Wednesday, 21 October 2009

do I tell or do I not?

October 2009

well, N returned to UK in december 2007, manipulated into family home and became more agressive and violent, intimidating and bullying. In early 2008 he spent large sums of money on new TV £600, £400 watch he gave me for Valentines day - I rejected it and he trapped me in the bathroom sayihg I had to have it...amongst other things, he called me "full of sh£t" many times in front of the children.

he refused to contemplate moving out - "I hate you, don't leave me".

in late February I realised the only option was for me to move with the in April 2008 after he kicked me i moved with the children to rented flat.

he visited them in our new home - this was a big mistake. he was agitated, depressed, finally assaulted me and caused damage. we went to court. his GP called me to say he was "severely depressed".

since then has had supervised contact in contact centre - all sessions went well.

now moved to supervised contact "by an appropriate adult" outside contact centre.

a few issues but lately he has not turned up saying "i am low" "i have not eaten all day" "i have no food in the house" "you can help me" "let me come to your house" (he cannot come in our house and i feel i cannot help him).

he said he had been to GP but "they cannot help me".

now I am debating whether to point out to GP that N in august was very hyperactive, spent £2500 on a joint acocunt sending it into heavy overdraft and incurring £300 bank charges.

he refurbished a flat which is sitll joint owned and is rented out - but went overboard, replacing doors and skirting boards for example when this wasnt needed and there was no money to do this - he should have just painted them.

also, during this time he was very agressive in text messages and demanding things which were not practical - in court saying he should see the children every day for example which just isnt feasible. (he has court ordered supervised - two mid week sessions and weekend sessions)

he said in text msg that I had been so abusive to him (by leaving him) that he has been self harming in the past two years.

shld i tell GP this?

also saying we could be together again which just isnt on the cards.

my lay diagnosis is big highs and lows - eg bipolar??

but shld i just leave it to GP to diagnose him even tho i doubt GP has full information?

or shld i tell GP about the mad spending - his neighbours described him during this refurbishment period as "manic" "oh he told me he was up at 6 am painting" etc. one nighbour compained about him doing DIY noise thru til late at night too.

if he catches me on the phone - by calling to make arrangements to see/not see the children - then i keep repeating to him his issues are his repsonsibility - so do i stay out of passing on any information to GP?

but the dcs are supposed to see him - so it does have something to do with me?

tell the GP about his overspending, his self harm, his current depression - his highs and lows over the past years - or not?

would it make any difference to diagnosis and treatment - so he can be a fulfilled and happy parent to his children?

two years later - july 2009

letter to CAFCASS.

20 July 2009

Dear Ms. C.

I passed the attached updated schedule for summer to N. with M when she took Ixto see N at his home on Sunday 19 July.

Ix was happy to have seen N – he watched DVDS there, with headphones on because N told M he could not cope with the noise of the TV.

M said N was unhappy with the schedule and she reported that he said that “she will get to realize just who she is dealing with here”. M stated that N talked to her for hours about his views on what a family should be, while Ix watched TV.

I feel strongly we need to keep this in the court arena so we can both be clear what contact and how (eg supervised by an adult we both agree to and whom the children agree to) is appropriate. There will be room for N to propose specific arrangements for special days eg birthdays.

At this stage, with G definite about not seeing him other than with another adult present, I do not feel we are in a place where mediation is appropriate. When contact has gone well for a number of months, then this can be revisited.

I did attend family therapy at the T. centre with N Feb 2008 to July 2008 – I used these sessions to try and explain why I had to leave the family home and to stress that I wished him to see the children.

I did not feel the sessions - which were requested by me - were successful. He only got angrier and angrier and on occasions walked out.

From April 2008, I allowed him access to the children in our new home and tried to speak to him about mediation then – I collected information about the Institute of Family therapy and other places. But he was physically aggressive, stated he “would never attend mediation” and smashed things in the house, in front of the children. While being physically aggressive towards me.

At the present time, while it is good he has differing views on mediation, I strongly feel that I and the children have our concerns over our safety and well-being best addressed by the court.

The children need to know that decisions made on contact are those made by professionals with their best interests at heart. Also that they too can have a say at a future stage if needed. We need a clear agreement setting out contact arrangements, to be reviewed in a few months time.

If it is transferred to mediation then no agreement is binding and either party could renege

I believe we could move to mediation if things go very well and the children become more relaxed about being with their father, such that they are comfortable with him on their own.

I – as their mother – also need to feel comfortable and certain that their well being is secure, given the past history.

There are also the practical issues around mediation:
• Who will pay? (I cannot afford to pay £120 per session now)
• When will it take place? (I have no free holidays left to take after the summer)
• If in the evening, who will pay the babysitter?

If mediation does not work, we will end up back in court – it seems to make sense to avoid the middle man at this stage, but when things are going well, and the situation is more settled, and other issues eg financial are resolved (see below), then I will be happy to move discussions about schedules of contact to mediation.

