Quote of the Week
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
PLEASE: No gifts for staff please!
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Saturday, December 07, 2013
However, Valerie, Julie and I are not permitted by County Policy to accept gifts. It's very difficult to say "No" because we do not want to offend and also because we appreciate our thoughtful and appreciative PSST parents. We are in a tight spot here so please be considerate and don't offer us anything. I believe that Wesley Spectrum has a similar policy so don't be offended if none of the fine Wesley Spectrum Family Therapists won't accept gifts either.
All of us want you all to know that the best gift that you can give us is just your presence at our meetings. Also, many of you have your ways of showing us that you appreciate us all year long. That's one of the reasons that we are so lucky! We know that you appreciate us. We appreciate you all as well. :-)
Just be there if and when you can -that's the best gift of all! Read More......
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward -- Saturday, December 07, 2013
Posted by:Jenn--Thursday, December 05, 2013
I prefer bright light, so I searched stores for 100-watt bulbs to brighten the dark, overcast environment of my home. After using three bulbs out of a 10-pack, I realized there were none remaining in a two-week period. Questioning Lenny brought about numerous defensive answers. I conclude that he involved himself and friends in smoking illegal substances out of the bulbs.
After investigating, I found that broken light bulbs are used for smoking crystal meth and crack. The light bulb serves as the conduit to heat up for inhaling the drugs. What techniques and chemically engineered drugs will they come up with next? Recently Wilma, a PSST parent, shared her discovery that today’s ‘ear-wax’ marijuana can be as potent as 90% THC, a mind-altering / hallucinogenic property that can have a deadly effect on brain receptors (see highly-potent-ear-wax-marijuana-concerns-health-officials for more information).
Posted by:Jenn -- Thursday, December 05, 2013
Posted by:Jenn--Monday, December 02, 2013
After one particular Saturday visit, Elizabeth needed time to gather her thoughts. She pulled over along a stream in one of Pennsylvania's National Forests. Elizabeth parked her car, and then looked up. She couldn't believe she was seeing hundreds of Tiger Swallowtail butterflies pouring from between the trees like a waterfall. The butterflies surrounded her car. She got out of her car and watched the butterflies fly towards the sun in a beam of sunlight. Forty or more swallowtails remained, while Elizabeth watched them dwindle down to two. Then, Elizabeth "Got It." Gwen was going to be more than just OK, and as Gwen now knows and accepts, she is on the earth for a great purpose!
This is a true story and a testament to the power of God's love.
Posted by:Jenn -- Monday, December 02, 2013
This Year at Thanksgiving I'll Count all my Best Blessings Twice,
Posted by:Sally--Thursday, November 28, 2013
Originally Posted by:Sally -- Thursday, November 18, 2010
Sometimes life is difficult. We face many challenges and disappointments that we may find hard to accept. If your child is in placement and there is a chance that he or she will not be home for the holidays it is enough to make you cry.
Our son, Cisco, is in placement and even though I am a seasoned PSST mom; (I have been attending meetings for well over a year) there are times when I let our situation get the best of me. That is okay, sometimes I need to work through the lonely feelings and being sad sometimes allows me to do this.
Our family has a thirty-three year old tradition of gathering together to select and chop down our Christmas tree. Cisco has always enjoyed this romp in the woods. I have many happy memories of him trekking up a glistening hillside along side his older brother. The snow softly falling and both boys so young and healthy ...... it felt like we were in the middle of a Norman Rockwell Poster.
I especially remember one warm but wet Christmas season when he fell in the creek and was muddy from head to toe but still wanted to go straight to dinner at a restaurant afterwards, that one puts a smile on my face too.
Cisco will not be there this year. How do we fill that void?
Our kids each have their own personal box of Christmas ornaments. Cisco will not be there when we decorate the tree to put all his special hand-made ornaments on it.
He will be missed.
The toughest thing at any time of the year is opening the door to his empty, all too quiet bedroom. I cannot even describe how lonely that makes me feel.
