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!
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
At what point do you let go?
It feels like I'm in the middle of the ocean holding my son like a lifeguard would. We did everything we could to teach my son to "swim," and he just couldn't learn. For as long as I hold him, he hates me, is actively fighting me, and is convinced he can do it all on his own; his struggles could drown me, and almost have in the past. I know that the minute I let go, he will flounder for a little while, but will eventually sink to the bottom of the ocean. How can you let go, knowing your child will drown? At the same time, I know I cannot hold him forever. At what point do I let go?
Because Bear wasn't on meds when he entered jail he can't get back on meds without a medical assessment, which he was told wouldn't happen until he went to prison. I tried to advocate to get him assessed and back on meds when he was first incarcerated, but hit a brick wall.
Last month he told us he'd accepted a plea bargain, but wouldn't actually be admitted to prison for another 8-9 months. I started advocating again, to get the assessment moved up, but hit another brick wall (same one) and let it drop. Today I was contacted by an Oklahoma disability advocacy agency I'd spoken to in the past and was told their lawyer was willing to send a letter to the jail asking them to get Bear assessed. I figured it couldn't hurt.
Tonight I got a call from Bear telling me that I was ruining his life. The jail administrator is blaming him for the letter (which was apparently faxed today) and going to punish Bear by moving him back to a pod where he was beaten up all the time. Bear kept saying he's "almost 20" (chronologically he won't be 20 for more than 6 months, and emotionally... - honestly I hear someone else being quoted in this) and that he can handle this on his own like he's taken care of himself his whole life (yea right!) in group homes, RTC, foster care.... He wants me to contact the lawyer and make them "take it back."
A big part of me wants to just let him go. I've already stepped back a lot. I feel he's fine where he is (he's got 3 hots and a cot and doesn't have any real life skills to do anything else.). He's legally an adult. He chose to move out. He chose to move back with biofamily. He chose to break the law (many laws actually). He's in another state, and he's mostly safe in jail. The only thing I was worried about was that he was struggling so hard being off his meds, and I felt a moral obligation to advocate for him. Now I've been attacked for it, and I even paid $60 for the privilege (2 collect calls).
Hubby is the one who is making me feel guilty about just totally backing off. He knows that Bear can't really handle life on his own and therefore we shouldn't allow him to push us away.
He's going to self-destruct. It's inevitable. We've been delaying the inevitable for 7 years. So where is the line? Legally we have no obligations. Morally?