seeking support (WNC GAL???) as my daughter had suicidal issues, in PRTF now

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by carolinwaxhaw, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. carolinwaxhaw

    carolinwaxhaw New Member

    I have been a member of another parenting group that has disbanded but probably "fit" better in this group. Think I have figured out difficult child - does this equal "Gift from God" and is a euphemism for an adopted child?? If so, I am a single mom (my bio son died on 8/12/04 from a heart attack due to chemo drug for his Stage IV colon cancer; he was not quite 30 years old at the time) I have adopted two daughters from foster care; the oldest one is now 13 and 1/2 years old. She has had some issues with self harm and depression - the first instance was 12/31/10 when she was 12 and texted a friend she was going to "stab (herself) with a knife" and when I learned of this I tok her to a psychiatric. hospital. ER (did not TELL her we were going there - I was panicked, scared she would resist, etc.) and she was hospitalized for 5 days and 6 nights. I never heard "WHY". On 9/17/11 she had a concussion at the first soccer game of the season (note - she had a probable concussion approx age 2 at a new daycare - South Miami Lutheran Preschool - when I picked her up and was given an incident report stating she was found at the bottom of the slide, had slipped through the bars, etc. and they said she was fine and had no had LOC); then Thanksgiving 2005 at Pineville Lake Park, NC she hit her head on parallel bars and vomited in car and taken to ER - no one said she had a concussion or that concussion was even serious but the current therapist (who I love) at the PRTF has gotten research on post-concussive syndrome stating it can cause depression and suicide. My daughter learned about cutting in an adolescent behavioral health ctr as she was given Amantadine (google it - it is bad, I told the neuro concussion expert to check with her psychiatric re: this medication and that is why she got 100 mgs per day and not 200 mgs per day) and she had an attempt (overdose of 25 baby aspirin at school) after a boy terminated their VERY short term relationship) She had 2 attention seeking instances of cutting on her wrist with soft scissors 4 days after discharge; re-admitted to difff. psychiatric unit; then a week or two after that discharge spent the day with us and brought a friend who was supposed to sleep over but got a "better offer" and changed plans and my daughter was then posting on facebook that she was bleeding, etc and I did not know and one of her friends saw and called 911 and back to psychiatric unit; then home for about 2 weeks; cheeking medications!!!!!!! and Friday before New Year's she felt excluded by her TWO BEST FRIENDS and the next night took 6 seroquel and called her friend who called me. Praise God she had cheeked medications for 2 weeks and there were even MORE pills (Celexa and Seroquel) at home that she COULD have taken but did not.. soooo she went to the same psychiatric hospital again and psychiatrist had said at prior discharge if she returned she was moving herself to an out of home placement and even her mother would not be able to stop that (I would not want to stop that as I am terrified that I am inadequate to keep her safe!!!) and the psychiatrist is great and he has been wonderful to deal with. Anyway - PRTF found but could not take her till March 20 so she stayed at hospital till several kids were discharged at once, she felt abandoned, she TRIED to talk with the hospital staff who DID NOT talk with her (my daughter is very low key) and she then tied a shoelace around her neck and walked herself to the nurse's station and I recently learned she had a very brief loss of consciousness. So because of that the psychiatrist had her transferred (a week later) to a state mental hospital and I have been going totally crazy with grief and upsetment through All of this. ANYWAY she spent 5 weeks there and is now at the PRTF and has been there at PRTF since 3/20/12 and is slated to be there thru about August 20th or Sept 20th. She was the 4th child of a cocaine abusing bio mom (no info on bio dad) but she is aware that of the five children - four of them have been placed with the parents of each of their bio dad; and one dad took his son and she is the only one in a non-relative placement. a nurse at the state mental hospital (i absolutely hated that place on several levels) very kindly said - maybe she is the lucky one... aaawww. another nurse there - - who i hated -- said stuff that he was surprised given her history that she had not gotten to the hospital sooner, he implied she needed to be there; he implied it was the best place to have a suicide attempt, and he implied she may be there for the remainder of her life.... none of which was good for me to hear and I did not think ANY of it was appropriate for a psychiatric nurse to tell a parent. My daughter's IQ is about 119; another nurse at the state mental hospital when talking with me about my shock over this and how much my daughter is loved, etc. said - maybe she does not love herself.... which I cannot imagine.

