoy that much-needed time together, at PEACE, on that cruise!

    I hope the admission goes smoothly tonight. I hope you can go with husband to lend your support and insight.

    Sending many gentle hugs for strength.
  7. compassion

    compassion Member

    ((( )))) I have been following your story and am glad this door is opening. I know how mixed it is. Like Meril said, one day at a time. Compassion
  8. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Geez, it never ends.

    This afternoon I got home b4 difficult child and son19 took my car to work so difficult child didn't realize I was home. difficult child was dropped off on time and came over to look in the living room windows, probably looking to see if anyone was home and if he could do something he wasn't supposed to. I brought him in and he went up to his room. We had dinner at 4:45. Just pizza.

    When I went to get him out of his room, he was playing a ds. But not one that belonged to his siblings. Nope, this one had a 'used' sticker on it from a store and a bar code and the price $79.99, and looked in good shape, no scratches or anything. He says "White" gave it to him at school. Yep, he goes to a school where most kids have nothing and live under the poverty level and some kids just gives a perfectly good $80 toy to difficult child. Right.

    Oh, and his brand new floor we put in a couple weeks ago has sharpie drawn all over it. :mad:

    So after dinner I have him go take a shower and I take a good look at this ds. Something's wrong. Then I realize: it's brand new. There are no scratches on it, the screen is like gloss. It's in perfect condition. THe sticker on the inserted game is white and brand new. It was returned because someone traded it in for a DSi. My daughter's had a brand new DS since May 5, her birthday and it looks far worse than this.

    So when he gets out of the shower, I say, "You stole it, it's brand new." We go round and round, him insisting White got a new one for his birthday and said, hey difficult child, you can have this one. "We're going to go talk to WHite about it tomorrow."

    "White won't be there." Turns out White hasn't been to the school since Xmas. So who'd he get it from? Georges. But 'technically' he got it from White, since WHite gave it to Georges. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

    So it turns out difficult child stole it off Georges' desk today and was planning on returning it tomorrow. He wasn't worried that I found and confiscated it, because Georges' didn't know he had it and difficult child figured that he could just pretend he knew nothing about it.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Maybe therapist is seeing that he isn't improving as he gets older. I'm shocked, if he's been this way for a long time, that therapist didn't have this lightbulb moment sooner.

    I wouldn't even try to figure out why difficult child does what he does. You'll never figure it out. in my opinion he's just a very sick kid who probably has attachment issues, which can mean no regard for anyone else.

    I think it's great if you can get him into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but it's too bad you have to wait. A child like this can destroy the entire family. While I don't believe for a minute that it's fault he is the way he is, he's still dangerous and wreckless. You know he stole the game. You know he's lying. You know consequences won't touch him--he won't care. Do the best you can, just what you've been doing. And then let the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) handle him because in my opinion he is too much for you and husband to handle at home.

    I hope he gets help at the hospital.
  10. WSM

    WSM New Member

    The therapist has only seen him three times. We started with him about 6 weeks ago, shortly after difficult child started on lexapro.

    For last school year he had therapists thru the school. Then for the summer and this school year he was supposed to have therapy at his day military school. But that didn't happen. We had parenting advice and counseling with our marital counselor. It helped, but difficult child needed his own therapist, so after Xmas husband looked around for another therapist.

    We started with our pediatrician, had him tested alot and then were recommended this psychiatrist/therapist combo.

    They are gone. husband seems annoyed with me that I found out it was stolen and not just given to him by 'White'. He said, "I'll take care of it", and took it.

    Then husband threw a bag together with clean clothes, toothbrush, socks, and difficult child and he pulled out of the driveway. I think he took the stolen DS with him. There's a part of me that's suspicious he's going to let difficult child have it. Probably not, but why take it? It's might cause a huge fight but I'm going to insist husband return it and make it clear to the school and to Georges that difficult child had it. I still have the second game and the power cord.

