1/2 way through 30 day no contact...still not good with this...

Angie - posted on 08/08/2012 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My 14yo son went into residential the end of May after being arrested again; 1st time was last November ...juvenile is involved in my life, children's division are involved in my life, and I would've never thought knowing terms like FST, DFS, DYS, DJO, GAL, and court hearings would be part of parenting my child, nor getting facility approval to celebrate his 15th bday.

After 2 months of little improvement from him, the facility director recommended we have 30 days no contact so he can focus completely on improving his behavior without distraction. Although I whole-heartedly hope this could be the solution, after 2 weeks, he gained his level but lost it because of an incident. And I want to keep hoping and believing, but I have serious concerns about this facility ~ I involved the director after 3 weeks of no response from his case manager re: behavior reports, policies, security (they didn't ask for ID on my 1st visit); they just violated a court order the judge specifically ordered my involvement with medical/med changes.

Children's Division are aware of all this, but say they are limited on facilities & he will only get 9 months there to get his behavior turned around...and then what? I don't know...he's on a suspended sentence to go to DYS (kid jail) pending him completing this program successfully.

He can be such a great kid & he is super intelligent, I think sometimes too intelligent. He is thoughtful & loving and good days he wants to make better choices; but can get very defiant when he can't decide what he can/can't do...and I mean very defiant! He has been restrained, contained, taken down, & sedated at some point in the different facilities we've tried....doctors say it's not safe for him to be at home. His diagnosis is Conduct Disorder, meds don't help much, he's got to find what will make him care....I pray every day that happens soon & no contact makes it so hard to know how he's doing & I miss him so much....2 more weeks of no contact...I can do this...at least that's what I keep telling myself as I count these days down....

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Angie - posted on 08/18/2012

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Thanks Bobbie for your input; I had never heard of conduct disorder, or oppositional defiant disorder, what he originally was diagnosed with and the stage before conduct disorder before 1 1/2 years ago when his destructive behaviors began and I first called the cops on him. I filed the out of control with juvenile after 3 times of cops called and them doing absolutely nothing except giving him a "stern talk", even though there was evidence of property damage. I assure you I do not condone his behavior or make excuses for his behavior choices. I do not go bail him out when he gets in trouble, in fact, I have been hotlined to Childrens Division twice for abandonment for refusing to pick him up from juvenile. I have done Love & Logic CD's and just finished up a parenting class session required by Children's Division; Family therapy & Individual therapy for both of us has been ongoing for 1 1/2 years with several different therapists from several different facilities he has been in. Insurance has either terminated his stay or he has been kicked out.

My concern with the no-contact is because of the lack of communication from the facility & the ignoring of the court order, not because I can't handle not seeing my son for 30 days. Children's Division told me to ignore the facility's 30 day recommendation, but I told her if it will help my son, it's worth it, plus what kind of message does it send him if I don't...I think it would make my behavior no different than his by refusing to do something that may be hard or out of our comfort zone. According to the therapist yesterday, he gained and lost his level again; his weekly score has not improved in the last 3 weeks; she told me not to worry about his scores or his critical reports or pink slips because he has improved. She, however, couldn't explain then why isn't that reflected in the program they have in place.

I'm sorry if I came off defensive, but my post is only a small part of our journey this last 1 1/2 years. I'm by no means a perfect parent...I don't think there is such a thing. I'm probably a little too strict, a little too old fashioned, and a strong believer in communication & following their set policies, for not only myself but them as well & more importantly, my son. Involving the director was not about him following or not following the rules, it was about their policies and procedures. Children's Division has involved the director as well for the same complaint. They have not received a report since June 24th...they were getting most of their information from me via my son and because of his known manipulative behavior, do not want to solely base his progress, or lack of, on his report alone and neither do I.

Thanks again for your input...I'm sure some of it does apply to some parents and can be a great help to them.

