After my daughter’s first long term placement (six months) ordered by the juvenile court, she was released. The therapist did not indicate that she was significantly improved, but rather that it was time for her to go – they had done as much for her as they could.

I worked frantically to get ready: in home services scheduled,  and visits arranged by her social worker and others who were assigned to her case.

It was a difficult summer, with multiple visits to the hospital, a short term stay at a mental health facility that served adults and teens and many calls to the police for assistance. Even the workers that came out could she was struggling to control herself.

At the end of the summer, about the time I re-enrolled her in a local charter school, all hell broke loose. It was a Saturday night. We had a wonderful day – a trip to the library, and Chinese take out (my daughter’s favorite).  I had her get ready for bed at nine, with a reminder that bedtime was coming. At 10 pm I reminded her it was ‘lights out’ and time to sleep.  That final reminder is what set her off.

She began swinging her toy guitar. The furniture, closet door and the walls took the brunt of her tantrum. When I walked toward her, she held it up to swing it at me, so I backed off.  She began pounding on the wall between our rooms; her stated intent was to go through the wall and destroy my room.   My 90 year old house is very well made and the heavy lath and thick horsehair plaster  fortunately made her progress very slow.

It was at this time that I heard my son come home.  I heard him talking on the phone, asking dispatch to send a CIT (Crisis Intervention Trained Officer).  I thought to myself that a 20 year old should not have to know how to do that.  My son let the officers in and they came upstairs. Since I knew they were coming, I had gotten dressed and ready for their arrival.  When they came upstairs, I went downstairs to get out of the way.  I could hear the officer say, ‘If you expletive kick me again, I will  tase you.’

That was the last time, the last day, my daughter was home.





4 thoughts on “A very rough summer.

    1. My daughter will remain at her current residential facility/school until she graduates from high school in 2020. It is highly supervised, and is a place where all the students, like her, have developmental and behavioral issues, such as autism, in addition to mood disorders and other mental health diagnoses. The design of the facility and program suits her very well. Progress is slow, but I am hopeful.

      It is a very long drive – but I do see her regularly, write letters to her, and talk to her often on the telephone(as does everyone in the extended family).

      After graduation, I am hopeful she will be able to live much closer to me, in a group home or similarly supervised arrangement.


      1. Thank you. She has tremendous ups and downs still, but there is a very good staff to student/resident ratio and they are able to manage her behavior better than I could here at home. It took a long time to find the right place for her.


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