I admit, I had no idea how the mental health system worked until Lauren needed assistance and resources. I’m here to tell you, that after living the past 21 yrs with a child that suffers from mental illness, these systems need some change.

Lauren struggled in school. She has had 9 school placements in 12 yrs.  7 of those schools she was asked to leave as they didn’t have the resources to support her.  Everyone kept telling us, Lauren needs to be in school. We were so fixated on what the school and Laws wanted from us that we didn’t stop and look at the bigger picture. After many trials at multiple schools in SD, we realized SD didn’t have a program to support her. So we sent Lauren to a Therapeutic boarding school out of state.  

After about 8 months at the last school, she was at, we finally started to see the abuse she was being exposed to. So of course we “pulled” her from this school. We were not seeing any improvement, We were now seeing regression.

But at this point, We were overwhelmed by fear and apprehension of her coming home. From the RTC placements, Lauren was traumatized, scared, and lost. When Lauren came home, she was afraid of everything.  She wasn’t sleeping at night, she had nightmare after nightmare, She was terrified that we were going to send her away again.

That breaks my heart as a mom. Jared and I did the best we could …with what we knew… at the time. We were so worried about her not being in school.   We really thought we were doing the right thing. We were following direction from the mental health professional that we hired to help us. (Education Consultant $3000.00)

Lauren was extremely depressed and moody. She was so lonely. She would not leave my side. She would follow me around the house. She wanted to sleep in our room, on our floor in a sleeping bag. I would run errands, she may come along, but I didn’t know what or when something would trigger her anxiety…a person, a smell, or a sound?  Nobody knew what her mood was going to be hr. to hr. and day to day.   Lauren didn’t even know.

Lauren was struggling. Our family was struggling. There was constant stress in anticipation of what was next.

I was sad when I saw that Paris Hilton had been through this same trauma.  I saw that she was speaking out, to get a Federal Level Reform.


As a parent, I am in a different situation than she was. As a parent I was also traumatized when I realized my daughter was being abused, isolated in solitary confinement for days on end, food was withheld.  We were never informed and lied to when we asked specific questions.  They used us for punishment, by withholding our visits and phone calls as punishment.  I knew something was off, but everyone kept saying “ride the wave” It gets worse before it gets better.

Nope.  Nope it does not get better.

Our family is in therapy weekly.  Lauren, Megan and I have done EMDR ( trauma therapy),  We also all see our own therapists weekly.

The whole family is affected by the abuse from this particular RTC.