K is still in the camhs psychiatric ward. I have told the services that my own mental health is really struggling and I am unsure whether i am able to care for her going forward.
I feel lots of shame for saying that and need to justify myself.
Since shes been away (9 weeks now) i have had more time to myself then ive had in the last three years. Time to think and reflect on what we've been through, the services we've received and how little we've moved forward.
I am now realising that actually my parenting and coping mechanisms facilitate Ks behaviour. I have spent the last 3 years so fearful that ill lose her that ive taken all responsibility away from her and have created an environment where I try to meet every need and prevent any upset or stress to keep her behaviour manageable.
Alas! this hasn't worked because look where we are now!
Since shes been away anxiety that i haven't experienced in over 10 years has returned and i now feel completely hopeless to our future. I really dont feel that i can care for K in a way in which she can grow and become independent.
Enter Children's Social Care. (boo or clap! its up to you how you feel about this under staffed and under financed service)
When i met with V from the assessment team of children's social care another ray of hope popped up for me. can this woman, this service, help me find a better way to support my daughter and maintain my own mental health and identity. Can she help me explore other ways for K to live if being cared for by me is doing her more harm than good?
No she cant.
After our second meeting i knew that no she cant. Of all the professionals ive met with in these three years of caring for K, this woman leaves me feeling deflated, useless and a failure. This is not her intention, i know that. V is a nice woman and im sure very good at her job in preventing children becoming the responsibility of CSC.
I misunderstood what the purpose of this assessment was.
I thought it was to explore and evaluate the options that may improve Ks situation and give her a fighting chance of becoming more independent and of us as a family having a decent quality of life. Its not. It seems her job is to ensure that children's social care dont have to take responsibility for this young person. like all the other services we deal with she is looking to the others to provide a service and pay for it.
So this is our current cycle-
the CAMHs ward says K is ready for discharge and needs to attend trauma therapy/ DBT in the community, the main reason (apparently) that she is not discharged is my current state of mind and my ability to manage her behaviour. They are awaiting the outcome of CSC's assessment. K currently has a wound infection which she is refusing anti-biotics because she feels someone is trying to poison her. She also took a quantity of paracetamols when allowed out on unescorted leave alone last week but yes apparently ready for discharge.
The CAMHS community team say that trauma therapy is safest carried out in the ward due to Ks suicidal ideation and the emotions that she experiences whilst exploring these memories. Our relationship with the camh's team is not great and its fair to say K and I have little faith in their support. Before being admitted i was given advice to lock her in the house to keep her safe, this is now being denied by he staff member. i will be asking for an advocate in all future meetings so they cant deny what is said.
Get Set requested the assessment due to disclosures K has made whilst in inpatients about historical incidents but this has quickly moved to being an issue of will Mum have her home?
Get set continue to work with K around safeguarding but we've been told this week that she will be leaving in September.
Childrens Social Care V is conducting her assessment and is speaking to all relevant people. Her meetings with K have not been successful and i question how experienced V is in working with young people with mental health issues. She has told me that Ks needs are too complex for a foster placement, she would be too vulnerable in a young persons supported living environment and is ready for discharge from the ward, when I say well i just dont know what to do her response is 'Well you're her mother'.
V is currently arranging a family conference in which my sisters will be invited to discuss what they can do to support if K returns to the family home. Both my sisters have young families and jobs, my only real consistent support has always been my sisters they do as much as they can and are actually the only people i really have in my corner.
If they could take her they would, if they could offer more support they would.
Adult MH Services i saw my doctor about 9 weeks ago feeling down and hopeless, he increased my meds to 60mg and said that should help me cope better. they havent.
I contacted my GP's about 3 weeks ago and told them i felt in a really dark place and could not see a way forward for us as a family .
Had a phone call from a CPN, we chatted for about half an hour before giving me an appointment for a month later and a telephone number to call if I'm in a crisis with a risk of suicide.
All these people involved in trying to keep one 16 year old alive. and me. of course.
The thing that i am struggling the most in this whole assessment scenario is that it has become about my mental health and my ability to cope
shouldn't it be about-
- Why this young person is so intent on harming herself and how can she be encouraged to take some responsibility for her own future
- Why has it been three years, involvement of multiple services and no improvement
- How any single parent could cope with this level of care-giving whilst maintaining their own health.
- How many professionals have built a relationship with this young person and then left their job role
- Why a parent must feel a complete failure when trying to endure sleepless nights, constant anxiety and complete dis-empowerment.
I dont know. I feel so anxious about our future to the point that i cant really see a future.
my experience of the services is that ultimately i will be left to manage on my own again and then criticised for the coping mechanisms i adopt to cope.
I feel like i want to pack up a bag and bugger off.