- Posted July 8, 2014 by
Fort Worth, Texas
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Afraid of My Teen and Failed by the System
It started about a year ago, about the same time she got her first period. Before then, she had emotional outbursts that were out of the ordinary, but they were not anything we could not handle. She began acting out sexually, dressing provocatively, behaving dangerously online and one day we dared to take her tablet away. This evolved into a physical altercation with her father and I and her previous step-mother all trying to get her away from the young children so they would not see her hysterics. She then ran away next door and told them we beat her and we had to call the Sheriff to bring her home. She started sneaking out, stole a 3/4 ton truck, telling elaborate lies, started smoking and when confronted with any of this would escalate to either harming herself, attacking someone else or running away. Anything could set her off. One day she ran away from school and took a cab 30 miles to meet a boy she met online and the police had to go and pick her up. We only found her because we were lucky enough to find the crumpled up piece of paper with the address under her bed. That evening we were in the car with my other children and a grandchild ages 16, 14, 12, 5 and 2. She demanded I stop and buy her headphones and when I refused because of what she had done, she went into a tirade and started calling me name and cursing and throwing things at the other children in the car so violently that I had to call my older daughter who, thankfully was in the car behind us to get the young children out of the vehicle for the remainder of the ride home. She has attempted suicide multiple times, she has runaway multiple times and she has had 8 total psychiatric hospitalizations. We have gone through family therapy and gone through every treatment plan 6 hospitals have had to offer.
We tried sending her to another state to be with her paternal Grandmother and go to an outpatient program there, hoping that being away from the other children and having some personal time would help her. She was only there a short couple of months before she got into a physical altercation with her Grandmother in which the police had to be called. She then cut herself up when the police left and she was placed in residential care for a time. She has since been in residential treatment 3 times for as long as insurance would cover it. She has been diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder, all of which, her birth mother also had, so there is probably some genetics at work here because she has not been in her life since she was 2.
She has attacked my 27 year old daughter, my husband and myself to the point that I had 2nd and 3rd level ligament tears in my shoulder. She banged her head into a brick wall while yelling "they are beating me" while we were on the phone to 911. Thankfully another was video taping the incident. Twice the police told us not to press charges and have her arrested because juvenile detention would only send her back even more angry than before. So we took their advice. The last episode was so violent and after 6 unsuccessful hospitalizations we had to press charges. Then we find out that we should have pressed charges the first time because a child has to be in the system and go through their program before they can be offered any placement in the system. She now has 2 assault charges she is on 1 year probation for and they sent her home after they forced us to buy her an attorney. She was not even home for 2 weeks before the trouble started again and she was sent to another hospital and had another assault charge. About 3 weeks later they sent her home as insurance would not longer cover her stay because they said she was not suicidal. She was only home 5 minutes before she was pounding her fist in the wall because we said she was not allowed makeup and it was only 3 days before she attacked her 16 year old sister for trying to keep her from stealing clothes from someone else's room. She got angry and threw a heavy brush at her head and one at her leg and then the sister was smart enough to lock herself in a room and call me. She knew better than to wait for it to escalate further. When the police arrived they could still see the marks and she was taken once again to Juvenile Services and as assault was filed. Previously she has only gotten physical with the adults other than the time she threw things in the car, but now she aiming at other children and we fear who will be next. She is still sending home hate letters stating she wishes me dead. Yet, now they do not want to press these next two assault charges and are forcing us to mediation to send her home again because she has not gone through their Family Partnership(FPP) Program. The problem is the long waiting list and she cannot maintain stability long enough to even start it. So they will continue putting us and her in danger for their procedure.
When she is in this heightened and angry state, she does not consider who is around her. She does not care about her 3 year old brother or 5 year old nephew, much less the younger teens. We live in constant fear she will harm one of them, even if by accident, not to mention the psychological trauma they are going through having to witness this. My 3 year old is waking up screaming with nightmares. My 14 year old son refuses to come over when she is there and chooses to stay with his father because he is terrified of her and is honestly afraid she will try to kill me in my sleep. My 12 year old daughter is also scared, as she has been threatened by her more than once. My 16 year old is terrified now that she has been the subject of her attacks and has nightmares about men coming to the house looking for her sister and finding her instead and being raped. My 27 year old daughter and my 5 year old grandson used to stay with me so she could watch my 3 year old son, but she was forced to move out to protect herself and her son. Our family is being forced apart. We have sent the Assistant DA at Tarrant County Juvenile Services the letters she is sending us and letters from people in the family detailing her history and our fears but to no avail. Thursday we will go into mediation again and they will send her home and we have no choice but to take her home. No other family members will take her on anymore. They are all afraid of her as well. Juvenile services believes that splitting up our family is actually a viable option to placing her in a secure facility where she cannot harm herself or anyone else. They think it is better that I take the children and separate them from their father, punish them for her behavior, so that he can get another place to stay with her so that they (TCJS) do not have to deal with it.