Help! Is this normal for a private Residential Treatment Center (RTC)?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Baggy Bags, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is true for an adult, but L. is still a child. And B is his mother. It is her responsibility to do whatever she can to connect him to help. That does not mean he should come home or that she should be near him. And there are no guarantees that once L is an adult that he will help himself or fight for himself. But maybe he will. I believe he will. I believe he is already a person with imagination and independence and smarts and creativity. He is beloved in their community. People are NOT generally stupid. They do not love teenagers without reason. This is like my own son. A number of people love my son. They gravitate to him. He has kept his friend (the owner of the truck) since he was 12 years old. L. is the same way. Except L. has already functioned in a way (working independently with his business, teaching art classes, in a way that my son has not. This is a child worth trying to save. So that he will have a chance to save himself.

    SWOT. You did not have somebody to give you a hand. To protect you. Neither did I. But L does. He has a mother who loves him and who fights for him.
    In this Residential Treatment Center (RTC) the biodad was paying, as I understand it. I don't know what the new arrangement will be. There are costs to everything. Even if B decided to save her money and not help L, there would be a cost to that. There would be the cost of B's broken heart. There would be the cost of whatever potential L would have lost. Because we do not know what his purpose in life will be. His story is not written. L is not the boy who you adopted. He has not hurt babies. He has hurt himself and he has tried to hurt his mother (I am not clear his intention was to kill her or if he had the capacity, the understanding to have real intent.)

    But the thing is, L has somebody who wants to stick with him. There is nobody who seems to be his potential victim other than B. She can protect herself.
    This is all too true. But sometimes the chaos that is caused by trauma can be recovered and its potential reclaimed. Typically this requires help.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Sometimes children hold their parents responsible for what happens to them. I think part of the reason they do so, is this (it's kind of a long explanation. Sorry): Children cannot believe in a random world. It would be too terrifying. They need to believe that there is cause and effect. That if they do this, this will happen. If they are good, they will be protected. If they are punished, i.e. something bad happens, that they were bad.

    When trauma happens, they experience it as their fault, that they were bad. Their brains are not typically well enough developed to understand a great deal of complexity, to make sense of it. They also tend to be egocentric and to believe that they are responsible than they really are.

    If something horrible happens, this would overwhelm their egos, and it would really fracture their world. There are ego defense mechanisms called projection and displacement, where we believe that others not ourselves are responsible for a bad act. Or badness that we feel is in us, is in somebody else, or about somebody else. In this way we defend against this overwhelm.

    It is arguable that L thought about his mother in this way. Distortions. (This actually makes sense to me.)

    I catch myself using defense mechanisms all of the time, unfortunately for me. But I use more primitive ones like denial. When my animals are sick I seem to be willfully blind. I feel terrible. I watched Stella get thinner and thinner. I could not take it in. I did the same thing with Dolly. Honestly. I could not see that she was not standing up properly. Neither did M! I feel terrible. I miss her so much.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My foster care/adopted son was a child too but now he is a man and has been in legal trouble. Everyone loved him too whetever he lived before us and around us too. He was a good actor to adults.. He was very personable, polite and helpful to adults. Not to kids or animals but he hid that part of him very well.

    It is good that L has B. I dont believe that this helps that much though. L still has to do the work.

    I do not know what the future holds for L. As long as Bags is safe, that is my main concern.

    In the end, we all become adults and do it rigjt or not. He is not so young that he cant help himself already. I hope he does!

    Copa I. can look the other way too!!! But I have T to nudge me to reality.

    You have a great peaceful nice.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I will get back to youbut no. I was talking about me and how I see it! I will have to check for any typos that would make my post confusing!!! Yiked!
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Ok. I am fully awake and fed the dogs:)

    Ok, anything I write is only MY way of seeing things and does not apply to what others say. And it should be disregarded if the original poster thinks it is nonsense. Or bad feedback.

    This is sort of a trigger for me too (the situation going on ..a very sad one) because I had a dangerous child in my house and desperately dont want anyone else to experience it. Some kids are so damaged they CAN hurt, even kill. I want Bags to be safe. That is my first priority.

    I also have had more than average experience as a mental health patient and saw a lot. Its sad but true that a stint in even a great hospital promises no cure or a guarantee. I saw some people leave who were no better than when they came. Now 99 percent of the patients at Great University Hospital had very obvious bipolar 1 and forms of psychotic disorders. A very few were very depressed, like me. medications are extremely helpful for these problems although sometimes the schizophrenics could.not be helped by medications. That was always depressing.

