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, January 8, 2014

Bear Update

Been awhile since I updated on Bear.  Not a lot of great news.

  • At "A & R" Bear was finally assessed and put on medication.  Unfortunately the wrong one, because Elavil can cause mania in people with bipolar disorder.  He had severe "gastrointestinal issues" and they took him off of it.  Unfortunately they didn't put him back on anything.  
  • They also offered him Thorazine – which D refused to take as he'd seen a lot of people taking it acting like zombies.
  • Bear was moved to one of the scarier private prisons and he's pretty scared.  
  • The good news is that the new location is only about a 10 hour round trip from our house.  The bad news is that makes it feel worse when we still can't visit.
  • According to Bear, there's a race war between the Native Americans and the Hispanics, so Bear has aligned himself with the Native Americans.  I wish he'd stay out of all of it, but I assume it helps him feel safer.
  • We haven't been able to communicate with him much, because until a bunk opened up in a regular cell block, he was stuck in, I think he called it segregation.  Now he's finally got a regular bunk.
  • He is asking me to advocate for him and get him moved to another cell block and/or another prison, plus he wants me to fight to get him on meds.  I don't think I can help, but he seems to think I'm Super Advocate!
  • Bear is struggling more and more with the lack of medications, but despite his repeated requests, he hadn't been able to see a psychiatrist until he "flipped out" recently.  Unfortunately they chose to put him on Trazadone for sleep and Prozac.  Prozac is an anti-depressant, which for someone with bipolar disorder can trigger mania.  In Kitty it triggered self-harming.  A manic Bear was angry and aggressive.  Very scary!
  • Bear had told us he was up for parole at the end of January, but he recently told us that he was mistaken and won't be eligible for parole until December of this year.
  • He's decided he wants to be Muslim and has asked me to buy him a Quran.  If I thought this was a genuine decision based on sincere beliefs and information, I would be supportive.  Instead I believe this is like Kitty becoming Wiccan while in residential treatment, just because her roommate had decided to try it and they were into teenage romance novels loosely based on Wiccan principles.  I'm not sure why it bothers me so much, but it does.


Lisa said...

I understand why this bothers you and it should so here goes:

DO NOT buy him a Quran or anything else that isn't a necessity (if you are so inclined to continue providing for him in this way) while he is in jail!!! Here is the problem as I see it from what you're disclosing on this blog (I completely understand if you don't put EVERYTHING on here and there are extenuating circumstances that I don't understand due to lack of info) - Bear wants you to advocate for him NOW. He wasn't real happy about you doing it for him when he lived at home and fought you every step of the way. He was happy to believe what others (people who did not have the emotional investment in him that you do) told him he should be able to do - privilege wise based on his age - and more than happy to ignore all of your attempts to keep him on the right path in life. He sabotaged everything you tried to do for him and made you pay for being there for him. NOW he wants you to advocate for him for medication, he wants you to buy him things that support his newest interest and yet, you are still not getting anything close to reciprocation back. He "misunderstands" or whatever and you are constantly left misinformed and/or in the dark (ex: when he is eligible for parole). I'm not saying to punish him, I just think you need to step back away from this mess he has gotten himself into. I wouldn't even go visit (5 hours!! That's still a long time commitment). Phone calls are enough. See, I don't see Bear changing anytime soon. He may not like prison, but does he hate it enough to turn his life around? Does he hate it enough to take advantage of every single opportunity he can get in there for therapy, schooling, etc so he has something going for him when he gets out? If he has a felony conviction he is going to have a REALLY hard time finding work when he gets out and that's on top of the hard time he had before he went in. I am a realist. You can still love him and want the best for him from 2 1/2 hrs. away. You can still love him if you don't put money on his account or buy him things. You can send him a card, call him or write him a letter. I am sorry if I sound callous or cold. I just keep watching parents working so very, very hard to prevent this from happening and it happens anyway - and then they keep on trying to help and all it does is breed resentment with the other kids in the family because Bears needs are still taking on this level of priority while they're in the home, behaving and feeling like they're taking a back seat to him. Take care of YOU for a change!!

Helen said...

It's not surprising those in prison often turn towards the support and comfort of faith. The problem is that extremists from any group, whether religious, political, emotional, etc, can be attracted to vulnerable people and in a closed community those people are particularly vulnerable to manipulation. I can understand your concern.

Miz Kizzle said...

There's nothing wrong with studying the Quran. If it encourages Bear to read, so much the better. Sure, there are extremist Muslims just as there are extremist Christians, but just as most Christians don't advocate killing gays and blowing up abortion clinics, neither do the vast majority of Muslims promote terrorism.
Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, is an Abrahamic religion. The three have much in common. If Bear were taking a college class in comparative religion he'd study the Quran. I see it as a good thing.