If your family cannot be together because of addiction do not let it ruin your holiday. That would be like letting the addiction win another round. Instead count your blessings.
The top five things I am grateful for:
1. I am thankful for Cisco. He is alive. He ran away from an adult facility six weeks ago. He has been very sensible and respectful ever since his return.
2. I am thankful for Rocco. Thankful that Rocco and I are working together on this disease that affects the whole family.
3. I am thankful for the support we get from our other son, Frodo and our daughter-in-law, Feona and all our extended family.
4. We are very thankful of our PSST friends who are always there for us and understand our highs and lows.
5. We are very thankful for Val, Lloyd, Kathie and all the experts from Juvenile Probation, Wesley Spectrum and Gateway who empower us.
All of these wonderful people in my life help fill the loneliness that occurs when my son is in placement. I think I will count all of these blessings twice.
Posted by:Sally -- Thursday, November 28, 2013
A bakers-dozen to keep in mind before taking your teenager on a home pass
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Thursday, November 28, 2013
|How to Search a Teen's Room|
A bakers-dozen to keep in mind before taking your teenager on a home pass from an inpatient drug treatment program.
1. Friends: Home passes are not to spend with friends. They are for family. Make that clear before you start the home pass. If your teenager has a problem with that then don't take him on the home pass. Some institutions make this clear to parents and some do not. This is a chance to flex some parent-muscle and demonstrate that things are going to be different from now on. If your teenager won’t commit to making this a family-only pass then postpone it until he is ready to make that commitment. This is a powerful way to send him the message that he is not in charge anymore.
2. Home passes are triggers for teens. Supervise your teenager every minute or as close to that as you can: Consider that some teenagers are going to get high on home passes and some will even smuggle drugs back into the placement. One girl that I used to work with went was on a home pass from Abraxas. She went out to get the mail. Unknown to her parents, she had already arranged with a friend to have some Heroin dropped off in the mail box. She went back to Abraxas high, smuggled heroin into Abraxas and got busted. The Mom was shocked. "I was with her every minute." Going out to the mail box has happened on other cases as well. Ask yourself this, “My teenager never used to want to go out to get the mail- wonder why he wants to do it this time?” Don't underestimate your teen. A home pass is a big relapse trigger.
Some institutions drug test after home passes and some only do it if it is requested by the PO or by the parent. Request one.
3. Check your teenager’s bedroom and other areas of the home with a fine tooth comb before you bring him back home: Often this is when parents find drugs and money. Not only drugs but money should be confiscated because it was probably drug dealing money. Sometimes they hide things in the basement too. If you can arrange with your local police to do bring a drug dog into your house that is a huge help. You might be surprised even if the dog doesn’t find anything he might “pause” at certain regular hiding places. Now you know where your teenager used to hide drugs.
Especially, if your pass is rather short and your teenager insists that you bring him back home even if for only a brief time, perhaps because he is home sick, be suspicious. Be very suspicious.
4. Take him to a 12-step meeting: Choose a meeting labeled "Open." This means that non-addicts (probably that describes you) are also allowed in the meeting. Go into the meeting with him but if he chooses a discussion group then let him enter that himself. Be there when he comes out of the discussion group. Ask him what he liked about the meeting. Try to get him to chat about his experience. See what your teens reaction is towards the meeting in general because this is a good way to get a read on how serious your teen is about his recovery.
5. Don't allow your teen to be in charge of the home pass and this starts with written expectations: Show your teenager that you are not afraid to assume some leadership. You don't have to go the mall and walk around aimlessly. That is where he will run into peers. Anytime you suspect that your teenager wants to go to a certain place because he will run into peers, don't agree to go.
In fact you don't have to listen to loud music in the car unless you really like that kind of thing. Who is really in charge? If your teenager insists that you do what he wants because he has been cooped up in a rehab and it's only fair tell him he doesn't have to come on the home pass. Once again, it's time to show who is in charge. If you allow your teenager to be the one in charge on the home pass he has every reason to think that once he is released back home he will be in charge then too.
