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Had to inform SS...what to do now?

(19 Posts)
visitor398 Sat 27-Nov-10 21:50:23

I've had to inform SS about someone I knew. I could no longer sleep at night knowing her only dc (4) was being subjected to daily verbal/ emotional abuse between her and her DH, as well as being on the receiving end of horrible remarks ("you're an ugly, ugly child"/ "he's such a horrible child" etc) I've witnessed violent and verbally/ emotionally abusive rows between these parents - it's horrendous. He's been arrested before and SS visited earlier in the year, which she managed to talk her way out of. She wants a divorce and for the last 2 or 3 months, I've been on the receiving end of multiple hysterical phone calls, sometimes at all hours, because her DH has screamed at her/ kicked her/ thrown a tantrum etc Myself and another friend recently broke up a fight between them and my friend had to take her dc away because she was in no state to cope.

The woman concerned is very volatile emotionally and has obviously received the letter from SS and through the content, has guessed it was me. I admitted it when she called and told her I didn't tell SS anything that I hadn't already told her or her DH.

I really don't know what to do now. For many weeks I was v. concerned about her dc and did nothing. I watched these problems escalate to the point where the balance tipped between how much I value her "friendship" (DH thinks she was just using me) and how much I care about the wellbeing of her dc. I had many, many hours of conversations with both her and her DH and advised them to think about their dc, because the dc is very affected by what is going on. She appeared so consumed with her own emotions, she'd lost sight of the needs of her dc (constantly being taken to school/ picked up by anyone other than her/ living off junk food snacks and not eating proper meals (the dc is 4 and already has medical problems due to poor diet)/ permanently in front of the TV whilst she locks herself in her room and cries...) The entire time, I have been astonished at her selfishness and her inability to show thought/ concern for her dc.

I suppose I'm wondering what - if anything - to do now. Wwyd? And, I suppose, Wwy have done?

Spero Sat 27-Nov-10 21:53:43

I think you have done the right thing and been brave. Hopefully this will be a wake up call for the family and they will get some help and support to change things.

blinks Sat 27-Nov-10 21:54:06

i would have called SS without a doubt.

don't get drawn in now. keep away from them.

TotorosOcarina Sat 27-Nov-10 21:55:52

You did the RIGHT thing,

that hild needs help.
Well done.

MimsyRogers Sat 27-Nov-10 21:56:19

It depends how she reacted to finding out you called SS. If you can stick around to support the family, then that would obviously be good, but that might not be possible now. It sounds like you have done the right thing. Hopefully what you have done will improve things for this poor child.

visitor398 Sat 27-Nov-10 21:57:14

Thanks Blinks. Yes, my DH told me I'd been "dragged" into this family's problems. They are not friends of the family really, more people we know because of the neighbourhood/ kids same age.

I'm sure by now, half my neighbourhood knows I'm the wicked one who "dobbed her into the social", but I was genuinely concerned. I'd raised that with both her and her DH and it obviously fell on deaf ears.

blinks Sat 27-Nov-10 22:01:23

you shouldn't need to justify yourself to them or anyone else... you acted in the best interest of the child and that's what a decent person does. the world is full of cowards but you're not one of them.

visitor398 Sat 27-Nov-10 22:03:01

I have twice left a message to say that I'm here for her if she wants to listen to why I had to make the decision. However, I've heard from another friend that she "went mental' on receiving the letter and finding out it was me and apparently wants nothing to do with me. I am no professional in marriage guidance/ child care/ relationship or counselling and the intention was to raise a genuine concern with the SS and leave it to them because she is in dire need of professional help. They can not only help her with her dc but point her in the right direction re. her divorce/ housing etc

MaudOHara Sat 27-Nov-10 22:05:00

You did the right thing without question. That family needs help and you have given them the opportunity to get it.

You have nothing remotely to feel guilty about

blinks Sat 27-Nov-10 22:09:37

don't take responsibility for her. you can only support someone if they're making positive moves in the right direction... blaming everyone else for your problems is a sign she's in denial about the seriousness of the situation.

you'd do best to leave her to it. SS know now and their intervention may be the thing that enables her to change this pattern.

iwastooearlytobeayummymummy Sat 27-Nov-10 22:12:17

you have done the right thing, in the circumstances before you.

very brave,and it seems that your motivation was child focused and not malicious

Spero Sat 27-Nov-10 22:13:37

Agree with blinks; she is in denial hence 'going mental' when she found out you had spoken to SS.

You can't do anything more; I think you have already been very generous by saying you will be there to support her, if she wants your support, she will seek it, if she doesn't, there really isn't anything more you can do.

Hassledge Sat 27-Nov-10 22:15:58

Poor you - what a nightmare situation. But you've done the right thing and showed more guts than most people have. Be bloody proud of yourself and disengage as much as you can.

visitor398 Sat 27-Nov-10 22:18:32

100% child-focussed motivation. I told both parents until I was blue in the face: you need to concentrate on your dc. Dc has day-to-day needs that need attending to. They knew this and constantly told me they were "trying to change". The things the poor dc would tell me when I babysat him (why does daddy hate me? why does daddy tell mummy to fuck off all the time?/ Does your DH tell you to fuck off?/ When will you look after me again? etc) - I even repeated these things back to both parents to highlight how their behaviour was affecting their dc. They felt bad, but it did nothing to help them change their ways.

TheCrackFox Sat 27-Nov-10 22:19:12

You did the right thing.

I was in a similar situation and eventually reported a very good friend to SS. As you guessed she is no longer my friend but it was the right decision for me. SS gave her a lot of support - parenting classes, respite care, free gym pass (that was an incentive to go to the parenting classes), free playgroup, and a lot of emotional support.

My friend wouldn't listen to any of her friends or family's concern but she had no choice but to listen to the SS. She is a far, far better parent because of it.

It was the right decision but I felt (and still do) like a complete cow for doing it.

visitor398 Sat 27-Nov-10 22:30:42

I really hope SS give this sort of support to this family - she in particular needs it desperately. There is only so long friends can 'prop up' a situation that needs to be sorted out by professionals.

TheCrackFox Sat 27-Nov-10 22:42:55

You have to remember that SS really don't want to take her children off her (there is no where to put them for starters). She will get support but also a kick up the arse too.

spikeycow Mon 29-Nov-10 17:38:59

When I was being abused I wish someone would have told SS. Then manchild would have had to leave. The fact is you can't focus on the children because you are treading on eggshells, and either pacifying the twat or giving him hell depending on your mood. I didn't read to them or help with homework that much, my head wasn't clear enough. Now SS give ultimatums, manchild or the real children. Much better

visitor398 Mon 29-Nov-10 18:58:45

I agree with you spikey. From my perspective, the emotional draining she is going through is clouding her judgement and I made sure I got this across to SS. These aren't 2 nasty, malicious or purposefully mean parents. They have dug themselves into a hole that is spiralling out of control and descending into a dangerous situation. I could no longer sit back and watch all this unfolding, knowing it was getting worse and that the dc was at risk. (the verbal/ psychological/ emotional abuse is 2-way in this instance, certainly from my point of view and having spoken with both parents at length. They blame each other for the physical altercations that have occurred also) I hope SS give her the opportunity she needs to get out of this circular behaviour and give her help to cope with her dc.

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