    I have read a few posts here and am comforted that we are not the only family dealing with this repeated stuff!! I cannot bear an out of home placement for her; I do know she is doing relatively well where she is and I CHOSE the place she is at and am somewhat happy - the ONLY thing I liked about the state mental hospital was some of the nurses were kind telling me to call anytime and that no one called about some of their patients; and the only thing I DON'T like about the PRTF is the cottage staff do not seem able to answer the phone Mon-Wed prior to 10 pm..... My daughter's outgoing calls are only 2x per week and are Thurs/Sat and I see her on the weekend but she is 2.5 hours away (one way) and I go up on Friday for family therapy and go back usually on Sunday for the day. She's able to go out on pass with us for about 7 hours at a time but NOT back home yet. Her friends and relationships with her peers are "triggers."

    Soooooo - - (also my younger daughter is 9 - their bdays are 11/10/98 and 11/11/02 --- 4 years and 1 day apart and they are not biologically related),

    I would love to have some feedback from anyone, everyone; there was a post on here that I cannot find - i went through too fast, and think it is a few years ago about a family who's child was placed in Missouri (??) not sure of the state and the facility had a book written about it. if ANYONE is familiar with that post and that place and that book, please let me know,

    I don't know how some of you do this. I am trying to get my courage back - - if I did not mention this I am an older (56) single adoptive mom and do not have family here in NC and do not have close family anyway--grateful we have nice neighbors. I am very religious and trying to make sure we go to church more frequently; trying to go to a local parent support group - - on top of EVERYTHING I lost my job on 3/21/12 (the day after she was admitted to the PRTF!!!) and it is hard to get a job as the last offer I was made was rescinded when I told them I had to go to the PRTF 1x per week for now....

    I references WNC Gal as it looks like one of her posts shows she has been through similar stuff with her daughter I really like the new therapist -- they seem to be progressive with DBT, EAGALA (now my daughter thinks this is stupid but it has been tremendously effective with me) and they have EMDR (have not done that with my daughter yet) and she believes a lot of my daughter's problems are post-concussion syndrome.....

    Would love to hear from all of you, Grateful for your feedback and support and hope I can support someone too (what is horrific is I was a telephone crisis counselor at Switchboard of Miami about 27 years ago......)


  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi... don't have much advice but... I can explain this one:
    First half is correct, but it applies to every difficult child... all of our "challenging kids" (to put it mildly).
    There are, however, quite a few adoptive parents on this board... who will be more familiar with your situation.
  3. chloedancer

    chloedancer New Member

    Hello! How old was your daughter when she was placed with you?
  4. carolinwaxhaw

    carolinwaxhaw New Member

    She was 9 days old; had low muscle tone and developmental delays BUT had phys therapy 2x per week for 12 months from 3 - 15 months of age. No matter what - she is the best blessing I have ever had - she is my whole life and that is pathetic in a way because I do not want to be co-dependent....but she is the best part of my life, She has ALWAYS been a mommy's girl until about 16 months ago!!! sigh!!! she slept in her own room for awhile but ended up in my room - - probably due to the move from Fla to NC - - and both of them have ended up sleeping with me - primarily because IF i could get them to sleep in their own rooms they would get up in the middle of the night to come to mine. since we have a 2 story house it makes me REALLY nervous to think of that and just easier to have them start and stay with me. PS - I believe difficult child is gift from God - but what is easy child???

