Monday, October 22, 2007

Feeling sad the sadness has hit.

I had hoped he would get into the local psychiatric unit. It left open the possibility that he could come back. It meant that I would be able to visit him while he was being treated and that if much of what has been going on in the past couple of weeks is something that can be treated, he might have been able to come home.

It wasn't likely, but it was possible.

But if his state worker is coming to take him back to The Town From Whence He Came, then he will be gone. He will be fully exited from the private agency for which I work.

I had assumed this was the end, but there was still a chance, a possibility.

But there isn't. Or it is so slim that even I can't hope for it.


But maybe he is going where he needs to be. Maybe he needs more care than we can provide, but maybe coming out and being accepted is an experience that will make a positive difference in his life.

Maybe we won't just be one more foster family that failed him. Maybe he will take something from this that will make a difference in his life.


  1. I don't think that you were "one more foster family that failed him."

    I think the truth is that the system, his biological parents, and probably his own genetics have failed him.

    In the end, you can only do what you can do. If your family is not safe or if your foster child is not safe, there is only one thing you can do.

    It's easy to imagine all the other possible futures "if only" something were different.

    You have done all that you can, and then some.

    It's okay to feel sad. Just please don't blame yourself.

  2. I am just so, so, sorry for all of you. I think the very best (and only)thing foster parents can do in situations like this is know their own limits.

    So sorry.

  3. My heart is breaking for you- I honestly wish I could just hold you and let you bawl, because honestly, that's what I'm at the verge of doing myself.

    I missed a few days- went out of town, etc, and came back to this. I figured respite would do the trick, he'd come home ready to be mellow after living in the house with HER.

    But this, oh this breaks me.

    But know, Yondalla, that you did your best. Know that someday, when he is more lucid, when the cycle levels, that he'll look back at you and ya'lls time together with love. He can't help but look at it that way- you gave him freedom to be who he is, or who she is, to explore what he needed to try, support to make this attempt.

    Remember that even baby birds don't fly the first time- its a gradual building to the major solo flight. This was a necessary step, and you and your family provided it.

    As for the triggers, you cannot predict that. Heck, seasoned therapists and family members of bi-p's can't predict it. My aunt is a nurse in a psych ward, and I remember her talking to us about my nephew (not her son, different side of the family). She said the weather often triggered mental illness. So can "binges" whether of sugar/drugs/alcohol or emotional "binges"- sex, roleplaying, etc.

    It happens. Sadly, the drs and pharmaceutical companies haven't managed to actually treat the chemical imbalances, or hormone fluctuations, or whatever causes this. They can medicate/sedate,they can treat symptoms, but they can't regulate something so unpredicatable.

    We too made a similar choice a long time ago, with our nephew. We made the choice to protect the innocent ones in our home, to give the stable ones their stability, since we knew that no matter what we did, we couldn't give him the help he needed.

    I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I'm so sorry for him that he's in this situation. But at least part of me remembers what my nephew said once- they let him out for Christmas, and he begged to go right back after the eating/presents were over. He looked at me, completely serious, and said that in the "school" (his "in public" word for what he normally referred to as the looney bin, bless his heart) he felt perfectly safe.

    He knew what he could cope with- he knew how to SUCCEED in the facilities. He knew when he melted down that they'd medicate him or isolate him. He knew he couldn't hurt himself and he also didn't have to try to be "normal" when he felt so strongly that he wasn't and never would be.

    Bless their hearts. Tell him that your friend Mrs BB has been praying for him, and will continue to do so. Offer him your email addy if you want (or sew it in the coat, right? ha ha), and set him free.

    Remember the old story about the animals at the zoo? The animal rights activists wanted to set them free again, to re-unite them to their natural environment. They tried, over and over, but the animals either died of diseases they had no immunity from, or were killed by predators, or worse yet, seem to just fail to thrive. They didn't know how to live that life.

    All they knew was the zoo- safe, regular meals, quiet, and where they couldn't hurt themselves or get hurt. The occasional treat from a visitor, or affection from the handlers.

    All of the activists intentions were great, but it was too late for those animals. Future animals might be spared the same fate if we take careful plans, but those animals couldn't survive outside the familiar.

    Don't you think the same thing applies to kids raised in facilities primarily? They grow to like the structure, the limits. Then they can't cope elsewhere.

    Dismal, I know, but just understand, it doesn't matter how much you tried, how much you love him, how much you WANT this for him, it just may not come to pass.

    You did good, Yondalla. You did real good. Don't ever doubt that.

  4. I wish with all my heart, with everything I have, that loving a child was enough. Breaks my heart, for your sorrow, for Frankies. I just wish there wasn't so much hurt in the world. Hugs for all of you.

  5. I'm de-lurking to say that I'm so sorry it's turned out this way. It sounds to me like you were infinitely patient with Frankie and did a really good job of including him in a stable and functional family. Even though it's not ending the way you wanted it to, I still think you did an excellent job.

  6. I have nothing to say that others haven't already said, just that I am thinking of you all.


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