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(11 Posts)
madwomanbackintheattic Fri 28-Nov-14 05:12:24

I have a friend with a dd who was adopted from o'seas 12/13 yrs ago (dd is now 15). Dfriend divorced and moved 6 hr flight from xh (dd sees him for a week or so a year). Dfriend is an alcoholic that has recently relapsed, now back in recovery. Dd (and dfriend) hugely struggling with this. Dd is on/off needing time away from dmum. Relationship is v strained. Dd has posited going to live with dad. Dad has always said she can't live with him. Mum appears ambivalent at best and believes she is crap parent, and is willing to let dd go. Has this evening emailed xh and suggested dd move there. (He has new family with wife and 5yo DS)

Is there anything I can do? I am terrified that this poor kid is essentially going to be abandoned by the pair of them. Or feel like it, anyway. She knows she is welcome here (she fled here when friend admitted relapsing - is a friend of my dd) so has a safe space currently if she needs it, but I don't want to see her get more hurt... The last thing she needs is to feel completely unwanted.

I don't want to butt my nose in, but am more worried about the dd than my friend at the mo. Friend has essentially swallowed the 12 step program and is going the complete honesty route, complete with 'recovery is very selfish' and claims to know lots of alcoholics whose family left because they couldn't handle it. She has MH and anxiety issues.

What do I do about this kiddo? Anything? Butt out?

fasparent Fri 28-Nov-14 13:36:08

Could express concern's too child's school, who will have a safeguarding duty of care, in light of the child moving overseas, she will then be able too express her own concerns and opinions, school would have or should have the knowledge and access too other statutory procedure's and confidentiality.

Copper13 Fri 28-Nov-14 13:40:11

Gosh,how sad sad (for everyone). I don't know that there is anything you could do tbh. What sort of a relationship do you have with Df? Are you able to air your concerns to her about how it looks from your point of view?
I would also be very concerned about the DD and the potential but very real risk of feeling abandoned/unloveable. Keep talking to the DD, try to let yourself be a sounding board if she trusts you enough. Fingers crossed that they pull through. Xx

madwomanbackintheattic Fri 28-Nov-14 15:05:22

School is a catholic school and dfriend doesn't want them to know anything about her alcoholism as she believes they would be enormously judgemental rather than entirely Christian about it - also hugely distrusts the school counsellor. I almost went to them before, but df doesn't want them involved at all.

Copper, df knows I am concerned about the dd, but is locked into the view that she is a terrible parent and it might be best if the dd goes to her dad. (It's almost as if she wants it to happen so that she can feel vindicated about being a terrible parent, and wallow iykwim) She's so wrapped up in her own issues that she has lost the will to fight on the dd's behalf, I think. (I know this is the alcoholism rather than my friend - i don't mean to minimize her difficulties on that score) So I think she is almost subconsciously driving her away, rather than doing what she needs to and reassuring her that she is very much wanted etc etc. and covering it with a 'it might be best' disclaimer.

In addition, of course, the dd is 15, and the rhetoric around the home seems to be that she is to forgive, which she is struggling with and feels this is a failure on her part. And 15yos have their own set of issues to deal with without family stuff.

It's all such a mess. Df when sober is a very committed parent (we have very different parenting styles - I am a bit more for kids actively taking part and doing stuff to help, whereas she actively does everything for the dd - in better moments we laugh about it, but she knows that it worries me for the dd in the long term, and sometimes agrees that she isn't doing her any favours - I sort of just assumed this was all tied up in their history and the sheer joy of having a child/ guilt about her alcoholism and accept we just do stuff differently) so it's really odd to get my head around the fact she has veered from being such a committed parent.

Maybe she hasn't, and I am reading too much into it and she does believe this is the best thing for the dd, so is a genuine extension of that commitment - I am just so worried about the dad's reaction, though. He hasn't wanted the dd at all so far, and it seems to be premature to discuss with the dd without finding out where the xh stands.