Roohi - posted on 08/18/2012

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Wow Bobbie. That was an eye opener for me too. I always overcompensated for my son when his dad was never around. I did this out of guilt. I do blame myself even before I read your comment. I have learned to tighten my belt and I have made a decision that if my son ever got arrested I would never go to the precinct or to bail him out. As single moms we struggle with our boys and when they don't have the authoritative figure of a father. My son shows signs of improvement. He is diagnosed with ODD. That was last year. From last year to this I see some improvement. Not a whole lot but I count every good day. I have been told that this too shall pass and he will grow and improve, With that hope I live sanely. And of course therapy for myself helps.

Bobbie - posted on 08/18/2012

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I researched Conduct Disorder. I found that it is term used to define a set of behaviors that preclude a diagnosis. The exact wording found ...........These behaviors are often referred to as "antisocial behaviors."[1] Indeed, the disorder is often seen as the precursor to antisocial personality disorder.
Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is described by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, as an Axis II personality disorder characterized by "...a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood.

I am not sure I have ever heard of this disorder. My neighbor did have a son that at age 14 went a little haywire. The world was unfair, he didn't understand why he couldn't have everything that he saw without any effort. To make a long story short his day in court ended with him screaming at the top of his lungs at the judge that he couldn't put him in jail. Turning to his mom and pleading with her to help him. When that didn't work he then ran away, don't know how he got out of the court house but on foot they couldn't catch him. Once caught he was evaluated at Brook Lane (mental facility). Whatever treatment they gave him it worked. He turned over a new leaf. Of course I do have to add that his mother had to make changes as well and stop bowing down to his every whim. From first grade on she fought teachers, other mothers, the school board and everyone that said her son had done wrong until he got to the point of believing he could do no wrong. He also thought mom came to the rescue when he snapped his fingers. His father had him locked up in the mental ward to keep him out of going back to jail and away from his mother. He didn't see her without another person present and she had just 15 visits once a month. I think the no contact of 30 days isn't really long enough. Out of worry for you and his future I wonder if you too are seeking counseling or parenting classes for children with these issues. Perhaps mental care would help you both more than just the law for him. It is something worth looking into if you have insurance. I know my son had issues with my ex not including him. I had him see a psychiatrist monthly for all the years that he was in middle and high school up until the insurance stopped at 19. He liked it a lot. The one on one time with a person trained to listen and help them with the day to day decisions was just what he needed. We are women. Not only can't we be all things to our sons but we also can't be that championship and role model they crave. My daughter complained to me that I spoiled my son and made him a momma's boy. Looking back, he was, and I made many mistakes thinking that I was doing the best that I could. BUT, if you listen to the people that are caring for him rather than fight those who are trying to help, you will learn a lot about yourself as well. My years of reading the books in the library on child development and specific age issues has made me realize what I needed to do differently. I pray for you to make better choices as well that will encourage and guide him. If his consequences for being so deviate is to be locked away then if I were you I would be firm at all times with him when you are permitted to once again visit. I would be telling him that he removed you as his authority when his behavior got him arrested. The best kind of love is the selfless love that allows us to do what the child needs to make his life a good healthy one, especially when it makes them mad at us. We do what is right, not what is popular with them or easy for us. Let him suffer the red tape errors and all the facility issues he is now going through. Mom is still trying to fix things for him and he knows how to pull your heart strings. Involving the director isn't going to help him solve his emotional issues. Pointing out to them that you are not getting enough attention and information is showing you may be over sensitive and have the same traits as he is demonstrating to buck and fight for every thing you want. He can't learn to follow the rules when he sees you fighting for him when he breaks them.

Angie - posted on 08/15/2012

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oh btw, I finally responded to the case manager; I assured him I was available by phone anytime and could be available in person with a more defined time frame. I also requested the doctor contact me before any medical changes were made...no response, so we will see what happens on the 28th....all I can do :)

