February 8th, 2007
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I have yet another out-of-home placement to detail here. A 15 year old, very violent son of mine has been locked up at a youth detention facility due to several family violence charges. I have undoubtedly adopted some of the angriest kids on the planet it would appear.

This young man has had a couple of out-of-home placements already such as a respite placement for a month, a boy’s ranch for nine months, and YDC on three different occasions. Nothing has made an impact on his anger management issues yet.

I just received a call that he’d been placed on lockdown there, yet again, this time for his usual non-compliance, refusing today to attend their school…like a 15 year old should have a say in this issue? If you want to have an opinion son, I’d advise you to not break laws, and someday possibly lose your right to even vote your opinion in an election. He’s already had a felony theft conviction at age 13.


Two different wilderness programs have turned him down, who wants a violent boy on the premises with access to an axe? But my son’s violence is directed at me, the one who dared to love him, the one who would not back down nor quit. And he never makes threats or posturing movements towards me unless he has ascertained that at least several older brothers are there to stop him, then he gets the fight he was hankering for in the first place.

But he has put our family in harm’s way too many times, I’ve called the police, I’ve pressed charges, as have they, I’ve had him in therapy for years, I’ve had psychological and neuro-psychological evaluations done on him, and I’ve had the school psychometrist test him as well.

He has bombed out of regular school, home school, the ranch school and an alternative school. He’s quite simply running out of options.

But a program did accept him yesterday, and I feel encouraged once again. They’ve dealt with a good many juvenile delinquents, they’re equipped for his issues, and they have a great deal to offer him through therapeutic intervention and physical activity. I was impressed with everyone on the interview committee, and the facilities were favorable since I like dirt roads and the great outdoors.

He should be moved from YDC to the wilderness program within the next week.

I have had several children, 3 out of 39, over the years be totally unable to live within a family environment without hurting themselves or others. It hurts my pride, on some level, that I’m unable to meet their needs, but some of my children have been severely damaged by what they’ve been through prior to joining our family.

They still have us as family however. They have a home to come visit, a family to attend their therapy sessions there, and a family that wants them to get well and come home; they have family motivation and incentive to improve. They have birth siblings within our family that are particularly invested in these situations, deeply desiring and needing to see the progress that does eventually come.

5 Responses to “A Therapeutic Wilderness Program”

  1. John says:

    I can identify with the problems you deal with. One of my sons has a number of serious psychiatric disorders, was violent, and is deeply in love with Crack Cocaine.

    He has been in five different residential treatment centers. Each one did some improvement. I was lucky, we eliminated the violence. Before that there were a number trips to the emergency room for me, with lectures from the MDs about returning my son. Like I could cut off a piece of me.

    We still deal with problems, but we do it together. You have dealt with problems much bigger than mine. As someone who has ‘been there’ to a lesser degree, let me say Wow, you are incredible! Thank you for your post.

  2. Cindy Bodie says:

    “Like I could cut off a piece of me,” is a wonderful testimony of your love for him. I love hearing such a positive response from an embattled parent, it encourages me greatly. This is really hard isn’t it?

  3. Kelly says:


    May I please some of whatever medication you are taking??? THIRTY-NINE?!?!?!?

    I hope this program works. I know how frustrating it is to continue to search for someone who gets it!!

  4. Heidi says:

    thanks for sharing this. As a Mom to a bipolar child who has started to recently become violent, my hat is off to you. I have a question that I would like you to address. If you have already addressed it, please refer me to your post.

    I’m curious how your other children feel about it when the children you have had who are angry go into one of their rages.
    I often feel like I have done my other children a huge disservice for having to tolerate some of their sibling’s behaviors.

    He is in no way dangerous enough to be out of the home (at least yet…I don’t know what his future might hold), but he sure raises the stress level around here 200%.

  5. Cindy Bodie says:

    Heidi, I’ll blog that next, it’s a long story…

    Kelly, I take no meds of any kind but am a lifelong vegetarian and I do take a boatload of vitamins every day.

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