Monthly Archives: January 2017

Unanswered

I am sorry it has been awhile since I have posted news of “Little Big Man”.  We have been desperately trying to find a residential care (group home) setting for him to go to when he is released from his current PRTF placement at Inner Harbor.

He is still refusing to speak to or visit with us.  Our weekly family therapy sessions consist of his therapist and us talking and “Little Big Man” refusing to respond or saying “I don’t know”.

He has been at Inner Harbor for 3 weeks now and has not had any aggressive behavior or suicide attempts.  While this sounds like good news, it is not.  It just means what we have been trying to come to terms with.  It means that “Little Big Man” continues to feel safer and more in control of himself when he is in a prison like setting.  The last year has been horrific, but the decisions we are facing now are beyond our worst nightmares.  If our son can’t live with us, what do we do next?

Georgia has no residential treatment homes for children in the custody of their parents with severe mental health disorders.  If he had autism or was addicted to drugs, or over 18 then we would have options.

I have emailed out our cry for help to 27 different state agencies, directors, program specialists, and child welfare advocates.  I have either been referred to people I have already spoken to or have received no return reply at all.

As the light at the tunnel fades I find myself doubting human decency a little more each day.

Problem! Solution?

  • img_0164Problem:  “Little Big Man” leaves the PRTF and comes home. He can’t handle the transition and cycles through several hospitalizations before ending up back at PRTF.  PRTF is like prison and home is like a well run daycare.  He needs to be able to step-down from the prison setting before he comes home.  This would be basic residential care in a group home setting.  But we can’t get that because in Georgia there is no funding from the Department of Behavariol Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) for residential care services only community based services.

I think about him every single minute of the day.

I make phone calls that run through transfers and voice mails, repeating his story almost by verbatim now.

I have trained my voice to remain at a calm/urgent/desperate tone.

I have learned that “no” just means I have another phone call to make.

I have learned that each person I talk to expects me to “act” a certain way.  I am still working on figuring out what “that way” means to each new person I try to reach out to.

I have discovered that we are not alone and have heard many heart wrenching stories of others who have had to give up custody to DCFS to gain residential treatment for their child.

Still fighting but morale is low and supplies are limited.  I may lose this battle.

All pain is relative.

Measuring emotional pain and quantifying its effects, I do that a lot lately.

Unlike physical pain which we have been taught to measure on a universal scale of 1-10, emotional pain tends to be judged against past pain experiences.  Example: losing your job would be rated against having your mom die.  If you were really close to your mom, then that emotional pain becomes the primary comparison for all other emotional pain.  I often console myself with the statement, “well, it’s not as bad as…”.

But what happens when the emotional pain continues to escalate on a daily basis, when it compounds itself several times a day, when it becomes a minute to minute tight rope act of balancing daily unquantifiable emotional pain.  Numbness begins to set in, normalization of previously unimaginable mental anguish becomes common place.  A little piece of you closes off, leaving you a completely different person than you were just hours ago.

“Little Big Man” continues his stay at Willowbrook Hospital.  He has again accused us of abuse and neglect.  He broke his glasses and refuses to meet with or call us.

This is the song that never ends

“Little Big Man” is back at Willowbrook psychiatric hospital.  The last time he was there they changed two of his meds.  Normally we don’t let just anybody change his meds, but at this point we were desperate, so we gave consent.  Now he is back again 3 days after they discharged him and they want to change his meds again.  We refused to consent as they wanted to put him on an ADHD med that is essentially amphetamime and when we have tried this in the past it makes him even more aggressive.  Doctor “mom I don’t think you are thinking clearly He is very impulsive and needs this medication.”  Me “I understand you are trying to help but we have been doing this same circle with Damian for a year and a half now.  Amphetamines aggravate his bipolar and make him more aggressive.”  Doctor “but mom he needs this medicine and you seem very agitated right now, maybe you are not thinking clearly right now.”  Me-“I am agitated because you are not listening to me, please read his case file you will see that the meds you want to prescribe have been tried in 6 different formulations, it is noted by 5 different psychiatrists what the effects are for Damian.  Doctor-“okay I understand your concern but I would still like to try the medication change.”  Me…all I could think of was this song we used to sing when we were kids.  It continued to play on a loop in my head while the doctor kept talking. In the end I received another call from another doctor to inform me that they can legally change his medications without my consent and would be doing so tomorrow.

This is the song that never ends
Yes it goes on and on my friend.
Some people started singing it
Not knowing what it was
But people kept singing it just because…This is the song that never ends, Yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was
But people kept singing it just because This is the song that never ends Yes it goes on and on my friend Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was
But people kept singing it just because This is the song that never ends Yes it goes on and on my friend Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was
But people kept singing it just because This is the song that never ends Yes it goes on and on my friend Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was
But people kept singing it just because This is the song that never ends Yes it goes on and on my friend Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was
But people kept singing it just becauseThis is the song that never endsYes it goes on and on my friend Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was
But people kept singing it just because This is the song that never ends Yes it goes on and on my friend Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was
But people kept singing it just because This is the song that never ends Yes it goes on and on my friend Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was
But people kept singing it just because This is the song that never ends Yes it goes on and on my friend Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was
But people kept singing it just because This is the song that never ends Yes it goes on and on my friend Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was
But people kept singing it just because This is the song that never ends Yes it goes on and on my friend Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was
But people kept singing it just because This is the song that never ends Yes it goes on and on my friend Some people started singing it Not knowing what it was
But people kept singing it just because