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Yesterday was traumatic. We were expecting that. We are not hiding what has happened and understand, in a limited way, the implications for the future but really struggle to accept the generalisations quoted as thought they are facts and very likely to happen.
I had left the court grounds and was 15 miles away. Ten minutes after the court case had started I answered my mobile. It was from a number I did not recognise, and counter to my instinct to ignore I answered. A chap introduced him self as the manager of the two social workers involved with the safeguarding of our grandson. Both were unable to attend the court case and he was standing in. He continued to ask if I knew what was happening today – had we been told? No. We only knew what was happening as we had been shown a letter from a solicitor. A slight pause at his end and a slow statement – I need to ask a few questions.
Do you know if the proposed outcome happens today payment stops. Well … we were surprised any payments were made in the first place, but payments were never an issue, it is the wellbeing of our grandson that is critical, nothing else. That I think was enough. He said he would call later and keep me updated.
Now the killer. When the family met later we were told questions had been asked in court about why we were not present. I hit the roof. Later my wife hit the roof. We had been told by the key social worker for our grandson our presence was not required.
As it happens the cafcas social worker for our grandson had gone to the wrong family court 25 miles away so he did not have representation. Not sure where that could have been deployed as the 14 days pre-trial meeting did not happen as the letter only arrived two working days before the court case.
Our son and partner said a new social worker had being allocated to them and apologised for not being there.
The outcome is: a Supervision Order is now in place with conditions. It was stated that the next court visit , provided they keep to the plan, could be the end of the matter.
Court day! Having thought it was several months away, a surprise letter drew the court case to today.
The journey time was about 40 minutes, an easy journey. We normally chat about anything really, but today nothing was uttered from the start of the journey until we parked up.
I felt tears welling while I drove. I cannot comprehend a life without my grandson. It still upsets me the moment I think he will be gone.
We all needed a comfort break and found somewhere nearby. Sitting to partly drink coffee and partly to pass the time we chatted and it soon turned to my grandson, their child, and his antics of yesterday in the garden – filling the paddling pool with the hose while our dog ran a-mock chasing the shower of water droplets. It was fun, he is fun.
I became sad as when we left I thought our relationship while talking was really a wake!
During the time I have been involved with the Special Guardianship process with the social services I am of the opinion that we have not been told the whole truth about what is happening, and have felt uncomfortable with this.
I appreciate confidentiality is critical and I am not questioning that. Where I have problems is: different aspects of the case, strategy say, are done behind close doors. This is okay as it is described in the information that is online and in the public domain. Where the problem lies is they all do not have the same information to base their decisions on. We get slightly different views from people who may be using different sets of data.
I am not convinced a wholly accurate picture is being delivered to the court for them to base their opinion and judgement on.
Next week our son and partner have their day in court. I understand the social services concerns but do think they are using a very heavy sledge hammer to crack a nut. Somewhere there must be away of working proactively together to solve this problem. After all a significant part of the problem was aggravated by the very same social services letting them down after the first occurrence of problems.
They are both weary with the stress and worry of loosing their child. We are worried that we are not seen as fit and proper people to be Special Guardians of our grandson.
Sometimes I think the outcome will be positive in the direction of the family and at other times it is doom and gloom. The experience of the process is breathtakingly difficult due to the consistent pressure to be interviewed and fill in forms.
We have gone through the process as though we will be fosterers, and have been told Special Guardianship is less onerous, but few confessions have been made.
Our son and partner thought the court case was several months away as it had been intimated it was not a serious case, and adjusted their mindset to accommodate that. But an unexpected letter arrived giving them less than three week notice. So for someone who has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression and other related issues it is difficult to cope. From a person making good process to one where every problem that was had returns with vengeance was an easy response to predict.
Our son is in intermittent pain, two or three times an hour, and often can only move around by shuffling on his backside life seems difficult. Three weeks off work and another three weeks wait until a third scan can be done is problematic.
