Residential Treatment Center (RTC) down the road ...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    husband and I are coming close to the end of the line with-difficult child. We have all made so much progress, but we are all exhausted.
    difficult child will be going to public school soon, and that will help him immensely, but right now, husband and I need help.
    I lost my temper with-difficult child Mon while trying to help him with-math. I tried to call one of his school friends for clarification and he blew up. He spazzes out when I call his school friends. I don't know why.
    Long story short, I was his trigger, and he went after me. I tried to get out the door and he blocked my way. I elbowed him in the ribs and he wrestled me onto the couch. He had a hold of my shoulders and I had a panic attack as he loomed over me. I scratched his neck. He just wouldn't let me go. He did not want me to call the police, and the more I screamed and cried, the tighter he held me. I finally ended up in the bathroom with-my coat and cell phone and never did call the police.
    Today I saw my therapist (haven't been in months) and gave her an update. She didn't like that fact that I now have two sprained wrists from difficult child's assault and that he is still blowing up, even if it's few and far between.
    We have no respite in this area. She said that I've been looking at private biz and need to check out Soc. Svcs. I reminded her that the state just cut funding and she said to call anyway.
    I really want difficult child to move out but the places I checked were $75,000 and $45,000. She again said those were private and I should be able to find something else.
    I told her that I hadn't heard good things about state facilities (I know some of you have had good luck, but some have not), and I don't want difficult child going somewhere where the kids have all been in jail, and he's probably the only one where the parents have been proactive. She said right now, it's more about husband and me--we can't cope with-difficult child on a daily basis. Period.

    IOW, she changed the perspective.
    d*G, it would feel so good to have difficult child live somewhere else for a yr or two. We could still do holidays, but the day-to-day stress would be gone.

    I just bought a new mattress because the old one smelled of urine. We replace his mattress about once every 2 yrs. Yes, it has a plastic cover for both the box spring and mattress. No frame, it just sits on the floor. But his room always smells. Every single toilet seat smells. He just can't seem to lift the lid. I am always after him to clean up after himself. Sometimes he jumps sky high when he encounters me outside the bathroom door, where I've stood sentry after he has gone in. "Wipe the seat, flush, and wash with-soap and water," I say, like a robot, for the zillionth time.
    He leaves wrappers all over and also puts them in odd places--urns, pots, inside couch cushions.
    He strips to his boxer shorts the min he comes in the house, and sits at the DR table covered with-a huge black comforter over his head like Obi Wan and it's really creepy. Usually he's reading or playing with-one of the cats, so he's actually being pretty good, but just very odd.
    He is so Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with-anything electronic, we have had to splice the TV cord (I hid it and forgot the hiding place 2 wks ago), put locks on easy child's and my door, and physically remove her hard drive and case when she's away at school. difficult child has ruined 5 screwdrivers breaking into her room and my office, and I found another screwdriver today but confronted him with-it b4 he ruined it. I take my mouse with-me when I leave the house. He figured out how to get past my security.
    (by the way, he flunked 4 classes this semester but got an A in computer. Too bad it's not a core class.)
    He follows me within 1/2"--literally, we bump into one another--and repeats everything a million times and I can't stand being enclosed and confined and followed all the time. I have talked to him repeatedly about how I don't like it, but I have to have "the talk" several times a week.
    on the other hand, if I invade his space--d*G forbid I knock on his door while he's reading--he snarls at me and tells me to go away.
    He brushes his teeth once or twice a week no matter how much I remind him or try to keep our routine. He showers maybe twice a week and has incredible BO. husband occasionally reminds him, and he minds husband better.

    I am just sick, sick, sick of living in a dysfunctional household.:whiteflag: It's my house and I want it back.

    Yesterday we met with-the private school resource dir, and the soc wkr, psychologist, and IEP dir at the local public middle school. (I called the mtng) It went very, very well. But the private school resource dir just about fell off her chair when husband said he wanted to plan ahead for next fall. :ashamed: I said I was thinking of moving him over the holidays. difficult child has 4 F's, for Pete's sake! He's missed 15 days of school. They've basically put a 540 in place (don't know what that is, but the public school staff was impressed) and it's not working.

    They all agreed that difficult child has high anxiety when it comes to certain classes, and that we should ask him what he wants to get out of public school if he is moved. They said it would empower him.
    We never talked to him because easy child came into town last night and I made a nice, big dinner.

