Update On difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by phildjb, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. phildjb

    phildjb New Member

    Wow has it been a crazy week...
    difficult child 1's Defense attorney called and lft a msg on Monday wanting the victims (myself and difficult child 2) to say we weren't afraid so that he could be released. Needless to say I did not call him back...
    Tues... defense attorney's assistant called and asked for me...as soon as he identified himself I handed the phone to my husband. When my husband told him that I was not going to sya I wasn't afraid, the assistant threatened to call DCFS on us.
    This got me really fired up and I went straight to the State Attorne'y office and they informed the Defense attorney and the Judge that I was afraid as was difficult child 2 and now he is being held for a minimum of 21 days unitl the case goes to court.
    They are having a psychiatric evaluation done on him and then depending on the outcome possibly placing him in a residential facility to get stablized before he is brought to trial.

    I am hoping and praying that this new year is much better for are family.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Amazing how they are trying to manipulate you to offload your difficult child! I hope the psychiatric evaluation gets him the treatment and care that he needs.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow. Are they allowed to do that? It's so coercive.
    I am so sorry. Stay strong.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh they do it- remember how they tried to get me to take a psychiatric test, agree to some sort of therapy, and bring difficult child back home under the pretense that I had MI that MADE him hold a knife to my neck??

    As bad as this is, I'm glad you could approach it with being scared for him to return home instead of haveing to flat out refuse for him to return because then they can turn him over to DSS for being abandoned/neglected and place him in another home with no treatment, punishment, etc.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I just went back through your old posts to make sure I had a good 'handle' on what has been going on.

    I am amazed that the Defense Attorney is permitted to call you like this, to pressure you. Surely that constitutes harassment of witnesses? Can you get an order requiring the bloke to only approach you through the State Attorney's office? Even for mundane things such as, "difficult child 1 has asked you to provide a replacement toothbrush."

    If you are in fear, and someone representing the person you are afraid of is calling you to pressure you to change your story, then surely that is going to aggravate your fear and add another person to the list of people responsible for traumatising you?

    And on another tack - I'm just about finished reading a book by Australian journalist Anne Deveson, about her son Jonathon's struggle with schizophrenia. Much of her book is a scathing attack on how we (just about every country in the world) handles schizophrenia and also how often the families bear not only the brunt of damage from the person with the disease, but then also cops blame from health professionals whose theories are that this was caused by the home environment.
    I believe that theory is now falling out of favour, but too recently for people to not at some point experience the negative, 'blaming' attitude.
    Her descriptions of her son's medical history as well as his deterioration are harrowing and unfortunately familiar, when I read your story. The problems are - the civil rights laws are interpreted too liberally in favour of the individual, to the detriment of tat individual when what they really need is medical treatment. They are given the right to refuse the very medical treatment that could in many cases save not only their lives, but also lives of others (or at the very least, a lot of pain in others).

    An interesting point made in the book - a longitudinal study done, showed that the majority of people with schizophrenia were able to live a useful, productive, functioning life in society, by the time they were in their 40s or older. It seemed that this disease, which so often begins to manifest in mid-teens, is at its worst during those earlier years when teen rebellion is added to the mix. Not tat the symptoms are caused by teen rebellion, but that it makes it a lot harder to get the teen on-side and say, "It's OK, we know how to help you," especially when early attempts at help are not immediately beneficial. The message the person gets, is tat the family are trying to have him locked up and that they're all out to get him. If the teen is having altered reality and hallucinations, couple this with a belief that his own family is trying to do him harm, and you have a recipe for disaster and a situation where civil rights have to be tempered with, "How do we help save this person?"

    Also too often, civil rights are considered for the person with schizophrenia, at the cost of the family members whose civil rights are being constantly eroded through having to be the only ones left holding the bag (because correction facilities pass the buck to the hospitals, hospitals pass the buck to the family or the psychiatrists; psychiatrists pass the buck back to the family and say, "It's your fault.")

    My understanding from this book, on the best way to cope - you are doing it, by refusing to accept this buck being passed back to you.

    If all that is wrong with your son, is drug addiction (and I know it is a big 'all') then you still need his cooperation to get clean. But if it's schizophrenia as well, coming off drugs is only going to be part of the solution; and again, if it's done without his cooperation, it won't last. The trouble is, he could be clean and off the drugs but still dealing with schizophrenia and all it entails.

    You mentioned that he finds things funny - Anne Deveson's son would giggle all the time apparently over nothing. The form of schizophrenia that was diagnosed apparently features this frequent inappropriate laughter. However despite this, he was consumed by fear - terror. At times he believed his mother was trying to kill him and would randomly attack her. She could get no protection - if she called the police they would say, "We can't get there for a few hours." That happened on one occasion when he was in her kitchen, holding a knife, and saying, "I have to kill you."
    "Sorry, lady, we'll get there as soon as we can but we've got a lot on at the moment. It'll be about four hours."
    Then the police would arrive and refuse to transport him to the hospital because the hospital would refuse to take him - they didn't have enough beds and he was too dangerous. So they would let him go!