There are times he is ‘normal’ where he is good and mobile but he knows only too well pain is just lurking to get him. His pain relief tablets do not touch the pain and his doctor has tried to get him seen sooner but a months delay is the best they can do.
I think we are not believed. For the fourth time we are being questioned as to what we knew about our son and partners drug use.
We have explained our position, understanding and knowledge of drugs – not a lot, but I think we are not believed.
We have requested training on drug awareness to help us in the future and said we would not tolerate anything if we suspected drug use and would act immediately if we suspected anything what so ever.
In the process of becoming Special Guardians a process has to be followed inside a framework of guidance and to a 26 week time table. It culminates with a three week period where people (the panel) read all the paperwork and prepare for a panel sitting; where we are formally interviewed to support the application to have our grandson live with us as we will be his Guardians.
It is something that cannot be fully appreciated before the start, but the time and effort is draining, both mentally and physically, particularly when you feel you have lost the plot or can’t see why they need to know a remote piece of information. But the goal has to be kept in sight all the time – Safe Guarding.
We, the family that is, have meet or been involved with:
- 1 Social work – child and parents
- 1 Social workers boss
- 1 Social worker – grandparents
- 1 therapist – mother
- 1 day nursery manager – child
- 3 general practitioners – mother, father and both grandparents
- 1 Fire safety inspection (Fire Engine and crew)
- 1 Health and safety inspection
- 10 to 12 sets of forms to complete – 40 hours
- 2 full medicals – grand parents
- 1 child developmental medical
- 2 change grow live courses – parents
- 1 narcotic anonymous session – farther
- 35 hours of interview for grandparents
- 10 hours of joint interviews of grand parents
- 4 case meetings in social services offices
- 2 case meetings in our home
- 10 hours of parent interviews
There is still time needed to complete the process.
The more we talk to all the people involved the greater the understanding of what safe guarding is expected to deliver at the real sharp end.
It is still a difficult time.
I have been questioned why I did not intervene if I had concerns about drug taking when we visited our son and his partner while collecting and delivering our grandson.
It’s simple, lack of evidence. If anyone makes an accusation and in effect calls someone a liar without corroborated evidence then the ramifications are immense. Forget slander; it’s the end of a relationship. In our case it would have broken our family apart. Sorry’s will not cut it. Trust has gone forever. It may look fine and dandy three or four years later but the latent defect in the relationship is still there.
Please don’t think I am saying we were not concerned, but the only drug I can identify is cannabis due to its smell. We were told cannabis was not their concern. Any other drug and I am lost. It was other drugs!
When we visited, the house was often tidy, often untidy. Being untidy, particularly with an active child is not a crime. An early riser is our 3 year old grandson and a partner who has sleeping tablets means she has to go to bed early, which places addition pressure on family routine and duties.
Our son works hard and we often recognised sleep deprivation. Our sons partner often was tired and again sleep deprivation was not an unacceptable diagnoses.
Getting my point across to the social services was difficult. I pointed out that when they act without evidence, using their instinct, they walk away with impunity, and don’t have to pick up the pieces of a false allegation. We have not got their instinct!
Caution and evidence is required.
Over the last four months my life has been dominated by a two major activities. Concentrating on the Special Guardian process for this particular blog reveals that each of the social services branches I and my family are involved with do not always understand what they have agreed with each other.
My concern is: we now find out that the process we are going through is to be used as evidence in the decision about whether our son and partner are fit and proper people to raise their son. It had been explained it was a separate process and was a backstop in case it was needed; i.e. if returning the child to home was not done.
This is not denying this has to be asked or what the outcome is to be, but how the social services are concentrating on the negative aspects of the situation in away that seems to be sacrificing two people who are desperately doing everything asked of them under the guise of child comes first.
I feel that if they had joined-up thinking and actually looked deeper than their individual responsibilities and worked collaboratively to solve the underlying issues the parents the BIG problem would be solved on route.