    We did not have kids iniour hospital ward wirj just puzzling and disturbing behavior problems partly because nobody knew what to do about that back then.

    I am thinking that psychology still does not know what to do with people who have no remorse and dont mind hurting others, even family. To change the very core of one's personality to me requires a deep desire to change and a willingness to work very hard. Andany people who are currently diagnosed with tje trendy narcicism, antisocial or bprderline personality disorders (CD as kids) dont WANT to change amd are fine as is. So what can anyone do?

    I do not think every person CAN change. There is also that and it is JMO. Butaybe rhis is a part of wont. Psychology is an infant. There is more we dont know than do. This I was told when.I took.Sonic to Mayo.Clinic and tjey have some of the best anywhere and certainly DID pinpoint my L and help him. Bit again he had sympts.more than "bad" behaviors. Easier to figure out

    So my own personal jmo bottom line is to help the boy as much as possible. And in my opinion he may not want to change or try. But as mothers of course we try. Our hearts MUST try. And do I know for sure it wont work?No .Nobody does.

    Sometimes because psychiatry has so many u knowns that many times psychiatrists spew diagnoses and theories that are just opinions, like us. No more accurate than us.

    There is no science behind any psychiatric diagnosis. Many people are wro gfully diagnosed and put on very dangerous medications that can cause serious problems. The whole psychiatric treatment community makes me nervous due to lack of science.

    But its all we have right now.

    My biggest fear is that Bags may bring L home. Just MY opinion, he should not live at home. He can get treatment out of the home.

    Now every word here is only my opinion and what I think and should be disregarded if it doesnt resonate.

    Have a peaceful, delightful day and accept this cyber hug!!
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  6. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Wow, I love you guys. And I am so grateful for your advice.

    I used to say L changed at 14 because that's when he first ran away, which was such a complete shock to me because I didn't see any signs of something like that coming. What HAD been happening the previous year was our "haunted house". He confessed to that yesterday too, finally. He had us believing that there were ghosts in our house breaking all our stuff. And the real kicker to that - I have to go back in time in my mind and remember all these things with the new information I have from L's confession - but there was this night, during the "haunting" time (which was about 3 months), that he said he "saw" a ghost. We found him shaking under the blankets on his bed. It took us hours to calm him down. He would tell us to shut up because the ghost could hear us. It was SOOOO convincing. Oscar-worthy. If you didn't believe in ghosts before that, seeing him in that state might have changed your mind. This is one of the main reasons why I didn't think he was behind it all.

    I think my son might be gay, I always have. This is not a problem at all for us. And L has always known this but insisted that he's straight. The kids in town also seemed to know, or maybe it's just because he's so physically beautiful, that they would always call him names (like fag). But this is a very cultural thing, and I think, to some degree all the guys to that to each other here. But it bothered L very much. He would say it didn't, but it did. This wasn't the only reason other kids rejected him. He was, and is, really skilled at socializing with adults, but he never seemed to understand the dynamic with other kids, and would irritate/annoy them with his lack of respecting their boundaries. Like tickling. Almost like a compulsion. And he wouldn't stop when they said no.

    The psychic said she thought he suffered something traumatic at age 6, but it was unclear. This is around the time that he started becoming more aware of the rejection from other kids. To answer the question about if she knew anything about our story, she lives in another town and doesn't go out much. She may have heard something, but not the diagnosis. I've only told a few people about that, and they are not friends with her, or in her circles. The reason I went to her is because a friend has a relative dying in a hospital in the US, called this psychic on the phone, and she told her that the doctors were confused about the problem, and that it was actually this very specific and rare problem in his blood. He was about to die. This information saved his life. So, although I can't say I 100% believe that it's possible for anyone to "see" the future or the invisible, this lady definitely made me more a believer. She knew all about my mom too, and I didn't even tell her that she was my mom, just gave her the name. She even knew stuff about the wealthy friend who is helping to pay, again no information from me on who this person is, just a name. Even if she had researched me on facebook, there's no way she could would know things like that both of these people (my mom and this friend) are bipolar.