Write down all the rules of the home pass and review them with your teenager and his counselor before you begin the home pass. If your teenager balks at your rules then postpone the home pass. The very act of postponing the pass will send a strong message to your teenager that he is not in charge of you anymore.
6. Decide whether or not you are going to let your teenager smoke cigarettes on the home pass and stick to your decision. This is a values thing. For example, your teenager is not allowed to smoke cigarettes in the institution where he is placed (unless he is in an adult rehab or over 18 and placed in a halfway house); therefore, don't allow him to smoke when he is off grounds because he is still a resident of that institution and he should continue to follow the rules. This is often a big point of contention. It is another place that parents can flex some parent-muscle.
Exceptions to this smoking rule might be if one of his family smoke and plan to smoke in front of him. That might be cruel. Also, if he is 18 or over, the placement might not care if he smokes on his home pass. Check with his counselor and see how the institution views this before you decide.
If it has been bothering you that your teenager smokes cigarettes, especially if he is not old enough to purchase them himself, then this is not the time to go soft and buy him a pack. Send him a message that says, "I don't approve and I will not enable you to smoke. Don't smoke on the home pass and if that is going to be a too difficult rule for you to follow, then don't take the home pass- just stay here in the placement where you can follow the rules."
7. Don't try to make every moment a teachable moment: Your teen gets plenty of that in the placement. Give him a break. Relax. Try to have a little fun. It's OK if you do something that he likes to do, like a movie or eating out at his favorite place. This might sound like a contradiction to #5, the "don't let your teen be in charge" but it's not. You are in charge and you should certainly plan to do some things that your teenager likes to do but, once again, if it looks like he is trying to use that to hook up with old friends or if they think they can torture you with some sort of music in the car that you hate- that's a different story!
8. Consider the music your teenager is listening to on the home pass- does it have a negative message? Then don't permit it. Confiscate it. At an outpatient drug treatment program teenagers formed small groups and were asked to come up with relapse triggers. While they all came up with somewhat different lists, one item that was on every list was music. Music generates powerful memories and emotions, which can lead to relapse. If the message of the music is pro-drug abuse then it is the last thing to which your teenager in recovery needs to be exposed. It’s also another chance for a parent to send a powerful message about who is in charge and by so doing flex some parent-muscle.
9. Don't be afraid to make your teenager angry. This is the time to take the bull by the horns. If your teen can't handle a bit of supervision, and he flips out, then you carry that information back to the counselor. Now you've generated some therapeutic grist for the therapy mill. In other words, now the therapist has something important to discuss with your teenager. Likewise, if your teen decides not to go on the home pass, then the therapist can raise his eyebrows and pay attention to the fact that your teen doesn't even want to go off grounds unless he can call the shots. Oops, that doesn't sound like someone who is ready for release, does it?
Some teenagers assume that they can treat their parents disrespectfully on a home pass. Stop that behavior if you can and report that information back to his counselor following the home pass. For example, sometimes it happens in the car right after the parent picks up the teenager. It might involve yelling, screaming, name-calling, or using an inappropriate tone of voice. Stop the vehicle. Don’t start again until there is an understanding that you are NOT comfortable driving the car with that kind of behavior going on. Consider returning your teenager back the institution early if you cannot trust that they will conduct themselves appropriately.
10. Don't keep secrets. If your teenager asks you not to tell his therapist that he has done something, e.g., smoked, saw a friend, has a fight with you, ran off without supervision, failed to attend a 12-step meeting, or just about anything else that he thought it important enough to ask you not to report on- DON'T do it. Secrets keep us sick and, once again, if you keep secrets on home passes, he has every right to expect you to keep secrets once he is released back home. This is where he will try to guilt you. "Awe you're going to ruin everything! Just when I worked so hard! You don't want me to come home at all, do you?” Teenagers put a guilt trip on parents in order to get their own way. Maybe that worked before he went away to placement. Now it’s time to show him that doesn't work anymore.