    It's really nasty, having to live with this. The longer the family tries to hold things together and pretend there is not a problem, the longer it takes for help to be provided and the greater the risk of someone getting seriously hurt (or worse).

    The long-term prognosis is apparently a lot better than used to be thought. But you have to get there, and get good support in the meantime.

    and you use whatever you can, to get treatment for the person. If you can't get him treated any other way, then prison it has to be.

    Schizophrenia is itself not fully hereditary - there have been cases of identical twins where one has it and the other does not. But if you have a family member with it, your chances are greatly increased.

    Hang in there, stay safe. Protect difficult child 2 - he needs to know you will do your utmost for him. And for his mother.

  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I went and read your other posts also. My heart goes out to you, your husband and esp your other kids. It is so frimpin' HARD to grow up with a sib like that. Have my own gfgbro, and gfgson, so I KNOW. Even I probably do not know half of what your family is going through.

    Be SURE to make a WRITTEN SAFETY PLAN. It needs to include every step the entire family is to do when difficult child is out of control. I know he is not in the home right now. Do it anyway. You may very well be investigated by DCFS - it is not unheard of. We had to have the safety plan or they wanted to take our other 2 kids away!!! ALl because we learned difficult child was trying to kill our daughter and we placed him in a psychiatric hospital (extended, NOT acute care. I have NO faith in or respect for the acute care places. NONE. Heck, most people don't even know that the non-acute care places exist. Even the psychiatrists and tdocs!).

    At the first meeting, when the SW talked to the therapists and nurses she described my son as a "budding hannibal lector". A month later, when she spoke ONLY to him she said all he really needed was 1:1 time with his parents, and our LOVE. It was total manipulation, and she was stupid enough to buy it. (SW lost her job over our case, eventually. Her reports were just too different to be true, and he was too dangerous. She also traumatized our daughter and son (daughter was in 2nd grade and son was just 3.). Everyone who spoke to her ended up filing complaints with her boss because she was just hateful. No other description.)

    Jsut be prepared and sit the entire family down to do a safety plan. Post it by the phones (print it up and have it laminated at Kinko's or wherever then have every family member carry a copy of it with their phone) . It is ALL that saved us from having difficult child come home and CPS take our other kids!

    You are doing ALL the right things. KEEP calling/visiting the state atty every time the defense atty calls you. Refuse completely to let the defense atty or your son speak to the other kids. Tell them to ONLY answer phone calls from people they know. I am SURE difficult child knows their numbers and will use them against the family. Remind the kids that they are NOT crazy, that the family really IS that much worse when he is around.

    Vent here as often as needed. Do whatever helps you all keep whatever sanity you can still grasp. It is an insane process, in my opinion.

    I still have a tough time realizing you are in Florida. Florida has the most draconian drug laws in the US. The state of FL actually put a disabled, wheelchair bound man in PRISON for 25 years for using the pain medications his doctor prescribed!!! His OWN prescription - NOT one he stole! The DEA threatened his doctor until the doctor said the man stole the rx pad. doctor ADMITTED this on the stand, the coercion. And STILL they will not pick up your son for drug charges?

    If he is released at some point (age 18 if nothing else will get him released. They will NOT keep him in jail/custody after age 18. They will release him as "fixed" until he breaks enough laws to be picked up as an adult. But you will be able to change locks and have him arrested for B&E if he breaks in.) you will NEED to do all of this again, sadly. The system is just nuts, esp in FL.

    Just KEEP calling the police.

    I am glad that they picked him up for the assault. I hope you are not terribly injured by the door glass. You could have been killed, as I am SURE you know.

    You might look into the Pain Relief Network (www.painreliefnetwork.org) and find out the case against the man who is still in prison (I think. IF he is out it is VERY recently. The courts ruled he should not have been incarcerated but that they had no jurisdiction to release him and he should beg the Gov for clemency. This was a HUGE legal deal, and the website is still very active as of early Dec...) The case law on this might be useful for the State Atty who may know it, but it won't hurt you to point out the difference between how difficult child is treated and how this man was. Ammo for the state atty to use, in my opinion.

    Many hugs to the family.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It does get sticky when on the one hand, you are the victim and a defense attny is trying to get you to agree to something but on the other hand, you are the parent of the accused juvenile and are suppsed to be involved. In my experience the people in the system expected the parent role to dominate. In your situation though the fact that you have another minor in the home that has been affected by all this should keep you off the hook. After all, if you autoomatically brought difficult child home and the younger one got hurt, they could have your rear in a sling for not protecting the one that got hurt. It seems our system these days concentrates a whole lot more on blaming a parent than dealing with the difficult child. It's cheaper for them, after all.