It appears to me they are positioning themselves on the self righteous side of life and going for a split up as it is safe. It will destroy five people in a stroke. There will be no return. Five peoples lives gone,
Yes, I hear and read all the documentation produced, which I have previously criticised for being incorrect and inaccurate, but it is when I stitch together what they say and do when presenting their own position to us, I see a trend away from there declared aim of keeping the family together.
Trust is being diminished.
No matter what he did it was never appreciated, and always not enough. A conclusion was arrived at independently, but we agreed
Summarising our sons expressed feeling: If I can do no good and always suffer repercussions then do less and be in the same position. This removes the constant harassment and pressure to perform.
So, skilfully he is going to cut his ties with his ex-partner and maintain his relationship with his children. This will not be without trauma and tantrums from her. (Gaslighting and Boarder Line Personality Disorder.)
My forward thinking concern is future relationships for them both. The sooner she identifies there is a break in their relationship and she can no long dictate life for our son the sooner she will accept their only ‘life connection’ is their children the better.
It harsh to say this, but their children need to grow up in a safe and unbiased environment where partners are not being challenged or defending their actions morning, noon and night. A toxic life style is not even appropriate for just adult families.
This is not ideal but looking at the underlying causes and environment is necessary.
Our son has been urinating blood for over two months and not done anything about it.
He had been to the doctors in the last week and had been given a hospital appointment. During the last week he was sent home from work as he could not walk. Another visit to the doctors as the pain was unbearable and pain relief was prescribed.
A short car journey to the seaside for a visit was made on Friday. I usually park on the outskirts of the city and bus in. He could not get out of the car to make the short bus journey. He tried three separate times and could only cry in pain.
Accident and Emergency hospital was my solution. I had to get a wheelchair to transport him from the car park and still in pain we arrived.
Kidney stones were mentioned!
A report is being prepared on our suitability to be Special Guardians of our grandson. Information is therefore being gathered over time and we get to see a record of the meeting notes etc. I am surprised at the quality of wording and the inaccuracy of the text in the meeting notes.
The meeting notes should be unbiased and reflect the truth spoken about the facts presented by all those who have commented. They are, in effect, minutes of a meeting: which can be used as formal evidence at a future time.
I spent an evening going through the last set of minutes and annotated them with comments and questions as I felt that in many places they did not reflect the fact as they exist.
I raised this with the chairman of the meeting, who it transpires was the author of the minutes, and he was surprised about my concerns and asked me to write them down.
A bigger concern is the quality of the final report that is going to filed with the family court and used to make life changing decisions in private about all of family.
At Christmas time a little coercive force was applied to ensure our son was always in contact with the mother of their children while they were with him and away for a break with us. Nothing wrong with that. The preliminary incommunicado was due to the constant abuse he was receiving from his partner and his phone was turned off.
Last weekend the mother went away with her father from Friday until Sunday, which became Monday. An accident happened with one of the children and immediate contact was necessary. Her phone was uncontactable. (Could be off, could be no power.)
It took contact, via FB, to get a message delivered to her. A friend collected the elder child from the hospital to allow our son to concentrate on the younger child.
Her mum managed visit on Monday and another on Tuesday just as the child was being formally discharged in the afternoon.
Strange, but motherhood means different things to different people! Yes, pots calling black comes to my Mind?
Recently, based on observations and a little research, I thought a family member had the traits of someone Gaslighting someone. It was the narcissistic traits and the relentless nature of her behaviour (two, three years) that caused, and still do cause, that underlying feeling of uneasiness about her motives and her desires for the future.
Now a diagnoses of Boarder Line Personality Disorder has been given it now becomes a reality that can formally be addressed. This will, like all the other mental health things going on in our family, take time. Whether any relationships can be salvaged is unlikely.
Everything was in place for the post Christmas visit to us so an animated telephone call saying the visit would not happen if our son would not unblock her phone was a surprise.
She was insistent that no phone contact means she will not allow the visit to take place. Being able to contact him while he had the children is not unreasonable.
We made several telephone calls to both parties and agreed that he would unblock her calls for the duration of the visit and the children were with him.
It transpires that she had called him about 15 times on the trot and was abusive in all of them. Don’t know what about but not worried.
