Since May is Mental Health Month and I have been ruminating about this for a while, I just thought I would share something that is near and dear to me. I think we have a problem in this country (the US) with mental health care. Not just for adults, but especially for children. I have seen first-hand the abuse perpetrated by some of the “caregivers” of my child, Child #3, who has been to mental hospitals six times.
I’m done sitting by and being silent. Screw that! What is that quote: “All that is needed for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing?” Yeah. I’m tired of doing nothing. My child was abused by these so-called “caregivers!” Incensed? I was too. Here is the story.
The first episode of Child #3 being admitted to a mental hospital happened when he was just 12. He was a young 12, actually only mentally 6, which I did not know at the time. I had taken him to a nearby hospital West of us for cuts that Child #1 had discovered on him. I was treated at the hospital like I was a horrible mother for not knowing what to do with this child. Why hadn’t I done something? Um…hello? Because I don’t know what to freaking do!!! What do you do when your child is so unhappy that they cut lines in their bodies and horrify you with the blood? This was not just for attention. This was a problem.
Thus started our mental health journey. That same night, Child #3 was admitted to a mental hospital in Racine, Wisconsin, about an hour and a half from our home. It was 2:30 in the morning when the ambulance brought him in and I was told to get into the ambulance in the parking lot and ride over with them since the area wasn’t safe, a luxury I was not afforded on the trip out. Wonderful! This is where you want to house my child? So, I got him signed in, amid struggles and tears. He had never been away from home and was absolutely terrified. I was reassured by the nurses that everything would be fine. They implied that I was a helicopter mom. No. But this is my very scared child whom you do not know and he is desperate for me.
I went to see him every day. The first day, he stumbled three times on the way to the door where I would come in. What? Turns out he had an allergic reaction to the medication Seroquel, one where he lost muscle control and his tongue swelled up. I absolutely forbade the nurses to give it to him again. They administered it the next night. I was livid when I found out. He had even questioned them, but was told “We’re not going to do this!” in a threatening tone. There was next to nothing I could do. They were just trying to keep him quiet so their jobs would be easier.
In fact, one nurse, Anna (they’re not supposed to know the nurses names, but he overheard someone call her that) told him to think about how her parents had died when she was a child, so that she thought he would stop sobbing and shut up! Unreal! This is the same nurse who was so pleasant and loving to my face! How can you abuse my child, who is in your care, like that? She just added to his trauma!
He was able to leave after just three days, thank God, and I took him home. The problem was, his psychiatrist was trying to figure out medications for him. So, with each new change, many behavioral problems surfaced. He was violent with us. Many, many times the police were called (by us) for protection and help. Unfortunately, this just labeled him a “problem child.” It was even suggested to me, by the police, that I should put him in a home! Over my dead body! He is only mentally six, though he is very tall and imposing.
After that came another trip to another mental hospital, this one in Green Bay. They were not great to him there either, and I could not visit him often because of the distance. He lost weight there and was feeling better about his body, but then they wouldn’t release him until he gained the weight back. He had been overweight before, but they held it over him until he gained it back. Only then was he released. He has never lost the weight again.
The third through sixth times Child #3 was in a mental hospital was in Milwaukee. Unfortunately, Rogers would never take him. I’m not sure why. I have heard many, many excuses, but he’s never been allowed to be treated there. So, he got shipped to another one. I think it’s the best one he’s been to, but it still was abusive and awful. How is this helping him? How does this help any child who suffers from mental illness?
Child #3 has suffered enough trauma at the hands of his father. Things most people only hear about on graphic TV dramas. The fact that he suffered more in places that were supposed to help him, just makes me boiling mad! And this doesn’t even touch the group home where he was sexually assaulted by his roommate and made to eat gluten or starve by the head of that house, who verbally abused all of the “inmates.” Yes. I use the word inmates. That’s what they are.
All I can say is “God saw.” You evil, evil people who perpetrate these crimes against our children and cower in your darkness – God sees all you do! Ever wonder why no cameras or recording devices are allowed in mental hospitals? Pretty convenient, right?
Now, I am not saying that all mental hospitals are bad. I’m sure there must be some that are what they are supposed to be. In our experience, though, we have yet to see one. Please, take a terrified, six-year-old child, drug them, abuse them, and take away all their family. That’s the right way to treat the mentally ill! I refuse to send Child #3 back to one. We will help him with coping skills and his therapists and other workers that we have amassed over the last four years. Never will I send him back for more abuse! It just makes his life that much more unbearable.
So, what are we doing now? I have been experimenting with various essential oils from Young Living and some are really helping him. It isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. There are ups and downs. However, it is so much better. He has his schedule and his people and his oils. It works. I am hoping to try the trauma releasing sleep kit soon. It’s pricey, but I’ve heard worth every penny. I would do anything (Well, almost. Nothing illegal or immoral, please!) to help my kiddos. If Child #3 could release all, or even some of the trauma that he’s been through, he might actually have a chance at a happy life. That is my prayer.
If you are interested in ordering anything from Young Living, please use my link! Thanks, everyone!