Monthly Archives: January 2016

Don’t rock the boat

We are still waiting for an available bed at a residential treatment facility in Georgia.

Right now we are facing each day with Our son one minute at a time.  He has reverted to all of his low level behaviors of stealing, lying, and hoarding food.  The aggression has reared its head only a few times but he is heavily medicated and he was quickly isolated and calmed.

Denial and good moments seek to undermine our resolve.  Other times we are firm in our conviction that he can’t go on like this.  Medicated into an almost zombie like state he may be surviving but he is certainly not living.   There has to be more for him.  There has to be.



Our son walked in the door and acted like he had never been gone.  We sent the other kiddos downstairs and went over the rules. Same rules we have had every day since he was 6 years old.  Food, love, attention, shelter, kindness, forgiveness, and second chances are rights.  Treats, iPads, computers, and independence are priveledges.  He nods and responds in agreement to each explanation.  We set him up in the library with Noah to play cards.  Less than 5 minutes later he bounces into the kitchen where I am making dinner and says…”where is my IPad!  (You may earn your iPad after dinner by feeding the dogs). What?  I want it now ! (I ignore this statement).  Fine, whatever!  (He continues standing in the kitchen and I ask if he would like to help with dinner). Can I have ice cream?  (I ignore and he slumps to the floor kicking the cabinets).

Garrett’s turn.  Hey buddy we are going for a walk, get your shoes on.

Garrett walked with him until it was dark and his night time medicine had started its magic.  He ate dinner silently and thankfully fell asleep to spongebob.  I held him for a long time as he slept.  I cried, prayed and asked the universe to make this stop. Then I allowed myself some time to pretend that this wasn’t happening and that we were just fine.  Denial can be a powerful drug and I was happy to partake.

One night done.

How many

Our son is being discharged on Sunday.  They told him in therapy yesterday he was coming home.  So last night he called us.  A full happy voice greeted us on the phone.  He was animated and talking at whirlwind speed.

“I did it mommy and now I am coming home.  This was my best day ever I talked to everyone,I am perfect now and I am the best one here and did you know that it is a beautiful day.  I am going to play  a trumpet at school and I will be going back to my old school in a regular education room and then I am going to get a job mowing lawns and I can use the money to buy an electric scooter.  Did you buy me some of that peach yogurt, you need to.  If you bought me a peach tree I could make my own yogurt.  Hey did you clean my room, I need a clean room so I will have a fresh start. Also mommy you need to put any glass, pens, pencils, and any thing sharp away then I won’t be tempted. Did you do that yet?  I am going to be baking brownies to calm me so you need to get that stuff. Okay mommy?  Well I am going to go now cause I have to tell everyone I am leaving again.  Bye.

Welcome to the other side of the BiPolar swing.  This is the HIGH, the manic,the unrealistic, rambling, uncohesive thought pattern he is experiencing now.   And he is coming home tomorrow.  Frozen with fear I hang up the phone.   God please give us strength and the courage to make it through this.

With or without you

It has been 4 nights with no phone call from Damain.  It has been 9 days since I have seen him (he has refused to allow us visitation- yes as ridiculous as that sounds he is allowed to do that).

We are now caught in yet another “gap” of mental health care.  Damian is scheduled to be released from the crisis stabilization unit on Sunday (1-17-16), he will have exhausted his medicaid approved time limit.  However medicaid will not approve a residential treatment program until 1-26-2016.

Medicaid & Insurance Issues-Damian receives medicaid because he had a mental health diagnosis when he was adopted.  He also is on our private insurance, but we exhausted all of our benefits with them within the first month of his struggles.  Another little known fact is that even major brand private health insurance will not pay for residential treatment.  This is why you hear of parents having to realse their parental rights to the state to get their children help.  We are blessed that we have medicaid, yet it is a horrible program in many other respects.  It is a confusing, beaucratic system that seems to be built to fail.

Cue the hugely conflicting feelings…I am thrilled I will get to see my son and I am terrified to bring him home.


Have a Little Faith In Me

We all cope with trauma differently.  I excel at facing trauma and grief.  I can go on, I can smile and laugh, I am the master pretender.  But even the most powerful pretender has an Achilles heal, a chink in their armor or kryptonite to expose their weekness.  Mine is Garrett.

I push him away, I find a million ways to stay busy and stay out of the same room with him.  A kind word or gesture from him can send me bristling with anger and fear quickly out of his reach.  Today I couldn’t even look at him without losing it.

So after a long day of pushing away and causing pain to the person that loves me most, I stopped.  I found the song we danced to when we got married.  I called garrett into the living room, pressed play and asked him to dance.  I clung to him and cried and he led me through the dance.  Listening to the words made me realize that they were the words I wish I could say to Damian…”When the road gets dark and you can no longer see.  Let my love throw a spark and have a little faith in me”.

Here is our song

Have a little faith in me.-John Hiatt



We got a phone call tonight.

Mrs. Cronnelly?  We have your son Damian on the line he wants to speak with you.

Hello?  Damian are you there?

I am here.

How was your day?




Did you work in your therapy sessions today?


We love you and always will.

You need to get here soon or I will never love you.  I will control my anger. I will listen to you.  Forget it you don’t love me, anyway.  I hate you all.

Damian hung up.



With me

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.

-Khalil Gibran
Thank you Aunt Pat for your email and advice.  Whenever life is challenging I find myself wishing I could talk to my mom.  Your words left me calm and clear for the first time in several months.  I read your words over and over and it felt like my mom was here with me.  I really, really needed that.