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Recap of the February 12 PSST Meeting in Wexford
Posted by:Max--Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Recap of the February 12 Meeting in Wexford

Another great meeting in Wexford last Saturday, attended by the usual suspects: from Juvenile probation, Lloyd and Val; From Wesley Spectrum, Kathie T and Jocelyn; and of course, all of our amazing parents!

Our meeting went a bit differently this time. Everyone wanted to share and talk, so we never got around to role plays. Therefore, here is what is going on in the lives of our parents:

Jane is beaming. Son Elroy has been in a court-ordered RTF for a few weeks now. She has had positive conversations with him, and as she said, she is in a "good place". She hopes he takes his treatment seriously.

We all need to remind ourselves: it is very common for the teen, new to treatment to be in a "honeymoon" phase, where things don't seem so terrible, the counselors aren't so bad, and if they are really good, they can get this over with and get out!
Usually this phase will end, and the kid will show his/her true colors at some point. This is actually a good thing. If the treatment team can see what your kid does when he acts up, they will better be able to address the issues. And, if YOU don't believe he is ready to come home because you feel he has not taken treatment seriously, YOU HAVE THE POWER TO SAY THIS!!

But I digress. Jane has never looked better - probably because she now sleeps very well at night, knowing Elroy is safe.

Daisy's son Ozzie is in the same court-ordered RTF as Elroy. He is doing very well, dealing with some tough issues. He has finally earned a 24 hour home pass. Daisy is anxious, nervous and excited all at once. Daisy, we too are anxious - anxiously awaiting the story of Ozzie's first home visit!

We know you have the tools and the power to not only get through the weekend, but enjoy Ozzie's company as well!

Violet is grateful. Violet is hopeful. Violet is finally seeing positive returns on her hard work of the prior years. Son Sal has been in college now for 2 months, and doing well. He even asked a girl to a dance! He is conscientious about studying, has been clean every time his PO tests him, and is living a pretty ordinary life for a change. Violet is quick to point out that is "for now"; she is living each day at a time. She also says "last year at this time I didn't know if I would even have a son, and here he is in college, and doing well. I want to give other parents in my situation hope". Vi believes that college gave Sal hope, something to work towards that was positive. Lloyd pointed out that isn't necessarily true for all our kids. But, Violet knows her son, and did what she thought was in his best interest.

Parents, we DO know our kids better than anyone else, and sometimes, you must take that leap of faith. Violet, we are so happy that things are well at this time.

Angela's daughter Samantha is in an RTF. Angela reported that her 12 hour visit went well, and for the first time, Angela feels she finally has her daughter back. Samantha has another 12 hour pass on the day of this meeting, and she sent her husband to have special alone time with her.

Our old PSST friend Posey is back, but not too happy. Son Thor got off probation in November, but recently failed a drug test at his school. He then ran away from home, couch surfing. At the time of this meeting he has been gone one week. Posey, all of our hearts are with you. We all know the pain you feel. We are praying that Thor will be back sooner rather than later, and that you keep coming to PSST to help remind you that YOU are the one in charge and have the tools to stay strong.

We appreciate your sharing Posey. You can always count on us being here for you.

Jessica and Roger decided to take a one month break from son Herman, currently in a court-ordered RTF. Herman has been disrespectful of his parents at each visit (not to mention the havoc he wreaked when he was at home)and they have had enough abuse! Lloyd reports that Herman seems to be doing ok. More importantly Jessica and Roger understand that Herman cannot come home until he changes his tune and learns some appropriate communication skills. The Rabbits are rejuvenating while away from Herman, and trying to focus on each other and their other bunnies at home.

Becky and Tom are thrilled with son Syd's progress. Syd is doing well in his half-way house, has gotten a job at McDonalds ("he LOVES it"!) and will be coming home soon. Becky admits that at first, she thought placement would not be good for Syd. But now she sees it was the best thing for him.

Rose is going through a very tough time with son Joe, who has been in more than one placement. Joe has diagnosis of anxiety and depression that need to be addressed,but he needs to be clean of all substances for a solid period of time before an appropriate therapist can evaluate his needs. Rose brought him out of his half-way house after being clean for several months to attend an NA meeting. Joe got out of the car and went into the meeting. Sadly, he kept on walking right to the corner drug store to purchase cold medicines used for "Robo-tripping". Once Rose got wind of the situation,she took control and not only got Joe into another program, but went to the drug store of Joe's purchase and made sure they knew they sold cold meds to a minor, who was abusing them. Rose, you not only did the right thing here, we ALL should report stores that sell cigarettes, cough syrup, Mucinex, etc to minors. We are the village that are raising our children - we all need to look out for, and report, these irresponsible retailers. The good news is Joe is doing well with his school work that he continues with in his new placement. Even though there was a relapse, it was short lived. Joe appears to have significant clean time under his belt with all of his placements combined. Hopefully his mental health issues will be resolved soon. Rose, Joe is safe now. Please get some rest, have some peace of mind, and keep talking to your PSST friends.

