Quote of the Week

"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sally, Rocco, & Cisco: the story continues...
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Thursday, November 19, 2009

I can still hear the deep, male voice of the stranger on the phone and his words echo in my mind. "We have your son, he is at Auberle, your son is safe. If you have any questions please call this number...."

That was a month ago and we have had some positive changes in Cisco's behavior since then but it took three stays at Shuman (one of which was combined with that stay at Auberle) before we saw a turn around.

Cisco was taken to Shuman the first time because he had a dirty urine screening while attending Gateway Rehab. He was 130 days clean and relapsed on marajauna. The courts allowed him to come home to us but he was now on home detention.
Cisco was placed at Shuman the second time because he left our home in the wee hours of the night even though he was on home detention. My husband and I believe it is necessary to show Cisco that there are consequences for violating rules so we drove him to Shuman immediately. Never the less, I really wanted him back home so I wrote down 11 ways that Cisco was positively working his recovery program. The hearing officer ruled that Cisco could return home as soon as he was set up with an electronic monitoring device. Rocco was too involved with a big project at work and could not attend this hearing. I didn't mind going alone since I was driven by this notion that Cisco should continue making progress at home where he belongs . But now I was hoping I was right and I was sweating it out.

It took us about a week to get the phone line set up for the home detention monitor. There was no guarantee that it would keep Cisco from going out at night but we still thought it was the best solution. Rocco and I picked Cisco up on a Sunday. Cisco was happy to be out in the cold fresh air and talked about his stay and about returning to school and his recovery program. He had been doing well in school but now had some catching up to do. We were beginning to see a positive change in attitude but there was yet another episode in store.

It was only a couple of days before Cisco chose to violate our rule and visit a friend after school. He understood that he was supposed to come directly home from school but he did not expect his dad and I would be home early that day. He got angry when we questioned his whereabouts. This short visit to his friend probably would have been dismissed by us if he had been honest about where he was. But we quickly realized after making a few phone calls that he had lied. Now we were wondering where he really had been. Cisco was sitting at the computer listening to his loud music when Rocco calmly asked him questions to get to the bottom of this. Cisco told him to go away and turned up the volume trying to end the discussion. Rocco pulled the plug out of the computer and began to take it away. Cisco got up and pushed him up against the wall. Rocco asked me to call the 9-1-1 and I did. Cisco was still angry when the police arrived but calmed himself down. After we consulted with his P.O. he found himself once again going back to Shuman without much resistance, this time in the back of a police car. This was his third violation in less than a month and this time we thought that there was no doubt that Cisco would be put in placement.

We spent that evening preparing ourselves for this. But to our surprised Cisco's P.O. called the day before his hearing and asked us if we wanted Cisco to be put in placement or to come home. Since the altercation was against him I felt that Rocco should ‘call the shots' and I told him I would back up his choice 100%.
It really did not take Rocco long to decide that it would be best to try to convince the court that Cisco should be home. Cisco had for the most part been positively working his recovery program and following his consent agreement. This time we added three stipulations that Cisco must make in order to come back home.

1) He would continue to follow all the rules of his original contract.

2) The computer and all his music on it would be removed from the house.

3) Cisco is on a Consent Decree and we asked that he would admit on record to a misdemeanor from this spring (This was not part of his original consent agreement). This needed to be done for two reasons. A) Cisco needed to publicly admit that he did something wrong. B) If it is ever necessary to go back to court and have Cisco placed there is no need to prove anything thru a hearing because the courts have his admission on record.

Once again we got our wish and the morning of Cisco’s hearing we met with both the public defender and Cisco’s P.O. The Public Defender insisted that Cisco should not admit to anything even to the point of going into placement. The P.O. told us to stick with our conviction that without an admission that Cisco could not come home. This chess match continued until the time that we were being seated in the hearing room. The Public Defender finally gave in and asked us what Cisco would need to admit to. After getting Cisco’s concurrence and some discussions with the Hearing Officer, followed by a stern lecture and a warning that his next violation would be sent directly to court, Cisco was allowed to come home with us. Straight from court this time!

In the past, Cisco felt that we were just waiting for, even setting him up to fail and that we really did not want him to live with us. But Rocco and I both had our chance in court to advocate for Cisco and to let him know that we want him home as long as he follows some basic rules.

Along with all the recovery things Cisco has been doing in the past; Cisco is also being polite and less self centered. He is acting more responsible at home and in school. He is participating in many more family activities and now it is obvious that he CARES about himself and those who he loves.

When a family member changes it sets the whole family in motion and now both Rocco and I need to change our ways. We must still stand very firm and define clear boundaries for him but we need to start trusting him a little bit more each day. Our family has evolved into something finer.

Editor Note: You can read all of Sally's posts to date:

#1: Message from PSST parent: 8-30-09

#2: Thanks for empowering us. 9-12-09

#3: Sally finds the right tools to get the job done: 9-15-09

#4: Update from Sally: 9-26-09

#5: Relapse Takes Mom for a Ride on an Emotional Roller Coaster 10-17-09.

#6: Sally, Rocco, & Cisco: To Be Continued. 10-26-09

Also Rocco posted this Learning to Unlearn 10-22-09

1 comment:

Lloyd Woodward said...

Much to Thanks to Sally for sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences. You have a powerful message of hope. I along with all of your readers can't wait till the next installment. You and Rocco are my Heroes. Nice job of chess in court!


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