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Tupp:. IME your mom and sf are cowardly sorts of people working in the dark, anonymously, where they aren't challenged or exposed.

You've stood up to them, and told everyone what they've done.  You've documented and sent the message you're willing to fight again.  It's all you could do, and so there's peace around that, I hope.

It's just too hard for you to live in fear of what PDs will do next.  It robs us of our lives if we don't find ways to stop it, IME.  I say this even though I know and believe your mom will always be toxic and dangerous.  I believe she'd harm you if she could get away with it.  I'm not sure she feels she's getting away with what she did after you stood up to her, and documented what she did to you.   I do know there's a chance she's unwilling to risk more exposure.  There's a chance she won't reach out to a grandson who's older, and less vulnerable.

Maybe she can't find s way to harm you again.  Maybe the packages and gossip are all she has now.  Maybe she won't risk anything more?  Sit with that question.  Does it feel true?
How many years have passed since she's done more?

My gut says moving farther away would be good for your spirit and physical sense of safety.  If you feel that move is worth the effort and expense....maybe it's time to begin researching options.  You could continue seeking the in home services but also exploring options with a move far away, but only if you feel it's worth the effort.

Sometimes cutting bait and beginning fresh is the right thing to do IME.  I hoped you'd find distance enough with this last move.  I t seems it's not enough, IMO.

I trust that you'll know what to do.  That you're talking about moving is important, IMO.  It may be exactly what you need to feel safe.

You don't have to know the right thing today.  Opening to possibility is enough.  Getting help and honesty must have been a huge relief.  Remember self care, even when you're spiraling.  It's something to hang on to, and accepting stillness....vegging out on the sofa etc as what you need to do is part of self care.  Take what you need without judgement. 

I completely understand.

I'm really glad you've again connected with a nice, supportive human. Seems to make all the difference when you're staring at the monolith of "the system." That's been my hope, that the individual people whose jobs are to help...will (with your help) help you.

I hope all of these new possibilities give you hope, Tupp. You always and still deserve hope.

Okay, so a slightly more positive update :)

I have spoken to the lady at the local authority.  She has been very nice and helpful.  The plan isn't useful in it's present state but they are open to re-writing it and happy to work with me so that is good.  They are also looking at specialist provision (you have to prove that the student won't cope in a mainstream environment and needs a specialist setting) so that is also a good sign and one less fight to have.

The less good news is that the college we want don't want him.  They haven't given specific reasons other than saying they don't think he'll fit in.  My immediate reaction was very mum like and I thought "how dare they??!!"  The other problem is they are full and the lady at the local authority said that they have so many kids who need placements at the moment that they are actually going to have to build another classroom and hire more staff so it's quite a big deal and not just a case of bunging an extra chair in the room.

A possibility to explore is where they pay for a budget of support at home.  It would be similar to what we do now but they would fund it and provide speech therapy, occupational therapy, tutors and so on, rather than me having to do everything myself.  It still means I would need to be physically present for a lot of it as it isn't intended as a care service, but it would take a lot of the pressure off me and mean my son has more adults in his life so it might work well.  It's definitely something to look into and I would prefer a workable solution to be in place asap rather than fighting for a college place that doesn't actually exist.  The other bonus of 'at home' provision is that my mum can keep her sticky beak out.  So at least it seems we have another option and the local authority do seem keen to work with me, despite that report being so badly done. 

On a personal level, I feel much better now that I've spoken to her and I know there are some more positive possibilities.  It will still be a long process and I doubt anything will be in place by January but at least we all seem to be trying to get to the same destination.  It did make me see that there is a lot of pressure and negativity in my life and everything's balanced a bit like Jenga blocks, so it all collapses if one bit's pulled out.  Perhaps having some good experiences now will change that a bit (here's hoping).  But feeling calmer and more positive now so wanted to update after all my negative posts over the weekend :)  Thank you all for listening and being there, you are all fabulous :) xx
Oh, Tupp.
I'm so very very sorry you're back in the ocean again.
I so understand the exhaustion.

I'm glad you're getting a new source of advice.

It sounds like a certainty that the system will never do it perfectly.
Maybe the challenge is to define what exactly would mean that their reports etc. have gotten to "good enough."

Despite her ogreness, I wonder if your mother actually has any continuing power to intervene? Clarifying that legally would be wonderful.

