Quote of the Week

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

Starting Over, One More Time
Posted by:Jenn--Friday, April 04, 2014

As a short recap, Dylan was released home in January from a placement (his fifth), soon after his successful graduation from high school.  At home, he began to struggle.  He was hanging around with friends he shouldn’t have been seeing, ending up at places different from his agreed-upon destinations, sneaking alcohol, becoming verbally combative with his parents, and otherwise having difficulty dealing with his newfound “freedom”.  Within 5 weeks, he found himself back in court.

At court, Dylan was offered the opportunity to come home, but instead he requested a halfway house.  Maybe he knew that he would not be successful at home.  After working with Dylan for the past 3 years, the judge seems to have a pretty good handle on what’s right for Dylan, and she ordered him to be placed at “Halfway House”.   

Dylan has been at Halfway House for 6 weeks now.  We think of it as supervised independent living.  He is doing his own laundry, keeping his room neat (what a concept!), and helping with the cooking.  He got a job right away at a fast food restaurant.  He was worried that he wouldn’t like it (i.e., that it would be “uncool”), but instead he finds that he is happy to be working, enjoying the people interactions, and excited about the prospect of earning & saving money.  He enjoys his coworkers, and even says that almost all the customers are really nice.
His therapist at Halfway House is fantastic, and the therapeutic environment seems to be stronger than at his other placements.  Intervention seems to focus on more than just correcting the immediate behavior problem, but also on discovering the underlying issues behind the behavior, and tackling those issues head-on.  For a teen who normally can barely sit still, it’s amazing to learn that Dylan is now using meditation and writing to deal with his anger/resentment issues.  He also found an NA sponsor that he seems to be happy with, and he’s attending a local church on Sundays.  Naturally, his irritation with authority and difficulty in abiding by rules has not disappeared, but he seems to be handling himself better.
Usually when Dylan starts at a new program, he is angry & uncommunicative with his parents, but not this time.  He has been calling us regularly, and we have visited him quite a few times.  He doesn’t think he wants any home passes, but he is interested in having offsite passes to play soccer for the local travel team, where we will watch and cheer on the team.  That’s good enough for now.

Much as we’d prefer that Dylan live at home, that option is only truly possible in some alternate universe.  It’s not what will work for him right now.  Dylan will be 18 years old in another month, and we realize that he may never live at home again.  Attending PSST meetings, where we have learned so much from the experts as well as other parents, has helped us to accept that reality.  We are so grateful for the progress that Dylan has been making towards becoming independent, responsible, and free of drugs/alcohol.  He has had a lot of crucial help and guidance along the way.

Brad & Jenn      

1 comment:

Brigitte said...

Thanks for the update, Jen. We've been a little out of the loop these days so it's nice to hear how Dylan has been doing at the HH. It all sounds very positive, and even a little different this time around. You have a good therapist at HH; she is very caring and devoted to the kids. Dylan is in good hands. I'm sure you wish you weren't dealing with this all over again but I know your strength and commitment to Dylan will get you through. Hang in there!


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