Friday, July 8, 2011

Update:Suicidal Teens/Children in Adult Mental Health Care...the reality....

So many dear friends, new friends, old friends, adoptive friends, therapeutic parents…have been lifting me up and carrying me. Your emails, phone calls, texts, blog and facebook posts/messages each lift me up and have carried me at times when all I have wanted to do is curl up in a ball and cry for one hundred years. I am now being braver that I have ever been and sharing this blog with many that I have kept it from. Not out of anything but fear of judgment, the fact that I used to be an adoption professional, used to work with many of your children, may have not done things the way some would have wanted , but ALWAYS had in my heart what was best for the children, also fighting years of “ways things are done”, and always trying to respect the culture and not offend, but make many small changes that I could. I have tried to be your support system, and now am being so very vulnerable in the honesty of what happens in my home, the personal effect of my children’s trauma. I have gone elsewhere to find the support and the people that I needed to be there for me. This is so very raw.

I get there are people that still openly hate my guts, respect me, and please don’t share my and my children’s vulnerability with those people…please don’t.

I have debated about abandoning my blog, my facebook, my cyber life and internalizing all of this pain…but as my friend Heidi reminded me in the gift of her phone call today…I AM A DOER. I always have been…and well I need you, I need you parents out there, I need your prayers, your advice, simply your love, because facing this alone is harder than being brave enough to tell it how it is, ….and since searching blogs, literally typing in questions in google that NO PARENT should have to type….there is nothing out there that tells you what happens when your child becomes Clinically, Undeniably Suicidal, and they are barely 18 and thrown into the adult world of Mental Health.

NO ONE IS TALIKING…and I NEED them too! So to you, the Mama that pulled this up on a desperate search….I am opening a can of worms…because someone needs to.

Sooo here’s the thing….don’t read if you don’t want to know. It is depressing, heartbreaking, and the damn truth of our unbelievable mental health system in this country.

Since my first post, there were many more attempts, we raced and raced to find an appropriate RTC, that A. was appropriate to her needs, B. Wasn’t a mortgage, and C. Would take her…and NO ONE could help us!!!… once it got to the point we could no longer keep her safe, she was taken to an Adult Behavioral Health Facility, admitted on her own will. Once admitted, I no longer could help her keep her boundaries for her, keep her world as small as she needs it to keep the triggers at bay. I relentlessly tried to warn the staff, but all they could see was a beautiful charming girl, and couldn’t really see why she was there…while I saw the mania, the dis-regulation, the control games….they were all snowed. (seriously isn’t “mental health” their JOBS?) When I went to visit, and a 41 year old creepster would not stop staring at me and my daughter , I could not protect her, warning her would have been a road map of “what to do”….so I pulled staff aside…and BEGGED them to keep an eye on “the situation”. The next day I came back for the visit and the Creep had CORN-ROWS in his hair, he had asked her to braid his hair, and having NO BOUNDRIES…she did, he sat between her knees for an hour and a half…while she braided his hair (full body shudder), my baby-girl was so manic, she couldn’t complete a sentence…I pulled the staff aside and went postal on them, only the way a mother could…and then to the poor, unhealthy man I made it abundantly clear he does not come with in 4 feet of my daughter….I can be scary….I promise.

Again she had everyone wrapped around her finger, fooled in the pathology that she was wrongly admitted …
Until she couldn’t do it anymore, and snapped, and lets just say, the staff was traumatized.

My child who should have been in the 5-7 day facility is now on Physicians order (committed) and has been there for two weeks now….that is what happens when the attempts don’t stop. That is what happens when your child has had a psychotic break, and the Reactive Attachment Disorder morphs into a life endangering Personality Disorder. We are where all the warnings of “If you don’t get help in time, and what can happen” land is….and from one parent to another, I can’t begin to describe the heart-hurt, the deep helplessness, the guilt, and loneliness. You and your child are falling through a deep dark abyss with no handholds.

We are so volatile, she is now in a 1 to 1 unit, meaning she can’t be trusted to be alone at anytime. Staff is assigned to her 24-7, she is overly drugged most of the time…self harm attempts are daily.

