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Wednesday, August 15, 2012


2 weeks ago, when we went to court, we were told the case had been postponed as soon as we arrived. They had asked for the continuance last minute. Nobody felt ready, I guess. I FELT READY. My friend had driven in from 30 minutes away, just to sit with me, knit something purple and keep me sane with her presence. She also brought us a nice dinner for that evening and the most amazing lemon cake I EVER ate. She's pretty much the bomb. Ya know her? You can find her here. You'll like her. Anyway, she didn't get any knitting done, they sent us all home. It was irritating. The only other good part, was that we ran into Jackson and his therapist(Big Jim) in the parking lot, and had a pleasant conversation.  This was 4 days after I had a relatively normal-trust me- "relatively normal" is a good thing- conversation on the phone with Jackson, which I didn't blog about. So.. TWO positives in one week. We were on a roll.

We met with the prosecutor yesterday, so we'd feel prepared for court today. She told us that she'd taken Jackson's file home for the weekend, his lawyer had too, and the 2 lawyers met on Monday. She stated that his case was "keeping them both up at night". They were on the same page, as far as what Jackson really needed, and since he is not eligible for the CHINS petition, the only way to go was to talk him into pleading TRUE to one of the offenses, so he could stay at NCH and get the services he needs, and avoid a trial. (We found out later that his lawyer met with him yesterday and he agreed, mostly to avoid testifying or hearing/seeing me testify.) We left the prosecutor's office feeling heard. We were able to fill her in about prior events, how we parent, our backgrounds in foster care, where we wanted to go from here .. all that stuff. I felt okay.

We went back to court today. We were told that Jackson had agreed to plead true, we met with Jackson and his therapist, Jackson was shy but pleasant. He was dressed like a thug ass hood rat and his Afro looked like a rabid racoon's nest, but.. whatever. He doesn't like taking care of it, but hates having it short. I always did that for him.
At that point, Jackson met with his lawyer and signed everything. She brought the paperwork out to the lobby to us to sign, but not before making the fateful error of letting the following pile of shit pour thought out of her mouth:
"I must be honest, here, and admit that, as his attorney, My moral compass is causing me to have difficulty allowing such a kind young man to plead guilty to making threats that he would never really follow through with. He was just a typical teenager, angry and "spouting off".
"Well, Ma'am, I must be honest with you as well, and remind you of the fact that you met our son a mere 2 weeks ago, have met with him thrice, total, and have no idea what you are talking about right now.  You also might want to touch base with the 5 therapists who have treated him in the past 9 years who completely disagree with your opinion and will attest to his unstable mental state. I'm happy to sign a release of information authorization form for you. You also might want to eat a big giant slab of SHUT THE FUCK UP cake. Ok, Ok, I held onto that last part. Yogi was looking at me with his PLEASE DON'T TELL ANYBODY TO GO FUCK THEMSELVES TODAY, BABY! face. The man suffocates me, I swear.
Before she could so much as respond with a,  "Whaaaaa?" Yogi took me firmly by the hand, and  dragged me the fuck outta there before i spit in her coffee found us a nice little out-of-the-way conference room to hang out in and refresh our thoughts. Isn't he a gem?  I know. Then.... we waited.
and waited.
and waited.
and waited.
Jackson lay his head on the table and slept, while my adorable husband -who always has my back- chatted with Big Jim and me about the weather, the ever rising price of petroleum based roofing shingles and everything in between, while that bitches  that lawyer's words rolled around and around and around inside my skull. Finally, as the conversation became stale, we got word that it was our turn. 
We entered the court room, Judge KingKone smiled at us and the proceedings went as smoothly as possible. NCH had sent the judge a report of Jackson's behavior and progress at their facility, I had received one as well. They conveniently omitted the midnight ear piercing party, the pot and cig smoking, the refusal to do any chores whatsoever, his resistance to therapy, his extremely overly sexual nature etc. etc.. but he referred to it repeatedly and kept mentioning the glowing report he'd received. Yogi held my hand firmly while I tried not to throw up on his shoes interject. It was lovely. Like a wedding. But without the stench of... never mind. He closed by stating, on the record, that we will all meet again in 60 days, (Jackson's lawyer had fought it down from 90 to 60, to give Jackson something to look forward to and work towards. Isn't she darling?)and if all is going well at that time, Jackson will be sent home. To us. At our residence. Where we live. He even stated that if we/they saw fit to send him home sooner, to go ahead and file a motion and he would be happy to see us anytime.
In 13 weeks at NCH, Jackson has behaved and slept well. That's it. Hardly any therapy, only 2 home visits, only 2 family therapy sessions, no new diagnosis, no medications have been prescribed, no meeting with psych MD to even begin that process... nothing. What progress are they speaking of? He hasn't physically assaulted anyone and won a recent urban dance contest, so... He's HEALED? I find this bullshit information hard to swallow. I am not stupid. But I am, however, exhausted, powerless, emotionally defeated and broke. I miss my son but I also have to protect our other children FROM HIM. I have to protect MYSELF from him. He has learned many new things at NCH. Not all of them are positive things.
When I'm found dead, or Jackson is inadvertently killed or wounded by my husband or myself during an altercation, everyone will say, 
"I wish we'd known."
"Could we have done more?"
Sounds like mere drama, but I know better.
I'm his Mom.


Kathy C. said...

Girlfriend, I hear you. I just with the ones who need to listen would listen and wise up. Sad to think it may take something very violent to get anyone's attention.

scooping it up said...

ali- my heart is in pain reading this. i am so sorry. i hope you all can stay safe. you are in my prayers.

Last Mom said...

I love you.

Sarah said...

Oh my word. A toss of the dice and this could be me in a few years. I have no idea how to fix it or how to get people to listen, or how other people go through their lives never knowing that the world is THIS f*d up. Seriously. I love you. <3 You are never alone.

Marianne M. said...

I admire the heck out of you! And, listen, you got Jackson to a place where he has a chance of getting some good help if---*IF*---the staff members there get their heads out of their asses and do their jobs: get him into therapy regularly, get him to see a psychiatrist, possibly even get him a thorough neuro-psych eval. You got Jackson there, and I have complete and utter faith that you will figure out a way, some way to keep him there until he gets the help that he needs. Keep pushing, Mama. Glad you have Yogi to grab you by the hand before you drop the F-bomb in the courthouse, but it's possible that someone at Jackson's facility needs to hear an F-bomb (or two) from you in order to get going. And, the next time you're in court and someone provides an incorrect or incomplete report to a judge, let the court know that; the facility has a legal duty to provide a truthful document to the court. Call them on it!!!! (Or send a nice letter to the judge outlining the ways in which the facility's report was lacking.) You are strong, and you have done so much for Jackson. You *CAN* get these last pieces in place to help him get in a better frame of mind, before he enters his legal adulthood. You've come this far. You can do this last piece. Hang in there, and remember that you were ready to be in contempt of court (or whatever) to get him into the facility. You can always go that route to keep him there, if they back you into a corner. Not a good outcome for you, I know (understatement of the year). But they won't release him from the hospital unless you're there to pick him up, right? I sure hope it doesn't come to that, though. My thoughts are with you all, including Jackson. What kind of proof do they need that he requires a secure facility and in-depth psychiatric help? Jeez.