On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Insurance says Sissy "no longer meets the criteria for inpatient care" and intends to give her a discharge before the end of February.

The RTC therapist informed me of this last night via email. Not during our therapy session that morning. And her email was only in response to mine, letting her know that the public school here wants to make their recommendations. So... if I hadn't contacted the therapist, I suppose I would still be living in blissful ignorance this morning? What? Was the RTC going to call me and say, "come get her today?" and I'd have had no idea?

The therapist says Sissy still isn't showing her anger so when they evaluate her biweekly, that's why she has fallen out of "meeting criteria". The therapist, (all in this email that I got at 7 pm last night, mind you, the email that was solicited, read: I only know this because I asked about something else) wants us to take Sissy overnight in the hopes she'll demonstrate her anger while with us so they can tell insurance she needs another 30 days.

Why hasn't Sissy shown her anger before now? Oh, could it be because she's 3 hours away and the only way we can spend our TLs is on campus (which got nixed five weeks ago because other residents' parents weren't observing patient confidentiality) or off campus to some public venue like McDonald's or to parks. Point of fact, this past weekend was the first time we went to a park because after 5 weeks of asking where else could we go for our TL, they finally mentioned the park. So no, public environments where we eat or play on playgrounds is NOT going to trigger Sissy. DUH! BIG HUGE O.M.G. DUH DUH DUH!!!!!

And why haven't we taken Sissy home for overnights before this? Because the therapist only tossed it out to me three weeks ago as an aside at the tail end of a session, 'Oh, insurance says you are approved for 48 hour overnight TL" and I was left standing there with my mouth hanging open. but, but, but.... I have ANOTHER impaired child. I have a 5 year old that has suffered at Sissy's hand. I'm supposed to put Sissy back in that bedroom with Wonder Girl in the hopes something will escalate?!?! HELLO!?!?!? I'm supposed to drive 12 hours in one weekend with Aspie Boy in tow?!?!? HELLO?!?!?! How am I not making myself clear?!?

And what about how much all of these trips cost us in lost wages, gas, wear and tear on the vehicle, eating out (because you can't have a picnic in a van in winter weather and even if you could, HELLO?!? I have ASPIE BOY!!!!)

The therapist said in the email Sissy needs to go to alternative school and continue her neurofeedback. HELLO?!?!? Are those even options for us in Augusta? I've been EXCEEDINGLY CLEAR that our area is horrendous for mental health resources and support. I even asked insurance about it last week. They said nothing. Atlanta where Sissy is at right now is overwhelmed with resources. We have nothing. I can't even get our RAD therapist to return my calls about starting a support group and we've been talking about it since October!!!!

Therapist says all of these things will be taken care of by intensive family intervention services. Uh.. ok. What are the credentials of these folks? Social workers? LPCs? Interns from the medical college (god help us!) That whoever/whatzit is going to walk into my house and I'm going to greet them at the door and to say "let's discuss triangulation." before s/he can say another word.

and The Dad makes a good point, as my fridge is bare and so is my bank account and the weather is STILL not cooperating so we can do a full week's worth of work AND the kids are out because of furlough days until Wednesday so that means I'm not working either, he says, "I know God says he won't give you more than you can handle, that He will meet all of our needs. OK. So God gave us these kids knowing they would have needs. But guess what? Their needs are still being unmet. And we still scrape by in this tiny house with no money and no help. Who can babysit for us so WE can have some sanity once in awhile? There is NO ONE. How do I make money when the weather won't cooperate? How do I protect Wonder Girl when our house is too small to create a fourth bedroom to put Sissy in when she returns in TWO WEEKS!? How is God meeting our needs? How is God also not giving us more than we can handle? Because so far, these needs aren't being met and this is way more than I can handle."

And I cried with my poor husband and he thought my non response meant I didn't agree with what he said but that wasn't the case at all because all I've got it, "What he said."

So today I'm putting all the bookshelves in the hallway and rearranging the living room, pulling the sofa forward and moving the other furniture into the vacancies from the bookshelves. This would be our 14x16 living room, ya'll. This weekend we'll disassemble the bunk bed and put Sissy's top-bunk portion behind the sofa, hang some curtains, add her dresser and try to figure out some kind of alarm something-or-other. We're not sure what. That's as far as we got last night in our discussion that ended at 10:30, both of us angry, weepy, nauseated and unable to think anymore.

