An Open Letter To Troubled Teen Blog About Mental Illness

January 28, 2012 · 15 comments

in Mental Health, Over 18

Dear Troubled Teen Blog,

I think about you all the time and the history that we have shared. I know I have been neglecting you these past months. Sadly the situation has gotten worse I never thought it would get to this place. Now I am not sure if there is a bottom.

I have been trying to figure out what I would tell you and how to compose it in a positive and hopeful light. But at this time that is difficult, as I watch my son go deeper into his sickness.

I don’t see much of him these days and when I do he is not there mentally. He has always had different ideas about life but now he is more in his head than ever. It is almost impossible to have a conversation with him. He has been living on the street and has had four 5150’s this past year. He has been in and out of jail. There is a bench warrant out for him in our hometown because he has not (cannot) make his court dates or do his community service.  I have no way of contacting him so I wait for him to contact me and luckily he seems to come around every few weeks and then disappear.

Some nights I lay awake wondering if he is still alive and how he exists. We no longer give him money or support. When he does come around he tells us he can take care of himself. I know that I am powerless but this is my child and it just breaks my heart whenever I think of him.

TTB this is why I have not been around in a long time. This is a lot for me to process and I am learning to live on life’s terms and at the same time trying to accept this difficult path that my family is walking. I thought wilderness and residential treatment was going to be the answer but now I know this was just a safe place along this uncharted road.

I have not given up hope. I am learning about new interventions that may be able to care for my son as he enters adulthood. Personally, I am fed up with the system and how it (does not) works for those with mental health issues. I am learning there are outreach programs and we have to make them aware of my son’s situation. He needs an advocate but at the same time I am powerless and have to let go. I thought I already did that.

With sincere gratitude, Your Administrator

P.S. I know I am not alone. I have met many wonderful families with similar situations which breaks my heart even more.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maya February 7, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Hi, please hear me out and tell me what to do.My son just turned 15. He is becoming someone that I never though my son would be.He got in trouble with law twice and tomorrow morning on my birthday I have to go with him to his school for his 3 rd trouble with law. What do we call enough is enough.We immigrated to US 12 years ago, and I had to let my son`s father to go. I did work hard to live. When my son does make very poor choices and not feel guilty, it is very disappointing. I do not have strength to get angry anymore.I am helpless.I will die if that is going to make him to realize who,what he is. But he does not have anyone else. So basically I have to live with it, because I can not be that selfish.I just do not have any support or help that is going for us. What legal system does is instead of helping guiding, it basically punishes us. I have to pay fines, pay for community services,and drive him around to get his community services done. He meets more troubled kids uses community services to make friends.I really do not know what to do…

2 gavin collins July 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm

there is a lot on my mind, and i am only 14, i have so many things in my life that is so messed up, and i can do nothing about it. i scratch myself till my stoumach and sides bleed in the shower, and cut my arms, pain is something that soothes me. its releasing, and i need to stop, or so other people say, but im never turning to god, for he abandoned me years ago when i needed him most. this is for anyone who knows my pain, and one more thing…..i litterally deal with demons, if this helps any, and its not a lie. im not crazy or i wouldnt be here now would I? but i want someone who knows pain, enough to know how good it feels and to help me change that state of thought

3 AngieL July 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm

My heart aches for you and your pain. I have followed you now for a very long time and I know I have been on a similar roller coaster. We are at a very low point again with my daughter and I know what the dread feels like, it aches right from your heart. My daughter was doing so good and felt okay to move out and since has gone around a bend. I rarely see her anymore too, and I know she is out of money and picked up a sketchy crowd. I am so scared for her. I look back at the times when our biggest problem was her smoking cigarettes, and realize those were the easy days. She is just recently 18 and not having the ability to communicate with her doctors and mental health professionals anymore has been a challenge for all of us. My biggest fear is losing hope, I hate feeling helpless. Please don’t lose hope, no matter how dark it gets…please. Know that I am always here to talk, I believe you know how to contact me. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

4 Tammy June 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I’am so sorry for your pain.. No one seems to truly understand except those of us as parents. The hopeless feeling of knowing there is absolutely nothing you can do, but pray for a miracle.. My daughter is only 15, she has been in recedential care, so tired cant even think.. she is now going for her second care facility.. are there really any good one’s are they just temporary homes.. please if there’s anyone out there i begging for suggestion, feeling lost and alone, and desperate… I live in Northern Cali, and are looking for a level 14 care.. with out standing reviews

5 Sher March 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I still cut, I am 53 years old, the more it bleeds the better I feel, am I weird…

6 Teenage Depression March 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Ah very sorry to read it. The helplessness is the worst part of it – realizing that you have no control over their behavior, and that help rarely works for those who don’t want it. Just gotta hope that SOMETHING gets through to him. But the wait is torture…

7 Scott Smith March 9, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I wrote this for our parents of Agape students. Maybe it will be a help to you and others. I read your home page post and my heart goes out to you. I have worked with many parents in the same situation. Please use my comments for your encouragement and do with them whatever you choose.

