Verbally Expressed by TLP (18 Years Old) - Typed by TLP's Mom
I thought that if I came back home, things would be the same. Like coming home and NOT worrying about leaving. Now I have to worry everyday and I'm just not ready. I threatened to kill my therapist because I was scared. He was saying things that made me think that he was going to send me away every time I told the truth about how I was acting at home. I feel like he's going to think differently about me if I tell him about the stuff that I'm thinking, about my birthmom and the knives, and I'm trying to work my life out slowly by myself.
I was scared because I'm 18 and I thought that you were going to make me leave, and so I was treating you badly. I wasn't thinking that far ahead. And I thought that my therapist was telling you that I had to be sent somewhere so I treated you both bad. I have a mixed up life. I wouldn't hurt my therapist. I wouldn't hurt anybody. I just want to change my night issues (PTSD) but I think they are about me having to leave because I'm 18. And it triggers past memories now because I'm scared and I was scared back then too. Now I'm scared more than ever because I know I'm going to be going away. I wouldn't be able to sleep in a strange house and break that bond yet.
I don't feel like I am ready to go on my own or to leave my family yet. I don't feel ready!!!!!!! It feels stressful to think about it every day. They will say it's normal, but it's not. It's not a normal feeling. It feels like sadness and torture. It feels like it's happening too quick. I'd rather stay home until I have the feeling that I'm ready. Even normal people aren't rushed out of their homes. You didn't make D leave and you didn't make M leave. You let them choose.
I'm trying to stop my anger. It feels like little things make me angry like losing a game or something stupid and I feel like I'm going to explode. I'm mad about that Brain's report telling me that I can't drive. I'm not mad about guardianship because I want help, but I'm not ready to be forced to go out of my home yet. I'm mad. I'm mad at the people who hurt me in life. I'm mad at the people who told me I can't do anything in life, like driving.
I'm not scared to live on my own but I'm not ready to be forced to live on my own. Usually when people are ready they find a place. It's basically like the people (Thresholds) are telling me where I'm gonna go in life, and I'm not ready. I would like to eventually go out on my own but I might not want to go this year or next year. Thresholds is here because of my rage but I feel like I'm being forced to leave. I'm not ready. I'm just a child. I want my own place someday- not now. I'm not ready. I'm basically putting my whole life in their hands. Does a child have someone else plan their whole life? Does a child want to stay in their own house?
I was paranoid about the emails you were sending my therapist. I wanted to know what you were saying to him and I started threatening you and acting bad, and you kept telling him, and I was angry and scared and then I got really worried about what you were telling him every day and I was afraid he would make me leave. I told you I was going to kill people if you sent me away because I didn't want to leave. Then you said I had to leave because I threatened my therapist and you, and I wasn't really going to do it. I was just scared that I was going to have to leave because I was 18.
He was pretty wound up and crying as I was writing all of this. I ended up drawing a big circle and writing out a diagram of how his fear was keeping him and I running around in a circle day after day... which I said was sort of like ... "A HAMSTER RUNNING ON A WHEEL... SPINNING AROUND AND AROUND... BUT GOING NOWHERE!!!!" He actually laughed as I was writing and talking my way around that circle... and I think he was realizing how crazy this all really sounded that we had been running around in circles fighting with each other... JUST BECAUSE HE WAS SCARED OF BEING AGE 18.
I said, "TLP.... you were making me FRICKEN DIZZY over here!!!... and all you had to do was sit down with your therapist and cry... and tell him that you were scared... and use your words. Instead you crossed way too many lines... and you threatened to kill lots of people... and you treated me likes shit every day!!!! That's why "I" think that it's time for you to leave here, because there are going to be other things in life that are going to scare you too, and I'm just too tired to keep spinning over here with you. I just can't do it anymore."
Lots of tears............ from both of us.............
Of course, he promised to talk to his therapist. Promised to tell him all of the things that he hasn't been telling him. Promised that he will work hard to make the scary memories go away (OLD STUFF).... and the night behaviors (PTSD) and craziness (Threatening Behaviors)... and work on the knife fears (OLD STUFF)... and work with his therapist so that I could take a nap without him freaking out (OLD STUFF)... and he said that he will never threaten to hurt or kill people again.... because he wants to stay here with me.
I sent an email to his therapist...
He is grieving and fighting because he wants to have his own apartment and feel grown up and more independent........ instead of being sent to a group home.
In your personal opinion.... as someone who has known TLP for a very long time.... do you believe that if we made the upstairs of our home into a small one bedroom apartment... and gave TLP his own private entrance... and a key to HIS APARTMENT... that he would calm down and begin to move forward again?
