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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Choices

Sophie's Choice always comes into my mind whenever I feel like I am being put in a position that I must choose between my son and my daughters. It may be unfair and over dramatic statement, but when I saw that film I cried watching Sophie being put in a situation to choose between her children. At the time I was not a mother, yet I felt my heart strings and all my maternal instincts being painfully torn! Obviously I am not in such a torturous and hopeless situation as Sophie, and it is not which one of my children will live or die that I must decide, but in all honesty, I might as well be. I feel I am choosing who I love more, and I believe that that is how my children feel. This is what I feel in my heart.



My intellect is beginning to understand that our life is not so simplistic as our emotions sometimes lead us to believe. I must try to be less emotional and more logical. Not always an easy task for a mother!

I need to keep my eyes open and focused on the damage being down to my daughters and to myself, not because of my son, but because of the situation that his addiction has created. No child should have to be brought up in a home in which there are drugs, emotional abuse, constant tension, depression, fear, vulgar language etc.

Recently it has hit me hard that instead of thinking that my son has been suffering from his dependency on drugs for the last 5 years, I have been deeply saddened by my realization that my youngest daughter has been living amongst this dependency and its fall out for 5 of her 8 years!! That hurt me and made me feel I have let her down. I have let them all down. I can not regain her childhood, I can not regain my son's adolescence. I can not regain the years my middle child has lost during this battle either. I can however, prevent more years being lost, maybe not for all my children, but for two of them.



This still causes me great distress. Secretly I often wish I was not in this alone, so that I would not be the only one who has to shoulder all the responsibility. I also fear that that is a sign of weakness that I can not find the courage and strength to make these very difficult decisions alone. That will not change though, I can not bring my parents back from the dead, I can not wave a magic want and presto have a wonderful, loving, supportive man by my side and I can not transport my sisters from the other side of the world to be with me here. As long as I am scared to make tough choices, the more years my children and I will loose.

My key worker at the drug clinic will only have one or two more sessions with me before the allocated number of sessions are finished. And as she herself said, I have not really moved forward in that time. I am still stuck, we all are, stuck in our life in the life we have lived too long and do not know how to live otherwise.
She asked me what I wanted out of life, I really did not answer the question well but later realised that what I want out of life is for my children and I to ENJOY life, and none of us enjoying life at the moment, not at all!

Addiction damages the family, not just the addict. Who is to say who is suffering more? We are all suffering, but suffering in different ways, for different reasons. Maybe the better question would be, who can be helped? Who wants change? Who is going to make some steps to make those changes?

This article seems appropriate
http://www.nacoa.org/pdfs/the%20set%20up%20for%20social%20work%20curriculum.pdf
I like the way it says that the addict and the family need to learn in "recovery is rewiring their body/mind
systems to be able to tolerate increasing amounts of emotional and psychological pain without
blowing up, shutting down or self medicating".

At the end of the day my maternal instinct tells me to do everything for my son, make him want to recover, be persistent and keep reminding him he needs to get better. Yet my logical side tells me that no matter what I do or say, if the addict is not ready to face their demons and have concluded on their own that they HATE their life so much and everything that has resulted from it, that they will do anything it takes to get better, no one can make it happen. I have heard it from others, and I have heard the little voice inside my head, "The addict must WANT to put an end to their addiction"...that voice is getting louder and one day it will over power the other voice in me that cries, "my baby, my poor baby".

Drugs on the Brain

We all know that addiction to drugs and/or alcohol can have detrimental affects on the addict's mental and physical health. Long term abuse can lead to a damaged brain and liver as well as a damaged life. This is particularly true in brain development if the addiction started in adolescents. Recently I have been reading some articles that say the adolescent's emotional development stops at the time when their addiction begins. Others believe this to be untrue, while of course they do not deny the developing brain is damaged, the damage maybe restored since the brain continues to develop until 24 years of age. I certainly hope that the damaged can be repaired because this is my latest fear for my son.

I have been trying to research more on the damage caused to the developing brain, yet when I do it is hard to ascertain exactly what damage my son may have done to his brain since he has been using natural opium in tea form for many years, not heroin, and most of the research on brain development and substance abuse in teens are centred around cannabis and/or alcohol. Also he has been using so many other drugs, most of them depressants, that I imagine that would make the damage more likely to happen. I am familiar with the risks these combinations have, primarily on respiration, and can cause death by respiratory failure, but not so much about what it is doing to his brain.



