June 07, 2009

How I Became June Freaking Cleaver - Part Two

I left off last time with my layoff from my job in the Evil Empire State (NY), and what that would mean to me, The Boy, and the Mister.

I left out some important stuff about The Boy from my first post, and have been trying to decide whether it really needs to be told. Here's the Cliff's Notes version:
1. Boy freaks out at school, and runs off campus.
2. Boy is brought back into the building.
3. Boy is totally out of his gourd at this point, and wants to escape. Boy picks up large bread knife from principal's office (reception area), and holds it to his throat, hoping everyone will. just. back. off. Luckily, no one was hurt.

Editorial comment: Now for a school with a "zero tolerance" policy, I have a problem with a bigass bread knife even being in the school. Compound that with the fact that they drag an emotionally unstable child past that knife (it was still sitting in the cake box when I arrived at the school). The school was not faulted at all.
4. Police are summoned. I am also called.
5. School counselor swears out affadavit that Boy was endangering her life (with knife at his own throat, and she behind him). Go figure. Boy gives up knife willingly. She then puts same Boy in her office WITH HER, and locks the door. Oooooh, danger, Will Robinson! (Sarcasm and inconsistency here).
6. Boy is arrested, and
charged with Unlawful Possession of Weapons, which makes it sound like he was packing the knife in his backpack. The officer took him to our local hospital. I follow them. He had a 3 month hospitalization (over two months at a state mental facility an hour away)...not fun.
7. Boy is given 45-day suspension from school (a school to which he never returns).
8. Boy is adjudicated to be a juvenile delinquent and is given a year's probation.

I could go on and on about the criminalization of the mentally ill. I guess the only bright spots here was that nobody was hurt, and he was hospitalized, and not put in detention.

One of the big conditions of probation is that I cannot take The Boy out of the county without permission. I have to call for an official okie dokie to even visit my daughter and the grandkids (fifteen minutes away, but, alas, in the next county). This restriction puts a damper on plans with the Mister. We had planned our move for Feb. '08, I even had job interviews lined up. Too bad, so sad, sayeth the judge (I'm paraphrasing slightly here).

So we stay in the Evil Empire State, jobless, and soon, without any family around. And it was winter (yuck).

After his release from the hospital, The Boy was enrolled in an alternative school, where he felt like they treated him like a moron ("they underestimate my intelligence"). He would go and sleep (out of boredom), then get annoyed when they tried to wake him up, so he was in trouble there most of the time. He learned nothing positive. They would call, and I'd pick him up...often.

He slapped the counselor's arm one morning. Instead of calling, or having the officer take him to the hospital for a mental health evaluation, they had him arrested. This time, Menacing. Result: exiting another school, and an extension of his probation. I felt like we'd NEVER get out of there.

There were no other alternative education placements in our area. It might mean that The Boy would have to go to a residential facility, maybe even out of state, to get his education.

And I had The Boy at home with me. Every day. Not learning anything. Which is against the law, by the way. My son could have been the poster child for No Child Left Behind.

Out of sheer frustration, I called his probation officer and asked if we could meet. Since he'd need a new school environment, and would have to make all these changes and adjustments once again, why couldn't we just move to MO and make them?

So I was tasked with doing my homework, and finding all applicable services in the Show Me State. She promised she would talk to the judge about it.

There was much happiness and rejoicing when the judge agreed to let us leave. I may have shed a tear or two in court.

That was almost a year ago, and life is much better for The Boy. He actually did work in school (small class, lots of individual attention), he stayed out of trouble with the law, and he fulfilled his obligation to probation (NY still had jurisdiction over him, so if he had gotten in trouble, they could have dragged his sorry butt back to NY, and kept him until he was 21).

The Mister is a good role model, and he also keeps me from letting The Boy Get Away With Stuff.

So here I am, 12 months later, and still no job. We've married, and settled into life as a family. I cook, I clean (without much enthusiasm...lol). The three of us get along pretty well. The Boy still has his ups and downs, but I feel he is turning into a fine young man.

The Mister says his life has never been better...yet he complains...what's up with that? Usually, I can fix that with some affection and a slice of cake. Life is good, indeed.

4 comments:

  1. I'm glad life is a bit better for all of you now! My husband and I honeymooned in St. Louis last May, we LOVED it! I'm not sure where in MO you are though.

    I like the way you wrote this and am glad to hear The Boy is doing better!

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  2. Thanks, Trudy! I'm about 30 minutes south of St. Louis. I'm liking it here...oh, and you're my first official follower! Thanks so much!

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  3. What an ordeal for both you and your son. I'm glad things are more settled for you all now!

    Sandy

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  4. Sandy,
    It's kinda cool that it's finally all worked out. Not that I think it's always going to be rosy (it won't), but we will endure and come through to the other side. We're tough...and blessed.

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Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!