This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bear is still struggling

Big shock, Bear has gotten into a fight in jail.  He claims that 2 people were fighting and Bear let one of them take refuge in his cell.  Leading to Bear getting beaten up.  Since in this version of the story, Bear is completely blame-less... I'm not sure how much of it I believe.  He wants to sue the county for letting him get beat up.  It's a good thing he can't see how much I'm rolling my eyes.

I've told Bear AGAIN and AGAIN to shut up and quit listening to legal advice from everyone.  He has the RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT, because everything he says can, and WILL, be used AGAINST him in a court of law.

Bear still hasn't met his lawyer.  He's told he has a court date of September 6th and while he was supposed to get to talk to his lawyer earlier this week, now he's being told he'll have to wait until the week before his court date.  This is NOT acceptable, and I'll be calling the lawyer AGAIN tomorrow morning.  This time I'll mention that we have a Power of Attorney document that allows people to share confidential information about Bear with us.  There's a possibility that the lawyer is not speaking to us because Bear hasn't given permission yet.


Biomom asked Bio Grandpa to consider taking Bear in if he gets out on probation.  Bio Gpa was understandably concerned about being able to afford this, and Bear's behavior issues.  He'd heard that Bear might be able to get SSI benefits, which include Medicaid and a small stipend, and he asked me to call him so I could explain how SSI works.  Bear has always very carefully kept us apart from his biofamily.   Probably for many reasons, but it's much easier to triangulate and manipulate people if they're not communicating with each other.  Until this happened, the biofamily knew very little about his many diagnoses.

I felt a little guilty, but I ended up telling Bio Gpa, that the behaviors he saw in the weeks Bear lived with him, weren't atypical and would probably get worse.  I told him the full extent of Bear's diagnoses and the problems we saw with lying and stealing.  I learned a little more about Bear's behavior while he was living with Bio Gpa (not good!), and Bio Gpa realized that Bear had probably intended to steal and pawn some tools that were in the car he "borrowed" from Bio Gpa.

I did this because I don't want Bear to get out of jail and then all this, or worse, happens again in a matter of weeks.  I told Bio Gpa that I felt Bear did not need to be living in someone's home, especially family, and asked that if he planned to go to Bear's court date that he please recommend that Bear go to a group home, half-way house, or Job Corp.  I told him this is what we planned to suggest to the lawyer too.

I also explained that counting on SSI for Bear's support was not a good option because basically Bear will get about $700/month plus Medicaid; HOWEVER, if Bear gets a job then he can lose these benefits.  If Bear's new job earns him more than $700/month then he will lose his SSI.  Of course if Bear has a job he won't need it, right?!  Wrong!  Bear doesn't typically keep a job for more than a few weeks so he'd soon be out of a job and not have SSI either.  Plus his meds typically cost $1500-2000/month!  If he loses his Medicaid then he has no way to pay for this.  Even with a job, he might be able to get Medicaid in his own right so we might be able to get around that.

I didn't think until I got off the phone, about one other concern with Bio Gpa counting on Bear's SSI... Bear doesn't HAVE to surrender it.  Bio Gpa could end up supporting a well-funded Bear who spends all his money like water on who knows what.  And of course, no one can make Bear take his meds, and even if he starts taking them, he can stop any time he wants.  We're hoping to suggest to the lawyer that court mandated adherence to having to take his meds might be really helpful.


Every time I speak to Bear, it's reinforced to me that he is just not capable of maintaining long-term respectful relationships, especially with family and especially with females.  He just has no clue!

Bear called me from jail today. He wanted me to call his current girlfriend and find out why she's not answering his calls. He also asked me several times to pass on the message that he loves her, misses her, she's the first thought on his mind, and if she can't take his calls, he wants her to write him... actually he wants her to write anyway so he can get mail. He's never even given us the address for the jail!  When I asked for the address and said I might write him, he asked me to search his stuff and send him the address for Team Impact, you know, someone he might really want to talk to...

He talked about how he carries gf's picture around in his wallet and thinks of nothing but her... he has no clue that this might bother me or why. He didn't even know her real name until a week ago (Last time he asked me to text her, he gave me her nickname.  When I refused to text "Shorty" and I asked him for her real name, he gave me the wrong one!).  The only reason he's still with her is because he's in jail.  *sigh*

No idea why I let that get to me.  It's not like it's new.


Anonymous said...

w/ SSI, other people are not allowed to contribute to the recipient's costs of housing or food. To do so lowers the benefit amount. (Others paying for medical is OK.) To live with bio G'pa, Bear would have to have a rental agreement (nothing fancy, Ms A has a 2 paragraph doc w/ no legalese.) There are restrictions as to how much the rent can be compared with the amount of the check. Whoever manages the SSI funds has to submit a yearly report. If the account gets over $2500 -- even by $1, there can be hefty penalties. And every time Bear's income changes that means another trip to the Social Security office to report the changes! (Perhaps that can be done over the phone, but it has to be done within a short time-period.) ... I think TX Medicaid has a cap of 3 Rx's per month. I just read that, but I was reading something that was about 5 years old.
On the good side, if Bear's only income is SSI, he doesn't have to file income taxes w/ the IRS...

GB's Mom said...

Nothing new. {{{Hugs}}}

Loosey said...

Is his bio-family likely to bail him out? If not, decisions about his status while on probation can probably wait quite a while. If your area is similar to ours, folks who are arrested and not bailed out spend about two years in the system waiting on adjudication. It's a shame he is prioritizing superficial relationships over family ones, but that's the RAD working, not your hard work with him.
I am mildly curious about the people who take him in, though; do they find he has the same hygiene and boundary issues as he showed with you? If so, why on earth would they welcome him back?

marythemom said...

Thanks STS! Good information as usual!

Loosey - His biofamily can't afford to bail him out. He's been told he has a court date of September 6th, it's a teeny tiny county so I guess the process is faster?

Yes, people who take him in have the same hygiene and boundary issues with him that we do. His Bio Gpa complained about the 45 min to 1 hour showers. Usually people tolerate him for a few weeks, and then he moves on before they catch on to how much trouble he really is. No one takes him back again. Bio Gpa only considered it because Biomom asked him to, he probably felt a little guilty that Bear had nowhere else to go, and I think he thought Bear couldn't really be that bad or would get better. It's hard to believe someone will lie to your face repeatedly, and there is probably a honeymoon period that Bear goes through with them.