I have in the past few months been attending group therapy with a family therapist on “divorce and separation” – one of the issues covered has been “communication with the ex-partner”.

Following the advice, I have tried to stick to the rules – don’t get emotional, stick to the facts, don’t bring up the past, keep to discussion on concrete arrangements. I believe my emails to N have followed those lines. However, I feel that his emails to me go “off topic”, talk about the past, and refer to his emotions “love” and “healing” and “forgiveness”. It is very wearing.

I have to also consider my own emotional well being, as the primary carer, and in all of this, continue to go out to work to provide for the children. It is very difficult.

I do not feel able to make arrangements by email with him, if my straightforward emails are met with a barrage of justification, explanation, and intimidation. The past - as he tries to say - is irrelevant to a degree.

However, as he brings up the past himself, then I am forced to consider that his past violent behaviour previously is not justified by “mental health issues”. Even if his “mental health issues” (eg depression) are resolved, I see no reason to believe that his tendencies to intimidate and possibly be violent again are resolved; rather his emails are intimidating and harassing, a form of “emotional blackmail” if you like.

He has not taken responsibility for his violence – saying he “was ill” - but also saying that concerns about his mental health “are and were unfounded”.

Financial issues and their possible future impact on N’s mental health/behaviour
I also have concerns that when the financial issues are addressed - which they will need to be – he will get more and more angry. I realize that this is not relevant to contact with the children directly - but it may impact on his mental health/behaviour and therefore impact on contact.

When the financial issues are resolved, then the situation will be more settled.

Basically, I cannot any longer afford to be liable for the rent I pay, plus the mortgage on the flat he resides in, which is joint owned, nor the second flat which is also joint owned, which is rented out (tho at present is not rented – N states he has found tenants who will move in on 1 August. He has offered to paint the flat and make it ready for them, and I have agreed. He has told me by text he is replacing the kitchen, though it is not clear with what money he is doing this.).

Both the former family home and the rented out flat are in both names and the mortgage for both are in both names, therefore we are equally liable – however, as Nacho has no net income (assessed by CSA as being less than £5 per week), then that liability will inevitably fall onto me.

If N is unable to buy me out, in order to remain where he is, then both flats will have to be sold; we will have to share the remaining equity; and N will have to move and seek alternative accommodation. He has stated on several occasions he cannot accept selling the flats.

I fear he may become very angry when these issues are discussed. I have asked him to attend mediation to speak purely about financial issues, but he has not responded.

I fear what he might do, when this comes to a head; as it will have to – I simply cannot afford to maintain or ultimately be liable for three flats (the flat I rent for myself and the children; the joint
owned flat N lives in – former family home; plus the joint owned rented-out flat). Presently, N is underpaying the mortgage on the flat he lives in and there is a monthly shortfall of around £200, including various insurances. The money is running out. The financial situation is becoming very stressful for me.

The relevance of the past

If the past is to be brought up, and any reports are going to mention N’s statement that he “gave up work to dedicate himself to the children” - then I have to make the point that there was no discussion or suggestion from me that he should give up his work – tho I had asked him to spend less time at work eg arrive home in time for the children’s bedtime rather than at 9, 10 pm; rather it was he who insisted he had to leave his work because he was stressed; and he thought the nanny was overpaid and under worked. I reluctantly agreed to support him for a while, while he looked for new directions, went freelance etc.

He then spent from 2005 to 2007 complaining to me bitterly, most days, by phone, that he had to "drive back and forth to school twice a day" "cook the same dinners every week", that he could not cope. “you are so lucky going out to work”. I would often arrive home from work and have to cook the children’s dinners and do the evening routines with the children, because he had been unable to do them.

Staying together for the sake of the children
Despite the difficulties in our relationship since long before 2007,, I imagined I would stay until the children grew up; until he left me, as he often threatened to do; or until he followed through with his constant threats to "commit suicide" - from 2005 onwards his mantra was "life is not worth living, what is the point". Obviously, staying together for the sake of the children is no longer an option, and it is my hope that we can be better parents separately.

During 2005-2007, he was still unable to go out in the street with Ix, or accept his disability.
He many times blasted off and shouted "I am leaving you with your disabled children!".

N stated on many occasions he “wished Ix had never been born" "better off dead". There is documentation from social worker that he said to her that he found it difficult to go out with Ix - hence social services awarded more time in respite. I urged N many times to seek counselling.

On 22 July 2007, during several hours of extremely scary and erratic behaviour, he attacked Ix, saying “why are you disabled”, I had to fight with and bite N to stop him hurting Ix, finally he put his hands around his neck and lifted him off the floor, as I tried to stop him throwing him across the room.

You are already aware of the main incidents of violence and aggression. Those were the incidents reported to police - there were others. These main incidents were preceded by weeks or months of unpredictable and scary behaviour. I sought counselling in 2007 and again in 2008.