    I am SSOOOOOOOOOOOO angry about the stealing. ANd so angry that husband was so quick to believe that "White" gave it to him. I remember how daughter felt when difficult child stole her DS's all those times. She was devastated. But husband always forgets who the true victims are, he's always so busy covering up and smoothing over the culprit's consequences.

    Maybe the best thing would be for Georges to press charges against difficult child? husband would go thru the roof. This is the ugly side of co-dependency.

    All day I felt sick, bad, numb about difficult child going to the hospital.

    Now I'm just furious. I'm FURIOUS.

    More victims, more victims, always more victims.
  11. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    While I know you are angry with him and furious about his actions, I can't imagine what it must be like to be this young boy. He has so many issues and problems, and it will take a long, long time to get him at least stable. I don't believe that any of our children choose to be the way they are----who would want to live such a horrible existence. I have been so angry with my difficult child before, and I have to constantly remind myself that he didn't choose to have the issues he has----he makes a lot of stupid choices, but being mentally ill is not one of them---and often his choices are a result of the mental illness. I have learned to hate the action, love the child. Learning to do that has saved my own sanity---and helped my son more than anything else I have ever done for him.
  12. WSM

    WSM New Member

    I'm not angry at difficult child. It's behavior par for course. I'm angry at husband, and I'm very, very sure it's projected and misplaced anger.

    So it's good I have a couple hours to stablize myself before husband comes home. He's going to be devastated and want my support and understanding.

    I'll get over it. I always do.
  13. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Hugs, it is so hard, I know My husband has the kindest heart and is the gentlest soul I know. I have to be the "tough" one in my household---and that role can be hard to live everyday. Last week when we had to put difficult child out again, I made him do it because I was tired of being the heavy.
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I was wondering if this might be an issue with husband. All the denial, minimizing, etc. he's done with difficult child seem very much like co-dependent behaviors. I don't recall what you've said about husband's history, but while difficult child is in treatment, it might be good if husband's therapist can address some of those issues.
  15. WSM

    WSM New Member

    husband is mad at me, I'm pizzed off at his attitude, but I guess we just have to be gentle and understanding with each other. husband has this attitude that only he and difficult child suffers, it doesn't really sink in that everyone in the house is in as much pain as he and difficult child is in. difficult child's behavior hurts everyone.

    It was a struggle to get him into the hospital. They didn't want to take him; he wasn't sick enough. I guess the psychiatrist and therapist persuaded them. husband said he stood there at the desk and in front of difficult child said every horrible thing he could think of about difficult child he could think of. Finally after a half hour of persuading the admitting nurse said she had to get the 'new' forms, because if she used the 'old' forms he just wasn't admissible.

    husband said the waiting room was full of very disturbed people; difficult child was the only lucid patient, and again, he was the youngest. There was a girl banging her head and trying to gouge her eyes out. There were ambulances coming in with out of control patients. They also take drug patients and there were those there. difficult child was in good form; as always he presented himself as personable, sane, reasonable, polite, friendly.

    He said difficult child was scared 'shtless'. difficult child was worried he was going to be there forever. husband signed a lot of forms to let him be drugged and stuff. The gave difficult child a sedative to ease his anxiety about being admitted. They took his shoelaces. When husband got home he went upstairs to begin packing for difficult child and found him under the bed. He left him there while packing and when he was done said, "Come one, let's get this done." He never actually told difficult child he was going to the hospital. He said he talked very little on the ride there, mostly listened to music, but did ask abt the DS and difficult child admitted he took it. difficult child also said I was the one who drew on his floor. No, I'm going to be the one who spends an hour or more scrubbing it up (how do you get black Sharpie off laminant wood floors?)