My concern recently was my son's mental health due to brain development and possible damage. Now I wonder if it is mostly chemically induced, and temporary, since the behaviour I was concerned about the past week (being extremely withdrawn, placid, not eating, etc) changed dramatically yesterday because his substance changed. Apparently he took some buprenorphine which he was stashing away when he was on the drug replacement program, and when I commented to my son how I had been concerned the few days because he was so withdrawn but now he is aggressive again, he confessed that that is because he was heavily sedated on several different depressants the last week. However, even with her mood swings, there seems to be an underlying  feeling of "something is not quite right" with him any more. Of course this is not even mentioning that even the most "healthiest" of use would start to develop some signs of mental health issues if we had virtually no one to talk to, no social interaction, no life outside of our bedrooms etc!



Despite how the different substances alter may son's temporary behaviour, I am still concerned what long term damage he has done to himself. Not only on his brain development, but on his emotional development since he has lead a very unnatural adolescence and therefore I fear that my son has not developed as he "should have", which in turn makes it even harder for him to deal with the fear of changing his life from what has been his norm all of his adolescence.

Habit and the Hard Wiring of the Brain

As self help gurus are quick to point out, if you do something for long enough it becomes automatic. Nowhere does this wisdom more hold true than in adolescence. Though teens may change clothes, ideas, friends and hobbies with maddening frequency, they are developing ideas about themselves, their world and their place in it that will follow them for the rest of their lives. Adults may spend years trying to create or break even the simplest habit, yet most adults find that their most profound ideas about themselves and the world were developed in high school or college. This is because, by age 25 or so the brain is fully developed and building new neural connections is a much slower process.
- See more at:   www . samafoundation.org

Maybe there is still hope since he is only 18!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Life, as I Live It

I woke this morning to my son sleeping in a position that I assume he fell into while sleeping on a chair and slipped off. In the middle of our living room, around him his glass of beer, food meant to be eaten, his bong and mess surrounding him. He can not be woken.



His sisters bounded down the stairs full of energy to have breakfast and watch their morning cartoons. As soon as they saw what lay awaiting them on the floor, I could actually see their energy draining out of them and it being replaced with disappointment and contempt. No longer did they speak or smile and they sat down to watch their cartoons, numb and quiet, not knowing why life is the way it is. I know because I felt the same.

No one can fully understand how we feel unless those who have lived with similar circumstances. Anyone who has been touched by addiction and/or mental health issues understands. Those who have not, can not. I understand how my friends think it is as simple as giving my son a good talking to and if he does not listen, then he is no longer welcome to live here and the girls can swiftly resume living a "normal" life. I love my friends and I think some may understand more than others, but I am lucky to have them all with their different personalities and views. The long term issues we have been living with in the privacy of our home is debilitating and damaging to us all. It may seem on the surface that I am coping well or perhaps it seems that I am am being too lenient and not doing enough, but at the end of the day we are doing what we can, all of us in all of our complex and secret lives that no one really understands like we do. I readily admit that though I may empathise and sympathise with others, there are times when I think, "I do not understand", but it is not meant as a judgement.



So here we are, the day ahead of us, yet with no real desire to do anything while we hear my son snoring on the floor unable to be woken! Will I spend hours trying to wake him, too distracted to do anything else, getting more and more angry as the hours pass, feeling I have wasted my day? I have done that countless amounts of time. Or do I let him lay here and not attempt the impossible, yet by doing so it is still allowing him to disrupt our day none the less? It is hard to carry on as usual while you have a lump in the middle of your living room, the main room of the house. Or do I say to my daughters that we are going out for the day, without having the motivation or the resources to be able to spend the entire day outside! Knowing all along in the back of my mind that my son has an appointment at 3:00 to discuss rehab and the difficulties my son is experiencing, and wanting to make sure he attends that appointment?



This is life at the moment, though we are trying in many ways to change, sometimes the ways in which we are trying are not apparent to those who are looking in from the outside. I will try my best to see that everyone will get some of my attention today and try to give all my children a bit of my love and attention,  and as Scarlet said, "Tomorrow is another day"!


Monday, 19 August 2013

Why I Blog?

The last few days I have been wondering why am I writing this Blog? Is it because I feel sorry for myself and desire sympathetic comments? No, not really. Is it because I am being self righteous and want everyone to believe that I am the perfect parent who has been given a raw deal? Absurdity! Is it because I want to portray addicts as bad people who have nobody but themselves to blame? Absolutely not. Do I want to preach? No I do not. Do I want to feel like I am the victim of my son's addiction and mental issues. No, I think we are all victims but also we are trying to find solutions to put an end to that.