She mentioned that our son had not seen his children for 10 days. Which is wrong by the information we have.
During the call to us she declared that she knows she had pushed him to far and was very sorry and felt it was wrong.
Our son said he was really not prepared to take any more abuse and it was not his intention to permanently block her as there are valid reasons to stay accessible.
The next day the visit did not start well, but we don’t know why.
I am a stickler for recording things, call it obsessional!
I mentioned to our son that he should write the facts down as he remembers them now, as they fade and get contaminated by other memories
If the children arrive at play school with bruises or cuts questions will be asked.
We know exactly how his ex-partner portrays events and will tell miss-truths to anyone who she needs to tell, and I feel he would be named as the culprit for hurting his children to shift the blame.
I am not sure whether I have written this before but in my opinion she could get an innocent man hung.
The decorations are up, the food brought and cats asleep. Arrangements have been made to visit the old family home and start Christmas Day in an amicable way – children, presents, mince pies. 🙂
Christmas Eve our son was told that his ex-partners’ father was coming around on Christmas morning and she did not want to rush him away so he could not come around.
So Christmas Day was cancelled at short notice so my son did Not see his children as her father had preferential claim to see them.
We were told that our son had cancelled the day because he wanted to spend Christmas Day with his new partner.
So, Christmas Day for our son and his children was morphed into Boxing Day.
A little later the duration of his absence was used against him to berate him for not coming around over Christmas to see his children.
In my opinion that’s what we are dealing with: Vindictive actions dished up with sweetness and mistruth.
While the festive feelings were still in the air a letter dropped onto the floor. It turned out to be the ESA interview, not the PIP interview.
The venue was the same place as the last PIP interview, but this did not abate the anxiety.
Being nervous is normal for anyone so we sat together in light chatter to offset the anxiety. That questioning moment of – is that door opening for me came several times: and eventually it did.
45 minutes later she emerged, not smiling, no tears but pensive in expression.
The results would be made known in due course. Her doctor would be informed as she had declared the benefits of suicide. That was troubling.
Given the chance to grandstand in front of others our son partner will not miss an opportunity.
Our sons ex-partner came home from a walk with friends. She left her confidant, who is sharing a house with our son, and took the opportunity to go into the house and publicly berate our son in front of those who was there. Complaining it was not fare of him to sleep with her friend!
I need to say that if someone keeps poking an open wound don’t be surprised if you are poked back. Take it as a warning – you have over stepped to mark.
The situation is not changing. Abuse is still seen as fare communication and hurt feelings are not even noticed or considered.
My son is in an abusive relationship. He is the aggrieved partner. Much has already been written here about this so …
I believe our sons verbal retaliation has been commensurate with the aggression and rudeness shown to him by his partner, partners mother and her current partner, her natural father, her grand mother and grandfather. They have all rounded on him: from telling him to leave the family home to stop trying to run his business there as it was worth nothing and man up and bugger off.
This might sound I am being impartial but he has man’d up. That is how he has coped with the vitriolic comments from them all.
Their support all adds grist to the mill and supports his partners attitude. Never, to my knowledge, have any of her relations tried to reconcile their relationship and help them in a positive manner. They tell her what she wants to hear. Our son see through this and has had to be honest and tell her and them that they have a one sided view of life. This has not been received well and they cannot really defend themselves.
So a summary: his partner and her five immediate family do not want him about.
He has moved out of the family home and has his ex-partners confidant is resident in the house he shares. She is being used to feed his ex-partner with personal information about what our son is doing and with whom he keeps company.
Now the crux of the issue: if she does not want to be with him – fare enough, life changes people; then let him go and work to be civil for the sake of everyone’s sanity. Let life takes it’s course, don’t be on at him every single time you feel the need. Don’t use the children as a tool to turn the screw on him. Don’t set the children up to resent him by subtle based leading questions, where yes is always the answer. They are programmed to say yes which is what she wants to hear only to reinforce her insecurity. Don’t lay traps for him by questioning her confidant. Last, but perhaps the biggest change: make your own mind up, without fishing for support from your own family who are of the same mind set as you.