Sometimes it seems like keeping a secret will help you and your teenager to become closer. Perhaps. However, it is comes with a price to high to pay, e.g., you won’t be the one in charge anymore. Instead you’ll be a co-conspirator. Ask yourself if your teen needs a co-conspirator or a parent willing to be the unpopular adult in charge? Harry Truman is quoted as saying, “The buck stops here!” The secrets should stop here too because they only hurt your teenager and your relationship with him in the long run.
11. Teenagers sometimes engage in sex. Make sure it isn't happening on your watch. I once had a girl return to placement after a home pass and she told the staff that thought she was pregnant. She wasn't (phew) but it brought the whole matter up of what she was doing on her home pass. Her mother said that she knew her boyfriend didn't use drugs and she thought it would be nice to give the couple some alone time. Not! Her pass was deemed unsuccessful and her mother, who had assured everyone that she supervised her daughter 100 percent of the time, was embarrassed.
12. Put your big ears on. While you don't want to allow your teenager to be "in charge" of the home pass, neither do you want to be in charge of what he is saying or what he is feeling. Try listening closely and rephrasing what it is that you are hearing so that your teenager can hear what he is saying. This is a chance for you to get a good look into what your teenager is thinking and that kind of intel is invaluable for the entire team that is working with your teenager. If you come off the home pass with new information then that home pass was probably worthwhile.
Be in charge of the comings, goings, tasks, and activities performed on the home pass. Don’t try to be in charge of everything your teenager says or thinks. That will backfire.
A good phrase to remember is this: "Tell me about that." Follow that up by actually listening. Caution: The more you listen the more you may wish to debate. Don't debate with your teenager. Let your teen know before you start the home pass that you are not interested in debating. Listening is not debating. Following the rules is not debating. You can stick to the rules, listen to your teenager and then follow that up with "I'm glad you told me your side of that. Yes, you make a good argument but you know you have always been able to make a good argument. This home pass is chance to show us that you can follow the rules, so we are going to stick to the contract that we have prepared and that we all have agreed."
13. Give some positive feedback to your teenager if you find that he is acting more grownup. Sometimes the behavior on a home pass is so nice that you wonder who this teenager is and what have they done with your real teenager! That’s great. Mention it. Tell your teenager that you see big changes in him. Label his behavior “adult.” Tell them that you respect all the hard work that he has done in placement and really like the changes he has made.
Summary: Teenagers use guilt, intimidation and lying to vie for power. If you want be the one in charge of your teenager don’t wait until he or she is released from the institution. Start being in charge on off grounds passes and home passes. Let your teen find out that you are not as easily manipulated anymore. Let him know that the buck stops here.
Other home pass posts:
Home for the Holidays by Rocco and Sally
Scoring the Home Pass by Lloyd
Rocco's comment below suggested Where's Wendell's/ Wendy's stuff post.
or just put "home pass" in our search window in the upper right hand corner of this blog. Read More......
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward -- Thursday, November 28, 2013
Mirror Mirror on the wall..
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Thursday, November 28, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving to all PSST parents everywhere! We love our parents at the meetings and also those of you who follow us on this blog and on our Yahoo Groups email.
Just a note to say that we fixed our search window. If you find anything interesting in our archives please post a comment to let us know what you found. I just put "Thankful" in the window and found the above post by Sally and I re-posted. The other day I put "Parent Rights" in the window and found a post that I wrote for July 4th 2012. It had been such a long time that I felt like I was reading someone else's post.
I stand behind that "Parent Rights" post but I couldn't help but notice that it says nothing of parent responsibilities. For example, of course it's a parent's right to disagree with experts (#12) and of course parents are really expert on their own children but what if a parents disagrees with most of the experts most of the time? What if a parent's disagreements with professionals undermines the treatment that a teenager is receiving in an inpatient program? Isn't it also a parent-responsibility to support rather than undermine the treatment that the teenager is there to receive? Sometimes Parent Rights and Parent Responsibilities collide.
For example, inpatient challenges the teen to take responsibility. In the beginning the teenager blames everyone else for his predicament. After a time in treatment he begins to see that he has played a role and that he has done that by making poor decisions. This is the sort of turn around we are hoping for and when the teenager stands up and says, "You know that's something that I have to change in myself," we all applaud!
