DCFS help needed update post #151 - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-27-2006, 12:53 PM
 
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I am so sorry that this is going on with your daughter. I have not read all the previous posts, but I thought I would reply with my own thoughts. Until ds was born I worked at an outdoor experiential school for girls who'd gotten in trouble. http://www.threesprings.com/newdomin...nia/index.html It was the most challenging and rewarding thing that I've done. It was not tough love, or a boot camp, but a safe place for girls to talk about their feelings and insecurities. I would not recommend a boot camp or tough love place...I don't believe in that. I think kids like your daughter need love, support, and people who can be objective yet show her care and guide her in the right direction. Every kid is different imo a lot of boot camp type places or detentions view all kids the same, or as rebels and don't see the person and the feelings underneath all of the behavior.
I think sending your daughter somewhere should be a last resort, but sometimes it really is the best choice for her to gain confidence, self-discipline, and self-respect. PM me if you would like more information. I understand that this is a heartbreaking situation for you. Kids make their own decisions.... it does NOT make you a bad parent.

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Old 04-27-2006, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No word yet from youth services or DCFS. We go in today at 2:00 to meet with a therapist at youth services.

I'm calling the same residential program that Caitelin was in to see if we can get an intake appointment. It's very close so we can visit daily if she wants to see us. It is a very intensive program and the same therapist we had for Caite and Marrissa is still there. She is awesome and was so helpful with the girls.

Marrissa had bipolar disorder. She was also molested when she was 11 by her best friends uncle. She had a boy she liked at 14-15 years. We found out right before her death that not only was he abusive to her, his older brother held her down and he raped her.

Caitelin's difficulties were her grief over losing Riss. Her focus was on being with her again and we nearly lost her twice before she came to terms with Rissy's death.

Chloe has been in therapy since Rissy died. But she won't talk about Riss. She won't discuss her at all. Not with us, not with the therapist. She says if she believes Riss never existed it won't hurt. That is all she will say about it. I know she is hurting and will continue to hurt until she deals with this loss. We've been rather passive in our approach and hoping some day in therapy, she would let go. Not happening.

When I said tough love I meant being more proactive and in a way, forcing the issue before she implodes completely.

She's on two meds. Cymbalta for depression, Remeron for anxiety. After doing more research last night, we want her off the remeron ASAP. I've got a call into our doctor to see about weaning her off.

Meds can be risky. I believe one of the meds Riss was on proved lethal for her and countless others. But I also know what the right meds can do. Caite is healthy and happy. I'm not swinging back and forth on the bipolar crazy train. I have normal emotions now.

I do so appreciate the support and kind words. It's so easy as a parent to bash yourself for every misdeed, real or imagined, large or small. And when you lose a child to suicide, you believe you failed. We keep our kids safe, protect them. We don't let them kill themselves. Guilt, selfdoubt become your constant companion. Always lurking there in the background making yo usecond guess yourself.

I did speak with a family friend last night who is also a police officer. He told me to get a copy of the report so that I have backup on how belligerant she was acting. He says with the screaming, cussing, and kicking she is lucky she didn't get tasered. I'm glad the police just spoke calmly and rationaly with her. Even though she was far from rational herself.

I've got a ton of calls to make so I better get busy.

Thank you again mamas!

Janis

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Old 04-27-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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I'm glad to hear you didn't mean a touch love place or a troubled teen bootcamp place. I watched the long-term damage they did to to kids I knew (I was in high school in the 80s, the apex of the residential treatment - tough love movement).

I also agree that, if the residential threapy program doesn't work, having her stay with nearby friends or relatives for a while is a good option - combined, of coruse, with therapy that includes you, your dh, and her.

I am sorry you are going through all this
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Old 04-27-2006, 02:32 PM
 
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With the past experience in your life (and hers) you know much more than me. I just wanted to give s. I see that you have 6 (is that right?) other children. You have your hands full without having these thoughts. Trust your mommy instinct. And its *OK* to protect the other SIX from one even if it means some lonely nights for all of you.

Good luck, and much love and hope.
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Old 04-27-2006, 02:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanisB
Chloe has been in therapy since Rissy died. But she won't talk about Riss. She won't discuss her at all. Not with us, not with the therapist. She says if she believes Riss never existed it won't hurt. That is all she will say about it. I know she is hurting and will continue to hurt until she deals with this loss. We've been rather passive in our approach and hoping some day in therapy, she would let go. Not happening.