You should be aware that N did not attend Ix birthday in October 2007 because he was in Spain. He had discussed returning for Ix’s birthday and I had agreed but on the proviso he stayed elsewhere, ie with a mutual friend, who had offered to put him up. Following a discussion by text message, N made the decision not to come to London for Ix’s birthday, in October 2007, as he could not accept staying elsewhere.

Later, N returned from Spain and came into the family home in December 2007 to be with the children for Christmas and on the promise that he would respect my decision to not be together with him and that he was in any case leaving to go back to Spain in the February 2008, at least for a short time.

On 31 December 2007, after an evening at a friend’s house in which he shouted at the children and me, he insisted on sleeping in my bed, with me, against my wishes, because he said it was his “rightful place”.

From then onwards life was extremely difficult, as he refused to accept our relationship was over, refused to leave the flat and live elsewhere, and his verbal assaults on me continued in front of the children, until he became violent.

Before I thought out the solution of moving out of the family home with the children in early 2008 I felt trapped and stuck and the atmosphere was horrendous for the children and myself.

The social worker was concerned for the children’s welfare, should I continue to live in the same residence as N, and called a child protection meeting.

While he now seems to accept a relationship break down, I received an email last week from a mutual friend:

>>> 14/07/2009 11:39 >>>
“N called me on Sunday - had me on the phone for 1 hour - a monologue but a different one. Now he says that he is going to do all he can to do his part for the children - what ever that means. I think that is very positive but he did say he would still like to make a go of 'you' as a couple...“

Future contact

I still have concerns for the children’s welfare around their father, but of course I will go along with what the court decides. I wish to facilitate their contact with him, on a regular basis, on alternate weekends to start with.

I see a clear and specified court-ordered contact schedule, specifying supervised contact (by an adult we both agree to) as the way forward for now. This is beneficial for both sides.

I wish to ensure the children’s wellbeing and safety, but also I need to ensure my own emotional wellbeing, which means limited contact with N, so that I can continue to work and provide for the children.

Apologies for the lengthy letter.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

this is a true nitemare....

Email to: DNB Group
Date: 31 July 2007
Subject: catch up...

will try catch up.

france was heaven and hell.

the place was perfect, lake, boats, beach,
swimmming pool, sunshine...

hell was N: self harming, freaking etc.

stupid stuff, eg i wanted
to buy some foodstuffs in local shop and he would insist he would go
10 km to hypermarket and we could not buy stuff locally.

even tho cost of petrol would cancel out any savings!

there were two days out
of seven he did not self harm and have major freak out.... (i had had
some idea that maybe being away could wrong could I be!)

we had to drive D and Ix to the train on day three. He kept banging on the steering wheel, saying "why, why". I had wanted to order them a taxi, but he insisted, no it is my job, I need to drive...I kept saying, stop driving. stop the car. I will drive..he revved and went faster, swerving... we were terrified... but got to the train, waved off D and Ix and got back to base.

In the mornings he would get up, go to shower and I would hear the bang bang as he hit himself with shower time he came to the pool with us, purple bruises and cuts all over him......

i kept escaping with girls "come on let's go" - not knowing what we would find on return.... one time he appeared after two hours with
stab wound to neck... girls were hopefully somewhat oblivious and had
great time: they want to go again.

on return the sat 21st july he started getting anxious over post
holiday mess...

sunday 22 a.m. i woke to find Ix in bed with us - as he does - and became aware of N raising his fist: "why, why, I don't want a disabled son..."

i gradually wake, what are you doing? this is scary...

from 8 to 1 pm he freaked, stabbed
himself (superficial), paced, kept going for Ix, twisitng his arm at one point I was biting on N's arm to stop him hurting Ix...he kicked in our brabantia
kitchen bin, picked Ix up by putting his hands around his neck and
lifting off the floor "why cant you be normal"...etcetc.

i tried to keep his distance from the children, had them watching CBEEBIES....

he was being sexually inappropriate: he pulled all his clothes off in hall way, came towards me: "make love to me" one point he came for me, ripped off my tee shirt.

i would have
gone for phone but was scared, that he would grab phone off me; and knew that Ix's carer M would be arriving later.

when she came i called 999 ambulance and
they sent police round too as i said he was harming himself and there were
children. police were great. reports made etc, i been on phone to
social workers and police all week...i went with him and spent hours
in A and E (ER) talking to psych nurse etc, they admitted him to
psych unit.(i would not have him home). M stayed with kids.

he discharged himself monday 23rd. promised to be good and take the
citalopram. came with diazepan too.

rest of week mixed i got signed
off for two weeks stress leave, GP very supportive.

N either
freaking e.g. smashing things in the house, crushing margerine tubs or cereal packets, or off at appts at day hospital outpatient psych unit and
being assessed by psychiatrists.... by weekend he decided enough of
supposed side effects, no more meds.

thurs i called my sister to come for evening as he had freaked in day
and went off to homeopathic hosp in a state, i didnt know how he
would return.

luckily my sis and hubby being there helped - he had
sat in car for three hours outside homeopathic hosp as had freaked in
front of doc who had said homeopathic could help but he needed to
take real meds too...

fri eve we saw friends who supportive and would
have been good at talking to N - tho they had drama involving a
runaway from care home, young lad with learning disabilities whose
mum rejected him, quite able but v sad and unhappy at childrens

saturday: minor freaking/anxiety, we took Ix horse riding then all went
to my aunt- had to send him off for a walk as he began ticcing
getting anxious, hitting out at furniture.

sunday he was distressed on waking in the a.m. starting to jump
around, smashing fist on furniture etc, then went to church and spent
an hour with priest who told him "your family love you".

then we went to visit
friends who leaving to live in zurich, N's one spanish friend.

ish eve. N as always "it is so sad" them leaving; against my "it is so exciting
for them, we can go visit them" etc...

monday a.m. distressed but sent him off to day hosp. evening cr%p.
distressed, hitting things, asking "why me/what can I do" bla bla

i said look i can't cope you have to go away, go to spain
anywhere. he saying no i can't... he went out for a walk, came back,
more anxiety; I made him take diazepan.

today a.m. he awoke saying: i been awake since four am i am
distressed, he hit a few things, smashed in the replacement
brabantia bin... was "climbing up the walls" jumping off them
literally, nearly pulled radiator off wall. got him off on way to day
hosp; i called them and said he was distressed and i could not cope
any more, that i had already three kids incl disabled and i could not
care for N.

between me the social worker and day hosp doctors got him re admitted
today. will try and get him kept there at least a week... but don't
know what will happen tomorrow.

N begging me to take him pyjamas
etc i said no, i did hold your hand the first time but you blew it by
not continuing with the meds and by smashing up the replacement bin.

i didn't answer his phone calls on mobile all day he called like 20
times. but he caught me by calling from hosp phone (comes up
as "private number" - saying "get me out i will take meds i promise"
bla bla bla. he has to prove it.

this has been a nitemare trying to
keep girls happy, luckily Ix has been at playscheme or with carers
as i always make sure N is not left with all three in hols
anyway....and deal with his anxiety, trying to keep him calm, always
on top of where he is espec with ix after what he did to him...

he just keeps saying "i want to be normal/i want to have a normal
life" yet he is so angry and frustrated with everything; hates
himself, hates his life; but wont take meds or accept the help eg
psych support the day hosp (out patient psych unit) had been trying
with him.

he says "i want to look after the girls" - but you would not leave your
children in charge of someone who is so unstable and anxious,
distressed. example: in car going to my aunt he told girls to "shut
up"..... because they were singing a song together. ie having fun.
imagine if they start arguing or kicking off, as kids do....

sigh. but at least now some denouement ie have got him into hosp and
psych assessment of sorts.

longer term I don't know. ideal is he goes
off to spain for some months and i can get on with organising child
care, getting back to work etc.

i am exhausted. this is a true nitemare.

going on holiday....

I need this holiday....but N wakes up and is hitting himself, rolling on floor. he scares me...I don't know what to do...

I say: you stay, I will go with the children and D the carer.

No, he says, I have to drive you, we have to go altogether....

He gets his act together and we finally leave.

There is massive traffic jam and it takes five hours to get to the Eurotunnel....he copes amazingly and does not freak out. once in France, it is about an hour away to the holiday village.

we get there late. Ix has thrown up in the car. we gather stuff, get keys, find our house and make beds and fall into them....

G's birthday....

It is G's fifth birthday! schoool has already finished for the girls. Ix is still at school for another week, but ahs INSET days for two days next week so will come on holiday with us then return for the rest of the week and his carer will stay with him and we will have a few days with the girls in France.

But N is distressed and anxious. we have the CBT appt so I ask M to take the girls to MacDonalds and to play while I go to the CBT appt with N.

We get to the hospital and await the appt. we go in, she says how are things, I say "bad". he is very anxious, distressed, breaking things, hitting himself...

N says: I just want to come to hospital for two weeks, to sleep, to get away.

She says: oh I think you would find it very distressing in the psychiatric ward, I don't think it is appropriate.

N is crying. "it is my daughter's birthday today..." then he starts hitting himself around his head with his fists.

"why are you doing that?" she asks..." I don't know," he says.

She is visibly scared and runs out to call someone...she returns in five minutes. "this is Dcotor X. he is the on-call psychiatrist.."

Dr X talks to N, and says, well, I don't think we can admit you.

N says, we have a holiday booked, we leave on Saturday, I need to go on holiday, but I want to come to hospital and sleep..."

They umm and ahh and say "go on holiday..."

We leave and N decides to go to church, he is talking about how he cannot cope, it is too much, he wants to sleep, and complains that I never talk to him...I say: "we can talk on holiday."

he goes crying to church, I go to meet M and the girls.