It could very well be that the thing he glimpses that he needs to change is whether or not to continue to go through life as a victim!
For each of us there is plenty of evidence that we are victimized. We are victimized by so many situations and people on a daily basis: from the person who misinformed us about our new mortgage to the person at the grocery store who never should have bagged the bananas with the bleach!
Where does our responsibility come into it? We signed the mortgage so should we have known what we were signing? Should we have asked more questions? Maybe not but I'm just saying do we take the time to examine our role or are we eager to find someone to blame for each of our predicaments? Should we have watched the grocery person throw those two things into our bag? Perhaps that's something we expect not to have to worry about and yet, we are also there are we not?
Here's why this is so important. If we decide to go through life operating from a victim's stance then it becomes very difficult to change ourselves. Instead, we go through life trying to change everyone else and boy is that a frustrating endeavor! Once we decide to abandon our victim's stance, we begin to examine our role in things and that allows the spark that can start a blaze of self growth. Without that spark there is small chance for change.
As we have often said in this blog, one of the gifts that we can offer to our teenagers is good role-modeling. We will be imitated by our children. So, if we choose to act primarily as victims, we do little to help our teenager to grow up and become a responsible person. Raising responsible people, that's our job as parents and when we have our teen inpatient it's an ideal time to begin to become more responsible ourselves.
So, let's go back to disagreeing with the experts. Sure, we can and should do that; however, if we find that a couple of these experts are saying the same thing it should raise a questioning flag. Even if our opinion is that "they" are all incompetent and "they" are all wrong and we begin to feel like we know more than the psychiatrist, more than the family therapist, more than the social worker, more than the probation officer and more than the judge, then maybe it's time to realize that while we have the right to disagree with the experts we also have a responsibility to support the treatment that our teen is getting. If our disagreements range so large as to undermine the very treatment that our teen is getting and especially if our intervention continually reinforces the fact that our teen is a victim, that he isn't competent, and that he really can't do any better, then at the end of the day let's be thankful there are mirrors and let's find one and take a good look.
I am thankful that parents who attend PSST usually don't undermine the treatment that their teenager is in inpatient to receive! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward -- Thursday, November 28, 2013
PSST Tenth Anniversary / Holiday Celebration
Posted by:Jenn--Sunday, November 24, 2013
Posted by:Jenn -- Sunday, November 24, 2013
Thanks to "our" Fabulous Interns!
Posted by:Jenn--Saturday, November 23, 2013
Thanks to “our” fantastic Wesley Spectrum interns, Abby & Elizabeth, for sharing valuable information at our special PSST meeting today. The topics discussed were improving family communication (listening and dealing with conflict) and grief education/counseling. The parents who attended were in for a surprise, because we didn’t have to choose one of the two topics, instead we experienced both!
The information was helpful, and there was a lot of sharing within the group - even role-plays!
Posted by:Jenn -- Saturday, November 23, 2013
Mark Your Calendars for this Special Event on Sat, Nov 23!!
Posted by:Jenn--Sunday, November 17, 2013
You are invited to attend your choice of two educational groups open to the community and PSST parents. The groups will feature the topics of how to improve family communication (listening and dealing with conflict) and grief education/counseling. The workshops are free, and will be informative and interactive in nature.
Posted by:Jenn -- Sunday, November 17, 2013
From Role Play to Real Life
Posted by:Brigitte--Sunday, November 10, 2013
The situation involved letting our son, Pierre, know that we were not comfortable with him dropping by and hanging out at our house while he waited for his girlfriend to pick him up. We felt like prisoners in our home--following him around, having to remind him that he could not lock the door to his former bedroom, locking upstairs bedroom doors, hiding our money. Francois and I had already told him that he could not shower or sleep at our house and, although he hadn't handled that very well, he no longer asked to do those things. We now needed to let him know that we did not want him using our house as a temporary hangout.
