Are there any support groups in south Florida? I live near Ft. Lauderdale, and I am in desperate need of support. I am a guidance counselor and a psychotherapist and have helped thousands of children in my 30 years of practice, but I can’t save my own child! Even an online group would be helpful. I am an adoptive parent of a 13-year-old son, adopted at birth, ADHD, ODD, highly gifted, and with many medical problems. He has destroyed my marriage; I am now divorced and his dad is useless. I am all alone with this. Any help is appreciated. — LB
Sadly there are no B.I.L.Y. groups or to my knowledge any like them in Florida. I know the need is great, but we do not have the funds to travel and open groups since we do not receive any funding and our groups are free. I would suggest that you contact your local Mental Health and see if they have any referrals.
I’m sorry to hear that a marriage was destroyed because of your son’s behavior. Hopefully you and your ex can work on finding a solution. The changes must start with you both, because whatever you have been doing is not working. It doesn’t mean that it was wrong, just not productive.
If I was in your shoes, I would probably attempt to start a support group with other parents having the same or similar issues. I am sure there are many out there that have the need. That is how I started B.I.L.Y. 34 years ago with just a handful of parents. Advertise in your local paper, put flyers around the town, and post in social media that you are interested in starting a support group for parents of children with the same or similar issues. Contact some local psychiatrists to let them know that you are looking to start a group, and I am sure they could give you some referrals.
Trust me, there is nothing greater than to have support, a place to talk about your problems, and to be with other parents going through the same or similar issues. It saved my sanity, it saved my children, and it saved my life. You have let it go on much too long. Remember Pain is Inevitable when raising children but the Suffering is Optional. I know that you want to save your child, but you need to take care of yourself first because you will be of no help to him if your fall completely apart. Check my web site for some good articles and books also. Good luck and you will be in my thoughts and prayers…– Dennis