    husband did not come straight home, but stopped at a pub for 2 drinks. I asked if he'd told the bus driver not to pick up difficult child. He said no (I'm not surprised, he really didn't have an opportunity) and said he might as well get up early and meet the bus driver and when he tells him, give back the DS and have the driver give it to the principal of the school to return to the kid. I said I'd do it since I'm up at 5:15 anyway. husband was reluctant. He then decided he'd take the DS back to the school since it was near the hospital and he'd be going there anyway. I said the kid needed his DS back and deserved it back as soon as possible, not when husband got around to it. So very put out husband went to the car and took the DS out and gave it to me. "You let him play it?" husband exploded: "Of course not. I don't like your attitude tonight."
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, I think it's displaced anger. He doesn't want his son to need hospitalization. He doesn't want to admit his son stole. He maybe thinks "Her kids are ok, and mine isn't" and resents that too. I think the two of you need to go into therapy to talk about everything with a third person involved. At least, that's what I'd want to do. Hub has a lot inside of him, probably some guilt and shame and leftover denial. But at this point in time, I wouldn't push him about the things his DS has done because he just dropped him off at the hospital. That had to be grueling. And the fact is, his child is not doing well and may never do well--and I'm sure he is facing that--and it's not easy to face.

    I hope the hospital stay helps him. My guess is that SS won't be with "the crazies." They must have a child's unit. I had to take a foster child to a psychiatric ward and the actual ward itself was child-centric and pleasant. The staff was kind.
  17. WSM

    WSM New Member

    husband said they told him difficult child would not be discharged without a family counselling session. Because husband was distressed that they were not going to keep him but for 5 day or maybe less, I made a weak joke: maybe we shouldn't schedule it until next month then. He was not amused and is mad at me and informed me coldly that they would probably tell us the morning of the meeting to be there at 3:00, and I told him that if I was at work, they were just going to have to wait until I could meet with them, and that I had a policy (which most of the counselors including our marriage counselor endorses) that my kids were not going to be involved in difficult child's counseling unless they wanted to be. He was not happy with the answer. I wasn't happy with him. And so it goes.

    After I went to bed he came in the room and said that when I give the DS to the bus driver in the morning and tell him that he wouldn't need to drive difficult child again until further notice, I was not to tell him why. "No one needs to know difficult child is in the hospital." Well, the therapist said the school needs to know, but I didn't point that out. It's true the bus driver doesn't need to know. It hadn't occurred to me to tell him, but ok. Then husband said he didn't want my kids to know. "They don't need to know difficult child's private business." I said, "They are going to notice he's missing." husband: "I'll be the one to tell them." Ummmm....no, these are MY kids and nobody tells me what I can and can't talk to them about, sorry. Besides I'd already told them. husband can tell them again his way, but NOBODY is going to tell me I can't tell my own kids something. So I've got an attitude about that.

    Emotions are flying high in our house right now.

    And to make it worse, when I told the bus driver this morning, he said, "Oh yeah, difficult child said yesterday he wasn't going to have to be picked up anymore." So perhaps difficult child already told everyone that he was going to have to go a mental hospital. That would be in character with difficult child's endless quest to solicite pity and attention. But for all I know difficult child said he wasn't going to school anymore because he was going to disney world, who knows what he said.

    As far as I know, daughter doesn't know yet. husband certainly can tell her.

    I woke with a headache, but as always work is a pleasant diversion from my real life. :sick:
  18. WSM

    WSM New Member

    We do. We see her every other week. My husband has a neurotic mother that has used him as her replacement spouse since he was about 8 and made him her rescuer in life and we have had some pretty severe problems because of it (for example, on our honeymoon cruise, which was a family thing with the kids and the wedding party etc..., his mother was as always crying and upset with me so he wouldn't sit with me his bride at an after dinner show). He's got very clear codependency traits and has grown up in a dynamic where there's a victim, he's a rescuer, and there's a bad guy. His father was distant and abusive, his mother an emotional mess, and so husband got validation and approval by rescuing mom from dad.

    It's a pattern that is dysfunctional and doesn't fit, especially since quite often as in the case of his mom and difficult child, the victim and the bad guy are the same person which leaves the rescuer in an impossible position. husband, expecially in his problems with his mom, has tried to force me into the bad guy role so he could resume rescuing his mom, this is something his mom greatly encouraged. SHe's pretty much cut off from our family life now.

    difficult child tried to make me into the bad guy and husband into a rescuer too, but it hasn't worked out as well because difficult child also victimizes husband so husband can more clearly see that difficult child is not much a victim and is often the bad guy.