Ask me if I slept. Nah, you already know the answer. My head is splitting. I feel like I'm going to throw up. I've called the school's principal to ask if we even have an alternative school in our area for girls Sissy's age and if there are openings and if we can get her in based on the criteria from the RTC. I know for a fact that there isn't one in our county. then I'll call our local RAD therapist again, begging for her to get the support group started.

I'll pay S&H, please send me any RAD books on your shelves you think I'll benefit from that you don't currently need. They will be returned when I've read them. Lisa can vouch for me.


marythemom said...

RTCs and insurance do not give a cr*p about anyone else in the family or the fact that there are no services available. We learned this the hard way. We told insurance if they would pay for things like neurological testing for our daughter we wouldn't have had to have her at an $800/day residential treatment center, but they wouldn't do it. We told them that our entire family was terrified of our son, and our daughter had made so much progress while he was gone, but they sent him home anyway - without any support services in place.

I debated and decided not to trigger a major meltdown/ RAD rage for my kids while they were at the RTC to show they were not ready to come home. I honestly think that not doing so was a big mistake.

My advice? Trigger her. Help that RAD rage come out while she is still safely there (and not in your home). With any luck it will buy you some time and if it's on campus then maybe they will be able to access some of those feelings you see glimpses of during your calls. Otherwise? It's virtually impossible to get your child back in the programs she so obviously needs because they will write the RTC off as not working or flat out not needed.

From a mom who's BTDT,
Mary in TX

J. said...

I think you have probably read the books I have. Do you know about the Beyond COnsequences online class. If you are willing to blog for them you can take it for free. At least they offered that last month. It is different that many other approaches but I find that a bled of a whole bunch of stuff is what works for us.

Can you have Aspie boys and wonder girl share a room? I know it is not the norm but I have friends who have their mixed gender sibs share and it works for them really well.

waldenbunch said...

Oh, Jennie. I'm so sorry. I remember these days so vividly and all I can say is you will get through them. I've asked God all those questions and begged for mercy and strength. It's a one moment at a time kinda deal. You are a survivor and there will be answers eventually. Your advocacy is saving your children's lives. No matter how angry or frustrated or depressed we are, it is better than where they were. Just know there is someone (probably lots of someones) that understand this journey and it.is.not.fun. When we went through it we had no one. No support group, no one who had been through it before, no bloggy friends. So I will pray God's peace amidst the storm and the battle. Because it is a battle.

Jennie said...

ok. I'm hearing ya'll loud and clear. We're going to try to trigger Sissy. Ugh. Just when you think you're doing the right thing, you've gotten it all wrong. Argh.

two reasons I won't put Aspie Boy and Maren together so Sissy can have the girls room:
1. Aspie Boy absolutely has to have a quiet space to himself to unwind. His stimming is pretty bad some times. Plus, he hates that wonder girl is capable and smart and he hits in his anger.

2. It wouldn't be fair to wonder girl to move her, she's not the one that's been horrendous or impaired or detrimental to others. In her 5 year old mind, it would be a punishment to have to deal with Sissy OR Aspie Boy, a punishment she didn't deserve because she's faultless in all of this.

3. Put her in our room is out. We just spent the last three months helping her migrate back to her room and out of our room because she couldn't be in her room alone with Sissy and because the trauma has caused many nightmares and sleeplessness.

Stacy said...

I don't comment much but I'm reading. My heart is breaking for you. I'm tearing up as I read. I'm so sorry. I hope that you can trigger her so that hopefully insurance will sit up and take notice. {{hugs}}

FosterAbba said...

I'm sorry. It seems the system just fails everyone, doesn't it?

Corey said...

Jennie.. I have to second what Mary said.. I'd be happy to talk with you more privately if you'd like.. you know our son has been in RTC for 14 months now.. email me at jcwaters2002@yahoo.com


Lisa said...

We are experiencing or have experienced every single thing you're writing (except for RTC, which is just out of the question since MI has no money for RTC's. The only kids that get there are the ones raping and setting fires and murdering at this point. There is no help for the kids who are on their way to doing those things. We did the bedroom shuffle and we are out of options for that as well. I have a few older kids who will be moving out in the next few years - too little, too late though since we need a solution TODAY. The bedroom in the living room deal sucks, but I can totally see how you're out of options. How in blazes are we supposed to have any semblence of "normal" when we have to go to these extremes? The first thing people see when they walk through my door is the locks on the refrigerator and freezer - very welcoming, no?

Hang in there, I wish your situation was unique, but there are so....many of us out here living your life -- no answers, but you'll get thru this.