Moving Into a Psychiatric Hospital

October 3rd, 2007

I heard the traffic reporter on the radio today claim that she was too blessed to be stressed. I ran the words through my head over and over until I realized that in spite of my very bad attitude lately over the huge battles I’ve fought in getting mental health services for my kids, I feel the same way. Just physically making it through each day ought to be indication enough for me, adding in all the other outsides stressors and challenges, but then meeting each one head on, often with a pretty good resolution, reminds me of how blessed I really am overall. I spent all day today again in my truck moving my seriously disturbed son from a crisis respite center three hours away to a psychiatric hospital… [more]

Mental Health Facilities for Children

September 29th, 2007

I’m a little cowed by the fact that several of my children have needed to live somewhere else in out-of-home placements. I could not meet their psychiatric needs within the confines and limitations of our family home. No one but a psychiatric facility with a staff and PRN medications would be able to keep irrational, violent children safe from themselves. The safety of others must also be considered. This side of life has shocked me in such an abject manner. I would not have knowingly adopted children for which this was to become an issue, yet I since I did so, unbeknownst to me, I feel a huge sense of responsibility towards them as well as the sadness of unreturned love… [more]

Seeking Residential Psychiatric Help

September 26th, 2007

After nearly two months now in two different psychiatric hospital placements, my son was discharged yesterday as they are both considered short term facilities. Even if it is obvious that our family’s safety would be jeopardized by having him come home, it’s basically tough toenails. Deal with it. I’ve spent eight weeks now, sending emails queries and making phone calls, hunting for the next tenuous solution. I’ve been here before with a significantly disturbed child, two kids of mine actually who have little hope for a good future as their choices are so limited. I’ve documented all attempts. I’ve found that I have to prove what I’ve tried to do, how many ways in which I’ve sought help. My frustration level has radically mounted. People… [more]

Stumped By Problems in the Mental Health Field

September 19th, 2007

The Atlanta Journal Constitution had written a series about some terribly sad deaths in Georgia in mental hospitals resulting in a lawsuit and an investigation which unfortunately has made it a million times more difficult to find help for severely disturbed children. This is a painful-to-read series and there's more to each story plus another side. There are not enough foster homes for troubled adolescents, an article yesterday in the AJC bemoaned this fact, and many of these kids end up in beds in mental facilities whether they need to be there or not, leaving folks who seriously need the psychiatric help out in the cold. I have no answer here, I’m only pointing out a massive problem. This editorial addresses a situation I find… [more]

Opening a Door to Mental Heath Help

September 19th, 2007

I made a huge amount of progress today, so much so that I feel as if I’ve had a stay of execution and in many ways that is true. I’d received another email from a teacher confirming my thoughts and feelings about the damage Jose has done in our home, the constant outbursts, terrible potential for violence, and how he has lately projected his hatred for me onto the other girls in our family. His threats, his attacks and his continuous maladaptive thoughts of ‘killing his mom’ are too alarming to live with each day. I received a reprieve when I finally got through to someone at the state level. Someone I’d tangled with a couple of years ago over another child of mine… [more]

Confirmation of a Tough Decision

September 18th, 2007

Y’all might just about be tired of our ongoing saga with seeking mental health resources, but it is why I’ve been unable to post very often lately. My son, Jose, has been out of our home for six weeks now, and even gone, has forced us to go through a CPS investigation which took up even more of my time. I budget my time carefully. Family comes first, the kids who are trying their best to succeed – I never want to overlook them in my often fruitless efforts to find help for more seriously disturbed children. I have 13 kids who are obsessed with soccer, tying up all our evenings and Saturdays for the next couple of months. I love to watch… [more]

Respite Care For Troubled Teens

September 9th, 2007

The four kids I raised since they were babies had plenty of opportunities to absorb the correct behavior techniques and the little things in life that make one fairly civilized. My other 35 kids have been more of a challenge. Like who doesn’t know that the shower curtain liner goes inside the tub? I’ve spent years and years railing over this one fact. Duh if you leave it on the outside all the water runs on the floor. I have to replace an entire bathroom floor that has eroded, corroded and flat rotted out after almost 15 years of liquid abuse. My only RAD daughter used that bathroom for 8 years, willfully destroying as much as possible, anything to infuriate that lady who dared… [more]

Once Again Standing Up Tall

September 1st, 2007

I feel as if I’ve been dragged behind a speeding jet readying itself for takeoff…only to be dropped from the sky and hit by an 18 wheeler. Standing back up, an eagle must have swooped down and swiped my head, but hey I’m still standing. In our month long ordeal, an emotional drought if you will, as others pointed fingers at my entire family while an amazing amount of friends, counselors and therapists rallied, we finally realized August was over and we’d made it. Stronger than ever, totally banged up and disillusioned, yet more emotionally attached to each other, my children and I are facing a strenuous soccer season where we’ll now go through the next two months with 13 kids playing on four different teams with… [more]

Searching for Help in the Mental Health Arena

August 23rd, 2007

If you adopt children with severe emotional issues, mental illnesses or mental disabilities, be expected to walk through fire when you attempt to find help for them. When it is no longer safe for them to remain at home, when a parent MUST seek an out-of-home placement in order to ensure their safety and that of other family members, it has been my experience, on three diagnosed kids over the last decade, that they will then turn on you. My other choice would have been to possibly allow a murder to take place. And then if it was not me killed, I would have to face questions such as, “Why did you not seek help? Were these verbal and physical threats? Have you had him in counseling?” This same son… [more]

Blaming The Adoptive Parents

August 19th, 2007

It’s starting to look quite likely that I may only be able to write my minimum number of posts this month. It’s not a time issue for me as I can blog quickly, rather it is a number of challenges in my home right now that I’d prefer to resolve first. A big one is criticism and outright condemnation. I’ve finally gotten to my computer after a few days away from it and have caught up on Nancy Spoolstra's recent posts about facing unwarranted blame. I’m reminded of Thumper in Bambi, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Words hurt people and I’ve noticed a large movement of folks assuming that adoptive parents don’t mind all the armchair… [more]