Still chilling at my MIL's house. I return to reality tomorrow, not that I should. I'm still so emotionally overwrought and the quiet here is very therapeutic. Wednesday's DBHDD audit of Sissy's case at the hospital was a nightmare. It's a marvel that I had any fight left in me because I felt so drained and deflated before I went. You can imagine how I feel now. And I wonder, why do I keep fighting for this child? The answer is I love her and by God, SOMEONE has to advocate for her!
Thankfully the kids' grandma came with me and I'm not kidding, she left that meeting more agitated than I did. To quote her, "24 years and NOTHING has changed." She was referring to the fact that Sissy is at the same RTC her birthmom was at when she was Sissy's age. Hats off to her for reliving this nightmare with me, I don't miss the point that it's Round 2 of this nonsense for her.
It's just so hard to ignore glaring lies and ignorance coming straight from the mouths of the agencies that the state has in place to "help". So frustrating.
No, that's being kind. It's sheer madness. All of it is.
I've made so many calls, talked to so many people, and still I hit a brick wall. If I was a ram, I'd have brain damage.
The bottom line is there simply are no state run facility that provide long term care for youths and adolescents. And private facilities are typically not PRTF licensed so even private insurance won't always pay (not that we have any). In other words, it's self pay or keep the child in your home, boomeranging in and out of RTCs all through adolescence. And if they get in trouble with the law because of their mental health issues, juvenile detention centers or jail.
Ultimately, the system is a set up for failure. I was literally told that if Sissy was 18, this would be a non-issue and that if we didn't think we could handle her that we needed to consider relinquishing our rights.
I also learned that there are 13 states in the union that have made it illegal for the state to force parents to relinquish custody. We don't live in one of those states. We live in a state that will make us out as criminals if we feel we are forced to choose the welfare of the other children in our home over Sissy's. But of course, we're in double jeopardy because if she harms one of the other children we could be charged with failure to protect.
The thought has crossed my mind to move to another state. In a recent text message, I said, "the mental health in this state has reduced me to a one word vocabulary that begins with the letter 'f' and rhymes with duck."
But then even if we become independently wealthy and could pay out of pocket for private care... eventually we'd be broke.
And then I hear stories about wealthy families that don't pay a dime and their children are in state care because they could afford lawyers to convince the state to pay. I can't afford a lawyer.
And the state tells me it's a civil action lawsuit to do a case-by-case consideration to pay for a lateral move for Sissy to go to a long-term PRTF facility in another state.
There is no win.
And I want to scream.
I keep telling myself if Sissy could just be good ... if she could just be the inner child I know that's in her somewhere, beneath all her issues ...
It comes down to this truth: I miss a child that never existed.