In Which I Live Up To the Title of my blog

I know I said I was going to password protect my post today, but it just isn’t going to happen.  Not because I have decided to make my letter to Hannah public, and certainly not because I have decided not to write one at all.  No, what has happened is that I have ten thousand words in my head, and none of them are enough.  I keep reading things other people have written to me and it reminds me that there is so much more I want to tell her, and again and again and again I have to start over.  So it sits in my draft folder, and I add to it and take away, and soon it will be just the way I want it to be.  So-I am no longer going to announce when I am doing a PW protected post, because then I feel pressured; when you see one, there it is.

I made a comment yesterday in my post that I knew I shouldn’t have made, about Oprah not helping because we live in this country AND we are white (and to clarify, I am not EXPECTING Oprah to help; she was just the name that popped  into my head at that moment).  For that, I truly want to apologize.  I wrote that out of frustration and anger, and by that simple comment alone made this an issue of race, of me feeling entitled somehow to more simply because we are white.  I have since gone in and deleted that part of the post, because not only do I not believe that, but because those kinds of comments are simply not who I am, nor who I strive to be.  In one fell swoop, because I was angry and frustrated, I created division that should not EVER exist. 

The thing is, I am frustrated and angry in a very national sense, because if this kind of stuff is happening in this little community of Podunk Idaho, it is happening on a much larger scale everywhere else.  There are kids hurting and parents who actually CARE who are unable to get the support and help that they need, regardless of race.  And I was going to say “regardless of race and economic status” but THAT I can say with certainty is not true.  I don’t begrudge anyone their money (most of the time); what I begrudge are the opportunities available to thosewith large amounts of money.  And I am not talking about the opportunity to go on vacations to Greece or spend $3000 on a purse; I am talking about opportunities to not even succeed, per se, but to survive.

The general frustration isn’t what is driving me, though.  It is a very personal frustration with regards to this situation, with my daughter, right now.  You all know what has happened, as you have been privy almost from the very beginning, so I don’t need to go through it all again (and if any of you ARE new readers, please feel free to email me and I will direct you to the beginning of it all).  The incidents happened, and there is nothing I can do to change any of that; what I can and am trying to change is what Hannah’s life is like as a result of it all.  What I am learning, though, is that without a disposable income of any kind, it is a lot more difficult than I anticipated, and also much more difficult than it should be.

It all boils down to money.  Remember when Hannah was suicidal and it was decided that the best place for her would be the Behaviour Health Center?  When I took her in, I was told that she would probably be there for at least a week, if not longer.  However, before I had even gotten home from dropping her off, I was getting calls from the billing department asking how I was planning on paying for her stay.  Even though the Victims Assistance Program had already stepped up and said, “Yes, we will pay for this.”  Even though I was already in the process of applying for Medicaid for her.  Even though.  And how long did she stay?  Three days.  Just long enough to get some drugs on board to get her home on.  No treatment plan in place for when I GOT her home, no leads to follow as to how to treat her long term, just, “She is totally fine now, she can come home.”  I do not for one second believe she would have been sent home had we had private insurance or a big wad of cash to throw down.

Then I found out yesterday that her counselor told her she no longer needs therapy and cut her loose.  The fact that clearly Hannah hasn’t been entirely honest with her is part of that, I have no doubt; that is HER part in this.  But what I suspect is truly going on is, again, money.  This was supposed to be an intensive 12 week program, and due to the fact that she couldn’t address specifics with Hannah until the trial was over extended that; understandably.  However, it was my understanding based on talking with the counselor that they were just now beginning to examine the abuse itself; apparently they got that all fixed in two sessions becausethe counselor is a miracle worker (insert scathing sarcasm here).  Because Hannah is on Medicaid, the counseling place had to get a referral from her Primary Physician in order to have it paid for; this was supposed to be followed by a consult with a psychiatrist to go over different treatment plans, whether or not she was on the right drugs, etc…none of this happened.  This program was also supposed to address family issues brought about by the abuse and subsequent legal matters, including several family sessions with us individually AND as a unit.  This did not happen either.  I find it very interesting and upsetting that none of this happened, and even more upsetting is the fact that the counselor is now on vacation AND the director isn’t returning phone calls.  Would this be an issue if we have private insurance or lots of money?  No; they would be falling all over themselves to get her some help in the hopes that they would have a much bigger payoff than if they had to rely on Medicaid.  I admit this is assumption on my part, but then again, why is it that no one wants to TALK to me about it?

