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!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Anti-climactic Moment

Kitty has an IEP meeting on Friday, so I planned to discuss the Basic Plan vs Family Plan during her Tuesday therapy session.  She meets with her new psychiatrist (old one quit) on Wednesday and I thought it would be good for her to see Kitty in an agitated state (if Kitty was going to be), because Kitty presents well and most people don't believe me or all the documentation in the face of that.  I didn't want to deal with telling her that we weren’t going to support her working at GAC (Giant Amusement Center) during the IEP meeting.  I wanted a chanced to process it with her in therapy, since she hasn’t been willing to listen to my concerns before now.

Last week I gave Kitty’s special school principal a heads up that we were going to need to talk about job changes at the IEP meeting (among other things).  Don’t know why it didn’t occur to me, but unfortunately the school decided to discuss our decision to stop supporting her working at GAC on MONDAY.   She came home upset that I’d e-mailed her teachers against her wishes again.  We reviewed some of my concerns (focusing on the stress and anxiety that the GAC job produces, her isolating and shutting down and refusing to be part of the family) and she actually took it rather well.

Here's the points we covered that we will need to repeatedly remind her she agreed to:

  • We talked to her about the shutting down/ freeze/ isolating behavior she’s been increasingly showing, and her repeated statements that she’s not willing to deal with any issues or be part of the family because she’s not willing to take any chances about going back to the psych hospital.  She tried to deny that she’s been sleeping or isolating all day, and said she’d been out of her room more, but I pointed out that appears to be only because she lost her iPod on Saturday (and the novelty of having her Netflixs account on the TV - which she decided to do after losing her iPod).
  • She agreed to go along with us telling the school that we would no longer be willing to take her to GAC so that the school would look for another job for her that would start during the school day.
  • If the school was unable/unwilling to find her another job, she agreed to continue to work at The Book Store so that she isn’t coming home mid-day (because we are not comfortable with her being home alone unsupervised for long periods of time if I find a job and/or Bear ends up moving home).
  • Although I feel the stress would be too much for her and I’m unhappy that she will continue to miss so much family time, we did agree that if she went along with telling the school that she needed a new job, and she wanted to secretly continue to work at GAC, we would let her continue to work there. I HATE this, because I feel nothing will change, if she keeps this stupid job.

Not exactly what I hoped for, because I was really hoping to trigger a commitment from her to be a "family girl," but probably the best we were going to get under the circumstances. I did talk to her about the Basic plan vs Family plan, but left out a lot (mentioned it being a CHOICE to be part of the family and that family privileges included chauffering and cable TV).

I didn't even bring up the Boarder Agreement - honestly I never wanted that to be seen as a punishment, so this is better.  Now we can use it as a tool when she graduates high school.  Someone commented that it seemed like a document that was well over her head, and I agree!  The reality is that ALL legal documents are over her head, and yet as an adult she will be expected to sign them (the main reason we needed to get legal guardianship).  That's why she has given me Power of Attorney; she trusts me to explain documents to her and work in her best interest (kind of ironic!).  If Bear moves home, we'll have him fill out the Boarder Agreement as well.


Miz Kizzle said...

I'm glad to hear the boarder agreement is on the back burner for now. It might be a good idea if the agreement was pared way down. It seems like you put everything but the kitchen sink in the one you posted. The parts about fireams and pornography seemed superfluous, for instance.
There are standard landlord-tenant agreements online that you can print out (as you probably know), but even those would probably have to be radically modified for Kitty.
It seems to me that it's a good thing that Kitty doesn't want another psyc hospitalization. There are people who LIKE being hospitalized and will do their darndest to go back time after time.

Miz Kizzle said...

And another thing (I can't stop thinking about the boarder agreement for some reason) why add the part about parking if Kitty doesn't have a driver's license or own a motor vehicle?
If you wanted boilerplate to make it look daunting, you could simply have typed in random vaguely legal-ese phrases like "Whereas, upon this, the twentieth of November in the year of Our Lord two thousand and thirteen, the party of the first part, having heretofore vouchsafed upon all and sundry the aforesaid motion to henceforth make it know to all and sundry, yada-yada, e pluribus unim, hic haec hoc, hey nonny nonny and a hot-cha-cha."
I'm not trying to mock you; I've just seen lots of contracts in my time, but nothing like the one you poster, where the tenant was one's own child. I did, however, see one once where the landlord wanted a clause stimpulating that his tenants had to go to church every Sunday or be tossed out into the street.

marythemom said...

Actually, I'm a plan ahead kind of person and I fully intend to use this with Bear as well(and any other child that comes home to live). Most of the things included here are things we've had problems with in the past (porn, weapons...). My kids are very much if you didn't say not to, then you must have meant it was OK. I'd rather have a rule against it that we can bend because we love them, then not have a rule against it.

Which reminds me... I should probably add something about curfews and noise during sleeping/study hours...

Miz Kizzle said...

And how they shouldn't be running a greyhound-racing track in the back yard or declaring their rooms to be sovereign nations, off-limits to you AND all American law enforcement agencies.

marythemom said...

As far as I know in my state, just allowing a legal adult to live in my home constitutes tenancy and as such I would have to go the legal route to get her evicted ANYWAY. Lots of parents of adult children, especially those with SSI, have them contribute to the household.

While I WISH we could afford to get legal guardianship of my daughter, we can't; therefore, one way or another, she's eventually going to have to sign legal documents whether she understands them or not - especially those for where she lives.

>95% of this document was taken from college dorm roommate agreements, co-op agreements, boarder agreements and house rental agreements. Very little was added by me.

Yes, it is restrictive and way too complicated, but so is living with a severely mentally ill person. f we were a therapeutic foster home/ or a group home the agreements we sign would be a LOT more complicated than this.

It is not intended to be a therapeutic document (although it will have some value in that respect), it's to protect the family and establish boundaries. I also know that it's probably not terribly enforceable. Some of it is definitely legal-ease gobbledy gook.

I've spoken to Kitty's therapist and we've decided not to give the Boarder Agreement to Kitty at this time, but I will be giving something like this to her after high school graduation and to Bear if he moves home. We need the protection it offers and she needs proof that she's paying rent for her SSI. I might amend it yet again based on their needs and I'll probably have a lawyer look it over.

I see this as a separate issue from the Basic vs Family Plan - (it wasn't originally, but that has changed). I'm glad we're going to be able to separate the two for a lot of the reasons everyone has mentioned. Even the Basic vs Family Plan has changed a lot. Kitty will never see the original version - it's no longer applicable.