Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or not to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that is the question...


New Member
When I first came to this site I was a reck.Everyone here has been so supportive and helpful and I want to thank you all!!!!!
When I first found out they wanted to send difficult child to a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) I was a mess. I wanted to do anything I could to "save" him from that, I thought how am I going to see him, how far will it be, how will I get by... Now with him coming home for a 8 hour visit on Sunday I'm a reck again. The stress of this visit is driving me nuts. He tells me when he gets home he wants to this and that, but not one word about spending time with his family (the family who has been there) :grrr: It's still all about him.
it is all about him though. It's all about him getting the help HE needs and the healing of the family left behind. Sometimes just talking to him on the phone is a chore. I just wait to hear the staff in the back round say "times up"
I went from crying and saddness for being away from my son to dreading him coming home for a 8 hour visit. I'm going to let the visit take place to see how it goes, and I'll let you all know. I'm sure all you been there done that parents know how the visit will go and your probably grinning right now :smile:
So I have come to the conclusion not to fight to bring him home, it would not be the right thing to do. He needs to be somewhere where he can miss his family for a while and get help. He needs to realize home wasn't so bad after all. If it works that's great if not he will be 18 in May 2008 he will most likely get fitted for a county suit. He needs to see the path he was on is just a long empty road with no end or at least an end with a sudden stop.


Active Member
tracy the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) may keep him safe from himself. it may cause more problems too. with ant he was in for two yrs. I was sad about that but worn out from being hypervigilant over him and watching his self destruction. it meant 6 hr trips to philadelphia monthly. it meant paying 3000.00 in the form of attached wages. it did not cure him at all. it held him. it finished his high school education.

would I do it again? yes. he was 16 and I was responsible for him for two more yrs. when he got out he was 18. I would no longer be the parent in charge and paying for his shoplifting, his troubles, going to court and having things disrupted every single minute.

ant is still a PITA but at least he does not live with me.


New Member
What you are feeling is normal. You should talk to camom. She posts most of her stuff in pe or substance abuse. You have learned to live a normal life that isn't full of the day to day difficult child goings on. It's called peace and quiet. Many of us have difficult child's who are in Residential Treatment Center (RTC), or have had to leave our homes due to drug abuse, etc. and we all went through what you did when your son first left. You don't know how you will ever survive them not living with you, being so far away, yada yada yada, then once you get used to it, you don't now how you'll ever survive them being in your home again.

Congratulations!! You learned how to detatch.

Set the rules for when he comes to visit and let him know that if he doesn't follow them, he won't be able to visit anymore. He is only going on 18, so he needs sometime to mature. My son just turned 20 and hasn't lived home in almost 2 years. I used to dread him coming to visit and he tried to push the rules when he did, but he soon realized it didn't work with us anymore. He has matured a lot and now his visits are actually pleasant.


Hi Tracy,
my dtr was at an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) when she was 16 and I felt as you do--though I felt the relief the very 1st day when she was safely there and I could leave! I live in NY state and she went to Utah so there weren't a lot of visits but I certainly had mixed feelings about her coming home. Her therapist at her Residential Treatment Center (RTC) set up ground rules for what she could and couldn't do. They made it clear that the reason for coming home was to be with family, not friends. She was not allowed to contact friends the first time she came home. DO NOT LET YOUR SON MAKE THE RULES. You need to be clear on what he can and cannot do and if he doesn't like it too bad.

Good luck!!