When I said tough love I meant being more proactive and in a way, forcing the issue before she implodes completely.
Janis, I can't even imagine how you're feeling. I just wanted, especially after reading this, to re-iterate that you find and new counselor with Chloe (not just for Chloe as she has to have a say in who she talks with). From your sig I see Marrisa died in '03 (I can't imagine ). This counselor isn't working for Chloe if it was 3 years ago and she still won't talk about why she's there. It could be a trust issue with that counselor. Maybe just a personality issue. But there really could be someone out there who could click with Chloe and help her heal.

I wouldn't suggest forcing her to talk about losing her sister but I would definitely look into other counselors. 3 years is so short for us in some ways but so long to be in the kind of pain Chloe must be in to act out the way she is.
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Old 04-27-2006, 02:43 PM
 
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I think the whole family needs to get in to counseling. If you already had another child to commit suicide then this daughter was definitely affected by it and so were you as the parents. I think that's the best option for everyone involved. She certainly has some kind of problem and something had to make her get this way, kwim. If something isn't done to help her now then it can just send a chain reaction through the other children in the family and you may keep going through this with each of them until something is done.

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Old 04-27-2006, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just got off the phone with the inpatient program. It will be two weeks before we can get her in. The intake worker, the same one we have worked with before is callling Chloe's therapist to see what information she can offer. I'm waiting for our family doc to call back about the Remeron.

We've given Chloe the choice of changing counselors but she does not want to change. At this point, I don't believe the choice is hers to make.

We have the option of having her admitted at the hospital psych unit until space opens up for her at the residential program. I'm not sure we want to go that route.

It kills me to see that she is hurting so much and that I am unable to help her. She holds us responsible for Rissy's death. We killed her. She told the police that, she's told us that. But her grief, her sorrow, she will not share.
How do you reach someone who rebuffs you at every move?

If we can get her into this program and get the same therapist as before, I know she will be able to break through to her. Caite had a huge barrier and *C* was able to get through to her. The family therapy sessions with her were wonderful.

Our insurance does not cover family therapy outside of the program so I need to see what we can come up with outside of the program. We can't do the grief program we did before.

My sis that works for DCFS is getting a packet of info together for us. Maybe something in there will be what we need.

Janis

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Old 04-27-2006, 02:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68
I think the whole family needs to get in to counseling. If you already had another child to commit suicide then this daughter was definitely affected by it and so were you as the parents. I think that's the best option for everyone involved. She certainly has some kind of problem and something had to make her get this way, kwim. If something isn't done to help her now then it can just send a chain reaction through the other children in the family and you may keep going through this with each of them until something is done.
The OP has said a few times that they did family counselling long term, already. Are you saying they should do it again?
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Old 04-27-2006, 03:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by papayapetunia
I'm not going to lie. I think it's terrible that you told them to keep her. I know your rationale may be that "she's a danger to herself and others," but chances are, she didn't like spending the night wherever she spent the night and will respond well to the threat of having the cops called on her again.

She could have PTSD or any number of psychological problems because of her sister's death. She could also have genetic psychological problems, if that is what her sister had. Add abandonment to that, and who knows what will happen to her?

You should go pick her up right now. Is this not an AP site? Is there some age when AP theories are no longer applicable? She's still a child.
I understand how it may look terrible, but as an AP momma who works with children like the one described, the choice they made may not only have been the best choice, but it may have been the ONLY choice they had.

Yes, they are AP - how AP is it to allow an older sibling to be violent in the household? To physically assault her father and if she hasn't already, continue that physical violence on to the other children? For younger siblings to watch this sort of violence - it's no different then watching daddy beat up mommy - it's traumatizing.
The girl was out of control - she was a danger to herself and to others. By having her returned to the home quickly, most likely in the same mental state as when she left, they would have been exposing the other children to abuse and endangering this daughter. What would have happened if she'd come home and run out of the home and gotten killed? Or if she decided to commit suicide?

Trust me, as un-AP as having her remain there may seem to an outsider, it was almost undoubtedly the most responsible and caring thing they could have done for her.