No right or wrong answers here because I know that life is always a gamble... but my gut is telling me that he's going to continue to decline mentally/emotionally... if he goes into a group home. : ( Please tell me if you believe that I am wrong with this line of thinking.
Now.... he has a caseworker through Thresholds. If we built him his own apartment upstairs... told him that he has to call first before coming to OUR HOUSE... made him responsible for setting alarms and getting himself to school... walking to his appointments with you (alone... without me)... and if we had the caseworker checking in on him... being responsible for telling him he needs to clean his apartment... do his laundry... etc....... do you think that he would work hard to prove to all of us that he can do this????
My biggest fears are the meds. We could set them up in a med tray as usual and see how he does. He has been known to take morning meds at night... : ( and he has forgotten meds if not reminded... but the caseworker could be in charge of checking on that... right???? He MIGHT throw the meds away and stop taking them... but maybe not. My other fear is that nobody will be there to help him if he starts to zone out... but MAYBE he would learn to check himself if he didn't have me there to check him all the time... if that makes sense???? Another concern is that there would be nobody up there supervising when he invited his friends over to visit and if he starts to zone out or becomes mentally unhealthy.... that could go all wrong. BUT.... he was doing quite well for very long stretches of time these past few years... and he has been in meltdown since being told that he will need assistance. Maybe, if he had his own little apartment.... and a chance to prove us all wrong... MAYBE HE WOULD PROVE US ALL WRONG. ?????
Can you let me know what your thoughts are on this. If you think that he could possibly make it living alone upstairs above us.... with a caseworker watching over him.... and if you think that it might be worth a try... and that he MIGHT BE mentally more healthy doing that instead of going to a group home.... I will talk to Mr. S again and insist that we give this a try before putting him into a group home.
I just need to know what YOU think first...
and if it doesn't work... the caseworker can tell him that it's not working... and she can be the bad guy who tells him that he needs to move to a group home for whatever reason. And we could always keep him on a waiting list for a group home in the meantime, just in case this goes bad.
I just don't want to set him up for failure... or to set others up to get hurt... or to see him end up in jail for doing something stupid somewhere because he was unsupervised. Because if he has his own apartment, he will be able to come and go as he chooses. YIKES!!!!!! lol
But he could work hard to prove himself to all of us... couldn't he?
So............ your honest opinion needed....... ASAP....
Here's my direct and honest reply. With TLP's complex trauma and needs, he does not know how to balance between the safe base (you have tremendously provided him) and the need to explore the world and be more on his own. He demonstrates a unresolved pattern of demanding both your proximity and his separation/independence. I do not believe an upstairs apartment would help him resolve this. He'd just find ways to (banging the floor all night long, etc...) keep that unhealthy, enmeshed, proximity with you, and then argue, complain, be angry somehow that he is not on his own enough. He needs physical separation, yet access to you, as you need for him as mother and guardian.
Hope this helps!
I think I've forgotten how to be well.... but THANK YOU for your honest opinion... which is always valued... even on the days when I don't really like what you are telling me. ; )
Have a good night!
Then I sent him another email.... (poor man)
What if he really mean's it this time? What if he's finally figured it out? What if we're going to send him away, when this actually could be a huge turning point in his life? What if we're wrong... and he completely falls apart after we send him away somewhere? What if I'm just throwing away the last 15 years of my life... and his? What if we're wrong?
I'm just asking....
and then I sent him another email... : (
Okay... scratch that last email. He came in from school in that same dark mood... obsessing about leaving here... and I didn't really like him so much tonight. He didn't do anything destructive... didn't threaten... nothing like that... and he pretty much did what was asked of him... but the control stuff is definitely still very high and he's angry. I can see it in his eyes and in the way that he is responding to me when I talk to him.
Yep, he needs to go..... : (
You have to expect that I am going to be questioning this decision once or twice or TWENTY TIMES, right????????? : ) I'm sorry! I know I'm a pain like that. I just love my kid... and hate what I am seeing with him... and this just isn't the way that I imagined him leaving our home. I'm sure you get it... sort of... because I'm really attached to this kid now... which is exactly what we were trying to accomplish... right?... and it's hard to walk away from someone when you love them and are really attached to them. Even when you know deep down that it's probably the right thing to do... for all concerned.
I think it was still good to let you know what he was saying last night when he was in that really good space.... and when he was so sad and greiving... but then today... the dark angry eyes were back... and it felt like he was pretty much hating me again.
Yep, it's time... so if I start questioning this again somewhere before he leaves here... just send me back an email that says,
"KNOCK IT OFF!!!!!!!!!!!" ; )
by Jonathan Clay