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  • My kid needs help …

    … but is there anything I can do?

    My kid is a smart but very angry runaway who has mental illness/developmental disability issues, but won't stay on her meds. She's also barely over 18. She's been on meds for either medical or psychological issues from 16mos to when she quit them several months ago. Before she turned 18, she begged me to become her medical POA, but when it came down to it, we thought she needed to take control of her own affairs. Then she cut me out and began keeping secrets.

    She left the house on 7/30 to check herself into the hospital, but has since been living on the street/in shelters. The shelters apparently have too many rules for her. She knows very few people in town and nobody with a car. She had no street smarts at the start of this, but she's never really met a stranger. And I don't know what to expect after a few more weeks of being on the street (it's been 5 weeks of bouncing from psych hospitals, ERs, shelters, and the sidewalk). She has quickly burned bridges and has a terrifyingly nonchalant sense of things so far, and I'm not sure she really has a grasp of how much danger she could be in at any given minute, day or night.

    She texts a family member, so I get sparse information third-hand, and they won't even tell me everything. When she left, we had a disagreement about how she left, but I honestly thought we'd ironed things out via text on her way to the hospital. But she had been keeping a secret for months, telling therapists, and now her case mgr, my family, and people in the hospital (she listed someone there as her "guardian") that we'd abused her, kept her locked in her room, etc. None of that is true, but she won't give anyone permission to speak to me. Until the last year or so, she and I'd had the most wonderful mother-daughter relationship (or so I thought). She wasn't the easiest kid, and I am certainly not even close to a perfect person/mother, but I have always truly thought I was the luckiest person on the planet to have a kid who loved me so much and wanted to spend so much time with me.

    One problem at issue is a major misunderstanding – it's a personal thing, but if she'd have come to me and specifically said what she was going through, what she was feeling, it may have have taken some time, but I know we could've worked through it. Now she's nursing the mother of all grudges, and has been telling people she hates us and has wanted to "get the F away from those two"

    She doesn't get along with her dad (mostly attitude clash), but it's gone beyond that. And I had NO CLUE she felt this way about me. I want to fix all that, if it's possible, BUT MOST OF ALL, I WANT HER SAFE AND WELL. I think she's most of all having obvious psychiatric issues that require intervention. She keeps saying she's suicidal, and she's having obvious other issues. Can't they do something to get her the help she needs in the psych hospital? And what can I do? I don't want to drive her away forever, but I can't sit by and do nothing! Honestly, seriously, is there ANYTHING I CAN DO? PLEASE? TIA ❤️

  • #2
    Originally posted by Guest View Post
    … but is there anything I can do?

    My kid is a smart but very angry runaway who has mental illness/developmental disability issues, but won't stay on her meds. She's also barely over 18. She's been on meds for either medical or psychological issues from 16mos to when she quit them several months ago. Before she turned 18, she begged me to become her medical POA, but when it came down to it, we thought she needed to take control of her own affairs. Then she cut me out and began keeping secrets.

    She left the house on 7/30 to check herself into the hospital, but has since been living on the street/in shelters. The shelters apparently have too many rules for her. She knows very few people in town and nobody with a car. She had no street smarts at the start of this, but she's never really met a stranger. And I don't know what to expect after a few more weeks of being on the street (it's been 5 weeks of bouncing from psych hospitals, ERs, shelters, and the sidewalk). She has quickly burned bridges and has a terrifyingly nonchalant sense of things so far, and I'm not sure she really has a grasp of how much danger she could be in at any given minute, day or night.

    She texts a family member, so I get sparse information third-hand, and they won't even tell me everything. When she left, we had a disagreement about how she left, but I honestly thought we'd ironed things out via text on her way to the hospital. But she had been keeping a secret for months, telling therapists, and now her case mgr, my family, and people in the hospital (she listed someone there as her "guardian") that we'd abused her, kept her locked in her room, etc. None of that is true, but she won't give anyone permission to speak to me. Until the last year or so, she and I'd had the most wonderful mother-daughter relationship (or so I thought). She wasn't the easiest kid, and I am certainly not even close to a perfect person/mother, but I have always truly thought I was the luckiest person on the planet to have a kid who loved me so much and wanted to spend so much time with me.

    One problem at issue is a major misunderstanding – it's a personal thing, but if she'd have come to me and specifically said what she was going through, what she was feeling, it may have have taken some time, but I know we could've worked through it. Now she's nursing the mother of all grudges, and has been telling people she hates us and has wanted to "get the F away from those two"

    She doesn't get along with her dad (mostly attitude clash), but it's gone beyond that. And I had NO CLUE she felt this way about me. I want to fix all that, if it's possible, BUT MOST OF ALL, I WANT HER SAFE AND WELL. I think she's most of all having obvious psychiatric issues that require intervention. She keeps saying she's suicidal, and she's having obvious other issues. Can't they do something to get her the help she needs in the psych hospital? And what can I do? I don't want to drive her away forever, but I can't sit by and do nothing! Honestly, seriously, is there ANYTHING I CAN DO? PLEASE? TIA ❤️
    We are very thankful you are reaching out for help; it sounds like you've been in an incredibly stressful situation and have tried different courses of action without feeling any positive changes. Having a child run away is scary, especially when we know they are not taking the care of themselves that they need to. It can be extremely frustrating, worrying, and heartbreaking to care for a child with mental illness or developmental/disability issues and not experience that love/care "returned." It sounds like she is fortunate to have someone looking out for her in the way that you are.

    If she is 18, it could be possible for her to move into a Transitional Living Program ("TLP") which are residential communities for people around her age (18-21, typically) who are in need of housing assistance, skill development, and crisis intervention. In addition to housing, a TLP may also provide counseling services and connection with employment assistance.

    In addition to psychiatric meds, it sounds like she could also benefit from long-term counseling/therapy. (Perhaps you've already tried this with her). In general, it sounds like she may have experienced a combination of guilt, shame, and fear surrounding her experiences and could benefit from long-term supportive relationship(s) with nonjudgmental listening and emotional and experiential affirmation.

    We can look for potential resources in programs in your area if you give us more details about where you and she are located. You are also welcome to call us (1-800-RUNAWAY) or live chat us (1800runaway.com) to discuss things one-on-one with someone from our team. We can't tell you what to do but can help you gain insight on how you want to respond to what you're experiencing.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

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