You just don’t have the energy anymore. You’ve heard it all before.
You are tired – tired of the fighting, tired of the fearing, tired of the feeling of helplessness. Tired of the bullshit. Damnit, this is your family! This is your child! When is someone going to give you some straight information and help that can make a difference?
The short answer is, now.
I understand that if you are reading this, you are one of those parents who has been through years of fear, frustration, pain and struggle as you’ve tried to do the “right thing” for your child and your family. You have listened to every expert and pseudo-expert you could find – from therapists, psychologists, rabbis, priests, school counselors, new age gurus, holistic health experts and web bloggers. Whatever “progress” that you and your teen has experienced was followed by a seemingly inevitable new crisis that plunged your family back to square one.
Your teen is in crisis.
Your family is in crisis.
You feel alone.
You have experienced so many twists and turns, tried to take so much often-conflicting advice that you, as parent, feel you are no longer in charge. Even worse than the disruption you experience in your life is the urgency you feel because your child is making decisions that may put him or her at real risk.
You feel that you have reached the end of your rope. You are desperately worried about your teen but you also have to consider your other children, or you and your spouse. Nothing has worked. Now you are confronting something you’d never imagined you would – the possibility of sending your adolescent child away for a school placement or for treatment.
Could anyone possibly understand how horrible you feel?
You cannot imagine than anyone understands how you feel standing on this precipice. Who could imagine what it feels like to have reached this point? Worse, feeling like you do, how do you make a wise decision? You are wracked by fear and guilt. You understand only too well the potential consequences of a “wrong” decision.
How can you do the right thing when you feel so confused and so alone?
You are not alone. Be assured that others do understand exactly how you feel. Not only have other parents struggled with the very same decisions that you are struggling with but they have made decisions that have been successful for their teens and for their families.
There are successful outcomes. But they require work and appropriate – and often difficult – decisions. I believe that this book will help you make the best decisions for your teen and your family.
As you gain a greater understanding of the phases and processes that every family goes through when they are confronted with an out-of-control teen, your anxiety will begin to ease. You will realize that you are not alone. Other people have walked this path before you. Other people are walking a similar path even now. You will learn that there is ample reason to hope for a successful outcome – something you have likely grown fearful of ever hoping for again.
My professional work has been with families and teens in crisis. I have a profound appreciation for the uniqueness of each person and family while recognizing the similarities that exist in every crisis situation. I have been privileged to have worked with adolescents, young adults and families on an out-patient basis. I have worked with divorcing families, helping parents who are trying to cope with the chaos of splitting up while trying to remain unified for the benefit of their child. I have also worked with adolescents in in-patient psychiatric units and in therapeutic, wilderness programs.
I have come away from these experiences with a deep respect for the resilience of patients and families. I understand how difficult it is for you to be an informed consumer of mental health resources – and how frustrating it is to have to navigate the system when it is your child’s best interests that are hanging in the balance.