Monday, October 20, 2008

one of the calls we have been dreading

Well, today is the day, Annie's funding for her placement in the brain injury rehabilitation program has been denied and she needs to go somewhere else. Her case manager helpfully suggested our house. That is not an option at all, those bridges were burned long ago. Now if her behavior had in any way changed while she was in rehab, maybe we might consider it, but she is still doing all the things that we cannot tolerate in our home. The main one being verbally and physically aggressive to peers and staff. We will not put the younger kids at risk again, been there done that, not going there again.

I know some of my readers might not be able to relate to that harsh a stance, but I also know that there are a number of adoptive parents with mentally ill young adults who completely understand the bind we are being put in. Everyone would just like to assume that of course she could come live at home again, but she is 19, she knows she is an adult and in her clouded thinking she knows that she does not have to follow any rules or be responsible or respectful to anyone at all. Some of our young adults have moved home for awhile or stayed a little longer after high school, but always with the agreement that they would follow house rules and we did not have to worry about #1, #2 or #5 being a physical danger to anyone in the house.

So what options are there besides a homeless shelter? I don't know if she would consider Job Corps or even if they would consider her. I don't know of a lower level of care that would also include residential treatment. Basically Medicaid is saying she is capable of living on her own, but she has no job, no skills to find one, no way to manage her money, no sense of how normal people live (by normal I mean the act of paying bills on time, not buying what you can't afford, not trashing the apartment or house you are living in, not letting others come to live with you who are not on the lease, not having continual wild parties to which the police are called, etc, not having days' long highs so that you don't remember to go to work or anything else, not physically assaulting people that you think have dissed you, not verbally threatening anyone who tries to redirect or help you including police officers)

I love my daughter, I especially love my memories of my daughter when she was younger, I worry about her, I try to smooth her path when I am able by researching services, helping her apply for SSI, etc. But right now I really can't stand to be around her because she is either druggged up or boozed out, sober but manipulative as hell, or angrily blaming me for her life to the point of physically assaulting me.

We haven't given up hope, there is a Brain Injury program in our city that might take her. It would mean she was a lot closer to us (not good from the safety side, but good from the point of view of trying to develop some sort of adult relationship with her) but also a lot closer to the places she used to run away to where she knows how to get the drugs and alcohol. Would she stay in the ABI program since it is not a locked facility? your guess is as good as mine. We could try. We just keep on trying, hoping that maybe something or someone will reach Annie and help her find a balance where she can live without endangering herself and others.

Boy has this ratcheted up the all ready tense level of stress in our home.

1 comment:

r. said...

Don't let them try to make you let her back in your home. Honestly, if her behavior as you describe, then she won't last long at a homeless shelter either. They have minimum safety standards too. If she gets jailed for assault--and, given our society's way of dealing with homelessness, there's a good chance she'll get jailed for something--then at least you'll have concrete proof as to why she can't be in your home. And if she manages to not get kicked out, good for her. Some shelters let you stay longer if you're working on getting SSI, since the appeal process can take about 6 months. Maybe that'll give her some incentive to apply.

Honestly, I can't even fathom the type of stress you're under right now--and I'm sure what I just wrote above didn't help the situation much. But, bleak as it may seem, know that you're doing the right thing. All these troubles are only proof of why she can't live in your house.