She still believes if she can come home, and have whatever she wants, all will be O.K.
She deeply believes all of this is my fault. Got to love R.A.D. We have had over 9 suicide attempts in the last 3 weeks. Guilt is a heavy boulder on my chest, irrational, and not honest, but how it hurts.

So here is what happens, when your kid loses their internal battle, and is two weeks over the adolescent age limit. “They fall through the cracks” says the Idaho Director of Adult Mental Health. Period. “Nothing they can do, but go to a State Hospital, if they will take you.” Are we back in the 1950’s where people were committed in psychiatric warehouses for life, with no therapeutic intervention? No…most adult mentally ill people in 2011 are now, are homeless or dead….unless they have millionaire family members who pay steep bills on Private RTC’s. Standard Care for a Suicidal Adult is a 5-7 day stint in one of these hospitals, and then they are released….with recommendation for intensive out-patient treatment…until they come back again…or are successful in their endeavors.

And so my child has been given a “second positive”…which no one will fully explain, other than it means she is now on Physicians hold, has no say in her release, and now has two appointed Designated Examiners and a court date in front of a judge, deciding the course of treatment (AKA, where she will be court appointed to go, most likely a state hospital/adult unit.)

Which would be depressingly expectable, if she was an adult, if she was capable of not being victimized, if that sentence was not a promise of a further downward spiral for my broken child…which. It. is.

So being the Mother I am, I am fighting tooth and nail to get my daughter appointed to a Young Adult RTC , that is therapeutic, boundary building, a safe house with regulations and peers she can relate with, not older sick people that WILL trigger her.
I am pulling out the big guns, and using every possibility known to man to get an individual contract written between Health and Welfare and this RTC, I am begging for support and help humbly and not so quietly advocating what is best for her, what could and might promote healing, instead of the perpetual cycle of chaos, pain and self harm she is in and will stay in…if SHE SEES NO HOPE, no change in her environment, no belief that she can get better. ..she won’t, she may not anyway, but be damned am I going to give her the best shot she has.
If that doesn’t work….my child will be committed to a State Hospital, long term.
She can’t come home, maybe not ever. As my new friend MeDenne so eloquently put it, “I can love her up close and I can love her far away.”
At this point, I have to protect ALL of my children. If Papillion was ever successful in harming herself in front of her siblings, there would be trauma I may never be able to reverse, or heal, I have to own that. That is a VERY painful thing for me to acknowledge. She may not ever come home.
I will always be her Mom.

For the past three weeks I have carried this, I have called the Hospital, I have annoyed staff, Dr.’s, nurses and social workers, I have stalked Adult Mental Health, Medicaid, Psychiatrists, Councilors, Therapists other Trauma Parents (MeDenne again, you were a gift in a time I needed you)….Annie, Julie, Diana, Christine, Crystal, DeAnna, Chavonne, Mary, Eileen, Medkid (Melanie), Teresa, Hannah, Laura, Brooke, Heidi, Mom, Pat, Carol (my sister), Cynthia, Cathy, Ericka, Johanna, Tanya, Alicia, Jeanette, Corrie, Sheree, Christie, Jamie, Jodi, Judy, Diane, Sarah, Katie, Melissa, Tracy, Amy, Kristen, Fay, Shelly, Lynn, and so many others…you have no idea what the words…. “I am praying for you” or simply “I thought of you today”…have lifted me in times where words and hope are few. There have been so many dark, desperate moments. My ache for my child is an open wound. I am constantly giving this to God in times where there is nothing left for me to do. She was his before she was mine. He knows both of our hearts, and our pain, so when I have nothing left I give it to him, for both of us.

I don’t know where we go from here. Court is on Wednesday morning, if she is stable enough to be shackled and transported to court. That is the reality of where we are at. It will break my heart wide open to see her restrained, but we are driving the 8 hours…with every opportunity, document, and recommendation in out arsenal, to get her somewhere safe and therapeutic. Please, pray for peace, for a break in the demons that rack my child, for Warrior like strength for me and my husband,….for the people that have a say in my child’s future to listen and consider, and break molds, and fill cracks on her behalf.