So.  I look at these programs like Outward Bound vs Job Corps and we are stuck in the middle.  I don’t have EVEN the money to get her into the Outward Bound Program, which I have already talked about extensively.  This would be the ideal place for her to gain some much needed self-respect, to give her a chance to learn how to make better choices in her life and how to become a much more responsible person; it could help build up a firm foundation for her.  Job Corps would give her the ability to graduate from high school, either with a diploma or a GED, as well as train her for a career and help her to find a job.  However (and again, this could change based on getting in touch with the right person; still waiting on that), Job Corps has only a certain amount of money allotted, and preferences go toward kids who have been in trouble AND have received Public Assistance AND whose parents fall below the poverty level.  We qualify for only one of the three-so you see, we either have not enough money or too much money (which isn’t the case, just a matter of preferences being targeted toward those with even less, and I get that).

So what do we do with someone who does fall in the middle of the spectrum?  We slap some JB Weld on the cracks in her life and hope like hell the wound underneath doesn’t get infected.  As a parent, I hear these people saying, “Oh, she is fine, she will be fine, it just takes time.”  Yes, well, we hope so.  But why in god’s name should I settle for her being “fine?”  I want her to thrive.  I want her to be happy, to learn how to live and love and hope despite trauma and pain.  I don’t want her to fall prey to those quick and easy solutions like sex and alcohol and drugs, I don’t want her to live her life working at McDonald’s and thinking this is all there is,  or worse, that it is all she deserves.

Sigh…The government spends billions of dollars on a justice system that doesn’t work in order to try to rehabilitate criminals who are already so far down their personal paths to destruction that in many (not ALL) cases, it is too late; we all suffer for that.  We as a nation collectively gripe and moan about the increasing numbers of violent crimes perpetrated by younger and younger people, but we don’t stop to think that maybe the time to intervene is before they end up in the justice system; perhaps after they have been victims themselves?  I am not asking for those programs available for youth in trouble to be halted; I am simply asking for additional programs to be implemented to help parents and kids receive early intervention-regardless of race, economic or marital status.  That’s it.

Sigh again….I don’t know what the solution is.  Not for us, and not for anyone else.  Not for us as a nation-white, black, Hispanic alike.  I have no answers at all, and just have to keep following leads and seeing where they end up.  I am not asking for money or help from you guys, either, I am simply venting about a situation that I feel powerless to change at the moment.

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31 thoughts on “In Which I Live Up To the Title of my blog

  1. You don’t need to convince me.

    There are certain things in life, basic rights and entitlements, that should never in a million fucking years depend on how much money you have in your pocket.

    A dollar one man has, is a dollar another man does not.
    .-= Xbox4NappyRash´s last blog ..Reportcard =-.

  2. So, this weekend Owen was giving you diamonds and today, you give us one. This is an excellent post. Sharp, brilliant, and cutting. I get incoherent when I try to talk about injustice of the economic structure of our country. You did it just right. I ❤ you.
    .-= Dingo´s last blog ..Dingo’s Gambit =-.

  3. Another part of the health care problem. And you’re right all the way down the line- if you had insurance, things would be very different.
    But please let me reassure you that so many times with teens it looks certain that they are about to fall off the deep end into danger and trouble and somehow, someway, they don’t. I’m not denigrating the problems your daughter is experiencing. AT ALL. But I’m saying that in the end, she is going to take all you have given her and use it to make better choices in her life.
    I’m sure that’s not very reassuring to you, but let me tell you that I really believe it’s true. With a mother like you on her side, there is great hope for that girl.
    .-= Ms. Moon´s last blog ..Big Doin’s In Lloyd =-.

  4. Shit, does ANYONE (besides family, friends, and your community of readers) give a fuck anymore?!?! The counselor thinks she’s done with therapy?! WTF. I understand the system and the BS, etc, etc. but what about the counselor and the judge and the attorneys – the PEOPLE involved? Have they desensitized themselves so that they don’t care about anyone they work with? Do they see it as work and not as SERVICE? You would think that someone with any kind of authority would be able to see this and say, our system is not helping this girl and her family.

    SIGH.
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..Too busy =-.

    • Another thought… a lot of people (in the “system”) will respond with, “I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do. That’s just policy.” Who are these people?! Are they slaves to the computers they work in and the dictators they work for? There is no work around? Can no one escalate anything or work for any change? and then how can they live with themselves and get any satisfaction with their jobs and their existence? since they’re not actually helping.

      Hi, yeah, I’m outraged. I support you 200% Kori. Keep faith that we’ll be able to do something. God is faithful and powerful.
      .-= Julie´s last blog ..Too busy =-.

      • @Julie, In “their” defense, I truly believe that it is the policy itself that is faulty, and that oftentimes “their” hands are truly tied.

      • @kori, True. I bet you get that a lot, working in insurance. When I had my insurance fiasco I kept saying, “Why can’t you just take my rate back to where it was before I switched carriers?” And she kept saying, “I just can’t. The computer won’t let me.”
        .-= Julie´s last blog ..Too busy =-.