    I haven't talked to husband about the therapist's comments, either. We went out to dinner and he made me promise not to talk about difficult child tonight. But we have GOT to do something. There is an elephant in the LR and he is a passed master at ignoring it.

    by the way, difficult child wrote me a nice, guilt-provoking apology (he said he knew I was searching online for places to send him and he knew he wasn't the perfect child I wanted:anxious::sad-very:) and asked me to cuddle last night. I rubbed his shoulders for a few min but it hurt my wrists to do it for very long.

    The therapist asked me if I had told him that I love him, since the assault Mon. I burst into tears and said, "How can I tell him I love him when I'm still afraid and angry and hate him and love him at the same time?"
    She said she'll help me find a respite worker or a place to send him, but reminded me that he is not doing this on purpose.
    I know, but I am not in a place where I can handle it whether it's on purpose or not.

    I left the session with-some good ideas, one of which was to avail myself of the almost 4 acres we have. (She used the word "assault" to describe what happened with-difficult child and I hadn't thought of it in those terms, and she said I needed time to heal, do deep breathing, etc.) I bundled up in coat, hat, scarf and rain boots, grabbed an old rug, and sat outside on a path where no one could see me. I literally just sat there. I didn't tell difficult child or husband where I was going because I did not want company. (I suppose I could have left a note that said I went for a walk, but I just wanted out... yes, they were worried when I got back.) It was SO NICE. The rain finally stopped and the sun was setting and it was gorgeous.

    I hired a math tutor and she came over today for an hour.

    I'm going to call our local Soc. Svcs, and the YMCA, and see if difficult child can be picked up directly at school so I can have the entire day to myself, and just see him at dinner and bedtime.

    One step at a time.

    Deep breath.

    Sorry this was so long.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First off hugs. I can understand how stressful and never ending this is. I hope you are able to find something in the public domain that will work for your difficult child. I am so sorry to hear about your wrists. I'm the last one to be offering advice but I think you are headed in the right direction thinking about an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Wish I had more to offer, you are in my prayers.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator


    I'm sorry things have gotten so very bad. I can understand your concerns about an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) but the situation is escalating. {{{Hugs}}}
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    If you're looking for the quickest (which is not quick) and easiesst (which is not easy) way to get him placed in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in VA without footing the entire bill yourself, shoot for the school placing him thru an IEP (504 won't do much- it's not legally binding) or get him involved thru Children Services Board (CSB)- usually that means changing all his mental health care over to your county's public mental health dept. (I'm not saying these are good providers, just that this is the path to Residential Treatment Center (RTC)). I hate to break this to you, but most kids in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) will have had some exposure to Department of Juvenile Justice but not much or else they would be in a Department of Juvenile Justice facility. I can give you the name of two good Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s that were resommended to me if you want them- just let me know and I'll PM them. But I think you really need to understand- this isnn't boarding school where kids are great and will be mentors for your son. They are kids who have exhibited problemtaic behavior- just like your son and some might be worse.

    I have done TONS of research on how VA agencies work to "help" high-risks juveniles. They also have a "parental placement" option now that's only been in effect for about a year. It allows you to keep parental rights but temporarily place your child in a different place- like a foster care or Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Stll though, Residential Treatment Center (RTC) won't work unnless one of the five public agencies recommend Residential Treatment Center (RTC).
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Looking back, I can remember back to when Cory was about 10 years old and we knew things were really beginning to spiral out of control. He hadnt done anything really bad yet but all the therapy that we had tried was getting no where and all the doctors were sitting around scratching their collective heads. They sent him up to UNC Chapel his to some psychopharmacologist who basically just said he was treatment resistant and sent us back home with no recommendations for help. Oddly enough, that wasnt going to be the last time I heard that

    Corys first individual therapist when he was 9/10 years old was a saint of a woman but she got to the end of her rope with him. She simply couldnt figure out how to help him and it was killing her. He really was the sweetest and funniest little kid with these huge problems. She finally found this wilderness camp that agreed to accept Cory and once they accepted him and put him on the waiting list, she retired from being a Cory wore her out! Not the last one he did either. This wilderness camp was run through the baptist childrens homes so you might check your state for something similar. It was very well run.

    Cory did well there and loved it and was well liked by all. He just didnt progress. LOL.. Treatment resistant again. Came home after 16 months for non progress. Not bad behavior, just didnt make any marked improvement.