I talk on the phone regularly with parents who are sobbing because this is the first time they've been separated from their child - and they worry that they are doing the right thing. I always tell them that keeping their child safe is the right thing to do - if you have a child who is beating up siblings, severe self mutilating, suicidal, homicidal, out of control - you need to consider the other children in the home and YOUR ability to keep everyone safe.
You need to know your limits - can you really stay awake 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and keep your eyes on them constantly? Can you be that hyper vigiliant to keep them safe and keep others safe from them? And for HOW LONG? Can you do it for days, weeks, months... years? How long before YOU need an anti-depressant or even inpatient psychiatric care? If you falter, for even a second, your mentally ill child may kill another one of your children - s/he may run in front of traffic and get killed - may take a knife from the kitchen or break a window and cut their own throat - or hang him/herself - or overdose or take pills or chemicals or anything. A self destructive child can be amazingly creative. One who is out of control can rage for days, even weeks - wearing out any caretaker before collapsing into a deep sleep - or even a coma. You'd be surprised - even in a controlled environment with a trained staff team monitoring these children, things happen - they are able to hurt each other, themselves and even attempt suicide. I can't imagine just one or two people trying to control that in a house.

Trust me, this is a horrible situation and only this family knows what is best for all the members - only they truly know what they are going through and only they can judge what is needed.
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Old 04-27-2006, 03:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamawanabe
I'm glad to hear you didn't mean a touch love place or a troubled teen bootcamp place. I watched the long-term damage they did to to kids I knew (I was in high school in the 80s, the apex of the residential treatment - tough love movement).

I also agree that, if the residential threapy program doesn't work, having her stay with nearby friends or relatives for a while is a good option - combined, of coruse, with therapy that includes you, your dh, and her.

I am sorry you are going through all this
Ditto about the tough love thing. Several of the centers in this area have been under investigation because of tactics used there and harm to residents. *shudders*

The facility that you described sounds as though it could be helpful. If nothing else but to keep her safe in the meanwhile. Here's hoping that she will be more receptive to treatment/help that they try to offer her.

Many s to you all.
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Old 04-27-2006, 04:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RiverSky
The OP has said a few times that they did family counselling long term, already. Are you saying they should do it again?
Yes

It's pretty clear from the posts the OP has made that whatever counseling they have had hasn't resulted in resolution of the issues that the family has.
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Old 04-27-2006, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes

It's pretty clear from the posts the OP has made that whatever counseling they have had hasn't resulted in resolution of the issues that the family has.
And we are looking into our options on that.

Please don't think that we have ignored the issues. We have been through this program, that program, this counselor, that one, family, individual, behavior, DBT, you name it, we've probably tried it.

Our medical bills are between 23-25k a year, out of pocket. The majority of which has been spent on treatment, counseling etc. We are NOT taking any of this lightly. We have been very proactive in trying to find help. So far, nothing has helped Chloe. Caite, Jimmy and Boo have all benefited from the things we have done.

Chloe is a tough nut to crack, so to speak. Doesn't mean we are throwing in the towel. Just means we keep trying, looking for solutions, trying to help.

Janis

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Old 04-27-2006, 06:54 PM
 
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You have my respect and profound wish that your daughter is able to find some internal peace.

Mental illness in children is a tough and heartbreaking thing. It isn't great in adults, either, but it seems especially cruel in younger people.

Hang in there and don't beat yourself up.
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Old 04-27-2006, 07:11 PM
 
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I agreed with the others with the advise given to you.

I'm sorry and I'm sending you hope and peace and Big to you and your family.

I hope everything will be solve.
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:23 PM
 
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I agree that her anger needs to be confronted head on. She may not be able to fully let out her anger with you yet since she blames you. There is someone out there who she can confide in and trust to let it all out before she can come around, gain perspective and talk to you. Sometimes having a physical release for her feelings can be a good catalyst to expressing them verbally (exercise, building something, tearing something down, etc). You are in my thoughts and prayers. You are doing everything you can.... that is truly admirable especially when someone you love so much treats you so poorly. Good for you for seeing past her behavior and trying to understand her feelings and calls for help. I know it is hard to not beat yourself up, but kids make bad decisions sometimes, they are their own people, you are doing the best you can.

Ronna
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:36 PM
 
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First of all I am very sorry about your daughter and your whole family. I hope she can get to the point where she can come to terms with herself and her life. I'm sure you're a good, decent mother who wants what's best for her and everyone in your family. I have no advice for you on that issue except to be kind and compassionate, which it sounds like you are doing.