Life is good and she can be so much better. However, reconciliation is not on the cards while there is no change or contrition.
Our son wants to be in the life of their children and support them but cost does have limits.
Parental duties are taken seriously by our son. He has their children every other week end and visits two nights a week.
He arrived and things were satisfactory. About the time she was to leave to go out a return time was discussed and she declared she expected to be much later than they had previously agreed. This was not really acceptable so he said no and an argument ensued.
An impasse was reached and he decided to simple leave. This was met with a physical assault. Gripping him forcefully around his neck and refusing to let go. He said OK he would stay to escape the situation and made his way to the back door and was followed and hit. His path was blocked so he returned to the front door and got out. He was followed into the street where shouting continued and more physical abuse ensued. He did away finally.
The disturbing thing is their children witnessed the whole event.
When disruptive and hurtful personalty traits are repeated against a partner they suffer unseen hurt. The problem eventually becomes: how long do you continue a relationship, even if there are children involved, while being an abused.
Here enters a problem: I am no expert but just a good witness, but I am very cautious to blame.
- Regular belittlement, or putting their partner down in subtle ways by slight of tongue
- Blaming their partner for the abuse or arguments
- Often not acknowledging that abuse is happening
- Playing abuse down as though it was just banter
- Will not accept or unwilling to recognise the needs and feelings of others
Not witnessed – told by one side or the other
- Reacts with rage or contempt
- Tries to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior
- Willing to mislead people in by not stating the whole truth
This is not what a healthy relationship looks like or is based around – the opposite really.
These traits did not take long to be noticed in the relationship, the thought process was simple; there is a nice person in there, a nice person that I love, and early in the relationship they were passed over as being how that person was when in certain circumstances.
Time passed, and when we met as a family the verbal abuse was more noticeable and less easy to pass off. Why are you abusing this person? What have they really done? Why are you continuing to dig at that person long after the event? The cause did not warrant that level of response. Often it was in full view of other family members, and those that had not witnessed it before did not see it for what it was – abuse.
Street angel, house devil, comes to my mind. Behind closed doors reasonable adult judgement was not shown. In public sweetness and light was the beacon to watch. Arguments would start small and escalate out of control, often introducing spurious concerns unconnected and a goading process would unravel until stalemate existed and emotions were left very high. Going to work etc. was the solution, but for only one person.
Emotionally, on both sides, there was no place to go, no unsaying something could be done to reset the status
Counselling has been tried but that has to be done as equals who both must want to explore the possibilities of recovery. This can only be fruitful if both people accept that they bear a part of the cause. One party does not feel there is anything wrong with their behaviour, actions or demands and will always want to win at any cost.
The response was to try and not get sucked into arguments so as to calm the situation, but this would cause the situation to get worse as claims of being unreasonable or objectionable would be made.
We are unsure of exactly how the ‘other’ family see the situation, but we do know there has been unfair pressure placed on one person to leave the family home. So in effect a three woman attack (the aggressor, her mother and grand mother) has been made on one person. A lesser person would have walked away months, if not longer, ago if were not for the children!
We have, and will always supported them both as we want their relationship to continue in a healthy way and fully understand this will be apart but the children must be protected and grow up with loving parents and a support network around them.
I recognised a pattern of events and wondered whether there was a known condition that would explain what was driving these situations and therefore provide a solution to resolve the issues. Yes.
I was surprised, very surprised. It is a phenomena known as Gaslighting (been used in the plot of film – Gas Light 1940) that describes how a person systematically destroys the confidence of another by undermining their self esteem to a point where they sanity is also destroyed.
I researched further and read the accounts of Gaslighting and there were too many occurrences I witnessed that for me not to say there was in my opinion Gaslighting taking places. I was shocked!
Please accept I am a layperson, not a mental health professional but it left me worried.