    Next we started the ball rolling on group homes after some rather interesting stuff happened to send him to his first psychiatric hospital. Some group homes were good, some not so good. He didnt stay in any for long because he ran home constantly. I kept sending him back though.

    Really...if you can find anything through Lutheran services or baptist childrens...I would try there. They are really good agencies.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wait...ohhh..your in VA...Methodist Childrens in Richmond!
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you!
    Yes, Klmno, that's what I'm worried about. Sigh.
    We'll get him into the YMCA or something first, and then I'll work on the long term.
    He's been very good today--vaccumed the whole house. Of course, he wants to get a music CD and has been following me around all morning, harassing me about that. NOT going to happen!
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not



    I am so sorry to hear that you find yourself living this way--in fear of your own son.

    And yes, it's hard to see through your "Mommy Goggles" that when he attacks you it is an "assault"--a crime. If he had done that to a woman on the street, he would have been arrested for it.

    I hope you can find something sounds like you have more avenues to pursue in your area than in hopefully it won't be too much longer.

    Keeping your family in my thoughts...

  9. ML

    ML Guest

    All I can say is that I don't think I know of anyone, in real life or cyberland, that has tried harder and done more for their child than you have. Whatever happens, I admire your dedication and devotion to your son. I support whatever decisions you have to make. Hugs, ML
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Whatever you choose it is going to hurt and you are going to have guilt or anger over.
    One choice will make your life worse in one way and vice versa.
    But which will possibly help him in the long run while helping the family as a whole forever? (Hopefully forever)
    You have to try and take the guilt and Mommy hurt out of the picture for a time and trust yourself. You know him and yourself, keep looking and talking to everyone.
    The answer will reveal itself.
    Not an easy choice, no matter what.

    I am sorry you are living like this. I am at the point where I can barely handle K any more, It is pretty frustrating when your kids can and will hurt you.
    ***I feel for you with the no clothes or partially clothed kid!!! I just had to chase K around the house with a pair of shorts. Nothing like a maturing 8yo who loves to run around in just her underwear that are falling off half of the time. Especially when she is "discovering" her body!!!!
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Terry, since he's not on probation or involved in the courts, if you get the public mental health involved now, he would qualify for in home services, a therapuetic mentor, etc., that is not just behavior-oriented by profs who are just used to dealing with Department of Juvenile Justice issues. IOW- you could get in-home services that aren't MST, wrap-around- a whole host of stuff. You might even have more access or get help paying for some stuff because he's adopted. (The pool of money they have access to allows all kinds of mental health services; Department of Juvenile Justice funding only covers services that address delinquency-ie, CD so it is all behavior mod and nothing else.)

    I think you are in a very good position, given the constraints of this state's policies and lack of funding. I wish I had known all this before my son got tied up in the court involvement because that is what limited services to only behavior mod stuff- with court orders hanging over our heads. Well, except that I did start to go down that road but found our county mental health therapist to be a quack.

    Anyway, if you get something going thru your county mental health dept and your son ever ends up with court involvement, the legal people will give weight to what the mental health prof recommends (just like the public sd) and services can still be gotten thru that pool of funding as well as Department of Juvenile Justice's. If it's a private therapist or psychiatrist, they don't give as much weight to the recommendation, even if we as parents believe the care is better.

    If you get services recommended thru the mental health dept, they most likely will contract out to private companies- I'm talking services like mentoring, in-home, etc.
  12. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member


    The scene you described sure does bring back memories for me. About a year ago I had such a similar incident with my difficult child. She had trapped me in a room, and I panicked and tried to get out. She "had me," and she knew it. The weird thing is that I have no memory of exactly what that encounter was all about. I do remember that she was determined to get some piece of information out of me, and I was not going to give in. Whether it was worth it, I can't say--since I've blocked out the specifics.

    I fared a bit better than you, with only one sprained wrist, which I learned in the past couple of weeks is going to be a chronic problem for me. I know you need a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in the worst way, but meanwhile, I just don't think you can allow him to do this to you again. I remember finding a corner of my house where I didn't think my younger child would hear me sobbing, and just sitting there crying for what seemed like forever, holding my cell phone, debating whether to call the police. difficult child just taunted while I sat in the corner, talking about how I was exaggerating and misinterpreting the whole incident. Even when I wore a brace for a time afterward, she insisted it was all for show.