Do I enjoy writing and need a productive outlet for the unbelievable amount of perplexing and intense emotions I am being overloaded with? Absolutely, I need a way to organise my thoughts and life events in order to stay focused and sane. Am I writing to let parents know that any one can become an addict and we are not alone. I need a way to vent and ask questions as well, since I do not have others in my life who can identify with our plight. I do not attend ant AL-ANON meetings because the timing of those meetings do not suit me, so here I can achieve similar support. I wanted to start the blog also in the hopes of getting advise or hearing other people's stories on how addiction affected them or their family. Ultimately, as corny as it sounds, I started writing this blog to help myself, maybe help others and hopefully find a way to help my son.



I do not think their is any preaching or victimising going on here. I do not think that I am ignorant or conservative with regard to drugs and addictions.  I most certainly do not think I am the  perfect parent, there is no such thing. Do I think my son is a horrible human being and I would be better off without him? Well, I hope my pain is evident that that is certainly not so.

When I said earlier that I was hoping to get advice and support, I wasn't only hoping for comments from people living or have lived with an addict, I was also hoping and wanting to hear from addicts and hear their views. One thing that my son accuses me of is true, I do not understand what it feels like to be an addict. This may be very obvious for addicts who may have read my blog and I do not mean to be upsetting in any of my remarks. However, one of the things that my son also does not understand is what it feels like to be a parent of an addict, especially such a young addict and being an observer to his downward spiral right before my eyes. The fact that he was my pride and joy and I never had a bad thing to say about him, I adored him and he was such a loving and giving and happy boy and now I feel he is lost, as I am sure he feels he himself is lost, is a pain my son can not understand at the moment. Though at the moment my son's world revolves around his addiction he does also not understand that I can no longer have my world revolve around him, I have two younger daughters aged 13 and 8 who need me and who also deserve to be living in a more nurturing and happy environment than the one they are living in now. Ironically the more I try to explain this to my son, the more rejected he feels and the more hated he feels from us all.



Perhaps I do not write a very positive  blog. Perhaps I do not offer information backed up by facts, research and statistics. One thing I do offer though is my honesty, my raw emotions, my day to day upheavals as well as informative aspects that we have learned first hand (i.e. the importance of good male role models and their absence, how abusive and addictive behaviour patterns are repeated within families, how any substance can be obtained over the internet, how to make opium after buying poppy pods etc.).

I am writing my blog as my children and I are living this horrendous life of addiction and one day I hope I can write on how we overcame addiction. While I was pondering why I write, I was also wondering if I should continue. I will continue, so in the meantime, I write as life happens and at the moment it is a roller-coaster ride! Please bear with me and keep your comments coming because I appreciate all of them!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Moving Forward....Maybe So

There seems to have been a change of atmosphere in our house the last couple of days. Since Monday when my son spoke to  one of the professionals and said he is open to the outpatient rehab, there was tension that day and evening to be sure; however since then the mood has been changing. While I am trying to remain hopeful, I am also not getting too excited as a defence mechanism to avoid disappointment.



Yesterday I had a brief session with my support worker and she was proud of me for standing my ground and she said I must keep firm. It was nice to have a little joke about me being the new "alpha female" in the house! Luckily as we finished, we bumped into the worker who spoke to my son on Monday and we sat down and had a chat about my son. I was so happy and reassured that he is not fooled by anything my son tried to downplay. He sensed a bit of fear in my son and also that my son thinks I am serious about putting him out. He also understands and explained to my son that it is not easy for someone living in the midst of the dysfunction of a family living with addiction, that they can not praise and positively reinforce behaviour as quickly as the addict may like or need. As we spoke of this I was given some good advise. Instead of praising him in the way my son my ideally want with hugs, sweetness or rewards for not being on opiates for 7 days for example, I can offer my support and praise by saying, "well done, I am glad you are making some positive steps forward". I was also advised to do this so that while praising my son,  I must be careful not to "get soft" for lack of a better expression, because I need to keep that "alpha female" role going because that dislike or fear my son feels is needed. I must stand my ground and even though my son has initially agreed to rehab, there is a four months waiting period and in that time my son does need to respect me and his sisters and if he steps out of line, he can still be "kicked out".

I have made the point since then to my son that I have the right to kick him out at any time if I feel it is necessary, if he steps out of line again. He knows that since I have called the police on him, next time the police wont let him off with a caution. He also has seen my sincerity and seriousness in my ultimatum of getting help or moving out. He has been calm and more rational the last few days and has even suggested going for a walk or seeing a film when we can afford it so that we can all spend some nice time together instead of always concentrating on the addiction and the negative consequences it has had on us all. Though there is still the occasional comment of buying booze or how nice some opium would be.



