Freaking's Christmas emergency-update on the ongoing situation(9 Posts)
I had a thread around Christmastime because my employer had made a suicide attempt and I was looking after her children in the interim. She came home just before Christmas Eve and I was able to go home. She asked me to come up for a few days over New Year's, so I did and I'm just back from that.
It's not good. Employer (who I will refer to as D from here) has clearly had a serious breakdown and is recovering, but she seems a bit incredulous about it all. She keeps asking if it's normal to feel so disconnected (I've seen many friends go through this and had my own breakdown years ago, I assured her it was) and she's struggling to find the energy to do anything. I think she's been given ADs and they could be giving her flat effect but it's impossible to carry on as normal and that's what she's trying to do.
Husband is no help at all. In the previous thread I was trying to be generous and not seem like I was blaming him, but I've never liked him. He was a disconnected parent before and now he has cancer, he's twice as bad. He expects his wife to just snap out of it and go back to waiting on him hand and foot like she had been doing. His contribution to helping with the situation was to do a 'clearout' of the house, in which he gathered up a lot of things he felt were clutter (mostly the children's toys) and put them in a skip. He also boxed up most of D's clothes so she could barely find anything. I get the feeling it was half an attempt to kick her out until he realized that if he did that he'd have to look after the children himself.
The kids are struggling. They are twins and the boy in particular is very close to his mum. When I arrived he was wearing one of her t-shirts and refused to go anywhere without it. The girl has a manipulative streak (not malicious by any means, just knows when she can get what she wants) and is grinding her mum down with her demands. They are getting their basic needs met, except for bathing which long ago devolved into a saga and now gets left to me.
The way I work is week on, week off for four days. During the week on, I travel up to the city and stay in lodgings and on week off I go back home to the country. Starting tomorrow and for the forseeable future, I'm going to be living with them during week on. They've put a bed for me in the attic and after I finish work I'll go to theirs, take care of dinner, homework and bedtime with the children and in the mornings before I go, I'll get them up and dressed for school. I don't work Fridays, so they'll have me for a full day.
A few people said on the other thread that I should call social services, but I honestly don't think it's in the best interest of the children. Their mother has never neglected them and she loves them very much, she's very ill right now and I don't want to stress her out further. The children reacted badly to her absence, they've only been without her for one night at times, and most of those nights they were with me. I'm working on encouraging D to get help from a counsellor and/or a support group so she can recover.
I don't know how else to help, and I feel bad that I can't do more. I'll also probably be very frustrated and want to post here often.
You need to call Social Services or at the very least her GP and psychiatric team. Those children are suffering, your friend is suffering and you are not qualified to handle the situation, however good your intentions. The family needs urgent and direct intervention from professionals.,
Read your other thread,it's a difficult situation and I like you wouldn't want to call SS.i think what you are doing to help sounds right and admirable,and in the best interests of them all,except maybe the dad who sounds like an asshole.Anyway,are they paying you for this?are you not exhausted?
Is the mother under the care of a psychiatrist or mental health team?
If so then you are obviously doing a wonderful, supportive thing. Just try to make sure you don't get pulled in too far.
If she's not under the care of a mental health team and it's just a GP giving her ad's then I so think social services might be the only way to access some help. It's unfair for you to take this all on if there is not professional support for the mother.
You are obviously a very caring person.
So the MH team have discharged her without a CPN or care co-ordinator? That is unfortunately not surprising.
It's fantastic that you're doing so much, but can I ask if they are re-employing you as a pt nanny? It does seem as though they're taking advantage of your kindness otherwise.
I was one of the posters who suggested SS should be informed. Not to take the children away, just to provide support to the parents and allow them better access to certain services (postcode dependent).
Thanks for the update btw. And it did come through loud and clear on your last thread that dad was a useless prick, cancer or no cancer!
My cousin - lone mother of a young girl at the time - was finally diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia after months of increasingly frightening behaviour. She had to be hospitalised to get stable and her DD was temporarily cared for by grandparents but the whole family got very good support from Social Services. I was involved to a point but, without the outside help and intervention they received, I'm not exaggerating when I say it could have ended in tragedy.
This situation is exactly what SS are for, please make contact.
SS won't leap in and remove the children - they are far too overstretched for that and in any case their aim is to support families to manage with whatever crisis is facing them. But the whole situation is unlikely to resolve itself for quite a while. With the best intentions, you have put your finger in the dyke but that dyke needs to be repaired with professional and familial intervention. You are a wonderful part of the picture but the DCs will be transferring their need for stability on to you, and long-term that is not going to help them.
Sometimes it is better all round for the crisis to play itself out. The mother should be getting some professional support - you are masking her need for that; the father either needs more help himself or should be pulling his finger out - again you are papering over the cracks.
They all sound very, very needy but a healthy dynamic is not achieved by relying on one friend/ex-employee. I'm sorry but your good nature is in danger of being exploited
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