Saturday, October 29, 2011
You're not coming home
Yesterday we received a letter from the college our 18 year old attends telling us that he is one infraction away from being dismissed from the school. We are only halfway through the first semester. Sadly, this doesn't surprise me. I predicted he wouldn't make it through the first semester.
When/if he bombs out, he will not be returning to our home. I don't know where he will go, but it won't be here.
Yes, I know I sound cold, but this is my reality. I know many people who haven't walked in my shoes judge this, so let me explain a little bit about our lives.
If you've seen my previous posts, you know that our son is severely mentally ill. There are 10 mental health diagnoses. He is extremely violent. We have replaced windows, walls, stair railings and much more because he has destroyed them.
Due to his violent and criminal behaviors, we have appeared in front of every judge in our county as well as been in court in three other counties.
He has been in 3 different treatment foster homes and has been in residential treatment 4 different times, in additional to psychiatric hospital placements. He has been in juvenile detention 9 times.
We have torn out the carpet in his bedroom because it stunk so bad from peeing on it - yes, intentionally, and burned his mattress for the same reason.
We spent endless hours preparing him for college, what the rules and expectations were. We had numerous discussions with him while his social worker and case worker at the residential treatment center were present. No one can say we did not prepare him for what college would hold. One of the things he is on probation for is skipping chapel. He's skipped it 15 times and they are allowed 10 misses in the semester. Again, we are only halfway through the semester. He knew the expectations of this before he ever left.
We are anticipating something major around Thanksgiving. He has spent 3 of the last 5 Thanksgivings in jail. Even when he is on his medication, he blows - BIG - around Thanksgiving. A couple of years ago his foster father ended up with 11 stitches in his head because my son threw him across the room in a rage. And that was when he was ON his medication. Off his meds, he is beyond unpredictable. He has indicated that he's going to Colorado with a "friend" to the family home for Thanksgiving. I am grateful I don't have to fight to battle of him not coming here, but I am scared for this family. I know warnings would fall on deaf ears though. He presents as sweet and charming. Remember Eddie Haskal from "Leave it to Beaver"? Yep, that's my son.
We also have a 10 year old daughter to consider. Allowing him to live with us and potentially put her safety in jeopardy... just not an option. Not to mention the safety of myself and my husband. If he can throw a grown man across the room, what do you think he could do to me? And the majority of the time my husband is not home. He works during the day and most weekends. I would never trust our son to be alone with our daughter. If he went "off" about something, she wouldn't stand a chance.
So, these are the reasons our son is not moving back home. Not because I'm cold hearted, but because I'm a realist. I harbor no fantasies that living with us would change him or help him. It hasn't helped in almost 13 years, why would it suddenly change now. And based on the nasty messages I get from him, there is no change in the works. My family's and my safety comes first.