Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The 4th of July and Freedom

I sent my son to live in a group home yesterday. Actually, I didn't do it, the decision out of my hands. 3 assault charges in a year means a judge is making the decisions now.  He wasn't even able to make it a week into the summer before the anger and anxiety became too much and he assaulted me again. His younger siblings watched, crying and screaming in terror, and my 12 year old daughter had to call the police in order to protect her mom, again. Mr. Man  spent 22 days in jail, 7 days in a "half-way" house so they could open a Medicaid account for him, and he is now living in a house with 4 other boys and 2 girls, as well as, 2-3 staff, 24 hours a day. And all he's worried about is if he will get to go out for his birthday.

They open Medicaid because it's $244 a day for him to live in this house, that's $43,920 for the 6 months he has been initially placed. We will be financially responsible for a portion of the cost, which they figure out through a formula according to the paperwork we are going to have to fill out. $43,920 and no guarantee that he will see this as anything more than another way we have "ruined his life" and cause him to hate us more. 

My in-laws are visiting from PA and we were able to get them in to see him the night before he went to court. They cried and said how gorgeous he is (and he is a good looking kid!) and wondered just HOW this happens. I have wondered the same thing, over and over. I begged for help for years, but it took 3 assaults to get it and still it may or may not be enough.

I have all 3 of my younger children in counseling...yep, the 2 year old too. One of the things that can cause PTSD in toddlers is when they watch their primary care-giver being harmed. We are considering sending my 12 year old to a different middle school, just so she doesn't have to feel like she has to follow behind her brother and his reputation. My 8 year old can't bear to have me out of his sight. He knows what time I get off of work and is calling within 10 minutes to see where I am and when I will be home. My oldest son and I were goofing around and fighting over a Peanut Butter Oreo (YUM, by the way!) and he fell on top of me. Even though we were laughing and goofing around, my 2 year old went into hysterics, crying and screaming. She was barely consolable. My sweet baby can't even watch us play without reliving her trauma.

Why does our system have to run so backward? Why do we have to be so damaged before we can get the help we need? And why do I feel guilty that I am looking forward to time at the cabin this 4th of July weekend and the freedom I feel because I know there won't be any physical assaults or fights or power struggles? How do I explain to my children, who are incredibly angry with their brother, that although I am angry too, he is still my son and I love him with everything in me? How do I convince my husband, who hasn't spoken to his son since that night, to participate in his son's "rehabilitation"? 

The intake worker for the group home commented that their goal will be to help me step out of a "treatment minded" role with my son and into a parental role. How do I do that when it seems to all be tied together? All of my training and education makes me "treatment minded", so I think it's how I parent...who knows. Just another detour down this long and winding road. 

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