As the role play unfolded, I realized that I was not coming from a place of love and detachment, but of anger, resentment and fear. As Francois and I continue to work on creating peace in our home and a better relationship with our other two sons, it hit me that I was trying to push Pierre away; I no longer wanted a weekly reminder that I have a son who continues to use drugs and may be involved in other, equally dangerous, activities. During the discussion, there was mention that, because of his lifestyle choices, each encounter with our son could be our last. It was difficult to hear, but also a jarring eye opener.
Pierre stopped by that afternoon. Francois and I know that a three-way conversation with Pierre is impossible, so I attempted my version of the role play when Pierre and I were sitting at the kitchen table. It went something like this:
Pierre: So what did you want to talk about?
Brigitte: Well, I just wanted to apologize for something.
Pierre: Oh yeah?
Brigitte: As you probably can tell, I am struggling with a few things lately. I have been feeling a lot of anger, fear, and disappointment in the choices you've been making and I don't think I've been handling it very well. (pause) I'm sure it hasn't been fun for you to stop by when Dad and I are following you around the house every second and acting so tense when you are here.
Pierre: I don't know why you do that anyway.
Brigitte: Well, as I said, it's my problem. I'm feeling a lot of distrust and worried that something might get stolen, and I am not able to get past it right now. I'm working on it, but in the meantime, I am really uncomfortable when you're here and roaming around the house.
Brigitte: Well, we love seeing you and you're welcome to come here as long as dad and I know in advance when you are coming and how long the visit will be. We just aren't comfortable with unannounced visits or having you hang out in other parts of the house. We can visit together when you are here.
Pierre: Okay, whatever. I don't really like coming here that much anyway. It's so boring here.
Brigitte: Yep, it's very boring here (resisting the temptation to add "Finally!"). By the way, are you coming for Thanksgiving?
Pierre: Only if it's here and not at Aunt _____'s house. I hate driving all the way there and staying all day.
Brigitte: Oh good, I was planning on having it here anyway so that works out well.
Pierre: Okay. Hey, I built bookshelves for my house and they look sweet.
(The visit continued with chit chat about his new place and who he is living with.)
It's amazing to me that, after three years of attending PSST, I can still be surprised by the depth of insight, compassion and strength that this group has to offer. I am so grateful for that, and also for the extra hugs and kind words!
Thank you so much--
Posted by:Brigitte -- Sunday, November 10, 2013
Marijuana and E-Cigs
Posted by:Jenn--Monday, October 21, 2013
Posted by:Jenn -- Monday, October 21, 2013
A Teen's View of Prescription Drug Abuse
Posted by:Jenn--Sunday, October 20, 2013
With his new documentary, “Out of Reach,” filmmaker Cyrus Stowe, a senior at a Dallas high school, set out to uncover the growing problem of friends sharing and abusing prescription medications in his hometown.
Posted by:Jenn -- Sunday, October 20, 2013
Parents of the Year Speech
Posted by:Jenn--Saturday, October 12, 2013
Please remember this in regards to our child's addiction:
* We didn't cause it.
* We can't control it.
* We can't cure it.
The one thing Paul & I have learned from this journey is: Even when we can't change a situation, we can change our response to it!
We still take it one day at a time, but believe us . . . there is hope when all seems hopeless!
2013 Allegheny County Juvenile Court Parents of the Year (full speech)
- This is sort of like winning the prettiest person award in an ugly contest. You wish that you weren't eligible to be considered, but yet proud to be selected.
- Thank you for this recognition, it has been added and checked off on our bucket list! Who knew!
- We have met so many parents throughout our journey that are so much more deserving of this award than us, but thank you.
- There isn't a parent here tonight who didn't have a different hope and dreams for their child, but life has a way of thrusting us into situations we never dreamed we would face.
- We stand before you this evening with a message of hope,
o But hope needs help! It needs the assistance of perseverance.
- We must be an advocate for our children . . . be their voice when navigating through the system.