Today also is Thursday, which means that our new social worker came to see us, on the right day today! As usual I had to start from ground zero and tell the entire history again! I was not surprised at all when I was asked what action plan the last social worker had in place when he left. He also told me that he will have to review the last social worker's notes and our file. Now one would assume that the a social worker taking over a case would review the family history, the case notes and and file BEFORE seeing the family!

On the bright side, the social worker did discuss things with his his supervisor, so obviously he did have some information about us, and that she is happy for us to stop being involved with social services after a referral to Family Solutions and/or Catch 22 services. So we would be getting more specialised support rather than the broad spectrum social services deal with. Honestly, I do not like social services being involved, nor do my children, and they are not providing us with a service that has had any benefit.

Family Solutions works with families up to 12 months addressing a range of issues such as:

  • The family is experiencing significant problems for example: around parental drug or alcohol misuse; domestic violence, emotional or mental health concerns, homeless, imposing parental boundaries, teenage pregnancy or adult offending.
offering possible solutions.

Catch 22 is:  http://www.catch-22.org.uk/About-Us


"A forward looking social business, Catch22 has over 200 years’ experience of providing services that help people in tough situations to turn their lives around.
Our programmes help those we work with to steer clear of crime or substance misuse, do the best they can in school or college and develop skills for work, live independently on leaving care or custody, gain new skills and confidence as parents, and play a full part in their community.
Our goal is to deliver social benefit by turning chaotic lives around."   

So hopefully these services will be better and offer some real solutions and guidance. The social worker is thinking that we can be discharged from social services in September and he is hopeful in getting the ball rolling with these services very soon.

Maybe, just maybe things are looking up. Maybe these services and the the support worker involved with my son, and the application to rehab will all go forward. Maybe, just maybe, the light is starting to be turned on for my son. Maybe, just maybe, my strength is growing and my son is starting to respect that. Maybe, just maybe, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for us!




Wednesday, 14 August 2013

"What Day is It?"

I understand that because my son has admitted to openly using drugs at home and there are younger children in the home, the professional responsibility of those who this had been disclosed to is to report their concerns to social services.



Now those of you who have followed this Blog from the beginning may remember our initial interactions with social services and the impression it left on me. For those who have not read those entries, I will let you catch up here if you like.

First it was, http://livingwithmydrugabusingteenager.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/from-sublime-to-about-two-months-ago-we.html

Then there was, http://livingwithmydrugabusingteenager.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/nonesense.html

Finally we had the "meeting", http://livingwithmydrugabusingteenager.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/the-plan.html

So our last meeting which was 6 weeks after the first "Children in Need Meeting", was uneventful and unremarkable. The only interesting information was that it was our social worker's last day and he did not know when we would be allocated another social worker, nor did he know who that social worker would be. The student social worker who had sessions with my youngest daughter would also be leaving in two weeks. Without knowing who would be our social worker, and therefore who would be running the next meeting, another meeting was scheduled for early September.




So I was thinking what an interesting meeting that will be with a social worker running it who has never even met us! However, this won't be the case any more as the new social worker called me Monday requesting to see me and the children on a home visit. He wanted to come Wed however that was inconvenient for me, so I suggested Thursday. Yes, he said that would be fine. So we expected the social worker to come at 10:00 tomorrow.

This morning my daughters and I made some muffins from a mix we received from our last visit to the food bank. Thank God for those food bank visits and that I put some things aside, without it we would not have eaten the small amount we have been able to eat this week. A sacrifice I knew I was making when I put my housekeeping money into the mortgage in an attempt to save our house and thus my children from being made homeless.....but I digress now!

So we had breakfast, were getting ourselves ready for my daughter's counsellor to arrive for his home visit at 11:00, when there was a knock on the door. It was 10:30 and I looked out my window, no deliver van, no car I recognised, in fact NO car in front of the house at all. I assumed it was a door to door caller and ignored it. The knocking become more insistent so I decided to go and answer.



A man with a familiar I.D. "necklace" and briefcase stood outside my door and I knew instantly he was our new social worker. After a few awkward moments and mumbles from both of us,  I had to say that he was here on the wrong day, it is Wed today. Even though I had already made his mistake clear, he was still baffled and asked "What day is it today?"...SERIOUSLY?! I had to keep saying to him that it is Wed, he was meant to come on Thurs and I am expecting someone else and I will see him tomorrow. He continued to look and act confused and in my opinion was unprofessional in his confusion to say the least!