We go home to have cake.

it is a strange kind of celebration.

attending CBT appointment

I go to the CBT appointment with N. He is quite jolly about it.

gets out his folder, "this is my wife," he announces.

She asks how things are and N says well, I am tired. he rustles his folder of papers.

she asks me - I say not good. he is very anxious, he has hit himself.

he starts to tell her what a wonderful person she is and how he admires her.

she asks if he followed thourgh with the "homework". he says "no"...she says, we are not going anywhere with this...if you dont pursue the homework, the tasks, then we will just keep repeating the same things...

she asks us both to come back next time.

crisis point....

Email to: M
Date: 9 July 2007
Subject: yesterday's barbecue

yes N is depressed and is seeing CBT, for last five weeks. was referred last year. he has also done the autogenic training at homeopathic hospital.

but he wont collaborate with her. doesnt get round to doing the "homework". more than moderate.

she is looking for other avenues.
GP is referring to psychiatric services.

he has started very low dose of anti depressants.
becasuse he refuses to take therapeutic dose yet.

he claims side effects but it is all in his mind - GP said on this dose 2mg cilatopram (good for depression anxiety etc) you don't get side effects....placebo in reverse ("this pill will make me sicker therefore I will feel sicker" ) .

he needs to take pills but of the pharmocoloigical kind not the natural kind.

we are at crisis point and it will resolve one way or another - for better or for worse.

he might have to leave and go elsewhere. i dont know.

it isnt good for the kids.

e-mail from my sister

Date: 8 July 2007
From: M
Subject: yesterday's barbecue

we're a bit worried about N, he doesn't seem very well mentally
or physically. How long has he been like this for? Maybe he should see his
doctor and get referred for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) - this tends
to get good results for mild to moderate depression (although there is a
long waiting list as not enough CBT trained practitioners - unless you can
get access privately). Better than just taking pills anyway - as helps get
to the source of the problem. (Insomina, tiredness and a feeling of inertia
are classic symptoms of depression).*

a birthday party - coping?

Sat, 30 June.

It is G's birthday party. we get to the soft play centre and organize food, drinks etc in the party room.

N is industrious and seems to be coping, but gets highly anxious as the time comes for people to arrive - and no one is here yet!

then suddenly, of course, they all arrive at once and it goes fine.

Monday, 23 February 2009

freaky day

Date: 29 June 2007
To: DNB Group
Subject: freaky day yesterday

slight crisis here.

yesterday freaked me out. been building up to this - but.....

0730 - first thing he says on waking is "oh I feel like dying". he was
awake from 0300. in state of panic.

i thought I would have to take
girls to school (Ix gets picked up in taxi) but at 0830 he - while
shaking, insisted on taking them. I said i would wait and make an appt
with GP.

i called GP at 0900 and got appt for 1115. meantime, called my friend
whose mother is a psychiatrist - she called her mum and called me back
advising re emergency crisis mental health team and suggested some meds

0940 N came back and said he didn't need the GP, he was going to go to
the gym for his exercise class and then "everything would be fine" i
said no, he had to come to GP with me.

all way to appt he is saying "i don't need this, i don't want
antidepressants, i just need to sleep" etc,etc

1115 we go in, dr (who has seen him before did the referrals to CBT,
homeopathic etc) says what's up and he says oh I am just tired that is
all, I cant sleep - she asks some more sensible questions and says, in
short, that he is depressed that is why he can't sleep. he reveals a
bruise on his leg where he has hit himself so hard...I tell her about
the broken stool.

in short, she says she recommends cilatopram 10 mg (anti depressant low
dose); and can prescribe some sleeping tablets but only for one week.

he says he doesn't want to take anti depressants - after all - he isn't
depressed - and she says she cannot force him but she recommends it.

says he might have to take them for six months or more.

he says he
doesn't want to.

I ask about the crisis service and she gives me the
number, also tells me about the outpatient centre but she thinks we
don't need that yet.

they focus on managing medication and she can do
that at this stage spec as such a low dose.

we make appt for next week
weds at 0945.

we go for a coffee (it is 1215 now) after picking up prescription. i
have coffee and a bruschetta he has chamomile tea. he says again he
doesn't want to take anti depressants, he took them 15 years ago, side
effects bla bla bla...

we go home he is going on and on about what have i done with my life
etc etc.

there is no food, i say make yourself a sandwich.

I leave him while i
go across road to supermarket to buy fruit and veg for the kids meal in
the evening.

(frankly, I needed to get out...)

come back and he has cut himself with a kitchen knife in his thigh.
blood all over. i say what the f.... are you doing.

he is crying saying he doesn't know he is so frustrated. with himself.
he slams his fist into the sofa.

3.00 - we get in car and drive to school, he freaks me out slightly by
answering his mobile (the garage about the car) and nearly running a red

we get to school, he drives me and the girls to their art class, on way
his car is rear-ended and scratched (like we needed that).

stop get
details etc, N freaks out the driver by taking a photo of him -
other driver starts saying why you taking pic of me, bla bla...

i can
see fight looming - argh. we get to art class, N goes to a school
meeting (he is school governor).

i leave girls and go have coffee with friend who lives next door to art
class - her daughter is at class with L and G.

her brother self
harmed (himself only, never harmed his wife (except emotionally) and
child....and later committed suicide so we have a good chat ....

agree he has to take the meds and it has to be made clear to him his

i rush home with the girls after class as Ix's carer had to
leave...we have nice tea (sorri but life is easier doing chores,
getting tea without N) .

N gets back at 845 p.m. , and goes to "play
his guitar for a bit "....

then comes out at 9 pm starting the why aren't
they in bed routine...anyway get them to bed, N is typing up his
report on meeting, actually he says it did him good and he feels better.

he wants to know what i said to the friend, what did i tell her, what does
she know -- i just say "we talked about her brother who committed

he goes down road to buy some food for dinner, comes back
sits on computer typing, at 11 pm we have dinner

(i know better than to
interrupt and say come on it's late - he likes to be in control of

we eat, he says he felt better after his meeting, is going to go to the
gym etc. i say "you know what you need to do" - he knows i mean the

anyway, i am exhausted today and a bit ugh.

he was calm-ish this morning - took the sleeping tablet don't know if
has taken the anti depressant.

took girls to school, left mobile at

cant get hold of him now. (1130) but he said was going to go buy
drinks for the kids for G's birthday party tomorrow.

has he come to acceptance?

Date: 26 June 2007
To: DNB Group
Subject: re: Depression - has he come to acceptance?


he says: "i should have gone to counselling about Ix before" - i
say, it isn’t too late. do it now. talk to the psychologist.

going to a support group - not really - and dads he have met have all been
working. ("they can cope, why not me? poor me?")

last nite:
" i think this is punishment from God because we didn’t get married
before Ix was born"

"i must be a really bad person for "this" to happen to me" - jeez, i
told him he wasn’t a bad person - after all the logic makes me a bad
person too....told him to talk to his priest....

why didn't we marry - oh just didn't happen, i wasnt bothered either
way...., would have done if he had pushed it... now i am happy to in a way, to provide security for the children -
(tax reasons?) but not miserably, just the two of us and the priest,
as N wants -

if we get married i want to celebrate our wonderful, imperfect,
complex, family and invite my children and close friends and family.
have a children's entertainer and bouncy castle. DVD playing lazy town
in the corner for know.

am I selfish?

Date: 21 June 2007
To: DNB Group
Subject: whinge whinge moan

i am tired of living with someone who wonders what the point of life
is and why bother living?

who can't his head round the fact that life is about routines and
getting the shopping and cooking done...."am I going to be cooking
spaghetti for children all my life?" "is that it?"

me: well no actually because they going to grow up and leave home....

i am tired of wondering if I am going to have to commit him in order
to get proper help, and tired of wondering if plans I make, eg
holidays are going to be ruined by suicide attempts or worse; or just
plain misery.

i am tired of saying the same things over and over i have been saying
for more than two years, that leaving his paid work where he was
stressed beyond belief was the best move for him and us as a family.

yes i know it isn't his fault and it is depression - but he wont take
meds for it! CBT so far seems to just be making him worse....

"she says i have to take responsibility and look forward not
backwards" - fine - but then i get "i should never have left work
[in 2004], i have left work so i am a failure, normal men dont leave
their work to do the child caring, bla bla bla"

however much logic
i put forward over the fact

a) my salary was bigger

b) i had spent
four or five years listening to him telling me he wanted to leave
work because he didnt like it!

c) he was always complaining about the
nanny and anyway it is far better and easier for us to have one parent
not working not to mention he gets time with his girls he never had
before and they like him now... (i dont push the not-going-out issue
with Ix...)

i am a selfish cow aren't I

but it feels better to let it out.

summer 2006

lunch with a friend.

Nothing changes, I say.

he hastold me so many times, that "life is not worht living", that i lie awake at night planning his funeral.....

Summer 2006 we go to Spain, i leave girls and N there, it is relief to be home alone with Ix.

he has carers, playscheme, I go to work and have evenings in pleasan silence..
they come back, school starts, summer turns to autumn, thru winter...

digging deep hole with no way out

Date: 4 May 2006
To: DNB Group
Subject: digging and other stories

hi all, sorry not been in touch.

N is in a very dark hole. looking for some way out...

the grass may be
greener ... somewhere?

but if you don't even know where the grass can be
found or even what colour grass you really like, then it is difficult.

and if you cant start looking for green grass close to home then life is

advice which falls on deaf ears....

Date: 5 April, 2006
To: DNB Group
Subject: Re: career change

believe me, I’ve tried everything - every suggestion gets met with:

"i should not have resigned my job/i made a mistake/i want my old job
back (they have restructured, his job now being done by two new
young - cheap - people, tho he has not approached them to find out
for sure)/i am too old (44)/i dont know what i want to do/...... " .

there is no problem with accessing the guidance/information - except
when the person doesn’t want to do it!

seeing as you asked....

Date: April 4, 2006
To: DNB Group
Subject: updates all round...

you here are 2 recent conversations in our house:

N: of course if you were the one at home not working you would be
happy - when the kids are at school you would be talking on
internet, meeting people for lunch, reading the paper and reading
books, going swimming/yoga

me: err yes - but there is nothing stopping YOU doing any or all of
that! why don't you do a course/get a part time job/enjoy yourself

N: because I dont know what I want/ dont know what I want to do
with my life ...... i wish i had never resigned, i wish i could wake
up tomorrow and go to my work

me: sigh (gives up.... he left work for many reasons including huge
stresses but from 13 months down the line it all looks rosy again - an
escape from responsibilities of home? but - nothing to stop him
getting another job if that is what he wants...)

N: i saw J today, he went to Center Parcs (holiday village in
woods, outdoor type place, for cycling etc) last weekend with the
five kids and the mother in law

me: oh that's nice, i've heard center parcs is really good

N: of course, we could never do that....

me: why?

N: well you know, I cant play football with ix or go on a bike
ride with him...

DO OTHER THINGS!!! Ix likes to walk, he likes to go in swimming
pool (these places have indoor pools) ...and espec if we have someone
with us (not mother in law obviously but someone else...) grrrrrrr

anyway, we ARE going away this coming weekend to isle of wight to a
caravan and will see J and a few other special needs families :)

am bringing carer to help look after the boys. both of them. socially
N can appear/act fairly "normal".... so it might be ok....

will see how it goes :) i am sure looking forward to it and to seeing
nice people.

a night away....

I leave Saturday evening for night away in Swindon with other "special needs" mums. I have organized carer for Ix for Sunday morning so N is only alone overnight.

Earlier on Saturday I take girls to Woolworths and we buy Barbie trainers for G. On her request. She is well pleased, they light up...

But N goes ballistic.

"how could you! you should not buy cheap trainers" "they are a waste of money" "they are crap".

He then tells me that to make sure I swim in the hotel "because you are overweight"...

I leave in tears....

It is a welcome break away tho, I buy champagne, we, 12 mums, all with children with disabilities, chat the night away....

dutiful wife.....

during 2005 we muddle through.... in the summer N takes girls to Spain for a few weeks. Back to school September. The winter passes...

Date: 14 March 2006
Email to: DNB Group
Subject: wanting normal....

there is a whole lot of stuff going on in N's head and not all
(much) of it is good right now...

it isnt so much denial as anger: "this isn’t real, i do not accept

he "only wanted a normal child" - didn't we all - when Ix is
asleep he can see the "normal child" in him.... so regret/anger/why

what he cannot see is the child himself, awake asleep whatever.

it is a sad and sorry state of affairs and not conducive to,
well, anything really.....

he is awaiting a referral for counselling/CBT to treat his
depression - at times he blames his depression on having Ix but
really this isn't the whole story - an easy excuse.

"if Ix was
normal, then...." it is all "why me?" --well, why not me?

my answer is: he isn't normal, get over it, accept him as he is.

also - as you have said to me many times - the Spanish "male as
provider" idea isn't going away.

when i said i was going on the mums'
night away to Swindon (small town in south england ) he said: you
cannot go to a mothers' night out, you are the father now (because i
am the breadwinner).

i said, get real, we are in the 21st

i would like to send him to dr k. for some intensive CBT
treatment!! he sure needs

he is beginning to recognize what the problem(s) is/are -
but why is it so hard to accept your own child?

there is only so much "I" can do...

my children are my light,

my "DH" right now is not "dear" - to say the honest truth.....he brings me
flowers, but as the phrase goes: sometimes, (professed) love is not

well i had to get that out somewhere.....

i do have some kind of "duty" to help him i guess. he is there for
the girls, that is one good thing. mostly i just try to focus on the
day to day....

March 2005 sleeping babes....

Email to: DNB Group
Subject: how he sees him

the other day N said: "i (only) love Ix when he is asleep, because then he looks

hwhat can I do?

Feb 2005 - his mother dies

of a heart attack age 77. he calls me at work in shock and I switch to efficient mode, book his flight to Spain the next morning, get Euros, pack bags...

I think about his relationship with his mother, a love/hate? At Christmas he has argued with her, after she said we should not go visit - "too cold", "too wet", etc.

he got mad...I overheard him say "well I won't see you then! I will see you at your funeral!"

I asked him "how can you say that?"

"it is how we are..."

Certainly, visits to his family I have found - strange... from dawn to dusk they would argue, call each other "stupid", argue some more....

but now his mother is dead and that is sad.

It is also half term so I take some days off.

This is the scheduled time to do intensive toilet training with Ix with his ABA therapists, so it is a few days of wee and poo on the floor...