  5. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Hi wanted to welcome you. Sorry I don't have more experience dealing with suicide. difficult child 1 says he will but never follows through. He has been placed out of home for the safety of others, but he is back now. It is very hard to have your child out of home.

    easy child is perfect child. (They are often far from perfect, but that is how the difficult children think of them.)
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Caroline. I am also from NC and my son spent quite a while in the old state hospital that is or has been shut down in Raleigh....Dix. He also went to their PRTF there. Are you dealing with Butner? I have never had any dealings with them but I believe they have built on to that place in order take in the patients from Dix. I was a bit worried when my son ended up at the state hospital but in another way I was also just so relieved because in this state you have to work your way up to a locked facility and I had tried desperately to convince someone he needed on and that was the only way we got one. We never had any real problems there. Sure some minor ones but nothing major.

    I dont think my son is anywhere near as severe as your daughter though. Still, I would put my son in the state hospital again and my son doesnt regret his time there. Actually my son looks back on all his treatment during his teens as something we had to do because he was so completely out of control and we had no choice. He realizes we did the best we could given the way he behaved. He doesnt blame us at all. Thankfully because I really worried that he would hate us for having him out of the home for most of his teen years.
  7. carolinwaxhaw

    carolinwaxhaw New Member

    Hi Liahona: Thanks for the welcome. Why was difficult child 1 placed out of your home and for how long (if I may ask)? If difficult child 1 threatens suicide, please take him seriously. Statistically boys have more completed suicide attempts than girls do. Wow - I would love to have a easy child!!! Actually I always thought my son and both my daughters were Perfect children - - to me!!!

    Thanks for your welcome and support - - it is really really hard to have your child out of home - - my difficult child 1 has been gone about 165 days....

  8. carolinwaxhaw

    carolinwaxhaw New Member

    Hi Janet: Thanks for your response. What you wrote about your son looking back on his treatment is beautiful. (We are slightly south of Charlotte and she was at Broughton (in Morganton) and I HATED Broughton!!!) I went to a Parent Voice (Mental Health Assoc support group) and one of the moms said her son had a suicide attempt and was admitted to a PRTF and now thanked her for saving his life and that is what keeps me going! I just pray my daughter will get through this - - one of the horrible things of all of this is that my daughter is a GREAT GIRL - she is an athlete, she has a high IQ, she is smart, she is VERY loving and has always been a Mommy's girl and unfortunately being in the psychiatric hospitals etc she has PICKED UP a lot of horrific stuff and heard awful life stories - - to the point that one day she told me (after some group session) - "Mommy, I didn't have a bad childhood" aaawwwwww. I love her so much and believe the bulk of the problem is that she feels a very deep wound of rejection from her bio family (she is aware that of the five known children of her birth mom that NONE of them live with the birth mom and 3 of them went to the parents of their separate fathers; one of them went to his bio father; and my daughter is the ONLY ONE who did not have a dad come forward and did not have paternal grandparents who took placement of of the nurses at Broughton said - - maybe she is the lucky one - - which is a nice way of looking at it but it is probably not my daughter's way of looking at it... (How long was your son at Dorothea Dix?) My daughter was at Presbyterian's Adolescent Unit in Charlotte and picked up on behavior of the other patients and learned a lot of horrible stuff from them. When about 7 kids were being discharged over a 2 day period my daughter TRIED to talk with the staff about her feelings and no one would really talk with her!!!! (I am very very upset about this) and she took a shoelace from her sneakers and put it around her neck and then walked herself to the nurse's station. PRAISE GOD! Anyway it was that incident which caused the psychiatrist to have her transferred to Broughton for a "higher level of care" but I expected a real therapeutic breakthrough at Broughton and was very disappointed it did not happen. I am grateful they kept her safe and diagnosed her with a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - - she was there approx 5 weeks before being admitted to the PRTF where she is now and where I feel she is making progress. She was expected to be at this PRTF for 6 months (March 20-Sept 20)/

    Anyway, Janet, thanks for your response -- would love to hear more from you.

  9. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    difficult child 1 was at a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for 1 year almost exactly. He was placed because of aggression towards his siblings and at school. He would hurt them right in front of me and would be so fast I couldn't stop him. He had 5 adults in his classroom and they still couldn't get him to work. Then he started hitting aides and tipped over a desk. He has threatened suicide since he was 5. Its mostly to get out of work. Sometimes its because I'm giving him a consequence he doesn't like. Its a manipulation tactic. I do increase my watching him when he says those things. The more attention I give him about it the more he says it. Now he only says it a few times a month.