Why do teens reject authority? Why do they reject the wisdom and teaching that they are given? Is there hope? Should we just give up on this generation? The Answer is “NO!” The following scripture has been on my mind and I hope it is encouraging to parents who have their son at Agape or you are a former student at Agape, or maybe you have looked into Agape but are still undecided. Please read this truth.

Luke 6:46-49
46 ¶And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

The goal of every parent is to teach their children and instruct them for their future. Every child will become an adult one day (at least by age anyway). It is important that they get the FOUNDATION that they need. There are two types of teens. (1)Teens that get a foundation, (2)Teens that don’t get a foundation. It is obvious what happens to the teens that don’t get a foundation. He is like the foolish man that built his house upon the sand. When the rains come, the ruin is great and there is still nothing to build on. Our society is felled with people like this.

The Agape program is all about giving these young men a foundation. The most important ingredient in their foundation is a walk with Christ. That is why there is a spiritual emphasis. The second ingredient is to grow in the basic morals of being a Christian. This is learning many character traits that Agape teaches. Thirdly it is important that they receive an education as part of their foundation. That is why we push for a high school diploma. Once this foundation is built, then they can start construction on their building (their life).

The rains, however, will still come. The difference between the wise and the foolish is the foundation. If there is a firm foundation then the building may suffer some damage but it is much easier to repair than a building without a foundation. The building without the foundation the Bible states “…and the ruin of that house was great.”

So parents, don’t be weary about your son whether he is at Agape, completed Agape or you are a parent just checking out the school. You just have to help your teen get that foundation. Once he turns 18, your opportunity to give him that foundation is gone. He will then begin to build his life on the “sand” and when the rains come, he will have to pick up the pieces and keep starting over. He will have a much greater chance to withstand the “rains” if the “foundation” is set. Help your teen get the foundation set before it is too late.

God bless all our friends and families. Keep praying for us at Agape as we continue to pour the “cement” into these young men.

8 CBS February 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm

I feel your pain first hand, as you know. The times in between contact, although uncertain, are the most stable for me these days and that makes me feel guilty as a parent too. I have also felt very frustrated with the system. It seems to me that my son falls short of the criteria for most interventions in one way or another. He also has to choose to want intervention, yet his mental illness renders him incapable of doing so. It is a vicious circle. When I realize that this instablity will be a part of my life for the rest of his life, I am paralyzed by my hopelessness.

9 mjhighroad February 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I don’t know how you do it. God help me that my situation never comes to that.

10 kidsRTC January 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Hi Suzanne, nice to hear from you. I like the analogy and like so many things in life our children do not come with guarantees. When crisis like these hit we do what we can and hope for the best. This is the true meaning of powerlessness.

11 kidsRTC January 30, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Dear Tracy, Thanks for your comment and words of hope. I am learning more about this and have begun to contact the community outreach programs in my area. I share my experiences in hopes that it will help others that may be in the same situation and comments like yours are the types of information we need. Thank you for visiting the site and I hope you will come back again.

12 suzanne January 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm

So sorry to hear. My heart goes out to you.
I think I commented on this before. But, I remember once a long time ago, before I met my husband, before I had kids, I was out with friends in Half Moon Bay. Mind you, this was around 1980 when Half Moon Bay was all mother earth and granola. Amongst our little group was a Japanese gentleman who was taught in the art of Japanese palm reading. He pointed out that I had two life lines. One that my parents wished for me. And one that was real. I may have brought this up before. But that little snippet of knowledge has stuck with me all these years. That there are things that we wish for our children. And things we have no control over. In the end, it’s 2 separate life lines. The one we wish on our children and put all our energy towards may not be the real one.
My heart and prayers go out to you, your son and your family.

13 Tracy January 30, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Administrator,
I am relatively new to this site and community.

I wanted to post here at this time because as I read your letter. I hear your pain. It reminds me of the work that thousands do everyday on our American streets, here at home. Many caring individuals are there for our youth, who have “fallen between the cracks” of our usual systems. And often, as volunteers.

I have been involved for many years with a youth outreach organization which provides runaway, street-involved, and at-risk youth and adolescents, the bare necessities and more. I know they are trained to lend an ear, a shoulder to lean on, and have at the ready information for treatment options should a kid chose to reach out to professionals. Calls home to parents are encouraged and provided, and bus tickets home can also be granted (depending). Some cities have Outreach Centers, and other cities have special overnight shelters for youth only.

I know and have been in situations that seem immediately dire, and others, which are chronically draining. I write only because I know that there are resources out there (depending on the city, state), that cater to the growing number of “kids” out there who have a similar profile, who are out there, seemingly alone and on the run. I have seen kids like this who have a seemingly long road ahead, but with some contact with a trusted face who offers food, bandages, socks, and friendship, the road back may not be so long. I know I have seen death averted, and kids surviving the hot summer, cold winters, street fights, overdoses, etc. etc.

People are out there. I hope your “kid” can one day avail himself of help and allow someone in. I have seen miracles. I feel for your journey and your helplessness. I pray (in a non-sectarian way) that he will keep safe.

Best
Tracy

My

14 Cindy January 29, 2012 at 7:16 pm

My heart goes out to you.

15 Mary January 29, 2012 at 8:06 am

Grace and blessings

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