    I'm also wondering about that. The bipolar. Some of L's behavior mirrors my mother's so much. The nastiness when she's manic. Downright mean, but then oh so loving. But maybe that's NPD love-bombing. I read about these disorders and many of them resonate, for both L and my mom. But yes, I'm seeing more clearly that I shouldn't rely so much on psychiatry for the answer. I swing between the psychiatric explanations, the supernatural ones, and the drugs. Or, I could put them all together (and this is kind of where the psychic was going) like this: L has my family's addictive genes, so drugs were super bad for him and he was very young. He tried very strong ones, like DMT, that are said to open portals to the spirit world. He was too immature for this, and didn't know how to protect himself from parasitic spirits. So, he was under some kind of spiritual "attack", jacked up on drugs, trying to keep his "good boy" act going with me (stressful), realizing that he could (negatively empowering), and all of this brought out the worst in his genes (bipolar and borderline from my mom, NPD/ASPD traits from biodad). Add possible sexual identity crisis to the mix, and BOOM!

    Anyway. Back to the main point. Whatever it is. I understand that L is possibly a danger to me. And I think that the idea that he projected his anger onto me (because I'm his person, the safest, his protector and defender, unconditional), is spot on. I tried so hard to get the psychiatrists here to see that - that L wasn't actually angry with *me*.

    I hope this new center can wean him off all the drugs they are giving him, and get him to start opening up in therapy. No one has actually managed that yet. At least in Mexico they seem to be aware that he's not being authentic in therapy - the ones here were total suckers.
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  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I want to go to her too.

    You sound very good. Everything, actually, sounds very good. How does L understand being moved to the new facility? Was he on board with that? As much as possible I would try to involve him in decisions about his treatment. He can't control it, but it would be best that he is cognizant of what is happening and feels he has a voice.
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I have a paychic who lives in Massachusettes. Never been there. LiveLin Wisconsin. WeWhave nevernseen one snother. She has never even seen a picture me. We spoke old fashion phone way before there were computers. She had no way to look me up.

    She gave me names, dates, really accurate stuff, things nobody knew. Because of her accuracy (and I talk to her once a year) I started studying life afer death. I was 35 at first. I believe more and more as I learn more and age. This psychic is rarely wrong and I am not on the internet much.

    Since then I have had my own experiences and am sure that our body dies but that out essence and energy lives on eternally and that we come back to evolve from our experiences. I won't go into it more than that. I have had other scarily amazing readings and a few garbage ones both from psychic lines. They are largely frauds. Well, some are.

    Any psychic that asks about you is a fraud. Good ones want you to say nothing unless you are asked "Does this mean anything to you?"

    Last time, my psychic commented to me, "I see a small balding man who is showing me that he is dancing. Does this make sense to you?"

    I knew it was my father. He loved to dance! Thats an abbreviated way of what a good psychic does although there was more. She described him and I cried and said it was my father. She mentioned the name of his close relative and told me he said they were together in the next world. It was like talking to him.

    Most psychics work only with tne light and do not give bad news or tell you about impending death. If any psychic ever does that get off the phone or leave the office.

    I love phone readings. There is no way they can see your expression and cold read.

    Love and light!
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I dont want to post here if it hurts anyone. I agree. I would quit posting if that happened.

    I am thinking mostly of Bags and her safety and am hoping very much that the professionals can figure out how to help L.

    One thing I thought of when I read your last paragraph is that I have actually had great success with.....NeuroPsycologists!! No, they cant prove a diagnoses but they have really state of the art testing that are as close as one can get to a blood test .

    If L can see one in one of the hospital, that would be such a good opportunity for him. For B. as well. They are different than therapists. They dont jump on a scary diagnoses. They do a tremendous amount of testing.

    I think psychiatrists sometimes talk for a half an hour to somebody and with no testing at all just diagnose too fast. That makes me leery. I prefer testing first. I did get a lot at Great University. Have you heard of the MMPI test? I took it twice, once when I was first admitted and once before I left. I took two other tests too. I dint remember much about one. It was short....i had to fill in some blanks. One was the ink blot test. For a very very creative young woman, I thought that the ink blot test was a riot. I had lots of fun taking it.

    That MMPI test was about 600 or more true/false questions about yourself and told my doctor a lot. But you have to tell tje truth. There is a lie scale. My test showed I had not lied, I had no thought disorders and that I had moderate to severe depression. The i kblot test was basically normal with depression.

    Maybe that could also help uncover what makes him tick. I dont know if they do the MMPI anymore.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  10. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    I thought they were doing neuro-psychological testing last week, but it seems they didn't get to that.
    Hopefully this week.