    Terry, I think if I had it to do over again, I would have called the police, despite the inconvenience that would have caused me, with missing work (again) for court, etc. I still resent so much that difficult child slid by that one with not a single sting, while I'm now stuck with a bum wrist.

    It's awful to live in fear of your child in your own home. One policeman in particular up here did get "in her face" and scared her enough that just the mention of calling him again backed her off at times, at least temporarily. To say he was furious that I'd had to retreat behind a deadbolt with my other child was an understatement. He told her he'd just decided that she would be his "personal project." I know an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is surely a better approach, but I couldn't get one, and I needed help.

    From what I'm hearing, you're in an eerily similar place.

    I sure hope you can find an answer and that your physical injuries recover completely.

    Meanwhile, I'd be sure to have the phone on my body at all times and would even consider getting a "panic button" to wear, as I did. I never had to use the button, but just having it took my anxiety level down considerably. It was worth every penny.
  13. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry you're hurting, Terry. I have no advice, but sending many soft hugs.
  14. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

  15. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I don't have any advice to add but I agree it sounds like it's past time for residential.

    Hugs to you Terry, I know how much you have poured into this kiddo. It's time now to take care of Mom and the family.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.

    And you are absolutely right, Totoro, I am going to have guilt no matter what I do.
    I'm just going to make some plans and move on with it, one way or another.

    EmotBank, that sounds awful. I am so sorry that happened to you. My only silver lining is that instead of taunting me as I cried, difficult child cried that he didn't want me to call the police, and when I opened the door, he was standing there with-an ice pack.
    He knew he had lost control and he was wrong.

    I lost control, too, but I'm the mom and if mom screams at you, tough banannas. (Oh, I didn't forget what started it--it was math. It's always something about homework. Or getting him off the computer.)

    I'm still tired.

    Oh, he did compliment me the other day. He said I was a good cook. :)
    He also gave me an apology card.
    If he can stay remorseful until I put a plan in place, it would be great. (Fingers crossed.)

    P.S. My wrists only hurt if I do certain movements. They are healing nicely. Ice helps.
  17. maril

    maril New Member


    You sound exhausted! I second the suggestions about taking care of you and family. I understand the mom guilt and the uncertainty about placement but think that may pass, especially if your son were to be placed in an environment where he would see progress and, at the same time, you and the rest of the family would have time to rest and regroup.

    There is hope. I would never have imagined a year ago that things could have improved for my son and us but they have.

    Hugs to you and wishes for continued strength to get through this.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Terry, is it maybe time to let difficult child have responsibility for his education? To tell school no more homework? I can see not being willing to step back. I also can see that he probably NEEDS the help to stay caught up and making progress.

    At some point, it really is okay to go to school and tell them that homework is ruining family time. That homework has become such an epic battle that your homelife is more like the battle scenes in Lord of The Rings than anything Norman Rockwell or even Erma Bombeck described.

    When it comes to the point of violence to you, self preservation and difficult child preservation are more important than math homework or lessons.

    Education is very important, but it is NOT more important than physical safety. Be sure the teachers at school know that he is becoming increasingly violent toward you on the homework issue.

    Safety has to come first.
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    SusieStar, if he's going to get kicked out anyway, I'm thinking of telling them that. It's a private school and they've got their rules, but on the other hand, they know he's different.
    Surely, with-an IEP in the public school, we could get it in writing.
    In the meantime, I'm just waiting for the Dec. 7 mtng.
    I'm actually hoping to move him.
  20. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I am so very sorry. My heart aches for you on many levels.
    For one thing, as you know, in many many ways, I can relate.
    Whatever you do, save your sanity, your marriage, your self esteem and your ability to relate to the world in a positive way.
    This is not your fault. Your son has some sort of biological problem. The wiring is haywire.
    We applied for and received social security benefits for our daughter once she became adult at age 19+, but I understand there are ways to apply for children under the age of 18. I would check into those services.
    If your child was adopted through the state, you can inquire about "after care" services.
    Practice utmost self care, nurturing your inner self. Additionally, nurture your relationship with- your husband as much as possible.
    Look to get as much good quality help as possible with reference to the care of your special needs child, including the services of a boarding school.
    Document everything and at some point, you might want to consider hiring an attorney who has experience working with these types of issues. At least make an appointment. to find out what your legal rights are.