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74 replies

HelpUsDecide · 29/05/2011 11:00

Please bear with me as I am trying to write this without giving away revealing details.

I know a woman who is a single parent to an 8yr old girl.
The woman is an alcoholic. She already had her daughter in foster care just over a year ago while she went into rehab. Here we are with her back to drinking, and not just socially.

She has lost drastic amounts of weight.

Now this little girl means the world to me as does her mum, I was at the birth and held her before anyone else. The mum tells people "She is her baby but child". So I feel I am doing a great disservice to her.

But the little girl is phoning people to come and help her "Wake mummy up"

The other week the mum called me and asked me to go and help her as she had been drinking and was in a state.

I got there and made her coffee, bathed and dressed my girl, then made them both dinner.

I know if SS get wind of her drinking the little girl will be gone into care and she will be hard pushed to get her back - if at all.

So how or what should we do? There are a circle of 6 friends who are all worried what is going to happen. Please understand we don't want to call SS as she will lose her child, and I know this is not what is best for either of them. She is a fantastic mum, but she has problems.

I would take the little girl while she got herself sorted out but don't know if she would let that happen.

OP posts:

HelpUsDecide · 29/05/2011 11:02

I have been up all night as this is on my mind Sad

OP posts:

FabbyChic · 29/05/2011 11:03

Ask her if she wants to stop drinking and wants help to do that, if she does offer to take the child whilst she gets herself dry, its a life long process, but she has to do it with GP help as you cannot just stop drinking it's dangerous.


HelpUsDecide · 29/05/2011 11:05

Fabby, this is what she did before. She called SS herself to get help.
So I don't think she wants to drink.

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FabbyChic · 29/05/2011 11:07

She has to want to stop first and foremost, but its not something she can do on her own, my childrens father stopped drinking without help and ended up in hospital for two weeks he almost died.

He has managed to stay off the drink though, but the long term problems are he now has a damaged liver and diabetes.


ShellyBoobs · 29/05/2011 11:09

'I would take the little girl while she got herself sorted out but don't know if she would let that happen.'

Why do you think she might not let that happen?

Surely it's a better situation for everyone than letting the little girl go into care?


HelpUsDecide · 29/05/2011 11:09

I am going to put it all in an email later, there are 3 of us 6, who are going to go and talk to her.

We are all so very worried.

OP posts:

JeremyKylesPetProject · 29/05/2011 11:10

Gah. Posted on other thread. Sorry.


HelpUsDecide · 29/05/2011 11:10

Shelly, because she is protective of her but atm I really don't think she is capable of caring for her.

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MonstaMunch · 29/05/2011 11:11

she isnt a fantastic mum, the girl is being neglected and must be very very frightened

either take the girl yourself or be a good friend and call SS


MonstaMunch · 29/05/2011 11:13

how will you cope if the mum falls asleep drunk and leaves something on the stove, and the house burns down killing them both


aliceliddell · 29/05/2011 11:13

Contact Alcoholics Anonymous, AlAnon etc. They'll advise you but wouldn't be able to take the child. You are being a great friend!


ShellyBoobs · 29/05/2011 11:13

I totally understand why you would think she's not capable of caring for her. Just wondered why her protectiveness would push her towards letting her little girl go into care rather than being taken in by a loving friend for a while?


TidyDancer · 29/05/2011 11:18

You're in a shit situation, OP. You have my sympathies, it's a situation I am not entirely unlikely to find myself in at some point. My Godchild's mother has some mental health issues that flare up sometimes and I have made it clear that I am willing to take the child in for an extended period if needs be.

I think you need to bite the bullet, confront your friend about the drinking, tell her you will be the child's safety net, and let her make her own decision. She has to want to get help so you can't force that on her, but you can make it clear that you will take the child on in the event she is unable to care for her.

Best of luck dealing with this.


HelpUsDecide · 29/05/2011 11:19

Shelly because she isn't thinking straight.

She thinks she looks great with her weightloss etc and all around her can see she looks awful.

When she was tired last night (family 21st birthday party) her mum got annoyed and said "Oh she is being a drama queen".

Now last night she wasn't served at the bar as I said we are all friends and have known eachother years (20+) so she was nicking drinks from others when they weren't looking including mine.

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MonstaMunch · 29/05/2011 11:20

the childs needs must come first

if you were a child left with an unconscious mother every day/night, wouldnt you feel frightened, distressed and unloved


HelpUsDecide · 29/05/2011 11:21

Monsta, thats the only thing we are sure of - she is not drinking every day.

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HelpUsDecide · 29/05/2011 11:22

But when she is she is going to town.

I am going to call her in a while and talk to her. There are things that need saying.

I don't understand how SS considering their involvment, have not picked up on this.

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StealthPolarBear · 29/05/2011 11:23

I think the only thing you can do is be straight with her - tell he she is a wonderful mum when she's not drinking, but she is drinking and you are all worried for her and more importantly her child. Don't sugar coat it. Say if she is prepared to sort herself out you will support her all the way to get back to the fantastic mum you know she can be but if she won't then you wil call SS, as he child is most important. Spell out what you need to see happeening to be convinced that she is taking the right steps (e.g. and agreement the child will stay with you, she will see her doctor etc etc) and if you don't think this is happening you will be calling SS. Then stick to it - ultimately you are doing this for her - other than drink I'm assuming her daughter is the most important thing in her life.


fairydoll · 29/05/2011 11:27

I think you would have to inform SS if you took the DD for more than a few weeks anyway. I would ring them now -it is only a matter of time before they are ging to find out and take the little girl again.I know it is tempting to think you can handle this and sort the woman out, but you really can't.If having her kid put in care was not enough to stop her drinking, she can't stop.You have to put the child's wellbeing first


CarryOnUpTheAIBU · 29/05/2011 11:28

Sounds so tricky. It really sounds like she needs you to take the girl for a while, somehow. TBH if she refuses I'd tell her that the only option is SS.


HelpUsDecide · 29/05/2011 11:28

Stealth, Her daughter is so important to her and when she is sober and you talk to her you can hear the love in her voice.

It is breaking my heart - I will have a proper talk with her and give her the options. The child is as important to me as my own are.

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Jaspants · 29/05/2011 11:29

You sound like a lovely friend faced with an awful decision.

"I would take the little girl while she got herself sorted out but don't know if she would let that happen." - tbh I think the mum's wishes are irrelevant here, the needs of the child come first, and if she won't let you care for her DD while she recovers then you have no choice but to involve SS - to do anything else would be neglectful. That poor wee girl Sad


controlpantsandgladrags · 29/05/2011 11:29

She either needs to call ss herself or you need to do it for her. I know it's harsh, and you are in a truly shit situation, but you must see that her child is being neglected and probably placed in danger by her mother's drinking. You would never forgive yourself if something bad happened.


fairydoll · 29/05/2011 11:34

i think you would legally have to get clearance from SS to look after the child's classed as fostering


malibustac · 29/05/2011 11:34

My mother was an alcoholic and as an 8 year old child it was scary and lonely. If it wasn't for the respite I got going to my granparents I don't know what I would have been like. Please offer to take the little girl. Your friend may surprise you. All you can do is voice your concerns. Alcoholics are very selfosh as their focus is drink not their kids. The little girl needs stability. Good luck op. When are you going to talk to her?

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