    Now he's saying that he wants to stay where he is, complete the program, and then come home. (!)
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I thought it was arranged he was leaving there, like yesterday.

    What do you think?

    Have you and the current place ironed out your misunderstandings? I thought they would not keep L if you didn't accept their dominion, stop questioning and go along with their program. Have you gotten a bit more confidence in them? How long would the program be? Do you have a sense from L what if anything he is responding to there?

    How do you feel?
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    No matter where you have him, please please insist he see a Neuropsychologist. See what they say about that. A Neuropsychologist is NOT a neurologist. It is a highly trained, usually PhD Psychologist who also has extra training in the workings of the brain.

    My son had ten HOURS worth of very intensive and impressive testing. He was tested in everything from IQ and learning style to ADHD on a computer to Autism to bipolar to how he thinks, talks, responds and behaves. Every area was covered. My son had to do it in two days. He was tired.

    In the end, tje neuropsychologist told us, with no hesitation, that his paychiatrists bipolar diagnoses was wrong and that he did not have moodswings but was on the autism spectrum.

    My son's life changed. No more horrible medications and lots of autism interventions and he kept getting better and better as we zeroed in on the right thing. And its true that my son was not moody and his psychiatrists diagnoses puzzled us, but he wouldnt bend. So we went to a NeuroPsychologist.

    I am to this day very grateful.

    See what you can do. Cant hurt.

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  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I googled behaviors associated with childhood sexual abuse.

    Signs more typical in adolescents (in addition to rage, hostility, aggression, rebellious and defiant behavior, withdrawal from friends and loved ones, and usual activities)
    • Self-injury (cutting, burning)
    • Inadequate personal hygiene
    • Drug and alcohol abuse
    • Sexual promiscuity
    • Running away from home
    • Depression, anxiety
    • Suicide attempts
    • Fear of intimacy or closeness
    • Compulsive eating or dieting
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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  14. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Wow. He checks everything on that list.

    I'm going to push for the new place, but I guess if he rather stay where he is, maybe I should honor his decision. I *did* have a breakthrough with the doctor in charge of the facility. It became evident during our conversation that he was under the impression that I was working against them, would believe everything L says, and would end up taking him out before the program is done. I don't know why he has that impression - because I call and ask questions? Anyway, he told me that he thought they *could* help L if I was completely on board and working with them as a united front. He asked me to speak harshly to L about his behavior, and to ask him to cooperate. When I finally got it through to him that it wasn't my intention to bring L home right away, and that I need him to get help, the tone of the conversation changed and I finally felt like we were really talking, instead of feeling like he thought I was just another scared, helpless mother who doesn't know anything about anything.

    It was biodad who told me that he talked to L and that L said this - about wanting to stay. So I don't know this firsthand, and it seems so strange after everything he said to me. He seemed so desperate to get out, and now he's willing to stay and complete the program. ?

    The psychiatrist, in his message to me about the EEG results, said that the drugs wouldn't work. So maybe they'll wean him off of them. I'd feel a lot better about this place if that were the case. I guess I have to wait until I can talk to L about it, but that might be days since they only allow calls on Saturday, unless I make a fuss.
  15. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    I'm still reeling from his confessions about the mercury and the "ghosts".
    I've needed to hear this for so long. They told me I probably never would. The idea of living the rest of my life never knowing, was nauseating. Of course it's horrible to receive confirmation that my son really did try to kill me (and he's aware of it, like not under some "demon" spell) and that he damaged all those things in my house and let my whole spiritual belief system be affected by his "ghosting". We spent hundreds of hours doing cleanses, ceremonies, lighting candles, going to "guides" and "shamans"... my stomach hurts. Ugh. I'm in shock. There was still a part of me that believed that yes, it had been him, but maybe he was possessed, because then it wouldn't have been *him* trying to kill me and breaking my stuff, and I still had a chance at recovering the boy he was before he did all these things. But of course, there was also the part of me that knew all along. I feel such a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
  16. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Something that worries me is that biodad, doctors and staff have all told me that he went from "I'll kill myself if I have to go back home" to "I'll kill myself if you don't send me home." This frightens me.
  17. CareTooMuch

    CareTooMuch Active Member

    Many of those same behaviors are seen in people who with adhd/depression/anxiety. D has several of those not associated with any type of sexual abuse.
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I will be traveling today. I seem to be addicted to your story.
    Let me say this first. I believe that there has to be some commonality between how the facility and you understand your son, joint acceptance of the nature of the interventions, and what you believe will support him and you.

