Balancing Acts

A working single mom attending law school

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Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

Child Psych treatment

Posted by newlawmom on August 11, 2008

So who are the children who are being locked up in a child psychiatric facility in Connecticut? Why they are state wards. Virtually the only way to get into the state run hospital is to be under the care of the state, either voluntarily or otherwise. And what does the state do for these children? Well, it spends over $800,000 per year to expose the children to excessive levels of physical and chemical restraints. They still use rubber rooms for seclusion purposes. Does this solve the problem? Apparently not, because the state also pays out over $2 million per year to pay wokers compensation costs for employees who are injured by these out of control children. Does anyone want to turn their child rearing duties over to the state of Connecticut and take their chances? On any given day 70+ children are in that hospital. How many children visit over the course of a year? Unknown.

Ready for the scary part? These children have no say. They have no legal representation. They have no avenue to escape their situation. Sure – if they were doing what they needed to do, they never would have ended up there, right? Well, that would be right if all these children were seriously mentally disturbed. The problem is that many children are EMOTIONALLY disturbed. And the reason they are emotionally disturbed is because they have been abused, neglected, abandoned, or otherwise traumatized. We fail to treat them. Fail to acknowledge their serious emotional needs. And then wonder why they are violent and aggressive. Locking them up, placing them into locked rubber rooms, strapping them in to beds, and injecting them with fast acting sedatives is probably not the best answer. I don’t think it is going to contribute their overall physical, mental, and emotional development into model citizens. This is how we treat the 17 and under set. Hmmm. Someone had better do something.  Want to go see Riverview? It sounds like such a beautiful place. Serene. Myself, I’m choosing law school. And praying that I figure out what a law degree enables me to do about it.


Posted in Child Welfare Issues, Purpose | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Three weeks to go

Posted by newlawmom on July 24, 2008

Law school orientation is three weeks away and for the most part I’m feeling good about it. I with the finacial aid check could be used to pay for my books, but it is not to be.  I need to buy the books tomorrow. I’ve had it on my to-do list all week and on my ??? list for two weeks before that. Avoiding is not helping me here. The price is making me ill. The books aren’t going to get any cheaper. Do you know how many clothes I could buy my boys with $800 plus? Or how many weeks worth of groceries? Or gallons of gas?  Considering law school costs over $30000 per year and I am attending on scholarship my whining might seem out of place. But I am a budget-minded person and these books seem extreme. I’ll stop complaining now.

I’m not a big fan of television, but I do have a few things I watch. Right now I’m watching Nanny 911. This and Supernanny both make my list of favorites. It is always good to have perspective. Yes, it is true, my biological children are angelic and I am one of the best parents around. Supernanny would never need to visit me. But…there have been two episodes of these shows that have shown mentally ill children, and I was upset that the nanny did not have the sense to refer the family for professional help. There is a very big difference between children who need discipline and children who need mental and emotional help. Providing that help early in life could prevent many problems later. On the other hand, too many parents are willing to medicate their children for assorted problems usually identified as hyperactivity. It is a shame to see healthy children medicated unnecessarily. The issue is so complicated. Which is why….it is nice to just watch Nanny 911 and not think too much.

I didn’t get too much done today. It was a workday (evening) for me. I did some laundry, cleaned my house, and spent some time with my children. I am preparing for a family reunion on Saturday and did some shopping for that. I managed to get up early and will go to bed early tonight. Tomorrow I will need to get more done and then I plan on taking the weekend off. I hope all my readers have a lovely day.

Posted in Child Welfare Issues, Law School Life, Parenthood | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I’m a new law student

Posted by newlawmom on July 3, 2008

How did I get here? What am I doing? Why am I doing it? Oh, the answers are long. Too complicated for an introductory post. But suffice it to say there are reasons. Compelling, purposeful reasons. Child abuse, mental illness, torture, trauma, drama, and the fifty states of the union. The world needs to hear from me. I have a lot to say. But first I need to shut up and listen. Become a top law student so I can become an awesome lawyer on a mission. Law for a Cause.

For tonight, I am an anxious, underworked, overstressed waiting student. I need to wait. In the meantime, I look at my children. Look at the past several years of my life, and look in amazement at the fact that I am, indeed, a 1L. A first year law student with a school to call my own.  A thirty-something, non-traditional, unconventional law student who also happens to be a single mom to three children and the failed adoptive parent of a fourth. Does that make me unique? I need to be certain I’m not so unique as to out myself inadvertently.

I care about too many things. Too many people. Too many problems that seem overwhelming. For tonight, that problem concerns children who are kidnapped and raped by family members. Think Vermont. Think murder. But how many other children are involved? What happened to them? How will that affect them down the road? And what type of justice, and more importantly, treatment,  do we offer the victims? Here is where I differ from most people in society…I want to know what happened to the perpetrator when he was a child. And what type of justice did he receive? What type of mental health problems did/does he have that result directly from his own childhood experience and have clearly been inadequately treated? And how do we solve this problem? Because until we do, crimes against innocent children will continue. And those children will grow up to be troubled.

With all due respect, I know what it is like to be the parent to a child who is heading rapidly towards being a sociopath. Those children exist. They hurt animals, other children, themselves. They destroy property, threaten to commit murder and suicide. Sometimes they are successful.  Sometimes they end up locked up. Sometimes they get treatment. But how that works, I’m not exactly sure. Because if there is a length that a person could go to in order to get help for their desperately ill child, I have done it.  To those foster and adoptive parents out there who feel like you have failed, here I am. I’m going to bring the truth to those who need to hear it. First, like I said, I need to shut up and learn how to be a lawyer. And therein will lie my challenge over the next three years.

I am a law mom on a mission. And I aim to perfect it. I want top grades. I need to do my best. My absolute best. Because children all over this country are counting on me to insure the law represents them. Only a person who has “been there, done that” could possibly understand the life I have lived over the past several years.  If there is such a thing as a calling, then law school is that for me.


Posted in Child Welfare Issues, Law School Life, Parenthood, Purpose | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »