Four weeks have gone far too fast, well in this house anyway.
We have gone through hell and back in that time which is why it has taken me this long to do an update on the situation with my small boy … as he is growing I need to find a new name lol
First as you know I took small boy out of school as he wasn’t receiving the support he needed which in turn was triggering his to be depressed and self harm. I was hoping that with the GP on my side it would be quite a simple process of call school, let the school know and get work sent home so there was less chance of him falling behind. During this time I was to work on ways of getting small boy to feel better about himself, find alternative ways of letting him learn to express his fears, thoughts and hopes in different ways. Mainly with art work and a blog
Of course it did nothing but turn into another huge fight against the system, the school refused to authorised his absence and I cannot help but think that if he had a physical illness things would be different but then I do not know if that is my own personal views influencing that either. After lots of messages being sent via text and email from the school saying that he needs to be back I called the school to try and talk to a human being about it all. Finally I get my call returned to be told the school were not going to get in touch with the GP until the educational social worker was involved. Then on the 19th of October I receive a text message saying that if he wasn’t in school by the 23rd I would be referred to the educational social worker and a fine will be issued. I of course went into panic mode and went into melt down so my other half called the school to see what was going on. The school were saying that this was an automated message but he still arranged for a meeting for the following Monday giving me the weekend to think about what to do. On the one side I was scared, I don’t have the type of income where I can suddenly pull out some money to pay a fine, certainly do not have any savings in the slightest. Then on the other hand my son isn’t well and me being me didn’t like being threatened into going against what I think is right. All weekend I toyed around with what I was going to do and I decided to stick with my gut instinct and keep him off, getting him into the GP again as soon as possible as he was not doing too good and I was getting more and more worried. The meeting on the Monday was eventful; it wasn’t an actual meeting just for this purpose but a general target setting day for the children and for parents to meet the form tutors. The would be 10 minutes time slot went for half an hour as I pointed out that it was unfair to set small boy targets he wouldn’t be able to actually achieve … like not getting any negatives when he is getting negatives for things he has no control over, such as losing focus in class, forgetting something, not sitting still etc Not to my surprise his form tutor had no idea of the assessment that was carried out 9 months ago and fully understood my annoyance that the school seem to be expecting my son to change when they were not implementing anything that was set out in the recommendations when we had at home. the subject of him returning into school the following day was bought up so I once again pushed my point that he still wasn’t well enough and wouldn’t be returning until after half term and when he did return I wanted him in the learning support unit and for more support be in place for his return to help give him a fresh start. This was finally agreed, I think mainly because they realised I was not backing down and I finally got the school to agree with sending him some work home. They even looked shocked when I said that I had gone out and purchased educational books for him to work from and where these are good obviously do not cover what he is actually doing in school. I went home feeling frustrated as yet again no one seemed to be aware that we had been having these issues for 7 years and that it has taken me this long to get an intervention assessment only to find out that no one in the school knows about it let alone going by what was put in there, instead my son had just been labelled as a ‘naughty disrespectful child who doesn’t give a damn about his education because he couldn’t be bothered’
The next day was the 23rd, the day that I was originally told I would be referred to the educational social worker and face fine if he wasn’t at school. I didn’t receive any phone calls or messages but with it being payday I needed to go shopping. During these past few weeks I had been sorting out the house, no longer being able to afford my studio I had to bring everything back home and set up my eldest sons old room out so I could fully work from home, the house was of course a mess as I think everyone knows when clearing out things tend to get worse before they get tidy. I set small boy up with some work to do while I went out to get food, went through the fire drill (yes we actually have one) told him not to answer the door etc unless in an emergency and he did of course have my phone number should he need to get hold of me. On my return I was met by a very anxious small boy. He proceeded to tell me how the local PCSO and another woman had come into the house while I was gone, and that they came in through the back door because he couldn’t open the front door … which he couldn’t as the shoe rack was in the way and as we always use the back door just invited them round that way. I asked him why he answered the door and it was because he saw the PCSO, thought it was the police and that something had happened to me. I understand they were doing their job but there was one part they didn’t do which then led me into having to phone up as many people as possible to try and find out who it was that came round. Not one of them called me or even left a card to let me know they had been to see me and had entered the house.