Oh give me strength, this is our new social worker who on first impression appears to be even more incompetent than the last! I am not only apprehensive about having such "professionals" scrutinizing me and my family, I am also astonished how such people are able to maintain such jobs!? This is not even mentioning how many of these "professionals" deal with the severe and serious cases in which there are children who are not only "in need" but also "at risk".  I know there is a great need for social workers in this country and that is why many have been recruited from different countries. I don't mind where the social workers come from, but just because the council hires social workers to ensure they have the correct number of professionals to cover the case loads, please can they try to at least fill the positions with social workers who will actually do good in their field for families and individuals who need help?

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Feeling Pessimistic

I can't help myself from being pessimistic.




After my son's accident Sunday and his paranoid episode in which he was convinced that we were trying to kill him with acid, I gave my son a choice Monday: call the drug/alcohol clinic to discuss his options or leave the house by nightfall. Tensions were very high and talking to each other was unpleasant as usual, yet my son did not waste too much time and called the key worker at the drug clinic he felt most comfortable with. Though my son just wanted to have a quick chat on the phone, he was asked to come and meet up on neutral territory, a local cafe. My son agreed. He had 2 hours to get ready and I said I would give him a lift. Same old anxieties, control and disrespect from my son meant he took his time and was late, but he made it!



About an hour later my son called asking if I could pick him up. We talked, tension on my part still there, but he told me about the out patient rehab facility that he was just told about. He would have to be drug free, and drug tests are preformed every day to ensure that patients do not go home in the evenings and use any substances. While my son told me about what they talked about he of course had his digressions as usual and began talking about various diazapam brands, effects, chemical compositions, brain receptors etc..

This is a standard practice of my son. To avoid discussing the emotional aspects of his addictions or how we can start moving forward, he always deflects the matter at hand. Never wanting to discuss how the drugs have damaged his life and relationships he will spend hours talking about how opiates work on what area of the brain receptors, and then compares it to how other substances work on the brain and it never ends. He enjoys using the proper chemical names and the chemistry of drugs making himself feel superior over me.




Back to discussing rehab! So, it sounds good, but he can not get in until after Christmas! Four months!! In the interim he needs to attend regular sessions with two key workers. He needs to stay off the opiates. He needs to go to the GP and discuss his benzo use and possibly be prescribed anti anxiety medication rather then benzos off the internet. (This always starts an argument though because the anti anxiety drugs do not act the same way as benzos on the brain and therefore my son has always been against them). If he is on anti anxiety, or even if he fails to do this and stays on benzos, he will have to begin  tapering his usage. First thing though, as always, there is a substantial amount of paper work and the application along with his personal statement needs to be put in front of the NHS funding board and a space needs to also be allocated for him.



Sounds great, HOWEVER, once home my son rushes to the computer to buy more benzos! He continues to be disrespectful and argumentative and emotionally abusive. He continues to be lazy and selfish and not part of the family. I therefore wonder is he serious about this or did he sense my seriousness about putting him out so he agreed to rehab as his "get out clause" of being kicked out onto the streets? I really wonder.

As the evening progressed my son was his usual horrible self at times and always retorted with, "you can't kick me out, I did what you wanted" and "I can't change my behaviour overnight" "You guys need to change",  etc.. Well I think that picking up ones rubbish from the communal living space, taking part in family chores and not shouting obscenities to your mother or younger sisters is not huge, I would be happy if I saw signs that he was trying in just ONE of those areas!

After his beers he fell asleep on the sofa and was still there in the morning with all his mess scattered around the floor and sofa and table. Despite my efforts and my increasing anger he did not respond and stayed as he was. My daughters and I eventually went out in the late morning, and when we came home in the late afternoon all the mess was still everywhere, but my son got himself up to go to his room and sleep!



How , oh how, can I find the right perspective to praise him for agreeing to rehab while it is still so damn difficult to live with him!? He verbally attacked me when he said the key worker he spoke to praised him for coming off opiates for 6 days on his own. I have never ever done that, he told me in many abusive words. I asked him if he told the key worker that he stole from my bank account to buy the substances that helped him stay off opiates? Or how he attacked us because he was convinced that we are trying to kill him? How about the police incident the other week? No, he does tell these stories. That is why it is so difficult to use any positive reinforcement with my son, though I know that therapeutically that is what he needs.

