To be worried about friend and her DD(12 Posts)
Long but don't want to drip feed.
Child (C) is 9, as is my DD
Friend (F) has recently split up with long term boyfriend, C's dad's in prison, F grew up in children's homes, same as I did, so she has no family other than her DD. I babysit a lot, she does me favours. the last few weeks she's been asking me to babysit a lot more than usual (3/4 times a week!)
This weekend while i was babysitting C was really tearful at bedtime so I asked her what was up and she told me she hardly ever sees mum anymore and is worried because mum always has a headache in the mornings and keeps being sick. i did tell F this, she cried and said she was going to cut down the drinking. bumped into this afternoon and F was already half cut at about 4pm!
F is out clubbing tonight and phoned me at about 3am, totally slaughtered to ask if i can have C tomorrow night (I can't, I'm working) she has work at 7am. Other friend, who has C tonight, can't either.
Up until a few weeks ago she hardly ever drank more than a glass of wine or 2 with dinner and certainly never got drunk before work (she has a job where a mistake could potentially kill someone so going in drunk is terrible) and had been the kind of mum i try to be but just lately its like all she cares about is alcohol and random men. After I said no she asked if i thought C was old enough to leave home alone! I think i've got across to her that she's not and when she sobers up she'll be horrified but her asking worries me.
I genuinely don't mind having her over when im home, she's a lovely little girl but I am worried that actually, babysitting is just enabling F to drink more and sleep around (men have been an issue before, she equates sex with love then hates herself for it). So maybe I'm really not doing her or her DD any favours by keep looking after her
So MN, am I just being really judgy or am i right that this mum needs some help? and if so, what can I do?
I don't think she would work with SS, because of her feelings towards them, care kids tend to get judged very quickly, especially ones who were young mums and we both had issues with people assuming we'd be bad parents just because we never had parents, so I think SS involvement would make her worse. I will report it if i think C is any danger/not getting looked after but SS would be a last resort.
Name changed for this post btw, pom bears, cutted up pears, booble plate etc.
What a desperately sad situation. It's strange that she has started drinking so recently. Any ideas on what has changed? I understand that you would wish to avoid this, but if it doesn't improve then informing SS is the only responsible thing you can do.
damn it, thought I'd put that in the post, sorry. the drinking started when the boyfriend left.
and yeah i know SS may have to be involved, just hoping someone might have some ideas i could try first
Yanbu. It sounds as if she's in a bit of a state. I'd hope she's just letting off steam after being hurt and this won't last....
I think the first thing you need to do it have a frank but caring word with her. Let her know that you're there to help but that you are REALLY worried about both her and her DD and does she need some help. Would it be an option for them to stay with you for a few days or a week just to try to see her through the worst of it?
You'd have to tread carefully but maybe raising the spectre of what could happen if SS were to become involved might give her a short sharp shock?
it's so sad the C is upset least she feels she can confide in you. No great ideas just can you monitor the situation closely for everyone's sake. Speak with her gentle about the consequences of her actions. She seems to be in a down ward spiral after her spilt hopefully will only just be a short period of 'getting over' it. Would counselling of some kind work? She has to love her c and herself more than her depression
Do you think maybe part of it is feeling lonely? Could you invite her and her daughter for a sleepover or offer to sleep over at her home a night or two a week?
Maybe not, but as a single mom who's been through breakups...sometimes with too much booze... I would've been so grateful for some night time company like that.
i understand her fear about ss. It's genuine because she's right, there are some out there who judge based on being in care. They are there in the sidelines waiting to say are told you so. It's like some of them take glee when we fuck up, you know because no one else fucks up.
Anyway. It sounds like the split was what broke the camels back as it where. She's probably feeling at her lowest and not thinking straight. I am not excusing her behavior before anyone thinks otherwise. I am empathising because it's a shit place to be. You want to get help but you are genuinely scared because of the possible intervention, so it's easier to self medicate with drink/drugs. Again not saying this is right. It's not about not loving or caring enough, it's you don't know how to shake the depression because of the fear. Catch 22 really.
So how can you help her? You're right
Don't go running to ss unless you really really have to. Talk to her when she's sober. Let her know that you are always there to listen to her. Tell a white lie, that you have been talking to other care leavers who are getting therapy and how you are thinking about it because it's helping them overcome their demons. You might be in an area that you can self refer so don't even have to go through the gp. She needs this help, but she won't see it. But if she sees
Someone close to her doing it she just might if she sees no ramifications.
Tell her what her dd said. Tell her you are concerned as a friend. That if dd says it to someone in school it might not look good. Your telling her as a friend. But be prepared that she tells you to fuck off or similar. But no matter how much she verbally lashes
Out don't give up. It's the guilt, let her know you are still there for her. But like I said in the beginning if you think you need to make that call do it. There's only so long you can help to cover before someone else steps in and calls.
Thanks all. Working nights this week so I was sleeping.
Sleepovers at her house might work, staying at mine not so much because I don't haqve space (2 bed house with DC and DH) and she's scared of dogs.
She knows I had counselling because of having been in care and you can self refer here so I'll try that. Going to pop round in a bit.
I know this is an old thread but wondering how things are for your friend now OP?
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