When I first met Maria, it was my very first PSST meeting. She told the group then, as now, that her son Bert was a recovering heroin addict. She was so calm and collected, and had such a pleasant demeanor, that I looked to her in awe. Can a mom who has a son that is a recovering heroin addict really not be hysterical at all times? I didn't understand that detaching from your addicted child is a healthy and necessary process. But Maria's attitude showed me she successfully had done what was necessary not only to save her son, but to save herself as well. And here she is over a year later, with continued good news about Bert; he is still clean, and is going to school to learn to be a Drug and Alcohol counselor. Maria is sad however, that her relationship with Bert isn't what she was hoping for. It seems there is friction from unknown sources (at least to Maria) that make Bert withdraw from her, and not seem to want regular contact. Maria keeps trying new ways to involve her son so they can have a relationship; she recently took him to a sporting event, and they both had a good time. Maria says however, that Bert's being clean and in recovery is the priority; if his relationship with her isn't where she wants it to be at the moment, she is willing to wait. At least he is alive. This mom is healthily detached, and detached with love. For more on this subject seek previous blogs on detachment, or detaching with love. Or, come to Families Anonymous and learn how!

Wilma has written some very poignant blogs lately about her son Bam-Bam. Bam-Bam has some mental health issues that, until he is clean for extended time, will be difficult to decipher. So, Wilma is biding her time while Bam-Bam attends his rehab, has therapy, as well as some home based service. She has several routes she can take; press charges and get him into the juvenile system,or have him court committed in the mental health system. It is a lot to think about, but we here at PSST have nothing but Kudos for Wilma, navigating these systems (especially the insurance quagmire) while keeping an eye on Bam-Bam and his text messages that read "I got that stuff"...she plans to add random drug testing to Bam-Bam's routine.

Jim and Cheryl just received upsetting news about son Andy who is currently doing well in his half-way house. After a bout of stomach problems, Jim and Cheryl took Andy to the ER for some testing. The doctor was concerned to see that 17 year old Andy had the liver of a 40 year old. He has to face up to the fact that his own alcoholism is what caused this. Andy is in shock, but according to Jim and Cheryl , Andy does in fact understand that his liver problems were avoidable and brought on by his addiction. And although it is a serious medical condition, perhaps this shock will keep Andy on the right path. We pray,nonetheless, for Andy's good health and continued recovery. On a positive note, he likes his placement even though Lloyd had predicted "you probably won't like it there".

Bienvenu, Francoise et Brigitte, our new friends. Son Pierre is still going to Gateway IOP, and started seeing positive results. Therefore, they gave Pierre a bit more freedom as a reward. Unfortunately, he failed his weekly drug test. He is now bumped up to Partial. His grades are not good. Francoise and Brigitte are in a holding pattern, waiting to see if a court ordered stint at Gateway YES may be in store for Pierre.

Joan and Melissa are having more problems. Melissa has forged some of Joan's checks. She is facing legal consequences because of this, and was shocked that Joan had no intention of providing her with an attorney. Melissa is staying with friends (that Joan doesn't know)and appears to have no interest in going in-patient to an RTF which Joan believes she needs. Joan is also concerned about possible mental health issues for Melissa. Joan admitted that she has been acting as a "buffer" between Melissa and the outside world consequences. But no more! Joan, everyone at PSST and Families Anonymous are here to help you through this!

Joan brought her good friend Kitty to PSST. Kitty has a son Carlyle who is currently at IOP Gateway. She also has an older son who is a heroin addict who was kicked out of his half-way house and arrested for possession. Is Carlyle going down that same path? Kitty wants to insure that Carlyle have a probation officer until he is 21. Stay with us Kitty, and you will get support and guidance regarding this.

And last for the day, but certainly not ever least, Rocco and Sally; the saga of Cisco continues. At this point in our story (oh, wait, this is real life!Sally, you may want to consider writing a book or a screen play!) Cisco is determined to get off of probation, and his hearing is coming up.

Rocco and Sally are anxious; what if the judge agrees with Cisco?

What if he actually is off probation?

How will they ever have control?

Cisco is clearly not ready for this. He still wishes to contact old friends, he mentioned running away from his current program ("If I ran, would you tell Lloyd?" "of course!").

Rocco and Sally know they may need to stand up in court and announce "Our son still needs the support of a probation officer; we are not comfortable with him being off probation".

They are trying to keep having a good relationship with Cisco and remain a part of his life. But they also realize they may not be able to.

They need to continue to work on detaching with love; love the child, hate the disease, move on with their life, work on themselves and how to make themselves happy and enjoy their life, without letting Cisco and his issues over take them and drag them down.

As a PSST Parent once told us “I never wanted to visit the world of addiction but now that I am here; I will learn all that I can to help myself, my family and my child in our recovery.”

We would all would like to sincerely thank Trinity Lutheran Church for the use of their first class facilities that allows PSST to empower parents who are learning how to help their troubled teenagers.

This is another great example of how Trinity Lutheran has been reaching out and serving Wexford and the northern suburbs since 1845.

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