Alcoholic friend with dd(7 Posts)
I've known her since around Feb this year (parents at the same school) and we each have a dd (both 9)
I go to her house regularly and she comes to me too. Her house has always been disgusting. Absolutely foul. The carpet is badly stained all over, massive black patches and stains of almost everything you can imagine. It starts at the front door and continues into the house.
The kitchen is vile. Honestly, I know it sounds like I'm exaggerating but I'm really not. The surfaces are always covered with dirty plates, bowls, etc, bits of random food strewn everywhere and often half empty saucepans or frying pans. It's so bad that I would literally never eat there. Neither would my dp and he eats street food in El Salvador!!!! Her kitchen furniture is scratched to fuck and barely usable. On the occasions that I've seen her dd eat, it's been with her fingers whilst crouched on the sofa, or just on the floor where she flits about while she eats.I have never seen her use cutlery. Yesterday there was toast from the morning just lying on the carpet(no plate), half full glasses of milk, a covered cup that had soup in it was on its side leaking the soup. It's just horrendous.
All this was bad enough - then the kittens arrived. The house now STINKS of cat piss. It's unbearable. The smell gets you the second you walk in through the door. The litter tray is in the kitchen and I walked in there last night and I honestly nearly threw up, I had to open the fridge and stick my head in to stop myself. I have a very, very strong stomach. I'm mid 30s and I've been sick less than ten times my entire life. The smell is everywhere. There's a covered litter tray so I can only assume that the cats are using the whole house as their toilet, it's grim.
Last week, her and dd came for Sunday lunch with some other friends. We opened some wine around 5 and by 7 she literally couldn't keep her eyes open. She seemed drunk when she arrived so I can only assume she'd been drinking at home before.
Last night, it all got a bit worse. Dp and I were invited over for 8 or so. When we got there we could see immediately from the hallway that my friend was passed out on the sofa. Not tucked up with a blanket for a nap, face down half off the sofa and arms and legs spreadeagled. Her dd apologised and said "Mummy's asleep" and then had to really shout and shake her to wake her up. She seemed pretty out of it all evening, eyes closing, etc and she eventually admitted that she'd had an argument with her boyfriend and so she started drinking at 9am No wonder she was tired! At this point I sent her up to bed with water.
Whilst I waited for my taxi I pottered around cleaning up the worst of the mess (old food, etc) and I started noticing the wine bottles. There were at least six in the kitchen, most empty, some still half full, 3 in the living room in bizarre places like underneath the stereo and on the mantelpiece above the fire. Then I found one hidden down the back of the sofa.
Now, the issue - her dd is a full time boarder. During term she comes home some weekends, not many. She's really only there during half terms and holidays. Do I report concerns to the school? Social services? I know their resources are stretched ATM so I'm not sure whether this warrants investigation or not?? Her dd father lives abroad and only sees her a handful of times a year.
Sorry this is so long but I didn't want to dripfeed!
Have you considered speaking to the NSPCC? They are very knowledgeable about which action (if any) is suitable and have the statutory power to intervene if necessary. Good luck, sounds awful for the child.
I would have reported her on my first visit. How have you left it so long knowing that there is a 9 year old girl most likely terrified, not being looked after properly. I could not sleep at night knowing what was happening to her. Your friend needs help of course but please get her child out of that situation.
Prosecco - because you don't leap into reporting someone based on one visit alone. And often her dd isn't there, she's a full boarder and stays with her dad sometimes so this really isn't a day to day issue. I'm also pretty sure the school keep an eye on her from a safeguarding perspective, based on how she describes home life.
As you go to her house so regularly, and have witnessed all that's going on (which she'll be aware of), could you bring the subject up with her? I'm a recovering alcoholic and at my worst would also find it hard to stay awake. The first time I went to AA was 10 years ago and it was because my sister met a longstanding AA member at a dinner party, who was open about his addiction (by covering his wine glass and explaining why) and my sister asked if she could have his number, which she passed to me.
It may sound stupid but it was a nudge I needed to make me take action. I wasn't immediately cured or anything, but I have attended AA all these years. There's a 24 hour helpline number that your friend could call, staffed by we who have at least a year of sobriety. We get all kinds of people, including the very drunk who want to talk.
That would be my first step, to see if she had any willingness to change. If not then yes, I would report her.
Oh god what an awful situation. My heart breaks for the dd. Poor little lass.
She is v young to be boarding full time. I wonder if that came about because parents unable/unwilling to care for her.
I think I would speak to the school and SS. The little girl needs help.
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