    Can't remember if I've already told you this, but just because she is out of your home doesn't mean you aren't in charge of her care. You are still mom. You just have to live in different places right now.
  10. carolinwaxhaw

    carolinwaxhaw New Member

    Wow - 6 kids, 1 on the way, and so many issues with your 12 year old! how do you do it???

    Yes - she is still my daughter. the ONLY thing I liked about Broughton was I could call practically ANY TIME. The ONLY thing I don't like about the PRTF is that she can only call out 2 days per week (her days are Thursday and Saturday) and I can call her and they will facilitate a 5 min return call - - IF they actually answer the phone when I call..... I get a weekly report on her behavior update from her case mgr which is nice but I miss her so much and like to be able to get an update daily and ALSO talk with her daily.

    It is so depressing to live through this. I can go 4 days without crying and then - BOOM. Everyone says I need some therapy - duh.... but who wouldn't cry in my situation. My daughter is not at home.....She tried to hurt herself.... Everything is hard, trying to get providers lined up for when she gets out, trying to decide where she will go to school (thinking of homeschooling her!!! as I am unemployed now),trying to make decisions - the managed care people for medicaid are recommending step down to Level 3 Group Home or Level 2 Therapeutic Foster home for her and also that she have Intensive In Home come out for therapy for 6 months or so and I don't like any of their ideas actually!!! my younger daughter and I are driving out there tomorrow a.m. for CFT and then fam therapy and then we are staying at a friend's house through sometime Monday so we will be able to see her for FOUR days in a row!

    Anyway - grateful for your support. All the best!

  11. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I don't do everything I should. I mostly go from one crisis to the next, but the kids seem to be happy and doing o.k. Right now they are puddle jumping and running through the sprinklers.

    Are they talking of releasing your daughter? How soon? They didn't do any other placements between the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and home for difficult child 1. Maybe that is why his stay was a year. Has she changed? Can you tell that she has changed? Is she on medications now? Why do they think that now she won't try to kill herself?

    Grief is such an on going part of our lives. Our kids just take a different road than anyone else we know and we aren't prepared for it. Have you read the Welcome to Holland paper? In case you haven't here is a link I'm sorry but at least for me the there are still days I start crying for no reason others can see.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If they are offering those services, take them because those are as rare as hens teeth at this point in time.

    My son was at Dix for almost 9 months all total. He went in to the psychiatric hospital for about a month and then transferred to the prtf for the rest of the time. Im lucky that he did this all voluntarily because I could have had to fight him with going to court every 30-45 days and have the judge keep deciding if he was still bad enough to continue with this care but my son knew me well enough that had he blown this chance, I would have killed him. I had been trying to get him into a locked facility for almost 4 years at that point and I think I would have rung his neck.

    He had been in so many group homes by that time it wasnt funny. He would get to one and run back home within days. His caseworkers kept trying to move him further and further away from my house but still in their territory and it was getting to be a game for him. I was fed up. His entire teen years I kept his clothes in a hefty bag. It was bad.

    Now Cory says it was just him. He doesnt know why he was like that. He was just so impulsive and he wanted what he wanted and he was going to get it no matter what.
  13. carolinwaxhaw