Df says that the dd admitted to suicidal thoughts yesterday, but only when pushed, and that she seems okay - depressed, but mostly okay. She might come here tonight. The dd knows she can talk to me if she wants, but I'm not pushing it.

fasparent Fri 28-Nov-14 16:20:25

From experience of faith schools , safeguarding and support issues find
they have been supportive , some even putting interventions in at schools expense. The Diocese Governing body's have now a very much improved
view on such issues than of previous bygone year's, Like all such like establishments have had too commit too change.
At the end of the day the child's wellbeing ,self esteem and safeguarding issues should be of the main concern above all, too seek a better lasting outcome .

Jamfilter Fri 28-Nov-14 17:02:38

Who is your DF receiving their alcohol recovery programme from? If NHS, they really should be supporting the family unit. I wonder if starting with the GP (given the depression concerns for the DD) would be a sensible thing to try? From your kind post, I can see you're worried, and it doesn't sound as though this girl is on anyone's radar at the moment even though she needs to be - whether that's through GP, school, extended family, or depending on the detailed context, if appropriate, Social Worker.

Devora Fri 28-Nov-14 18:08:04

What a heartbreaking situation. I do of course have sympathy for your friend, but her dd's welfare comes first - well before getting judged by the school - and this sounds horrendous. Your friend needs a package of support to help her get back on her feet, and including support for the dd. That probably means social services, if your friend isn't motivated to sort it herself.

Italiangreyhound Fri 28-Nov-14 23:38:22

madwomanbackintheattic I am so sorry for you and most of all for this poor girl.

I think you must get social services involved for the sake of the girl. If you can maintain a friendship with her, if that is possible, I am sure that would be good.

Devora it totally right her dd's welfare comes first - well before getting judged by the school and if she were not ill, because I firmly believe alcoholism is a disease, she would know that her daughter's welfare comes first.

The fact that this girl is now having suicidal thoughts is so tragic. Please do not ask your friend's permission to get involved, she is ill and not really able to think through the potentially calamitous results of her actions, your friend needs you to help her by helping her dd. This is my humble opinion. I really hope it will all work out OK.

madwomanbackintheattic Sun 30-Nov-14 02:09:23

Thanks all. The dd has a counsellor appointment on Monday. I will encourage the mum to make sure the counsellor knows that she has expressed at least some suicidal thoughts.

I think my friend is using a private counsellor for herself and the local AA group. Her sponsor is actually someone I know in a roundabout way, who seems very sensible. I gave them both the local MH crisis line (there is also a drop-in every day at our local hospital), but I don't think there is any SS involvement as yet. I've been trying to encourage my friend to see the GP.i'm worried she is trying to deal with her alcoholism but not the MH stuff, which is doomed to disaster.

I do absolutely agree about the school - I just know that it would be seen as a breach of confidence by both my friend and the dd, and I can't decide if the loss of confidence would be potentially more catastrophic - in that, at least at the moment I know what is going on and can offer a safe space when needed (and can flag if it seems to require immediate action) I don't think she is confiding in anyone else, and I don't think either of them would confide in the school or authorities. They are very private people. Is that really egotistical? It would be much easier to hand everything off, but I'm so worried that it might make everything worse.

Italiangreyhound Sun 30-Nov-14 02:58:13

Can you get your friend or her dd to give you there 'permission' to take this further, in the interests that it is for both heir benefits?

If you think a child is at risk you do not need their permission.

In all situations now where people have confidentiality rules they usually say except where there is a danger to someone, threatening suicide could be a danger.

If you feel that you are best placed to be that confidential port in a storm then do continue to fulfil that role but IMHO as much as possible they do need to seek outside help too.

I have not got direct experience of this and I would (personally) seek some other advice, e.g. could you confidentially speak to NSPCC or BAAF or Adoption UK. Although, I am not sure this is just an adoption issue.

Italiangreyhound Sun 30-Nov-14 02:58:49

their permission - not there permision!

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