I think: "it is good N is not here,, he would not cope with the mess."

AFter three days we are getting successes! He is not holding on all day then letting go in floods, and is enjoying more and more Smarties for success.

The girls have various activities and outings.

Our ex-nanny agrees to stay with Ix a couple of nights and I take the girls to Spain to pay our respects. We return together and back to routine.

in other words... I go to work, he takes girls to school, he calls me at work and says he cannot cope and he wishes he was back at work...

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Feb 2005: am I selfish?

Email to: S
Subject: work and hobbies

I wish N at least had a proper hobby/interest, would stop him
maudling "i dont know what i am doing with my life"...... he really does
not appreciate he has this chance to be at home and see his kids grow

enjoy it! chance to learn something new, chance to go to yoga three
times a week in term time if he wants to....

but i think it is a mental illness, he supposed to be going to GP this

he wishes he was back going to work every day (and all evening
and all weekend....) so he wouldn't have to confront his demons at
home...yeh right.

too late now!

he resigned his job, no turning

he could get another job of course but suffering from "what
could i do?" syndrome --yes; i've told him to get a job a Sainsbury
then, if he thinks "a" job would make the difference.....

but better this way - confront it!

i keep telling him he would have
got to retiring at 65 and would have no relationship with his family
left, what is the point?

saturday we went to horse riding, he went up to a dad (daughter age 20 rett
syndrome who was riding same time as Ix) and said "excuse me how do
you cope, i can't cope with my son!" ..

chap - lovely man = said well you do, dont you, she is part of our

he went on to say enjoy what you have and said how they had
had a son also but who died at age 18 months...

yes i get so frustrated - I just want to kick him up the proverbial!

latest this week was....if we send Ix to residential placement all
our problems will be solved(not for Ix's needs you
understand...)/wish he'd never been born/wish he had been adopted
etc..... . yes i know they are feelings many express but we are nine
years down the line.

i said if it comes to it and you want me to choose between you - then i choose to
keep Ix.....

it all sounds so pathetic written down!

i just keep insisting to him it is up to him to get help because i can't
do it! i have three children to think of.... am i selfish?!


N resigned from his office job at the end of 2004, after months of stress.

plus, he complained so much about the nanny ("she does nothing" she is paid too much" ) it became a case of: well, you know what.... see if you can do it then!

Email to: A

Subject: Moving country

Date: Feb 2005

well, N is similar to your husband - "let's move to
Switzerland/Italy/france...somewhere where the "grass is greener" and life is less stressful etc...yeh right.

what our "DH"s [dear husbands] dont realise is some of the stress u will take with you --the kids medical/health/learning issues, the day to day
domestic chores etc.

access to the wild mountains doesnt mean u will
get there each weekend because it's there. u still have to do the
washing, pack cases, organize food etc. the weekends ski-iing dont
just happen as if by magic... guess who would be orgnizing them? who
would be packing the car for your weekend rambles in nature? the kids
still have to do homework...

N has been going on and on about he wld leave work and i will get a
job with UN in geneva and won't life be wonderful??

well,he is finding it really hard doing the being at home thing - and
that is here with everything organized and sorted... no stress of
looking for new schools, getting to know area etc.

sometimes, the grass just looks greener...

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

setting the scene....

April 2006: News: A mother and her 12 year old son  have fallen to their deaths from the Humber Bridge in an apparent murder-suicide. The family of Alison Davies say she loved her son but found it hard to cope with his condition. It is said she had depression and was known to social services.....

Email to: Autism support group

Subject: Humber suicide

It is sad story and an interesting discussion.

but bear in mind that clinical depression is vastly different from the stress, the anger,  the moments of "depression" that you all refer to. most of you are  not contemplating suicide or killing your child, however bad it  gets...

I know a family with a nine year old boy with autism and severe learning difficulties, no speech, just about toilet trained. 10 hours per week social services support with carer paid thru direct payments - a life saver after battles and years waiting for link services which didnt happen.

the mother gets on with it, after all life is sometimes sh&t.

this is a challenge that has to be faced -this is her child at the end of the day.

she seeks support from other parents of children with special needs, internet etc. she finds moments of enjoyment in life -  a  beautiful sunset, sharing times with likeminded people...

the father is depressed, clinically. he talks about suicide, how he wishes his child had never been born, how he cannot cope being with  him in public, "better off dead".

at meetings with other special needs families he sees the children who CAN talk and who are socially aware and participate and says "why me/why him"? even a meeting with other children with autism leads to comparisons and "if only our child was like....."

  the father talks about how he cannot cope with his child, with life, and how he does not wish to be a burden on his family any more.

same family, same level of support available. same child.

should the unthinkable happen - yes it WILL be because the father is clinically depressed.

the mother is me, the father is my husband.

clinical depression will or can lead to suicide / infanticide - whatever the support in place for the autistic child - the support we need is for my husband's depression.... he has appts pending.