    Of course for people who have not grown up in this dysfunctional system, this all seems crazy. Most people know that we all on occasion all bad guy, victim, and rescuer, and that these are events in our lives--not our identities.

    husband needs to do individual therapy to deal with his family of origin crappe, but won't, so we work through it in marriage therapy and it seems to be helping. But of course a stressful event like this stirs up a lot of dust.

  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    husband seems ashamed that difficult child is in the hospital. I can understand him NOT wanting school to know. They can be so nasty and I have a sister who works as an aide in the public school system. Trust me, the teachers and aides sit around and degrade the parents--and it's, of course, always THEIR faults and they are armchair quarterbacks, self-righteously talking about what THEY would do differently. Of course, this is only at HER school, but it's troubling and probably happens elsewhere. However, in the end, I do think they have to know, although I'd be gritting my teeth as I told them, if it were me.

    It seems as if there is a lot of "your kid" and "my kid" going on. I think you're right and YOU should be in charge of your kids and he should be in charge of his. I have a hard and fast rule that I never lie to my kids. I've told them things that maybe some would have tried to hide because I believe in the truth always being the best option (since it will likely come out anyway and then you will have destroyed your own child's trust in you). I don't like secrets and this could be because there are so many secrets in my own family of origin. But you can't force husband to be upfront with his daughter. I'd let him deal with her, but I'd tell MY kids the truth.

    husband is a grown man of 47. I had to deal with my dysfunctional family too, but I pretty much resolved it by 35. Hub really does need to comes to terms already with his mother and other extended relatives. I know from experience that not coming to terms with it can affect how you relate to everyone else, even if you don't want to believe so. I hope he has a change for heart.

    You are doing the right thing.
  20. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Thank you, the therapist says the school needs to know because long term residential care could be funded by the school district and perhaps even by the criminal justice system.

    The people at the school already sit around and talk about husband and me like dirt because difficult child goes to school and talks contually about how we 'torture' him, abuse him, starve him, bully him, etc... In fact it was so bad, the staff was treating daughter oddly (fortunately district lines were redrawn and next year she's going to a new and better school, one difficult child has never stepped foot in--yay!).

    In dysfunctional families image control and information control is crucial. husband still does that. If you clean up the rat poop continually and quickly and then lie about it, of course there isn't a rat living in your pantry. There's a lot that difficult child has done that husband has hidden from me and lied about, and truthfully there's a lot I know he's done I haven't bothered to tell husband because it seems like picking on difficult child or seems trivial or might not be believable.

    For example, about a week and a half ago I went to get difficult child for dinner and he was lying on his bed. "Dinner". difficult child sat up and said a bunch of gibberish, disjointed syllabols with a couple of words thrown in. Two of the words were 'sister' and 'door'.

    I said: "What?"

    He said: "What? What!" but he wasn't mocking me. He was saying it in query like I was.

    I said: "What did you say?" and looked into a blank unseeing face. As I watched him, he 'came to', focused and after a few long seconds said: "I don't know what I said." But I could tell he felt 'caught' and was maybe a little embarassed.

    If I told husband, he'd say, I was making too much out of it, I don't like difficult child, why don't I leave him alone and not 'interrogate' him, difficult child was half asleep and not aware of what he was saying, or just say nothing and wait for the topic to change.

    Or it might have been the edges of a psychosis. (It might have been a half asleep state too). But it was weird, and difficult child didn't like that I caught him at it. (as far as I know he does not talk to himself).

    So I said nothing. I would have said something to the therapist had the subject come up, but the therapist had already decided difficult child was very, very disturbed and needed immediate treatment, and the therapist is suspicious about difficult child hearing voices.

    This is very very hard. I have been having waves of intense anger all morning, followed by a sense of freedom.