So much support coming at you from so many directions, some unseen, some mysterious as sleep.

love to you,

Thanks Hops xx

The reports have to be written in accordance with a particular legislative framework that is all connected with Special Educational Needs.  The Code of Practice is five hundred and eighty something pages.  Everything is supposed to be precise, specific, quantifiable, measurable, etc etc, and all written with the best interests of the child and the involvement of the child and family, etc etc.  If it isn't written to that standard it isn't legally enforceable.  What they've sent us doesn't follow a single item in the way that it needs to to be legally binding or even mention two thirds of his healthcare needs.  In it's current state it won't even get him a place in the college.  If I can re-write it and get them to agree then we might be able to get into the college, but not in time for him to start in January.  If they don't agree then we have to go to court to get a judge to agree and then tell them they have to agree.  Which will mean he probably won't go for another year.  I don't need it to be perfect, just written in accordance with the law so that it's actually useable.xx

My mum will have power to intervene all the time she is breathing.  She can call any professional, any time, and make an allegation about me.  She doesn't have to leave her name or provide any proof - Tup abuses her son - is all she needs to say.  They have to investigate, by law.  If they follow the law it won't be a problem.  If they don't - and for us in the majority of cases, and as is happening now, they often don't - then the whole thing blows wide open again.  My sister has just been investigated for benefit fraud for the third time in as many years.  You can guess where their 'information' is coming from.

So yes.  I feel like I slay one dragon only for two more to appear.  When other people don't play by the rules, how do you join in the game?

I'm sorry to be negative but I am just so sick of other people doing this.  If I didn't bother and never produced paperwork or filled in forms or anything like that then I could understand it's down to me but I bend over backwards to do as much as is humanly possible to give them as much information as they might possibly need and constantly say "let me know if you need anything else".  There's really no excuse.  Thank you for your thoughts and support, I do appreciate it (even though I am aware I don't sound very appreciative of anything at the minute, but I am) xx
Oh, Tupp.
I'm so very very sorry you're back in the ocean again.
I so understand the exhaustion.

I'm glad you're getting a new source of advice.

It sounds like a certainty that the system will never do it perfectly.
Maybe the challenge is to define what exactly would mean that their reports etc. have gotten to "good enough."

Despite her ogreness, I wonder if your mother actually has any continuing power to intervene? Clarifying that legally would be wonderful.

So much support coming at you from so many directions, some unseen, some mysterious as sleep.

love to you,
Thanks, Lighter xx

Tapping I've not found helpful, but meditation, yoga, walking, a good cry, writing, an imaginary row with whoever has pissed me off where I can yell at them to my heart's content and swear as much as I like - they all help.  I think what I struggle with is that each experience (a) puts the old barriers up and (b) stops me from sleeping - which in turn means I find it much harder to adopt positive coping strategies and easier to turn to TV, sugar, coffee, alcohol etc.  Then I feel resentful that I have to use good practice to cope with someone else's shit - and I think that's the really big thing for me.  I've spent my life dealing with my mum's shit - directly and indirectly - because she never did.  I coped with the abuse on my own because no-one else did anything to stop him or help me.  I've raised my son on my own and almost every interaction with have with the system is the same - people just not doing the job they are paid to do - in effect, they are not dealing with their own shit so I have to sort out everyone else's mess again.  It does seem to be a huge, recurrent theme in my life that I am constantly clearing up after people.  And I resent that now.  I really want to be focusing on my own life and just being happier within it, rather than having to keep coping with one mess after another.

I have sort of paused to slow down today.  I ate cake and didn't give myself a hard time.  I had a nap.  I feel better than I did this morning but I think what bothers me is that I just feel resigned to it.  I will just get on and do everyone else's job, again, and then it will be done properly, until the next time I have to let these people in and they fuck it all up again (and once he's in the system again, we're back in the situation we were in when he was little.  It doesn't fill me with confidence that they will keep him safe from my mum and look out for him, because they just keep proving they can't do their jobs properly.  So again I feel that I will have to keep him safe, but with all these people around him now who can leave the gate open, in a metaphorical sense).  It's hard because I don't want to keep controlling the situation and being in the centre of it, truly I don't, but when we get sent a legal document that hasn't been constructed in accordance with the relevant legislation and therefore won't stand up to legal scrutiny (which means there's nothing in it I can enforce which essentially means he won't get any support) and blah, how do I give up control when no-one else is willing to step in to the gap?  Argh!