The worst part about yesterday, and something I can not share with anyone out loud but feel safe in saying it here....I realised that I was in a way disappointed that he did make that phone call and that he did meet with the key worker, and that he did say "ok" to rehab. The sad, sick truth is that a part of me wanted him to reject my ultimatum because a part of me wanted him to leave last night. How is that for this loving mother who claims to want to help her son? I felt so desperate that I just wanted all this to end. I am not always "strong", I am human and have my failings.



Sunday, 11 August 2013

Paranoid Psychosis?

My son has been trying to detox off of opiates the last few days, his way. His way means using other drugs to make the opiate withdrawals tolerable. I was not impressed and could not bring myself to praise him, though that is what he wants. He actually has said more than once, that despite his efforts, I do not positively reinforce his efforts and that it is "never enough". Sorry to say that he is right. It is not enough. Not having opiates for a few days but taking sedatives, smoking large amounts of cannabis and having a few drinks is not good enough. Still being aggressive, sleep deprived (not sleeping or eating for days) is not good.

Something I have not mentioned before is that my son is very clever in chemistry and at times tinkers with chemical equations and has some solutions he uses to get reactions. I have never liked this or allowed this, but like with all things he keeps doing things despite my attempts to stop it.



This morning after my daughters and I had our breakfast and another night in which my son did not sleep, except for an hour or so of nodding off, he came down telling me his clothes needs to be washed because some solution (hydrochloric acid) must have spilled on them. A little while later he come down in a panic saying the same solution must have spilled on his boxer shorts and he was in a manic panic because this acid  had also somehow got on his left testicle and apparently some of the skin was pealing off! I wanted to rush him to the doctor but he insisted it was under control one minute and screaming out the next that he is being punished for trying to do the right thing giving up opiates and is now seeing his ball dissolve before his very eyes! Then he would calm down as he bathed it in water and bicarb soda to neutralise it. Then suddenly be screaming out that he needs opium!

We decided to go to the urgent care but it took him over two hours to get ready, no panic, no moaning in pain, the anxiety of going had sunk in.




We went to urgent care and in the car my son was asking me how to play up on the pain side of his injury so that he will be given some strong pain meds. "So, you are ok then, you are looking to get some opiates?" I ask him. "Yes, of course", was his answer!

I tried to explain to him that besides the injury he needs to see how these chemicals are dangerous and accidents will eventually happen especially be sleep deprived for days on end as well as being on benzodiazepines! He needs to stop this and get rid of them.No, he does not see that!

So we come home and he is furious. The doctor said it was not that bad and just needs to keep calamine lotion on the skin. The focus has switched now.  He will not get clean. He will go back on opiates. He will not be sober because a sober life he can not even do, he needs something. He is swearing and angry that there are no shops open now on a Sunday, no codeine to buy nothing. Eventually he calms downs because he is taking a beer to his room.

Ok this is where things get really crazy. My son charges downstairs, he has another acid burn on the inside of his wrist. It is one of us, we are trying to kill him! Attacking his 13 year old sister and saying that the c*** did it. Then he is enraged and completely paranoid and delusional. Now he turns his anger on me. He verbally attacks me. This is what I hear:  "you would do whatever it takes to get rid of me, police, social services, and even killing me. You have scared me now and everyone will think I slit my wrist. You are a horrible person, much worse than me and you came into my room dosing acid on my favourite clothes and maybe switched my glass so I would drink it, and put it everywhere in my room"...it goes on. I try to ask him rationally how could I when I do not know where the chemical is, what it looks like, etc.. Also I would be too scared to touch it. Besides, when could I possibly do such a thing? "You are in your room nearly all the time, you are awake when I go to sleep and awake when I wake up the following day"....nope,  I still did it.



I tell him how he is being very irrational and he needs help and tomorrow he phones about rehab or he is out. I am no longer subjecting the rest of the family to this in my vain attempt to "support" him. I am then greeted with the middle finger and I am told to "f***" myself.....hmm what is in store for me tonight!

Interesting that no matter what happens the light is not being switched on for him. How bad will things have to get? What pain will he endure? How low will he succumb? How much damage will be made? Emotional, psychological, relationships, mental, developmental, physical damage!



My daughter came to me and said, "Mummy, do you remember about a month ago? You said you would do it. You said that you were serious. You said a couple of weeks ago again that if he doesn't go to rehab you will make him leave. He is still here"....these words made me feel very small, very inadequate and now I must do what before I did not think was the right thing to do...use "tough love" as they call it. I will have to say good bye to my son, my pain, my sadness. Say good bye to the moral dilemmas, the cognitive dissonance, the dysfunction. Say good bye to the drug obsessed secluded leech who has drained me of my energy, my money, my time and at times even my hope. I have said good bye long ago to my loving, kind, gentle son who is no longer here. My tears are welling up, my heart is pounding. My mind is spinning.