The only advice I do have for you is to please be careful about what is posted on the internet, especially with your giving specific details and using real names. If DCFS did want to make trouble for your family, your posting here could very well be used against you. I know you're a good parent, but DCFS has torn families apart based on much less problems than what you're describing. I am sure that your daughter's problems have nothing to do with you, but DCFS could easily spin it that way.

Just some well-meaning advice from someone who has had run-ins with the authorities.
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:53 PM
 
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I agree that your whole family needs to be in intensive therapy. Something is obviously very wrong. I am not saying it's your fault that your DD committed suicide, but you need to be in therapy to find out why your family system is dysfunctional and what you personally can do to fix it. Are you married? If so, your husband needs to be in therapy as well. Family therapy that focuses only on the "problem child" is not good. Since two of your children have had serious problems, there is something bigger going on here. Everyone needs to figure out their role in the dysfunction and take the steps to fix it.

And dragging your dd up the stairs is a bad idea. If you are trying to restrain her, you need training from mental health professionals in how to do it without physically hurting her. Otherwise, you need to let her run off. If she is getting injured because you're trying to stop her, it's only going to escalate. You probably can't physically stop a teenager anyway.

I agree that I can't see that your dd needs tough love. It sounds like she needs help, not blame, while she is grieving. I agree that she needs acceptable limits, though. You need help in establishing and enforcing them.
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Old 04-27-2006, 09:41 PM
 
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I have nothing to offer except my support. I think it sounds like you are doing a fantastic job under extremely difficult circumstances.

Stacy-- Wife to my DH, mom to three: noodle girl:, Lego boy , little guy :
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Old 04-27-2006, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that your whole family needs to be in intensive therapy. Something is obviously very wrong. I am not saying it's your fault that your DD committed suicide, but you need to be in therapy to find out why your family system is dysfunctional and what you personally can do to fix it. Are you married? If so, your husband needs to be in therapy as well. Family therapy that focuses only on the "problem child" is not good. Since two of your children have had serious problems, there is something bigger going on here. Everyone needs to figure out their role in the dysfunction and take the steps to fix it.

And dragging your dd up the stairs is a bad idea. If you are trying to restrain her, you need training from mental health professionals in how to do it without physically hurting her. Otherwise, you need to let her run off. If she is getting injured because you're trying to stop her, it's only going to escalate. You probably can't physically stop a teenager anyway.

I agree that I can't see that your dd needs tough love. It sounds like she needs help, not blame, while she is grieving. I agree that she needs acceptable limits, though. You need help in establishing and enforcing them.
My daughter that took her own life had bipolar. It's a mental illness, not a cuase of dysfunction. My 17 year old also has bipolar. Again, a mental illness, not a cause of dysfunction.

We've done family therapy, dh included. It was not problem child based therapy. It was solutions and plans for the whole family therapy.

We have been taught proper restraint procedures. We had to learn them with our late dd because in her swings/rages she could lethaly escalate and harm herself. We were only carrying her inside to try and reduce the show to the neighborhood. She was screaming abuse as we tried calmly to talk to her. And no, we aren't going to let her run off when she is threatening to leave and harm herself. We did what we have been taught to do.

I agree she needs help. Have I not said that over and over? I don't blame her for her grief. But I can be and am angry at her physical lashing out. This is not the first time. No parent should have to duck blows from an out of control child.

We have acceptable rules and limits in place. Also have reasonable consequences for them. But to allow one child to run roughshod over the family is NOT reasonable nor healthy.

At this point the plan is to put her into an intensive residential treatment program. One that has individual, group and family therapy. As a part of this program we are also going to be taking a parenting class. One we've taken before, several times. But maybe we can glean something new from it.

Also we will be removing one of the medications she is on. The side effects that we are seeing include: apathy, depression,twitching, agitation, anxiety, delusions, depersonalization, coordination abnormalaties, hallucinations, manic reaction, hostility, emotional lability, euphoria and a paranoid reaction. We see that some of her actions in the last few months are from the medication. I've also learned it is not to be given to anyone under the age of 18.

Today at the meeting, she was calm, agreeable and willing to work with us instead of against us. Given that this is NOT the first time we have gone this route with her in the last few months, I don't forsee any changes until we get her off the Remeron and into treatment.

