Saturday, April 08, 2006

Case Study

21 year old caucasian female, very bright, talented, high school drop-out, unemployed, addicted to xanax, other drugs, with daily heavy marijuana use. Mother of two children, ages 4 years, and 4 months.
Currently being evicted from section 8 housing for having too many police calls to place of residence in the past 30 days.
In the past 120 days, she has spent 22 incarcerated.
Spends every spare minute with 30 year old drug dealing boyfriend, most of the time the 4 month old baby is with her. Boyfriend has beaten her almost everyday for the past three weeks, except for the week she recently spent in jail.

4 year old son, throws temper tantrums until she takes him to his great-grandmother's, or to his grandfather.

Father of Subject, has reached a point where he is actively seeking custodial guardianship of his two grandchilren.

How did an upper-middle class young woman reach such a point?

Family History--
At the time of her birth her mother was 18, father 28. The marriage seemed like a good one, the two were married due to the pregancy, but had planned on marrying eventually.
They did devote all of their attention to each other, when the baby was at home with them, it was as if she was a toy to play with, until they tired of her, she spent the majority of the first 4 years of her life in the care of her paternal grandparents. At the age of two a sister was born, again both children spent the majority of the next few years in the care of grandparents.
The lifestyle of the family was very upper middle class--to the point that possessions became the most important factor of their lives. If the daughters were not in the care of the paternal granparents, the parents took the daughters everywhere with them, including the girls being taken to rated R horror movies. Both girls became too frightened to sleep in a darkened room, and a television had to be on at all times. The parents could not understand the fear of the children to be alone at night. (go figure)

At age 11 our Subject's parents went through a violent, bitter, divorce. The mother became the custodial parent, with father recieving bi-monthly visitation rights. He remarried within the year, to a much younger woman, who was also pregnant.

Subject's mother was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder during this time period. Case Study suffered from verbal and physical abuse from the mother, while younger sister was favored, although witness to sister's abuse. The weekends they spent with their father, were often spent in the company of many other children who the step-mother volunteered to care for, but the girls were always the ones to do the babysitting, while the father and step-mother spent most of their time secluded in the master suite.

The younger sister took on the care of the infant half-sister during the entirety of her visits. Case Study spent the majority of her time with her father manipulating the situation, playing the ex-wife against her mother, and constantly asking her father to purchase anything her heart desired--which he gladly fulfilled.

When our subject reached the age of 12 her father and step-mother were questioned by the FBI in a mail fraud situation, the step-mother then committed suicide, rather than face the loss of her current lifestyle--or so the story goes--the suicide was attempted while all 4 children of both parents were downstairs watching television.

One month after the suicide, the subject's mother gave up custody of her two daughters to the father and moved 1200 miles away. One month later the father was convicted of mail fraud, and served 10 months in a white collar prison work release program. The subject's paternal grandparents moved into the 400,000.00 home of their son to care for his children until his return home. By the time the subject was 13 she had become heavily involved in the use of alchohol, drugs, and had lost her virginity to the neighbors 18 year old son. She soon began using sex as a way to pay for her drugs.

Her dealings with the law, and the court system soon followed, with her father always being able to somehow get her out of each situation with an occasional community service probationary term, which she never completed. So goes the story of her life.

How do you fix that?

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