There are so many people that we'd like to thank for helping keep our son alive until he came to the realization that he had to change. We call them, Team Cameron:
- Sheri Magill, Act 53 * Lloyd Woodward
- Kathie Tagmyer * Val Ketter
- Justin Innocent, Wesley Spectrum / Juvenile Probation Officer
- Elizabeth Bayley, Wesley Spectrum * Bob Banos
- Judge Dwayne Woodruff * Judge Borkowski
Just to give you an idea of the journey Team Cameron has traveled, here are the places we have all been to beginning in April 2008:
- Western Psych April-May 2008:
- Pyramid Ridgeview May-July 2008:
- LOTS OF OUTPATIENT REHAB AND COUNSELING
- Shuman July 5-August 2010:
- Abraxas I August 2010-February 2011:
- Liberty Station February-May 2011:
- Shuman May 2011:
- Alpha House May-August 2, 2011:
- August 2-August 9: Ran from Alpha, relapsed
- CLEAN DATE: August 8, 2011
- Allegheny County Jail August 9-September 2011:
- Shuman September 2011:
- Abraxas LDP September 2011-February 2012
- Gateway YES February-April 2012:
- Liberty Station April-June 2012:
- Shuman June 2012:
- Rutter House June-August 2012:
- Shuman August 2012:
- First Step August-September 2012:
- Shuman September 2012:
- September 7, 2012: Regained freedom after 2 years and 2 months of institutions
- Pathways 3/4 House September-October 31, 2012:
- Own Apartment in Mt. Lebanon October 31-Present:
We came to the decision that for our son's best interest, he could never live with us again. That was one of the most difficult decisions that we've ever been faced with. But it was the right decision for our relationship with Cameron.
Additionally, we'd like to thank:
- Jesse Yunker; who, without your guidance and friendship and empty bedroom! You have provided a safe, comfortable and clean environment for Cameron so that we may rest without too much worry each night.
- Cameron's brothers: Jason, Brian & Aaron for welcoming him back into our family with your unconditional love and support and praise for where he is today. Dad & I know how difficult the years were for YOU and we will NEVER forget your understanding of the decisions we made concerning your little brother.
- And Amber and Ashlynn for being the BEST additions to our crazy family.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY . . . PSST parents - we could not have gotten through this without your tears & laughter as we gave our updates and reached out for support, ideas or just HUGS when we were at the bottom of a very very deep hole.
- We didn't cause it.
- We can't control it.
- We can't cure it.
We can't want their sobriety more than they do. When we do, it leads to enabling behavior that is ultimately detrimental to our child's well being.
The one thing Paul & I have learned from this journey is: Even when we can't change a situation, we can change our response to it!
I'd like to read the Facebook post Cameron made immediately after hearing that Paul & I were chosen "Parents of the Year".
My mom just told me that her and my dad have been chosen Allegheny County Juvenile Court Parents of the Year. I'm so happy they finally get the recognition they deserve. Everybody tells me how great I'm doing and how far I've come, but people rarely realize the hell and embarrassment I put them and the rest of my family through. I couldn't have accomplished everything I've done in the last 2 years without their love, support and annoying me enough to motivate myself to go do something with myself. Love you mom and dad"
Words we never thought we'd ever hear from Cameron!
Ladies and gentlemen: Please give a round of applause for our son, Cameron, who is now 26 months clean and successfully working the Narcotics Anonymous program.
We still take it one day at a time, but believe us . . . there is hope when all seems hopeless!
Posted by:Jenn -- Saturday, October 12, 2013
The Word is Out . . .
Posted by:Jenn--Thursday, October 10, 2013
|Anne & Paul at the PSST meeting celebration|
Paul & Anne are the Allegheny County Parents of the Year! Members of their personal family, as well as members of their PSST family, were at the ceremony to show their support and pride for what this couple has achieved. For their firm yet compassionate dealings with their son, for what they’ve been through & survived together as a family, and for their encouragement in helping others in the PSST group – they truly set an example for us all.
After their speech at the ceremony, their son (now 26 months clean) joined them at the front of the room to give them hugs – such a fitting and heartwarming gesture.
Posted by:Jenn -- Thursday, October 10, 2013