It's not easy to see everything we have done and continue to do for our family. To call it dysfunctional is, IMO, a bit insulting. Again, mental illness does not equal a dyfunctional family. It means ill family members who need the proper help. We are doing all we can to get that.

Janis

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Old 04-27-2006, 10:10 PM
 
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Hugs mama. You're doing everything you can. Just be strong for your family, and remember, this too shall pass.
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Old 04-27-2006, 10:23 PM
 
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I have read the whole thread.
I applaud you for what you are doing for your daughter.
Mental illness is so tough. It doesn't mean the whole family is dysfunctional. Just some MI is more genetically disposed in some of our family members as opposed to others
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:23 AM
 
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I can not even imagine how stressful this situation must be for you and your family. Wishing strength and peace to all family members.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanisB
We see that some of her actions in the last few months are from the medication. I've also learned it is not to be given to anyone under the age of 18.
My sister and I both had adverse reactions to anti-depressants in our teens. Scary stuff. It can change a teen's entire personality.
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Old 04-28-2006, 04:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Penelope

I wonder if your dd is reliving the hurt of your older dd's death, as she approaches the age at which her sister began to have such terrible difficulty.

Good luck, mama, you and your dd and your whole family are in my prayers.
Oh God Janis. I can't believe this.

My stepmother was on anti depressants and it totally tripped her OUT. It was BAD. Fantasies, thinking people were out to get her... her whole world became a scary, psycho place.

I hope that the systems you have put into place this time will help your daughter. I would love to see your family happy again.
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Old 04-29-2006, 12:33 AM
 
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Janis, you and your family are in my thoughts during this trying time.

For what it's worth, you sound to be doing everything a caring, loving mom could be doing to help her daughter.
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Old 04-29-2006, 01:48 AM
 
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Your family will be in my prayers. I can't imagine what you are going through. For what it's worth, it sounds like you are doing a great job acting on this stuff.

And for those of you calling mental illness dysfunction, you need to do a little research. It is not her fault that it runs in the family. It isn't that she is doing something drastically wrong. You should hope that none of your children have it, it is unbelievabley difficult.

Louise
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Old 04-29-2006, 06:01 AM
 
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Your family will be in my prayers. I can't imagine what you are going through.
Good vibes going out to you mama, from me as well.:
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Old 04-29-2006, 10:38 AM
 
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Janis- I don't know what I can add to all that has already been said.

My only other thought was-- do you have a spiritual faith that you can turn toward at this horribly difficult time? It sounds from all that you have said that you have tried and will continue to try adjusting therapy situations and meds, etc. So- a strong faith life was my only thought on how *I* might be able to survive what you are going through.

I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter, and for all of the havoc mental illness is wreaking on your family.


:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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Old 04-29-2006, 10:48 AM
 
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For those of you who are being so critical...you CLEARLY have no concept of what mental illness can do to a family. It has NOTHING to do with dysfunction and everything to do with genetics. Please, think before you type.
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Old 04-29-2006, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
do you have a spiritual faith that you can turn toward
No. I'm not one for faith. I'm more of an agnostic.

But I do have my writing and a few good friends I can turn to. One of them lost her son a few months after we lost Rissy. Her daughter went off the deep end for a bit so she gets a lot of what we are going through.

Few people understand how damaging an MI can be on a family, let alone to an individual. I don't think our extended families got it until Marrissa died. Nobody though it was that big of a deal, thought she was just being a pain or that we were exagerrating the troubles. They all have their "if only's" to deal with now.

I don't think Chloe has BP, but I do see some traits in her. Some of it could be from the remeron though. In talking with her doctor, he wants her to have a full psych eval done. Just have to see if the insurance will cover the guy we want her to see. We have an exception so he can see Caite. Not sure if we can get one for Chloe too. Hopefully.

She's been very quiet. She picked up a horrid case of stomach flu, so has mostly been sleeping or being sick. She was up for a bit last night, but didn't say much. Of course, if I was as ill as she, I wouldn't either.

I won't know more until Monday as far as the program or anything else.

Thank you very much for the support and well wishes!

Janis

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Old 04-29-2006, 02:49 PM
 
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Janis - I'm thinking of you and your family. I've followed your blog for several months. My dh thinks that weeping over a stranger's blog is just borrowing trouble. But he doesn't understand that MDC/internet community *is* real community.

Your family has been through so much already. I hope that you can find the help that your family needs!
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