Tomorrow is another day...but what does it bring, no one knows.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

My Day in Court

Well as I have mentioned in previous posts, a great concern of mine recently was my upcoming court date regarding the repossession of our home.



When it became abundantly clear that the father of my three children, really did not have any intention on preventing his children becoming homeless, I realised I needed to do what I could...and QUICKLY!

My aunt in Hungary even attempted to contact the grandparents. They said nothing even resembling concern for their grandchildren possible eviction of their family home, and in fact said they have had no contact with their own son for two years now so it is out of their hands.

I worried more than I thought possible. I discovered a fear I have not felt before. I had people saying that perhaps this could work to my advantage and losing the house may be a blessing in disguise. I would after all loose the last material connection to my ex husband. I could move and leave the memories and the burdens behind....move once we got accommodation in a council house and living in emergency shelters in the meantime! No, I do not have the strength or the desire to do that now and the stress of it all would have been overwhelming given all our other stresses!

So, I began making even more copious amounts of phone calls, visiting advice centres, sending documents etc. I also took out money from the bank every time I received any money, stashing it away, so it would not be spent. This of course meant no gas in the car, another visit to the food bank, not spending at all except for the bills being paid. I took almost half of my child maintenance money out knowing we would continue to eat plain pasta or rice for another few weeks. It would be worth it if I could manage to keep our home!

I also hounded the Department of Work and Pensions to stress that my application for financial assistance simply must be finalised BEFORE my court date. Despite all the complaints people make toward dealing with government agencies, I always spoke to nice people and on Friday, the last working day before my Monday morning court date, I had a wonderfully helpful woman who actually phoned me regarding my application. It seems the decision on my application could not be made without completing a supplementary form! However, this helpful woman, understanding the urgency of my predicament, got the form up on her computer, asked me the questions and typed them in. She said they would call me back in an hour with their decision. They actually did call me back in an hour with a positive outcome! Obviously, I would not have the confirmation letter to produce in court, but I would have relevant information such as the amount which will be paid, when the payments will start being made to the lender, and the date the claim will cover from. I was tremendously relieved!

I then rushed to the bank and made a payment of half the mortgage arrears. I received my receipt and rushed home to make more phone calls.

I called the mortgage company and told them about the outcome of the application for financial assistance as well as my payment toward half the arrears. Then I called the mortgage company's solicitor and explained to them the latest developments as well. They said there might no longer be a need to go to court, the will confer with the bank and phone me back.....My heart stopped. I hoped and prayed! I crossed everything I could possibly cross! I so desperately did not want to go to court! Could this even be possible? Will I be spared going to court??? Unfortunately not! Court would need to go ahead, but I was somehow not so worried about the outcome. Ironically, I was more terrified of having to be in the same space as my ex husband while he would glare at me and make me feel stupid and useless.

I asked a friend to attend court with me to give me moral support, as well as knowing that if I was not alone my ex husband would not approach me, yet if I was on my own he would and do his best to intimidate me and make me feel like crying!



Much to my relief, but also to his own damage, he did not appear in court!

I asked to speak to the solicitor representing the bank and we had a positive discussion of what I have managed to put into place. He said I showed good faith and that along with the financial assistance I would now be receiving the remaining arrears would be paid off in a few short months.

Thankfully the judge was extremely fair and sympathetic. He actually questioned if we had to proceed but the bank was firm that it was more to do with the length of time I was "ignoring" the problems concerning the mortgage.

The judge respected my devotion to my children and how I lost track of all other matters. He wished me luck with the problems with my son, he reminded me not to neglect the mortgage again, and then he suspended the possession order!



Both  the solicitor and the judge were unimpressed by my ex husband, a teacher in a senior position in a Catholic girls school,  being irresponsible in respect to his parental responsibility to maintain the safety of his children. However, at the end of the day, that was not the concern of the court on that day, it was the mortgage. Since we are both named on the mortgage, we are jointly liable, and if one party refuses to cooperate, the bank can do nothing except pursue the other party.

To be honest, I was happy, even though it was not a HUGE success story, my day in court did mean that I managed to keep us in our home without the help of the grandparents or my ex husband!  I was seen as the responsible party in the eyes of the law!  I was the one showing good faith.  I was the one protecting my children. And above all, I did not have to see my ex husband....HAPPY DAY!




