How we got here
I sit and type in a beautiful room of a Ronald McDonald House while Vale is at a psychiatric treatment facility in a partial program. If you had asked me six months ago if I could ever imagine myself here, I would have laughed. Of course I wouldn’t! Let me tell you how we got here.
From the beginning, Vale’s adolescent medicine specialist (AMS ~ I’m tired of typing all that out!) had desired that Vale enter a partial program, but there were no true programs in our area. I know I wrote about that way back when (seems like forever ago, but in actuality it was only 5 months ago). We hoped to help Vale by assembling our own little program with the art therapy, equine assisted therapy and Biblical counseling. However due to his youth and his maleness (this is my opinion) nothing was working fast enough to suit him. Young people believe they can grab the world by the tale and of course men are fixers. So Vale wants to be fixed. He has enough awareness to know he wasn’t always like this and he wants to return to how he used to be. So Vale started to request to go into a partial program about 6 weeks ago.
I’ll be honest with you, it scared me to death. I did NOT want to put him into a psychiatric institute, I wanted to be able to handle it on our own. Pride and prejudice. I was in an institute for 8 days, a lock down, it was the lowest point of my life. But more than that, Vale’s father and I wanted Vale to be heard, and knew we were here for him, so we started to investigate the possibility of entering him into a partial program. Vale was silent for so long and was forced to live in a world for over half his life that didn’t care for his needs and certainly didn’t listen to him about it. We wanted to draw that line clearly for him, so he knew we were listening. We talked with his AMS who was willing to help us get there, but the question we needed to consider was to put him in a straight up psychiatric institute or an eating disorder clinic, like the one the AMS ran. We all talked about it and decided that a psychiatric institute was a better solution. The ED is a big deal, but it’s not the only big deal, and since we feel that the ED stems from the trauma we were concerned an ED clinic would be treating the symptom and not the cause. Plus, after he is finished in the psychiatric partial, if need be, he can enter the ED clinic.
The doctor made the referral and then we entered the waiting game. We were told it would be about a month before Vale could enter the facility, so we were ready to wait, which turned out to be a lot shorter than expected. In less than two weeks we were down visiting the facility, and I did NOT have a good feeling. True to most psych institutes that I have seen, it was drab, run down looking and clinical. It did not give me the warm and fuzzies. I do know myself well enough that I don’t rely on my opinion in of itself, I look to my husband for guidance and he seemed satisfied. More importantly, so did Vale. They were willing to take him the very next day, but we had VBS coming up as well as camp so we asked for a delay so Vale could enjoy both of those weeks. My secret hope was that Vale would turn to God and no longer want to go to the facility and would rather step up his counseling here at home. That would be a whole lot easier and less worrisome for me. I realize that was selfish, but that’s how I felt and I kept that information just between myself and my husband.
When Vale came home from camp he did tell us that he was questioning whether or not he wanted to go into partial. Initially, I was internally cheering, feeling that my prayers were answered. However, it turns out that the two people Vale really opened up to at camp… well because of their lack of experience with the things that Vale is struggling with, they misapplied the Bible and left him rather confused. I do believe the Bible is a wonderful and most necessary tool for life and living, for me it is my guide and my plumb line for truth. What these men told Vale was true, but misapplied, which is what we’re encountering time and again. We told Vale we would continue to pray about it and speak with his Biblical counselor before we gave the facility a definite answer one way or the other. Vale needed to be assured that it was not a sin for him to go into a psychiatric facility and that encouraged me so much, that he was so concerned about sinning against God that he would change his plans if he felt it was a sin. When we talked with his counselor, he made it clear that Vale’s heart would determine whether it was sin or not. Was he going to be defiant? to push out God? to strike out his own path? to be self reliant? to ‘show’ up these two men from camp and do what he wanted to do? No, his heart truly wanted to do what was right and he was willing to change his plans if it was shown that what he wanted wasn’t right. When asked why he wanted to enter the facility he explained to his counselor that he wanted to be like he used to be; active, loving sports, eating well, not depressed and most of all he missed his relationship he had with God and wanted to quiet down all the anxiety so that he can focus on getting better and closer with God. That was the first time that Vale articulated his desires without parroting me *at all*.
When he said that, I became at peace with the decision. Other things came in to play as well. Vale’s father had always been secure that this was the right decision, which is a big deal because my husband is a very careful man, and RARELY is secure in a decision. We prayed muchly, sought Godly counsel and moreover God provided all the funds we could need for the trip. Even the timing is ideal. My two youngest are at camp this week, so they do not need my care while I’m away with Vale and the third week that Vale would be at the facility the children would be engaged at Camp at Marley’s Mission, keeping them occupied.
So here I sit, passing time by blogging, reading and studying the Word while my son is in treatment for depression and anxiety at a psychiatric treatment facility.