Meeting After Meeting

The fun begins. My youngest daughter officially left her community based acute treatment center (CBAT for short) at 11am on Monday. Behind the scenes I attended her discharge meeting with the clinical team that assessed her and our coordinator for services at home. We spent 45 minutes looking at if we believe we have the necessary services in place and what to expect from our daughter in the coming weeks and months forward.

We all agree the goal is to not see her hospitalized again. I believe that she may have seen parts of herself in the outbursts of others at this treatment center, which may make her think long and hard about repeating those behaviors again. One of the things she stated on the car ride home that she didn’t enjoy was the lack of choices the children had at the center- surrounding the simpler things in life such as programs and channels to watch on television as well as meal choices. It made her relish the fact that we have more freedom of mobility at home and maybe when she complains about some of the choices she can and can’t make quite yet, she’ll realize it’s based on the progress she needs to make to gain more privileges and responsibilities.

Some of her days will seem like she’s running from one event to another- so we have to be careful to provide some down time into the mix or I fear the overload will cause another sustainable meltdown. That’s why I believe my wife and I will work on one goal at a time- and then when she’s able to master one area, we can move onto a secondary goal.

It’s already been well established that based on her past history, she has trouble attaching to caregivers/ family. So compliance matters more to us at this point in time than establishing a long term attachment- I think we have to gain trust back and she needs to understand her role in the family structure. Our coordinator believes that with time she’ll gain the attachment- I just believe that she needs to gain the confidence and a positive self-image to help her realize she can make a great impact on this world and within our family.

This will be another point in life that patience, consistency and communication will be vital to averting crisis. I know I’m not in this alone. I will lean on the support of my friends, my family, my wife, and the team of clinicians, psychiatrists and doctors around us. It’s the one thing that makes human so special- we all have our own thought patterns and how we assess and process information.

It’s hard to believe how much she’s growing as a person in the time since she’s been away. We just want her to take her feet from out of the clouds and willingly place them on our ground. Mental health issues aren’t something you can put a band aid on and they’ll heal themselves within a couple of days. The scars can last a lifetime, and you never know when triggers are going to appear and cause more pain and suffering. I just want her to know, I still love her and I’m glad that she’s back.


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