The chilling thing is: all the advice about the outcomes were the same – leave as you have no fulfilling relationship and you stand a chance of serious mental health repercussion yourself.
Problem: there are children in the relationship.
This form is a nightmare. It has been written in a pathetic style that is designed to fit everyone. Bearing in mind it is to be completed by a range of people from physically disabled people to people with mental health issues it is based upon differences since the last time it was completed. For many people remembering exactly how they were the last time the form was completed is impossible.
Life for this young lady has been dogged with past memories that cause great pain when relived, self harm has been done, abusive relationships lived through, with violent physical abuse received along with mental abuse.
Confidence is zero: self esteem is zero, self loathing is there and the vision that she has absolutely no future and is never listened to and even less understood are her daily thoughts and isolation through music blots out memories and the passage of time.
A wish not to affect her young child with negative attitudes has been the one constant wish, but, sadly is failing.
With this as the backdrop completing the form became a mountain to climb. Three or four evenings were spent with her partner trying to complete the form, but to no real avail.
I previously mentioned a one-size fits all questionnaire: the questions all read the same apart from the intent. In essence it is about the difference between two years ago and now. No real records existed for reference purposes and the pain of time means last weeks memory is a long time ago and incomplete.
I have known this lady for the last two years and I have witnessed a total decline of the persons mental health. I sat with this lady and had to search her thoughts and feelings to get the correct information – not my interpretation of her words, but her words.
Several times I would turn back to write and she would be gone to refuge. Occasionally she would return I and want to engage but with difficulty. I had to leave to return the next evening.
The allotted date arrived and it was not complete. I had arranged to visit her during the afternoon and phone the people, but much to my pleasure and surprise she had called them and an extension was offered.
A family member and their partner are having a difficult time with their personal relationship and there is only so much moral support and guidance you can give them without becoming frustrated as the facts of the situation are taking them to separation and children are involved.
Their relationship is fragile. One of them pushes the emotions of the other without understanding there are penalties and consequences of all life’s actions – with speech it is a memory. There is an accumulation effect where previous ‘pushing’s’ are added too and a saturation point will arrive where change or break is the fork in the road: Decision time!
One person will simple talk in a passively aggressive way to the other and not listen to reasoned argument. They have a point they want to get across at any cost and will not give in for any reason no matter how rude they are or how off topic they become. Tempers and emotions on both sides are raised. The other person is engaged with the argument but is, due to the relentless barrage over a two year, or longer period, ow tries to become disengaged; but this aggravates the situation and that is then the new snippet argument that is taken forward.
No matter what happens it is only stopped by walking away and taking further abuse about not wanting to conclude the argument that is circular in nature and can’t be changed with out a mindset update.
It’s all about me: gas-lighting? Narcissistic attitudes? An abusive relationship?
Joint counselling has been tried, but one side does not acknowledge there is a real problem and even if there was it’s not mine attitude is prevalent. I have not witnessed this but from conversations it is evident that one party is guarded in the conversation during counselling for fear of retribution at a later date. There was a fortuitous event that meant only one person could attend and true openness was allowed.
Footnote: separation is now happening but counselling has been agreed. I just hope the children are not held hostage!
A close friend of our sons partner happens to be a house mate of our son. She may not realise this but she is being pumped for information about our son by his ex-partner.
What is said we don’t really know, as what we hear is possible somewhere between a lie and the truth! But it always has a spin against our son – yes I would say that, but …
Their children stayed with our son overnight and a short time after we were told that the children did not want to stay with him again, as they did not like seeing our son kissing his new partner.
We have been told that previously his ex-partner had had a weekend away with a chap, but the weekend had not gone that well. We know no more.
During the last few months the partner of our son and the mother to two granddaughters has shown her true colours by her bitter actions. It’s getting to an identifiable stage where the children are being used as a point of reference to bargain with.
Having moved out of the family home our son still acknowledges his duties to support his children and be a responsible father. This includes the major responsibility such as providing the same level of support as he would do as if he was there. Namely money and contact. This becomes a little difficult as work demands and living a short way away creates there own logistical problems.
