The knot is now frayed....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Mouseofthehouse, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. Mouseofthehouse

    Mouseofthehouse New Member


    First I want to thank all of the people that have posted answers and suggestions, without your experiences I do not know what I would have done to prepare and educate myself and my family. Thank you.

    My son M started having problems at about 14 when he ran away because he was "mad" at his father and I. He was brought home and behavior was discussed and it was at that time we kept a closer eye on his school associations and friends. A few months later he was brought home by the police for causing a disturbance at a local restaurant at 2:30 am. He told us he was staying at a friends house for the night. Since then he has been failing all of his classes, being unruly toward his teachers and his parents, skipping class and lying constantly. We took him to the doctor to get help and we just found that he has been smoking and snorting pills including his medication.

    He turned 16 a few weeks ago, and at finding out he could not get a job across town and get emancipated he levied charges against his father and I for abuse and neglect and also his brother who lives with us. He states he is suicidal, has a history of cutting and substance abuse, and does not want to come home. He is currently in inpatient treatment acting as if nothing is wrong and telling the therapist all sorts of things. The charges against all of us were false and the criminal case has been closed. We have tried everything we can think of therapy, medication and now inpatient. We have no family that will take him in and all he wants to do is go live with his school friends who are dropping out and getting emancipated themselves.

    He returns home on Tuesday and I am terrified he will either commit suicide or runaway or levy more charges on us and his brother. His brother is moving out and when he was confronted with the information the therapist asked if that would make him feel safer at home, he said I don't know.

    We love him very much, are not abusive and don't even drink. I am at a serious loss as to what will actually help my child as this is seriously taking a toll on my mental and physical health as well as my employment. I do not want to give up on my child but it seems as if he will do anything to get what he wants, without any regard to what damages anyone or anything else. At what point in time do you start to consider your well being and that of the rest of the family? Sorry this is so long but I am desperate to find an answer that will help both of us. Thank you.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Because of the holiday not many people are here. They will return tomorrow, I feel certain.

    You find yourselves in a terrible situation but you don't need me to tell you that. A couple of questions: With his brother leaving are there are other minor children in your household? His charges of abuse brought about system involvement. Has there been any mention of a therapeutic foster home?

    There will be discharge planners at the facility that will evaluate options. They will need to speak to you. You can be involved in the decision making process.

    His history of cutting and suicidal ideation put him at risk. It seems irresponsible to place him back in the situation that he has identified as a trigger, namely back home. This is not to infer that there is anything in your home that is harmful or wrong or that presents a risk. But it seems he is so hellbent in getting his way, that there is a big risk in testing him. His judgment and his impulse control seem very poor. Why would you go there?

    Yes. He could be attempting to manipulate the system by threats. But the threats could also be real. This is really a psychiatric decision. The psychologist and psychiatrists can evaluate whether this is a probable manipulation, i.e. instrumental, or a potentially dangerous situation.

    I think the first thing to do is to try to stay out of the (mental and otherwise) conversation about you as parents, and the suitability of your home and family. Why play on his court? His thinking and conduct, let alone emotional state, are disturbed. Rather, I would try to think about what would best protect him and protect you, and that would be (to my way of thinking) anything but to bring him home.

    Clearly, he is not suitable for emancipation. To me, options that some parents might consider would be Job Corps, a therapeutic foster home, continued residential treatment if insurance will pay, to see if they can get through to him, or even surrendering parental rights, so that he could be placed in a therapeutic facility until he ages out. I am not saying that any one of these is the right answer, or even a good fit for your son. Just that they are options that some parents take, in your situation, rather than bring their child home.

    Job Corps if you are unfamiliar with it, is a federally funded jobs program that is residential. It is free. Room, board and supervision is included. The trainings are good. Residents complete high school, get drug treatment, and complete trainings. My son went. I thought it was stellar. It is located all over the country.

    Some parents do not share the same favorable view. The participants are typically poor or disadvantaged, and minority. They may come from gang environments. So there is that to consider. They do take kids with disabilities, and those with behavioral and emotional problems.

    The way I am seeing your situation is this: While I would NOT want to trigger him at this point, by no means would I give into what he wants. You are his parents. How could you decide in a way that would be contrary to what is in his long-term interests? To me, it is never the right thing to cave (although I do it). But that does not mean he should be with you. Let me say here something in an aside. Except for the emancipation idea, I would try to give my son what he would want, within the possible available options....Except to come home, should he change his mind, at least in the short run.

    But I do not think I would be the one to present the options to him. Rather I would have the therapist/social worker/discharge planner at the facility where he currently resides, present him with the options, whatever they may be, and help him work through the possibilities, if indeed there is a choice. Actually, it may come down to only one possibility. Our kids get themselves so cornered by their behavior, that more often than not, there is only one way to go forward. They have blown up the possibility of choice.