Angie - posted on 08/15/2012

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wow...you even have the same kind of ex I do...lol...my kids dad is on parole for felony DWI's; I left when my youngest was 6 months old; my oldest was 6; I tried to protect them from the broken promises and let downs for many, many years when they were younger...I don't know if that was good or bad because now that they are older, they are realizing what a big let down as a parent he is. I told my oldest that's why you got blessed with an extra fabulous mom...probably got a little bit of eye-rolling from him on that one..lol...but it has given my oldest a new appreciation for me, and even a little bit from my youngest, when his dad's promised attorney didn't show up for court, he does realize I'm the one he can count on to be there for him....so maybe that will work for you too :) I'm truly hoping yours will get over that bratty teenage years sooner than later...because I think I've told you before, parenting doesn't end at 18 & he's your son, you love him & as much as he aggravates you now, you still want to have a good relationship with him as an adult...I had to laugh at my 20yo complaining about almost getting hit 3 times going to work from "kids" who don't know how to drive to school...this coming from one who flipped his vehicle at 16 on his way to school...lol....we can make it through this...nobody said it was going to be easy though :) thank goodness for sites like this!

Roohi - posted on 08/15/2012

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My son is kind of developing a relationship with his enstanged dad- who is a big loser. But its kind of helping his attitude. He feels better about himself. I was going to get him out of the house and move to Florida next year but his dad said he would have him live with him. Which is a big relief but at the same time dad is living with his family and hardly has a job.My son will appreciate what he had when he lives with his dad. But my son needs a job because he needs to contribute to half the rent. If not, we know he will blow it on weed, alcohol and parties. So this is the plan. But I cant trust my ex husband. He has made promises and never stuck by them,

Angie - posted on 08/13/2012

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Nothing new...Wednesday will be 3 weeks of no contact, plus I have therapy with his therapist so I will get an update on him :); the facility case manager emailed me late this afternoon & is still choosing to play word games with the judge's court order. He informed me Kory's next doctor's appt will be August 28th between 2pm-6pm & the doctor said she could talk to me before or after his appt if I was available, but then he also tells me the doctor's schedule changes from week to week & sometimes he don't know the appointment until the day of.....seriously?!? I chose not to respond at this time because it won't be nice. But somewhat good news, the bank counter-offered the short-sale offer & the people are still proceeding on purchasing...yippee!! after after 4 years I may be done with this property before it goes into foreclosure & totally ruins my credit...I try to put my energy into the positives..lol...how about you? hanging on without hurting anyone? lol

Angie - posted on 08/12/2012

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I keep looking for the light...I'm not ready to accept he will be locked up in facilities the rest of his life; and when I hear from other moms that are experiencing the daily living struggles, I can almost feel blessed in some ways; at least, for the most part, I know my son is safe and my home isn't in turmoil. I hope you are taking care of yourself the best you can; I know how much this can drag a person down :)

Roohi - posted on 08/12/2012

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Gosh Angie. Seems like such a struggle for you. there will be light at the end of the tunnel. You are very involved and that's a good thing. My son still gives me grief.he has now started hanging out with really bad kids. He travels to a terrible neighborhood to hang out with them and I'm told one of them is a drug dealer. He won't listen and even if I told him he cant go, he still walks out the house and hops the fare in the subway just to go hang out . He's lucky he hasn't been arrested yet. He still goes off, yells, disrespecfs me and does what he feels like. He stopped breaking walls ever since I called the cops the last time. I told him this morning tha he would have to find a place next year when he turns 18 because my legal obligations towards him end. And I mean it!! I'm that fed up

Roohi - posted on 08/12/2012

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Gosh Angie. Seems like such a struggle for you. there will be light at the end of the tunnel. You are very involved and that's a good thing. My son still gives me grief.he has now started hanging out with really bad kids. He travels to a terrible neighborhood to hang out with them and I'm told one of them is a drug dealer. He won't listen and even if I told him he cant go, he still walks out the house and hops the fare in the subway just to go hang out . He's lucky he hasn't been arrested yet. He still goes off, yells, disrespecfs me and does what he feels like. He stopped breaking walls ever since I called the cops the last time. I told him this morning tha he would have to find a place next year when he turns 18 because my legal obligations towards him end. And I mean it!! I'm that fed up

Angie - posted on 08/11/2012

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Thanks Roohi...not guilt, I think it's more sadness and frustration than anything...I've accepted I cannot do this for him; I've accepted this is bigger than me and I have to rely on the professionals for help...that's where the frustration comes in. I have a great support system of family and friends, but even they can't understand the never ending frustration of thinking I've made steps forward only to have it taken away.