Again I went into melt down; called everyone I knew may be able to help me find out who it was. It was the next day that I discovered the woman was the educational social worker and that the school had referred me to social services for not sending my son to school … love how they use the word referred instead of reported. So I again called all of the other outside agencies I have involved such as CAMHS, The Parent partnership support service and Young carers. Carried on with my day clearing, painting and giving the one to one and support needed to get small boy to get any school work done, getting him to calm down when he was stressed, teaching him other techniques and getting him to start on trying to write a blog as a way of getting his feelings out.
The rest of the week was a fight, I was really struggling with the stress and so it was taking more energy to keep on top of everything and soon it was Saturday which was the day of our Samhain party. Time to relax, look over the past year, have a drink with friends and the most important thing of having my kids around me. The Sunday was quiet and it was lovely working in my room while small boy worked in his, music on we had a great productive day. He seem to of been making good progress taking himself off to calm down when he felt his anxiety building up, or when he found something hard. He was still banging his head and punching but on the many cushions we had got for his chill out zone. One thing that I did notice was how his confidence had changed, during the school holidays he will give pretty much anything a go and quite enjoys finding new ways of giving me heart attacks, whether it be free running on stone walls that have 60ft drops on the other side or dropping down from a balcony that was at least 6mt high, possibly a little bit more. So it was a huge surprise when taking out my eldest son’s mattress of his old room that my small boy didn’t get excited over the thought of sliding down the stairs on it. I kid you not he actually used the word scared, which is quite possibly the first time he has said it in years. Then came the tears and frustrations, even after watching his mum slide down a good five time, “but what if I can’t do it mum?” “What if I die?” “what if ……” then came the “I’m stupid, I want to do it but can’t, I’m never going to be able to, there isn’t any point trying, I hate myself, why can’t I just do it?” after five minutes of getting him to breathe I convinced him to come on with me, my heart almost broke as he clung on to me almost breaking ribs, with his eyes squeezed shut. I will point out that I did tell him he didn’t have to do it if he didn’t want to but he really really wanted to because he said it looked like fun. It did take but on go held onto me though, and then a whole hour of fun ensued.
Monday came and he had earned some free time so spent the morning watching mine craft videos and playing with Lego until lunch time as he had been doing for the past couple of weeks. The afternoon of work started well and he was making good progress then all of a sudden a dark cloud came over the house, the slightest of things started setting him off and I could tell something was wrong, as a parent there are time where you just look at your child and go “hmmmmm something isn’t right” it was now late afternoon and his reactions had been getting worse so feeling completely drained I came down stairs to have a cuppa and leave him to it. He usually winds himself up that much that he wears himself down to the point where he’s exhausted and goes to sleep. As I was sat downstairs talking to a young lady (eldest sons ex girlfriend who is lovely and part of the family) I had a sudden urge to go and check on him, she came with me which I am more than glad as I had reached my son just in time. He was sat on the floor under his bed with the elastic of his mattress protector wrapped around his throat twice. My son aged 12 had tried to hang himself and is an image that will haunt me for a very long time. As I was taking it off I realised he had only just gone to sit down but I had to fight with him as he was begging me to let him die. My gods that boy is strong and within a couple of seconds his bed had been stripped, he was throwing a fit, and everything else he could get his hands on. This is why I am glad I wasn’t on my own because as soon as I left the room my anxiety kicked in and I pretty much had a panic attack. Once I had been calmed down I went back in to see if he had calmed down which he had. We sat cuddled and talked and cuddled and cuddled some more. Until he went a dead weight in my arms and went to sleep. Back down stairs I was the one who needed the hugs as the adrenaline had set back in and I couldn’t breathe.
The rest of the week was then all about small boy, even more so than ever. Calling around trying to get more help, more support for him and someone for him to talk to. There was no way I could take him to A&E as he would be admitted and there is no way I could leave him in hospital on his own for at least a couple of nights. Spending time focusing on all of his many many positives and getting him to do things he enjoyed which in turn helped him gain a little more confidence in himself and what he is capable of doing. I managed to get him back into see the DR on the 1st of November, our new year and hopefully the start of new energies. the result of the appointment was the GP writing another letter to CAMHS to speed on the process on getting him psychiatric help, he then went off to my mother’s for a couple of days to give us both a little break which was needed as I had lots of other things I needed to get sorted out.