    carolinwaxhaw New Member

    Hi Liahona: Well her stay at the PRTF was approx 6 months - release approx Sept 20, 2012. I had a conf call with the managed care people for NC Medicaid and they are talking "step down" to Level III Group Home; Level II Therapeutic Foster Home, etc, etc What I would like is to (A) find a job that I can do in my "free" time from home; (B) have her return home when she is "ready" (C)am thinking of homeschooling her for the first year (8th grade) and saying you have had a rough year and need to transition back home, etc. and that Level 3 and Level 4 are out there and offer her the OPTION to get her feedback (tell her she is NOT making the decision!!!) to homeschool and live at home. She has wanted to return to her school BUT verbalized she was nervous about that. I am BEYOND nervous since she's had two suicide attempts and expressions (total) at the school last year. I am also contemplating having her in private Christian school instead of our public school. (And OH YES - I am STILL her mom and I am the mom who calls the PRTF ALL the time). It is heartbreaking about my daughter because in so many ways she just does not seem like she should be there...sort of a "little girl lost" kind of thing but she can manipulate me, that is for sure, Yes she is on medications (40 mg Celexa in am; 100 mg Lamictal in pm; and 50 mg Seroquel in pm for sleep and also Seroquel is a prn for anxiety). I don't think anyone thinks she won't attempt to hurt herself but she progressed to Level III (there are 7 levels at the PRTF) and they are working with her. She is very very reluctant to express her feelings and I have written two really beautiful letters for her (therapist only gave her one thus far as the second had my "grief" re: her friendships and potential to harm herself). Oh yes, I am crying frequently - today was the last day of our four day visit with her and i just (in the am) was crying all morning before going to the PRTF and crying just thinking about having to leave her there; then I started crying (to myself) mid-afternoon just looking at them and wondering if this was going to be the last time... i don't know what i have - depression? severe depression??? i am such a mess - i am grateful I lost my job as I can focus more on this and what I can do for her. Anyway - my letters are about therapy and explaining how therapists are compassionate, how they are caring, they have the same goal she has, their JOB is to help her reach her goal and have a better life; etc etc etc and empathizing how hard it is for my difficult child 1 to express feelings - - it was really a great letter; much more to it than this. My difficult child 2 and I went up Friday am for family therapy, stayed in a friend's house (no ac, no tv, no internet!!!!) and semi-house sat their donkey, goat, min. horse, and house cat!!!! but we did not have to pay for a hotel - - which I can't do. have a neighbor who has used his points and given us a hotel room and offered to do it again so am planning for that too in a few weeks.

    As to her - when we went back to PRTF after pass today they checked her (as they ALWAYS do) and I am so sad and depressed that she had a wooden golf tee somewhere in her clothes. I was not watching her unroll pants, shoes, socks and was focusing on other stuff as they did this with her and checked her in. I am praying she "forgot" but there is no good reason for her to have a wooden golf tee in her pants!!! (we did golf at the PRTF but she should NOT, of course, put something sharp in her pockets, etc and she KNOWS this......)


  14. carolinwaxhaw

    carolinwaxhaw New Member

    Oh - PS - also the managed care people are talking about "in home intensive" and we had a TERRIBLE experience with this previously. The therapist came for "intake" the day after my daughter was discharged but we did not get the first appointment for THIRTEEN DAYS!!!!! ridiculous - and I called and followed up by email etc and the #$0#$&(@*()@ therapist kept saying - oh, she's fine (because my daughter was socializing with her friends and it was near Christmas). AAARRRGGGGHHH

    Anyway - what I want since my daughter has a hard time making a connection with therapist after therapist, is I want the psychiatrist to write a prescription for therapy 4x per week; I want her to STAY in therapy 2x per week with the therapist at the PRTF; I want her to start therapy 2x per week with a local therapist here. I told managed care that if we select someone here and I take my daughter that is just 50% of it - - and effectively she will not be getting ANY therapy if she is not able to WORK in therapy with a new therapist for several months and it is just too much risk!!! She is smart, talented, an athlete and I can't take much risk.... i want what no one can give me - a guarantee.....

  15. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    It sounds like you have a plan. What do the PRTF people think of it? I hope they are open to what you feel she needs. I'm impressed that they do have supports for when she comes out. The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) here didn't. It was a shock that they expected a child to go from such a structured environment to completely unstructured and be o.k. Sometimes kids need a transition plan.

    difficult child 1 also doesn't open up well to therapists. I haven't found a way around that. Funny, I don't open up well to therapists either. Its a trust issue. Maybe by Sep. she'll have started to open up.

    Good luck with finding the job. There are a few other moms here that can't have a job out of the home because of the kids.