A weekend was being planned to visit us and it was thought that the children could not travel as they would be away from her for to long a time. However the following weekend she wanted a break with, I believe her new partner, and those rules were forgotten.
Access to the children is under stick control now, if not rationed.
Well, the PIP process carries on. I took time off work to take our sons partner to her PIP interview. The journey was uneventful but anxiety showed in her as we approached our destination. Cold sweet, stammers in her voice and a reluctance to want to attend took over.
Once we found the place it was off for a comfort break. Tea and coffee later we went back.
The chap on reception was very helpful and polite and we waited and waited. Our sons partner became more and more agitated and went outside and was sick.
On her return I had to break the news her paperwork was not there and they did not know where it was. I expected a full blown outburst, was pleasantly surprised at how calm we all were.
Her paper work was in a far off distant office as a home visit had been requested by the CPN and needed a Doctors approval but no one was bothered to wait until it had been agreed before making the appointment.
Controlled tears were shed and a reticence set in that acknowledge that it had all gone wrong again.
We left not really knowing when the visit would be or where.
Leaving relationship where children are involved is not done on a whim. The reason will become distant memories in the future, but the pain will keep you awake at night.
Environmental Psychology has explanations on what attracts people. Earning potential is just one aspect of this fatal attraction. So when one partner can’t see the benefit of earning more than just a subsistence wage but wants a higher life style it should not be rocket science to see there is a mismatch in life’s expectations.
Time came when the balance of sanity had to be addressed. A new home for a single person was found and they moved out.
Starting on a new course is an exciting thing. It may come with trepidation but not with fear. That is to say a stereotypical thought and does not apply to some one with anxiety. I missed a trick in trying to deescalate a situation and paid the price.
Time had been built into the day to allow for changes and arriving relaxed. I was providing transport and child care. The car seat was moved into my car but not fitted. We had time!
Securing the car seat was a bit of a faff as my hands do not allow the clip to be passed through the seat covers with ease, but it was done as a joint effort. The next step – secure child in seat proved so difficult that it did not happen. The webbing between the child’s legs had been pulled tight, by me, that in no way could the shoulder straps be positioned over the child’s shoulders unless they were of only paper thickness.
Neither I or the parent could release the tightness of the straps. We tried every which way we could but no. We took the chair out and looked and poked it everywhere but the shoulder straps would not budge.
All this time my grandson was climbing through the gap between the front seats thinking every time we moved he was being chased. Buttons were pushed in more than one way! The parents temper broke and harsh words spoken, and not because of that his full nappy started to leak, yes out over the car seats.
The parent went passed that point where talking would help recovery. I spoke to the course organiser and explained the situation and it was my fault and this was understood and appreciated. The parent was now in shock and could not be reconciled. Thoughts of failure were spoken, thoughts of nothing every going properly were said and my suggestion of calling for a taxi was rebuffed by pointing out to me that this, say 15m, was the farthest she had been from the front door in over a week.
We returned indoors where I had to bath my grandson due to the nappy explosion.
We agreed I would visit the course venue and check what we should do as she was very worried she would be kicked off the course. They understood and it was not a problem.
Renewing a PIP is not for the faint heart-ted; for someone with mental health issues of PTSD, Anxiety, ERD it is a stressful process that has caused near breakdown with withdrawal from life in general and a hinted desire to end it all.
Moving house from one which was overcrowded, but had everything in its correct place, was tidy, warm and homely, to a place that was, decoration wise, bad to poor, where there was no place to put anything away, with bare floors and stairs was a step to far.
Not that it’s potential was unseen, just the background issue exasperated the situation.
Agoraphobia crept in to a point where the youngest member of the family spent a disproportionate time in a high chair in front of the television while the mother hid her self away and would not leave the house.
I might be impartial but the young member is bright, alert, happy, caring for those around him and greatly enjoys the company of others. Play School is not an option as going out only to be judged by EVERYONE for EVERYTHING was not a viable proposition. If something can go wrong it will go wrong and will be four or five times the magnitude of the EVERY-OTHER persons problems and will cause more withdrawal from life and more pressure.