Thursday, 8 August 2013

Being strong

Well, I am thinking, one thing is for sure, I do not like being a "strong" woman; because that means all the burden is on me to deal with! I wish I was less strong, living a less challenging life with less dysfunction!

But I am living this life, it is my life and no one else's. I am not living the life of ease or luxury. I have pain and hardship do endure, I face challenges that I often would rather not face. I have problems I do not know how to solve, and some that I can. Whether I like it or not, I AM STRONG.

I am strong, but I am no longer stupid. I know that being strong does not mean that I must do everything and do everything well and work till I feel like collapsing. I know that being strong does not mean that I can still have weaknesses and desires. I can cry, I can hide away, I can allow myself to dream of a nicer life. I can do things just for myself and not always for others. In fact these things make me STRONGER if you ask me.

I am strong to be who I am. I am strong to know that I am not perfect. I am strong to know I have made mistakes. I am strong in admitting I am sometimes unhappy and feel unloved. I am strong to let things go to focus on other things. I am strong not to always be bothered about what others may think. I am strong to know I want more. I am strong in hoping that one day I don't need to be strong!




Thursday, 1 August 2013

Fear

Sometimes you find yourself in testing times. The thing is I have been finding myself in testing times for a good number of years, but recently I am feeling the intensity of the pressure more than ever. Any more and I am afraid the walls might come tumbling down around me!



 The situation with our home is unbearable and at times I think almost comical. A multimillion pound bank is taking me court to repossess my home over a sum of £1, 600.00? Seriously? OK, I will do what I can, and I was hoping that what I was doing would be enough for the court hearing to be called called off, but unfortunately what I am doing is not good enough and I will have to face the court on Monday.

Also, if I was not so angry I would laugh at the ludicrousy that my ex husband is not accepting any parental responsibility to ensure his children's safety. What is more, you would expect that legally they would pursue that avenue more,  especially since he earns a very good living as a senior teacher in secondary education. Is that not funny? He is a teacher, and he has no empathy for his own children?! I am not asking for him to "take care of us" but I am saying, I am willing to do my part, and he should do his part, so together we can care for our children.



I also think it is sadly amusing that as a university educated woman, I am unemployed and on state benefits because I wanted to be the best mother I could be and for me that meant staying at home. So after a long period of being that say home mom, when my husband and I separated and our youngest child was only just 3 years old, I continued to stay at home until she was in full time education. When she was, the troubles with our son was in full swing so getting back into the work force was out of the question. So here I am, an intelligent woman who is finding the modern world of employment daunting and also quite difficult to penetrate. Consequently, I am still on benefits.

Is this the life I imagined? Surely not! Is this the life I want for the future? Absolutely not! Can I change it? I hope so and I will try.....one problem at a time.



This is why I feel the pressure is getting unbearable. There are too many serious issues that need my attention, now, right now! There is no waiting for, "one problem at a time".

I am scared. I am scared of court. I am scared we might loose our home. I am scared about seeing my ex husband glare at me and try to belittle me in front of the judge. I am scared that they won't care what I have to say. I am scared that my son is non pulsed by my impending court date, but then I should not expect a rational reaction from him. I am scared that my son has not taken my letter seriously and insists that it is all b.s. and that he is not going to rehab nor is he moving out. I am scared that I have put a time frame in the letter and if I do not stick to my guns, he will never ever take my words seriously. I am scared my son will never want to go into recovery. I am scared that my son and I will never be able to repair our once special relationship. I am scared that he is being abusive to me and I have an abusive and controlling "man" in my life after trying to escape from one. I am scared that my daughters are being subjected to all of these fears, worries, stress and abuse and they may not be able to deal with it. How do they cope? What is there outlet? I am scared things will get worse and not better. I have never been so scared and I don't know what to do about it!



Now I have something more to be scared about.......

While writing all hell broke loose in my house once again .....this time I said inside, "enough is enough"! I am not the "horrible woman" my son says I am and his sisters and I are not f****** c****. You can not be verbally threatening and abusive and throw water on us and what ever else is to hand. I will not let you treat us like this because you are unwell and unhappy!



I phoned the police and he has been taking to the police station to be arrested and I hope that he will have a chance to examine why this happened, what it is like to be arrested, and see that his actions DO have consequences! What will happen next? I do not know. I hope I have not made things worse, but this is one of the problems that needed dealing with...and I did.

"My son, no matter what has happened to cause you pain and suffering, you will not be able to heal yourself if you subject others to pain and suffering. I love you, but I will not allow you to hurt your sisters and disrespect me any more."