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Sunday, May 15, 2011

DD got arrested.

It was all set:  DD was going to go to a "prom" for special needs kids on Saturday night.  The program that was putting on the prom was also providing donated dresses etc. to all the girls, and the cost would be minimal (about $10.00).  Since this would probably be the only prom that DD might be able to attend, it quickly became a big deal.  The foster mom helped DD select a dress and shoes (this had to be done at a time when I had to be at work, or actually, on my way home from work)....and I was going to chaperone up until I had to leave for my part-time job, and then the foster mom would take over.

I got a call from the foster mom on Friday, while I was still on my way home from work.  The first thing she says, in a very kind and sad way, was that DD was not going to be able to stay there any more.  Apparently, DD had been disruptive three days in a row, and was currently in the midst of a full-blown tantrum.  I could hear DD screaming in the background.  Apparently the tantrum was because DD asked the foster mom to take her to town so that she could look at more dresses.  Foster mom said (and rightly so), "We've already spent quite a bit of time looking at dresses, and you've already picked one out.  So let's just try to be happy with that..." and DD didn't like that, so the screaming began.

I think the foster mom thought the worst was over when she called, because they had finally succeeded in getting DD to go into her room (after many belligerent refusals).  But I could tell, from the sound of the screaming, that it was actually still escalating.  Since I had gotten a kind of "you didn't handle this quite right" once, when DD's therapist and social worker had suggested that I call the area mental health crisis line and instead I called 911, I advised the foster mom to call the crisis line.  Unfortunately, they won't deal with a crisis involving a person who has exhibited self-injurious or assaultive behavior.  While she was making this call, though, DD came out of her room and began to assault the foster mom in front of the other kids, so foster Dad called 911.  DD tried to escape out of her bedroom window, but failed to take into consideration that her room was on the second floor.....The police came, and tried to talk to DD and calm her down, but she was "mouthy" to them and very disrespectful.  She shoved the foster mom while the police were there, so DD has now been arrested for Domestic Assault, and also "Public (something--I'm not sure what)" because she did it in front of the other kids.  So she's been in jail.  I could not find out any information beyond that, as she's now 18 and we are not her guardian(s) yet--the court hearing is actually on Monday, May 16--now it sounds like they are going to try to combine the guardianship hearing with her first court appearance for these charges.....

DH, when I told him about the first phone call, the one where I could hear DD screaming, wanted to go over there and try to calm her down.  I told him not to.  After all, this was a foster home that was supposedly very experienced, and I tried to remind him of all the times when neither he nor I had been able to calm her down in this situation.....so he didn't go.  But when he found out she had been arrested, he had some unusual type of breakdown.  He was sobbing about how scared she must be, and how if only he had gone over there, he could have calmed her down.....and all that kept flashing in my mind was DH saying "Call 911--I can't take this any more!"  And the mental picture of DD attacking DH with the bicycle pump.  It was clear to me that his thinking was "weird".  But he couldn't calm himself down.  He was just distraught, and I was at a loss as to how to handle it.  He said it felt like he was having constant panic attacks, and he was so upset....I suggested he take a Lorazepam, but he hasn't needed to use them very often, so when he ran out recently, he hadn't called in for a refill.  He couldn't stop crying, and he couldn't sleep, and he completely blamed himself for DD ending up in jail.  I ended up suggesting that he take an extra dose of Seroquel--he takes 100mg nightly now, but also used to have an order to take an extra 50mg as needed, although he usually chose not to, because it made him so tired.  So I figured it would be ok if he took that.  And he fell asleep and slept all night.  But it was very weird/scary.  His thoughts haven't been so disorganized, and his emotions haven't been this out of control for a very long time.  When he woke up today, he seemed somewhat better (no more crying), but he was still wayyyy off....really lethargic, mopey, very sad.....he did go to work today, though, so I'm hoping that once he gets into the routine there, maybe his brain will do a little bit of a "reset" and he'll feel better....

DD called collect from the jail today.  I asked her how she was doing and she said "Mom, I'm fine.", in a rather disrespectful tone of voice.  I told her that Dad and I were very worried about her, and she said "Well I'm SORRY!" in a way that clearly suggested that she was not sorry.  So that ended a lot of my direct sympathy for her at the moment.....

I'm really sad for her.  I'm sure jail is quite a shock to her, and like nothing she's ever experienced before.  Unfortunately, I don't believe that the experience will cause her to rethink her actions in the future--I still think that she is not properly medicated.....

And then there remain a lot of questions.  This foster care arrangement was kind of a last-resort thing, because group home funding was not available.  The foster home will not take her back, for sure.  DD's social worker had not been planning on attending court on Monday, she felt that there would be no opposition to us being guardians, so she was not going to clear her schedule for that.  Now I'm really hoping that she recognizes that this is yet another crisis, and that I/we really need her help.  If DD is released from jail after the guardianship hearing, she will have no place to stay.  She could probably stay at our house for a couple of days, but beyond that, we cannot and don't want to be dealing with these tantrums again.  All of her belongings are still at the foster home, but it really doesn't make any sense to pack all of that up until we know what the plan is.....

So once again the situation with DD involves "flying by the seats of our pants"--we weren't expecting this so soon, we certainly weren't expecting the foster parents to give up so quickly, and I am afraid for DD's future.

6 comments:

In the Pink said...

Oy what a difficult situation. I never envy the difficulties you have to deal with. I do wish DD all the best but she cannot be allowed to disrupt the sanity you and DH are trying to create. Poor DH I feel for him right now. It doesn't take much to set off the bipolar brain and this was much more than a little upset. His daughter going to jail has to be terribly upsetting. I wish you all the best.

GB's Mom said...

Praying.

marythemom said...

Wow what a tough situation to be in. We've been in a similar spot, and it's so hard to think, if only...

Hugs and prayers,
Mary

Anonymous said...

Stop being a sucker. Dump all the leaches in you life. Stop enabling others destructive behavior.

Grace. said...

Oh my! Just what you needed from Anon! Another 'one size fits all' person who doesn't get the adoption or FAS/FAE piece at all.

But that said, you really do need to think about whether having her come home is the right thing for HER. If you can't help her get on the road to the rest of her life from your home, then there's got to be a different way.

Does she get SSI? Doesn't that automatically make her eligible for a group home of some sort?

Carol said...

She does get SSI, and that was going to be what was paying for the foster care home...that was why we settled for that situation even though DD's social worker and everyone else involved had serious doubts....around here the corporate group homes require a different, "bigger?" funding, called a "Community Assistance to Disabled Individuals" waiver. And due to budget cuts that were made by our former governor, the state/county is not giving out any more of these waivers. So the only way to get one is if a current recipient passes on.