Please pray,


  1. My heart is weeping for all of you. For M's pain, for your broken heart, for all of your little ones. I am praying, and begging God to work miracles for M, whose body might be 18, but whose mind is just a little girl.

    I am sharing your pain, and wish I could take it from you.

    I love you,

  2. You have extraordinary strength. How I admire you!


  3. Oh my Friend! Tears for you this morning. You are in my prayers each and every day. And so is your beautiful traumatized daughter. I wish I could do more to help you carry the earth sized burdens you have upon your shoulders.


  4. Linds, Just commenting to remind you again that you're not alone. I really am praying. I see how strong & courageous you are. You're going to get through this. Heidi

  5. Lindsay, I can't even imagine the pain you and your family are in. We continue to pray for you - keep giving this burden to the Lord. Have faith in Him and let go of the fear (if you can). So wish I lived closer and could help carry some of your many burdens. Love You!

  6. Oh no, this is so awful! I am SO sorry to hear it all. I know the mental health "care" in this country is shameful. It sounds like a good thing that they took her off the voluntary admission status and put her on to 1:1. Is her current place mostly a 'warehouse' type of place? Is that why you want an rtc type of place?
    I don't know if this is on your radar or out of line but I will throw it out there.... you might be able to get an adult guardianship on her based on mental incompetence.
    I hope things level out, at least become manageable. Ugh.

  7. I will pray a rosary for you all. May the Lord grant you all the Strength and Peace and Mercy that you need.

  8. Lindsay, words are difficult at this time and the fact that you have found the words that let us know how you and your family are dealing with this tragedy is remarkable. We all fear the day that we may have to deal with what you have had to deal with these past few weeks. Thank you for having the courage to share. I have always said that I would know what to do or find out what the best resources are for my child should they be needed. You have proven that tenfold. Keep up the fight because you are all worth it. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Stay strong, Stay Calm. Jamie

  9. Only silent tears and pleading prayers to heaven...that's all I've got. Your name will be on a prayer roll somewhere within 10 minutes. LT is closed until August now, but I'll get it on somewhere else.

  10. Mt. Timp it is. :-) Love you!

  11. I'm so sorry. Praying fiercely. Having spent time working on an adult psych unit my heart is screaming NOOO along with yours. Praying so hard she doesn't end up at state. So, so, hard. Strength, peace, and HOPE be with every single member of your family.

  12. Lindsay, you know I am praying for you.

  13. Praying for you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing even though it must have been hard.

  14. I'm praying for you and your family.

  15. Storming the great Heavens for the Great healer to heal this young lady, for him to cast out the demons that torment her mind and keep her bound. GOd is good and I will pray for the right doctors and people to be put in to your paths and lives.
    Love you all

  16. So sorry to hear about M and the struggles, heartache and pain you and your family are going through, you will be in my thoughts and prayers, hang in there and stay strong, keep fighting!

  17. Sending up prayers for you and your family and praying mountains can be moved for your daughter.

  18. I love you and your beautiful family so much. I too will be praying for you and exercising my faith for your benefit. You ARE warriors--warriors of light and truth and especially love. And no one has loved Papillion like you. God bless each and every one of you. My heart is with you. Shawnie

  19. crying tears for all of you... my stomach is sick thinking of Papillion in an adult institution...

    Will continue praying.... love you all.

  20. Lindsay, I understand this pain in my own way. I say that because I understand that while others tried to help me, hard as they may, the only people who really helped me were the ones closest to dealing with what I was dealing with, and then I knew they really didn’t know. As I know too, that I don’t know what you are dealing with. But, take comfort that having Sasha released into protective services and also attend a mental hospital is so devastating. Sasha had a ruling today, regarding her mental health and her age. It may be something you can use before the judge as a similar problem and show cause for the judge to rule in favor of legally “treating” your child as if she is older, so she can get the benefits of being younger. Can not the same principle apply of legally “treating” the child as if she was younger and used the mixed maturity argument? His decision may have set a precedent your judge can follow of treating them as is if... let me know Cathy