    The MD needs you to be "completely on board" and a "unified front." What about them? Can that facility hear you? Even a little bit? What about them being on board with YOU? Are they willing to be a partnership with you?

    My feeling about them remains the same. If they are the only place available, and they are good enough, that's one thing. If there are other much better options, where there can be a real partnership and confidence, that's another thing. Or if they are grossly inadequate, that's another thing.

    I might ask the MD in the present place what he thinks about the possibility of some trauma, and see how he responds. Not that that hypothesis is necessary correct (except it is, with the disclosure of rape) but to elicit some demonstration of his willingness to be open to you, and to L. You don't want somebody imposing their beliefs, expectations, on him. You want somebody open to him, to let him express himself in a healing way.
    Whaaaat? Did he mean firmly or what?
    If it was me I would have this conversation with L. It seems like biodad's only skin in the game, so to speak, is his fear he will have to come up with more money.

    And when you speak with L. you will have two goals. One is to hear him, about the facility and about what he wants, what has happened to him, what he feels and thinks, and the other, to keep in mind what you need and expect (in a positive sense) and not be afraid to say so to L, as needed. That is, these are the issues that need to be confronted, and that the facility needs to be able to help him with them, in a way that he can accept: self-harm, harm to others. The running away, depression, etc., your relationship.

    There is a reality here.

    I would want to know from L. what it is about the facility that now renders it acceptable to him. I would want to know from L. how he feels about the possibility of a change. I would want to convey to L. that he is doing well, and, yes, that I trust him.(I will explain.)

    Because even if we fear our children and they have betrayed us, there is or is not a deep connection, a well of love and belief, that we have to find too (or not.) This is to what I believe SWOT is referring. She writes about being damaged to the core. I don't think you can come down on both sides here. I think you need to decide where you stand.

    Do you believe that this "bad" L is the real, essential him, and was always him? Or do you believe that he is basically the child you have loved and will always love? That can heal. That something happened to him or is happening within him, that is fueling this. That this can be understood, and will be. And that there can be trust.

    To me, this is something that is in you, not in some hypothetical future, or even in L. You need to understand where you decide. As do I.

    So. This is looping back to the facility. The last I heard they were saying things like treatment will not help him, or that he would always be like this...etc. And now they are saying they can help him. What has changed? I would need to hear that specifically from them. I would need to understand how they posit L's distress, and how they think they can help him. Because how can they help him if they do not believe he can change?

    If they cannot come up with something that you can buy, I would lean to moving him. And I would try to explain it to him. He is old enough where he can understand, I believe. Because we are talking about HOPE and LOVE.

    So. There is work for you to do too. You, I believe, need to decide where you stand. And make a commitment. Not to bringing him back. But to what you're willing to fight for.
    Look. He is a troubled 16 year old who essentially has no power and no resources. His bag of tricks is very minimal. Unfortunately, this is one of his tricks.

    My son did this and he was much older.

    But the thing is, they are impulsive and out of control and they do harm or kill themselves. L. needs to learn to understand that he cannot hold himself hostage in order to get his way. He can't put his life on the life to get what he wants.

    If he talks about going home, that is what I would tell him. As long as you are making threats involving YOUR LIFE and as long as there are reasons to fear that MY LIFE (or C's) is on the line, that is EVIDENCE NUMBER ONE treatment is indicated, as long as it is necessary.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  19. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Well, biodad stepped up and went ahead with the new place. I am glad and relieved.
    I still need to talk to staff and maybe even to L about how he feels about it, but biodad said that he was nervous and confused about the change at first, but then seemed okay.

    I will apply all this advice to the new place, and make sure I'm heard. I already feel much more confident in their methodology than Clinic 1.

    It is so hard for me to make that decision - if I believe he is "bad" or if I have faith that he can change. I'm afraid of being wrong either way. Very much on the fence with this. Cognitive dissonance comes into play too, because what I thought I knew was chopped to pieces by the psychiatrists. But what they say does not make sense when I take into account what L was like before 13yo.

    I'm hoping that someone in this new facility can tell me that they don't think he'll try to hurt me again. If I only have myself to go on, it will be an impossible decision. I need a professional to tell me it'll be okay, even if I know that it's not a guarantee.
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear Baggy

    How are you doing? How is L? How is C? I think of you often.