    • @Julie, I agree with the WTF statement there. I asked Hannah if she told J. that she has failed summer school, and she said, “yes, and then she told me to call back in three weeks if I needed to talk to her again.”

  5. Oh Kori, bless your heart. And Hannah’s too! I think you hit the nail on the head more than once in your post.
    If it helps any at all, (and even if it doesn’t), one of these days this is all going to be over with and Hannah will be past this tough time in her life and you can both look back at it with some distance and feel nothing but relief. It’s coming. Hang in there.
    .-= Krissa´s last blog ..Things I would take a close up of if I had a fancy camera. #1 =-.

  6. I might be too harsh in this… but in a heartbeat, I would redirect every single social welfare system this country has to minors. Because THEY CAN STILL BE SAVED. Your schizos who go off their meds every time they’re loose, your drug dealers who get vocational assistance… any program with more than a 15% recidivism rate gets cut until there’s more money, and the kids get help first.
    .-= Cat´s last blog ..Truck =-.

  7. Did you hear that from the therapist, or from Hannah herself? Sounds fishy to me, too.

    There is far too much emphasis in this country focused on REacting, instead of being PROactive. Drives me crazy. The whole poverty thing is a perfect example–FULL of bandaids, and no cures. Don’t get me started on that one….

    I hope it helped a little to vent here…
    .-= Mrs4444´s last blog ..Thousand Words Thursday =-.

    • @Mrs4444, Oh, yeah, I could stand for hours on this particular soapbox; maybe tomorrow I will rant about the whole child support services thing again, too. ha ha. And it isn’t funny at all, but-you know.

  8. I can PROMISE you Kori, there is stuff out there. You really have to dig for it, but it’s there. I go to intensive therapy usually 2 x’s/wk,for 2 hours stretches and I am 6 years out from my abuse. I can’t BELIEVE that her therapist would say that she’s done… Something is NOT right with that at all.

    Let me know if I can help in anyway that I can. I hate the red tape bullshit that victims/survivors need to cut through just to feel like they aren’t crawling out of their skin. It’s so unfair to the victims, and so unfair to Hannah.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Ordinary People.. =-.

  9. It’s entirely possible that Hannah was cut loose because of the Medicaid. Sick and wrong, but true. I’m in a pretty populated area, and there are NO child psychiatrists in the county. Not a one. And there are only 2 centers that provide counselling for kids on Medicaid. Even those with private insurance have limited coverage. 12 sessions, 24 sessions. That’s nothing. It sucks. It sure does.
    .-= michelle´s last blog ..forgiveness =-.

  10. Oh Kori. I hear where you are coming from. A 5 year old boy who received minimal help (granted, his therapist did what she could)and has already started his young life at a disadvantage. Stress migraines and talking of suicide at such a young age. And where is his help? Me, that is it. I am solely responsible for making this better and for getting him through. No help from Victim Services, Social Services or Child Protection. Ironic that the kids are on Medical Assistance. Also ironic because child support decided that they would be on Medical Assistance, to save their dad money. And ironically, it is money that he is not bothering to pay and that child support does nothing about. So he will start school labeled as a trouble-maker because no one can step in and help him, make his pain go away, make his dad go away. Hey, the upside though, they do have dental insurance, I only have to drive over an hour to bring them there. Apparently the county has a name for ne…the working poor. Good to know!
    .-= goin-crazy´s last blog ..Sunday Night Sanity =-.

  11. Have you ever written your congressional rep(s?) about this? You’ve got the skill to do so effectively, and now might just be the right time to actually have someone listen, what with all this talk about health-care reform. I don’t know how many letters you’ve received for Hannah, but maybe everyone who wrote to Hannah would be willing to write a letter to their representatives as well.

    I still think that people just don’t realize how damaging and traumatizing something like that can be. Maybe hearing directly from women who have been in Hannah’s situation might help, especially with a president who has two young daughters in the White House.
    .-= Dreamybee´s last blog ..What’s more powerful, good or bad? =-.

  12. Just had another thought-I know they use therapy dogs to go visit people in the hospital and stuff, and you guys have pets. Do you think Hannah would be interested in being a therapy dog…handler, or whatever they are called? If she doesn’t want help/can’t get help herself, it might be therapeutic for her to help others. I don’t know if there’s any kind of special training needed, but I bet it would be cheaper than Outward Bound!
    .-= Dreamybee´s last blog ..What’s more powerful, good or bad? =-.

  13. I’m so sorry the system is letting you and Hannah down. It sucks. There is no reason that people should not be able to get the help they need. My main problem with our systems in this country is that they are all based on money, and I think that is just people being A-Holes. I mean, seriously? How can you work in a job where people are denied getting better because of money? I’d rather be poor than take a job like that. Sigh…
    .-= Rachael´s last blog ..This is Not My Beautiful House =-.

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