I have the facility case manager's email and getting information from him is like pulling teeth ~ DFS (Children's Division) has the exact same complaint. They've gotten the critical reports and 1 monthly report from 5/24-6/24 and this is August. My DFS worker told me last Monday they wouldn't have hardly any info, if it hadn't been for me. There's a level system, there are weekly average grades, there is a weekly behavior contract incentive, there are criticals, pink slips and room time for discipline...DFS was unaware of all of this. The case manager is the one who violated the court order by once again, telling me after the fact about my son's doctor's appt. His excuse is he understood the court order he just needed to inform, not specifically before or after, which is bs & he knows it because he was at court & the judge specifically put this in the court order after I expressed my concern the last time I found out after the fact.

The 1st time I visited my son at this facility, they didn't ask for my ID so I emailed the case manager that I was surprised by this & asked what their security procedures were. I could've put my son in the car and left with him...in fact, he was in my car to drive down to their lake...I never got a response from him, but since then, I've had the weekend staff being sarcastic with me...saying Do we need to be checking ID's today or sure, I can allow you to visit, but I'm going to see some ID. The last visit I had, the supervisor asked me if I was taking him off campus...I'm not authorized to do that; wonder what would've happened if I said yes? I finally got a direct answer from the therapist 2 weeks ago. I do individual therapy instead of family therapy since the no-contact so that's where I'm now getting most of my information on how he's doing. The case manager is supposed to provide the weekend staff with a list of visitors, time/date, & type of visit that the weekend staff is supposed to verify all when the visit happens.

A week before the no-contact recommendation, my son was locked in his room, which I have no problem with whatsoever...I know how he can get...he had to poop on the floor because he was not let out to use the restroom...and even that I'm ok with kinda, but I'm not OK with him getting in trouble for it. I've witnessed staff play-hitting him & him play-hitting back, but then he will get in trouble for "aggression" for horse-playing with other kids & stealing spots from each other on the couch. I don't say ANYTHING to my son that this is unfair or how dare they do that to you when he tells me about incidents...I ask him what he could've done different, how he could've handled it better, then I email the case manager with my concerns, if I have them.

DFS is totally against the no-contact because they are required by law to allow parents to visit their children, and they are worried about getting no information. I am the one convincing them that it's something we haven't tried & there may be a possibility of some improvement. She's told me whenever I'm ready to be done with it, I can & I told her I'm doing everything I can to stick it out because it shows my son to follow through even when things are hard.

I've learned to document everything; it's the only way I can keep it straight considering all the facilities he's been in. I'm required by DFS to send weekly updates so I email a weekly email to the facility case manager, DFS, DJO, and therapist. DJO wanted in on this a month ago. Sometimes I get responses, sometimes not, sometimes I only get partial responses...I'm still waiting for responses from direct questions asked months ago...I just keep re-asking.

I just don't know what else I can do because even involving the facility director & having a court order apparently means nothing, and unfortunately it's my son that suffers from it ~ a few weeks ago he was ready to start wreaking havoc to get himself kicked out because he thinks DYS would be better than there. I told him there would be rules no matter where he went and continued to encourage him that he can get through this. I'm wondering if I need to involve the Guardian ad liten (GAL); we don't have FST or court until October & I don't know how much more incompetence I can take from this facility...Thanks for listening :)

Roohi - posted on 08/11/2012

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Big hugs Angie. I have followed you along and can never imagine what you are going through. Maybe you not having contact with him is a good thing. Can you email or write to the case manager for reports? Sometimes documentation helps. I feel a sense of guilt in your posting. Don't feel that way. You have done everything humanly possible for your child. Step back a little and let the professionals handle this one. Our boys take advantage of our immense love for them and it works against us. One of the moms in my neighborhood once told me "your only crime is that you love this boy too much."

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