It’s not only the sufferer who suffers, or the infant, but partners. No matter what the father said he was wrong, got scolded, got chastised, got pushed away and not wanted. It’s sad, very sad.
The PIP form is ‘one form’ fits all, and while to those who wrote it with clarity and brevity in mind miss the bloody point. I am not sure whether the form is designed to be intimidating, but that is what it is.
The form was sent off and shortly after a meeting arranged. Child care was arranged, transport for the return trip arranged. On the day the car broke down.
Telephone calls made and apologise made but underlying this was a feeling of failure but not of her making.
A second interview was arranged, but no transport could be provided by friends and family. At the destination station only stairs existed and when a stranger was asked about disabled access the stranger was rude and very disparaging towards her. Rather than help she left a mother and child in distress.
I have witnessed melts down of this young lady and I am very impressed how she coped.
Telephone calls were made and proof of train tickets had to be provided to satisfy the agency.
We are now waiting for the next visit to take place.
Yesterday I had a message from a family member who was in distress; a close friend, who we also knew, had committed suicide by hanging. This is the second close friend to be lost in 36 months. The first, due to an overdose of drugs but at the moment it is unclear what the true motivation was.
My family member took the first death very badly as their friendship had been strong and the circumstances of the overdose were very sad. I don’t want to write more for fear of identifying anyone.
When I was a part of someone else’s suicide I did a lot of sole searching as to why that person had that as the only option. Had they sort help? Why had it not worked? Who was in their life and did they know? Had they been rebuked? Who had they left behind? Why could they not speak to anyone? I could continue but I have no greater insight.
Some people think it is a selfish act on the part of the victim, having been through PTSD I think not. Anxiety always lived just under surface of my thoughts in a shady place, sometimes in my consciousness but mostly not. When a trigger event happened expressive anxiety kicked in and rational thought, for me anyway, just did not exist. My thoughts would take place at rocket speed and just be bounced around in my mind introducing stray thoughts into the balance and there was no external stimulus could penetrate my gruff exterior. Lasting seconds only, but feeling much longer until rationality, followed by remorse and conciliation happened.
For some, suicide is a logical solution to a problem where they see no end to negative external stimulus.
The partner in this relationship is suffering greatly. He phones home during the working day to a non-greeting. He arrives home from work to simple see his partners feet disappear up the stairs to leave him looking after his son. No feelings are shown to him.
When we are altogether he just gets harsh and rude disparaging words grunted towards him. He can do no good.
He does a very physical job and if I don’t say so my self works very hard for the money he earns.
I see the damage being caused to his feelings and it hurts me. He is standing by his partner and child but for how long is the question.
A little history: around her birthday and Christmas anxiety builds. Tempers fray, hiding away becomes a desire that pushes everyone away; that includes me, other family members and their child. This is a pattern that was noticed over a three year period and discussed this evening – with openness and tears.
Difficult memories are revisited by her and the question that arises is ‘… why did my two parents who had me, do so much to destroy me and my childhood and not even give a —- about me then or now, and why have I been spurned when I have tried to make contact …’
Her sister is older and their aunt and grand parents are about but are distant and offer no family support and contact has been lost.
These times are difficult as she is amongst a strong family, who talk with family history at their finger tips, who have a shared past, and have love and kinship. These things have been denied her and she really craves it.
She would like to understand what a child could have done to be inflicted with this pain that is still not resolved after 30 years and has wrecked her life.
Her mother and farther, and her mother’s lover, played a disastrous role in her up-bringing that has caused grief for 30 years. Drugs and alcohol were the foundation of their life, and they got away without honouring their natural duties as parents.
We include her in our family and love her as our own child, for which we are acknowledged, but we cannot sweep away her feelings and whatever we say must sound like an apology for bad parents.
I do not know what we can do, what we can say, how we can help. It’s a huge problem, and a very fine line as to whether what we say helps or hinders recovery.