I’ll Call It Progress

Earlier this week I did one of the most difficult things I will ever do as a parent. I told my youngest daughter that she has two choices — go to residential treatment or move out of my house. I told her she had two days to make up her mind. One way or the other, she has until May 15 to get out of my house. Yes, she reacted just as you would think. After a couple of hours, I agreed to consider letting her finish out the school year at her school. The next day I called and spoke with the school. I am no longer considering that option. I’m back to May 15.

After three days of yelling, screaming, begging, pleading, bargaining, and crying, Brianna came to the realization that this time Mom is not bending. She asked me why I had to do it this way — an ultimatum – because, according to her, if I had asked her to do it she would have. I doubt that is truth and I think she was just trying to weigh on my guilt about this. Except, she found out very quickly that I’m not the one carrying any guilt on this issue. She’s also telling us she will cooperate, but she wants to be involved in the process of finding the right place. Since she’s being forced to get help, she wants to have a say in the kind of focus the treatment is and how far away from home she will be. For the moment, she is very “sane” and we’ve made huge progress in our discussions.

Now, tomorrow morning when we all wake up, she may be drinking some different koolaid and I’ll be right back at square one.

Last week I called our insurance provider and got the ball rolling by asking for the names of facilities in our insurance network. I did a bit of research on the Internet and found a place I felt comfortable with and thought would provide help for Bri with all her issues. I spoke with an admission’s counselor yesterday, only to find out that they cannot take Bri because their operating license from the state allows them to take an 18-year-old only when they don’t have any 12 or 13-year-olds in the facility. Right now they have a few that age and they will be there for a while longer. My first thought was my own self-pity at the fact that they can’t take her. My second thought was, oh my God! I can’t even begin to imagine how awful things have to be for a parent to send a 12-year-old to treatment!

So I did some more searching and found another facility. I called and spoke with a counselor there and discovered that even though they can have “residents” up to age 19, that’s only when they have started in the program before they turned 18. So I’m back to searching again.

Where in the world am I going to find a place that will take an 18-year-old who still needs to be in high school and whose issues are teen issues, not an adult woman’s issues?

The counselor at the first facility also prepared me for the fact that we will likely need to get a comprehensive formal assessment done in order for insurance coverage to kick in. Bri had an assessment done a while ago, but the insurance requirement is that it has to be within the last six months. Again, more hoops to jump through, costing more time and money.

I hate waiting now that I’ve made up my mind. I hate that I’ve hit these obstacles. With Bri saying she will cooperate, I feel like I have some momentum going and I want to keep moving forward before we lose control of the situation or she changes her mind.

I’m grateful that Bri is cooperating, but with all her anxieties this is going to become very scary for her very fast. She thinks she’s going to land someplace for 30 days and be “cured.” (Isn’t that what everyone thinks when they go into treatment?) I just want to get her in a place and let her see the help she can get from them. And I want this to happen quickly — before she drinks the other koolaid and decides not to cooperate any more.

I understand insurance companies have to follow the process and treatment facilities need to follow the admission rules. But it’s all so frustrating! Some boy could smile at her at the store tonight and her brain will go to mush and “cooperation” will disappear.

One thing that seems to be working in our favor – for the last several weeks Bri has been totally out of control, not willing to follow household rules, etc, etc. In the last day she is much more calm and rational. Can it be that now that the decision has been made for her and she knows what will happen in her near future, that she’s not so freaked out about everything? And that allows her to control her behaviors better? It’s an interesting thought.









2 thoughts on “I’ll Call It Progress

  1. excellent, i wish id read this post first.. I wish you would mention which treatment centers you’re looking at.. is your insurance willing to make an exception for an out of network facility on the grounds that you can’t get proper treatment in network? You may be able to coerce them into it if you can prove that you tried to get her help in network, but it wasn’t possible. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act may help you with this.

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