Monday, May 19, 2008

Finding Help Again and Again and Again and Again, ETC


Not smiling on purpose, my oldest grandbaby is now a teenager. Jeepers. She's a happy child, someone in whom I take great joy. But that's not what this entry will detail today.

From the Dallas newspaper: "... That fewer of the homeless will cycle through the jail and psychiatric wards. That they will get more help.

The center, called The Bridge, is designed to provide mental health and addiction treatment and place people in homes as quickly as possible. The center will focus on the homeless people who can be the most difficult to help – those who are very ill and have been on the streets a long time."

Not a news flash to those of y'all, like Theresa and I, who are living with the offspring of the above people detailed in this article. We are expected to 'manage the behaviors' of the very violently unmanageable and we are looked at askance, as if it were due to our parenting, that these same people's behaviors, our children, are so out of the realm of normal logic.

We lose our perspective as so many "professionals" are unable to help our children, they call it a lateral move when they put a kid in a step-down facility because "she seems to be stuck on her behaviors. Maybe a change will help."

A change? Yep, that's the ticket, NOT.

I used to be among those who felt that love, guidance and opportunities could/would help anyone and everyone.

I've changed my tune.

We were unable to get to church yesterday, after I had everyone but JoJo and Jonathan ready. Those two refused to take showers. Simply refused and would not budge. No threat of consequences mattered one iota. They liked having 'control' of our family, keeping us all hostage, preventing me especially from getting the relief and strength that I derive from church. A screw you moment.

I'd risen early, decided not to turn on my computer but to spend my pre-dawn hour reading from a John Bevere book, knowing I was sinking into my own mini-depression as I fight uphill battles ALL THE TIME, trying to find help for seriously disturbed children. Good thing too as I was then emotionally strengthened for what was about to come. I cried most of the morning in pure frustration, knowing that no amount of behavior modification, positive reinforcement, sticker charts, or logic will ever make any difference to Jonathan.

JoJo has hope, he is not disturbed, he just has anger issues as does/did his older brother Fabian. Jonathan is seriously emotionally disturbed as is his older brother Pepe. His two other older brothers, Chuy and Javy, were absolutely disgusted with the refusal of Jonathan to budge. He wasn't mad about anything, he can just snap in an instance over nothing. This morning he refused to go to school, still hasn't had a shower, and is glaring in an ugly threatening manner at me as if sunrise is my fault.

I'm really not sure I can continue to parent him. He needs help and a mother's love will not be his cure. After all these yeas and all my experience I do feel qualified to make educated guesses based on diagnoses and psych evals that we've had done. I know what normal is/was/can be. This isn't normal, this isn't simply raging, nor is his prognosis encouraging to me at all.

Worse case scenario...eight years of Hell from him, then I'm free but he will join the ranks of the chronically jailed and homeless. I believe that he was put with me so that I can work to find whatever help is available, just as I am constantly fighting for his brother, who is way more dangerous, to receive help and services.

Will any amount of help actually help? Could these folks, described in the article, have been helped at one time? I don't know, I'm not really sure if it is not hard-wired into their psyches to end up like this. I'm not sure if there is any amount of help as I look back at the vast amount of services I fought for one daughter who is now living in an abandoned building in Atlanta because she is over 18 and out of the reach of my supervision that was always designed for her protection. I have a son, in and out of jail, homeless like his birth parents, unwilling to either work or mind law enforcement. Both of these children had over five years each in residential psychiatric facilities and another 5-10 years of therapy. Apparently that wasn't enough.

Then, if that's the case, how can society expect mothers, fathers, and families to live with this much devastation, destruction and rage when full-time psychiatric staffs who have medications at their disposal and psychiatric degrees on the wall, still can't mange these chronically unwell behaviors? They aren't then blamed as parents are.

My comments over the weekend left me with many blog topics to address, problems to bring to folk's attention, Cindy A's, "What are we going to do about it?" but I am deep up to my eyeballs in severe mental health issues for three of my children from one birth family with murder in their case histories. What am I going to do about it?

I'd called Texas, wanting to disrupt after six years, for my family's safety, with the blessing of the two older boys in this sib group, so obvious is the deep and profound level of emotional disturbance. Texas told me, "Heck, no!" Do I need a lawyer to sue and keep our family safe? I don't know, and I'm also battling with myself regarding the fact that with my own volunteer adoption work I'm matching potentially dangerous children into families. That worries me and I balance it with an equal number of wonderfully deserving children who will greatly benefit from family life.

In the meantime, I have eight difficult years ahead of me.

Best case scenario - out-of-home mental health placements and no disruption. Is that possible? I pray that it is so and I'll bust my butt trying to make it happen for their benefit, knowing that a lifetime of chronically homeless, jailed, unemployed and miserable is an option we certainly don't want.

This so isn't how I imagined my life would be...