    While you are his parents, what he has done for now puts you outside of the equation, in my way of thinking. By falsely accusing you he has not only demonstrated he is willing to destroy you. He has nullified any direct parental role that you can have, for the time being.

    It is for this reason I would let the professionals deal with him, and go to an attorney to discuss options, if you decide that his coming home for now, is not an option.

    The fact that he could be dangerous right now is the elephant in the living room (dangerous to himself and to you). He has acted in such a way that is highly destructive. He may not understand betrayal, and he may not understand the implications and consequences of what he is doing. But you cannot ignore what he has done, in my view. What will he do next? Nothing can be ruled out.

    If it were me I would consider getting a family attorney ASAP, and discuss options. I would find out your grounds for refusing to accept him back in the home, on the basis that it would psychologically trigger him. He is suicidal and self-harming, and you fear that he would follow through with his threat. Needless to say, EVERY SINGLE THING SHOULD BE IN WRITING. I would want every single thing CCed to Child Welfare, if it were me. Everybody needs to know that they, not you, bear the risk by forcing the issue, forcing his hand, should they force him home.

    There have been several children and their families in this situation of late. Unfortunately.

    That's my take, from afar. I am unqualified to give advise. I can only say what I think I might consider if I found myself in your shoes. I would get myself to an attorney.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  3. overcome mom

    overcome mom Member

    My son also was in a treatment facility at about the same age. Did they not have a discharge plan? Have you been able to talk with the therapist and tell him/her of your concerns? If not I would try to talk with someone tomorrow. At the very least they should give you some numbers to call if you start to have problems. Before my son was released we talked with him and the therapist and made some basic rules that he had to follow. It was helpful to do it in that environment. You can only do what you can do. You can't be there every second of the day. If he runs report him as gone, if he talks of hurting himself call the police/mental health agency. That is all you can do. I have been where you are and nothing worked. He has to decide that he wants a different life. Right now he is young and thinks he knows it all. In addition it sounds as if he has a drug problem. It's terribly hard but it sounds like you have done what you can do.
    Of course there is NO WAY they are going to emancipate him. Have him look up who gets emancipated and it is someone who is going to school and who can support themselves and who does not have a criminal record. Maybe you can tell him he can work on getting emancipated but will need to go back to school and get a job. That is what the judge will be looking for when he goes to court. Good luck keep us posted.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  4. Mouseofthehouse

    Mouseofthehouse New Member

    I called the therapist that is working with M this morning and tried to discuss my concerns with his discharge. It was almost like they wrote it off siting that he has not been violent since he has been there and things were better after the family therapy session. M feels better knowing his brother will be out of the house apparently. They do not see that he will do anything to get out and my fear is he has a plan after he gets released.

    There are no other children in the house and I did look at the Job Corp website but they do not take children with behavioral problems apparently. The therapist I spoke with stated that it is hard to have him transferred to a residential facility due to insurance and that the discharge had already been extended once, so they have to release him.

    An attorney is out of the question as we are dirt poor and cannot afford one. We are running out of time and my only hope is the CPS worker that is coming tonight. Hopefully she can give me some insight and a direction in which to go. Thank you for your nonjudgmental comments and suggestions, it makes me feel that I am less of a failure and that there is a little hope.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Job Corp takes kids with issues, behavioral and otherwise. My son went. It might be something to work towards. It might give your son the independence he craves, with supervision.

    Glad you are speaking with child welfare.

    There are Pro Bono lawyers who will speak to you for free. In my town at superior court there is a free attorney available. There should be something similar near you. That would be a start to clarify your responsibilities and rights. The attorney could tell you about other resources.

    If it was me I'd consider going to a 12 step group like AA or Al Anon for support. I do. You're going thru something hard. Nobody could do this alone. Or should.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    It is so very very hard when they are minors. I found this site when my son was diagnosed with "Conduct Disorder" at age 15. Little did I know then that was the beginning of seven years of darkness for our family. We did not know what was happening. Honestly.

    It's a long story as most here are, but he was self destructing and did not care what happened to him at all. He was brought up in a lovely home with two working parents and two older brothers. We weren't perfect but we had a good life. He was the baby. He had a great life!

    Our son is on the mend now and has grown up a lot. As you can see by my signature, it has been a long and treacherous road for us.

    Honestly if I had it to do over I probably would have immediately put him in military school. My coworker actually just did this with her 13 year old son because of what we went through - she says. She was so afraid and I get that. I see that you said you cannot afford an attorney so military school is probably not an option as it is very expensive. I would look into some of Copa's suggestions. I did not know of any of those at the time our son was running amok.

    Is he being discharged today and if so where will he go? How old is your other son?