I think the other problem is that I feel I am juggling so many balls - the practical demands of caring for him, coping with the boredom, the loneliness, the isolation, my bone deep exhaustion that is just so entrenched now, the endless scrimping and scraping of money, being single, being without family, not being near a good group of friends, the umpteen things that have happened in the past, the van I still haven't sold, that flat that still doesn't have curtains or carpet, my over grown garden - etc etc - and when something like this happens I drop all the balls and everything comes crashing down around me.  I just sat on the sofa this morning and cried.  I've just no energy to pick myself up any more.

I have had advice over the weekend and have emailed the local authority accordingly.  Once I hear back from them I have numbers I can call for legal advice, and then we'll know how to move forward.  But it all means he's unlikely to be going in January and at the moment it looks like they'll have to do the entire process all over again, because they just haven't done it properly.  It doesn't appear to be salvageable.  We shall see.   But I am functioning as a shell now, robot mode, doing it because there's no other option and doing it to get him into a college that essentially puts him back into the line of fire where my mum's concerned.  And that makes me wonder, should we be living here?  Is that why nothing goes right, should we have moved far away, should I fight to get him into this one?  Or should I be looking at moving to get him in somewhere where she won't find him?  And all that starts going through my mind again and then I'm back in flight or fight mode and I don't have the energy for either any more.

Thank you for the input, Lighter, I do appreciate it and I will keep re-reading as there is a lot in there, thank you xx
Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: This and That
« Last post by lighter on November 12, 2017, 11:08:19 AM »
Tupp?  I was going to reply to you on this thread.  Where did you go?
Hi Tupp:

I'm sorry this college application process turned into one dropped ball after another to be chased.  Again.  I felt sick to the pit if my stomach reading how you feel.  It's a familiar bone deep memory for me.  Gutting through it was all knew to do.  It's what I did. 

I don't know if anything helps, but I so want meditation and focus on the feelings TO BE HELPFUL now.   I wish I could have found some relief for myself.  Tell me please, have you tried to sit with it during the worst of it?  I know you've been practicing.  Do you think yoga and meditation and tapping can help?

I was always too freaked out or scattered to learn to meditate, and I didn't know about tapping.  I'm wondering if anger or depletion will open up space for you to discover the next level of practice.  I didn't find it helped until a new unfamiliar layer of duress I couldn't escape at all took place with oldest daughter and dealing with past 10 years under microscope, along with school application and was the face to face interview s that sent me over the actual edge after all the difficulty of a year with dd away.

It's weird how much we can stand, and one day something tips the scale, and too much becomes our wake up call that we can't sustain as we are.  The pain is too much, and we're finally forced to change, even though it seems it will add more stress, it's actually a path leading to a better head space.

I'm typing this with one finger so forgive the writing, but.....
If I could go back and help myself, I wish I could have..... I don't know.  What would I have said and done?  I would perhaps have explained sitting with the difficult feelings and focusing on them without fear or expectation. 

To tap on it, regularly, and with hope.  To stretch and move my limbs daily, even as it seemed like climbing Everest.

Care and compassion for self.  You are so worthy.  You're  a fountain of maternal spirit, warrior, and care giver.  How much energy that must take.  I'm awed by your commitment, and ability to cycle through the fight/work cycles.  Battling a system, that's supposed to HELP's demoralizing, and expensive in ways we can't calculate, I ME.  Expensive to the soul.  For me there was a breaking down, and kind of recovery or submission....defeat process.  I never got to a point where feeling defeated didn't lead to energy and frenetic activity to find a way out of the seemingly impossible paper trail dependent, keep my cool and maybe I'd overcome the particular situation once again years.

At some point we've done the task and are familiar with it.  It's just not comforting bc it's so daunting and inflicted.  Truly, it feels like an affliction, and you're right.  It seems nothing helps us through feelings of being at the mercy of a large complicated system that seemingly works against us.....and particularly when it seems aimed at our kids.

The remedy is always allowing a certain emotional break down, unwillingness to allow that outcome, and then laser focused work to undo that wrong,/unfair/rigged outcome, IME.

There's never any forcing the flow.  Surrender to the defeat trusting energy will come again, as it has so many times for you.  I think mourning that you have to fight like this, yet again, is perfectly human.  You, more than anyone, understand what this will cost in all ways.

I'm sorry I can't be there to help you make phone calls and pull papers together, (((Tupp.)))

I'm sorry you have to mount your steed and weild your sword, yet again.  The thing that's been true, for me and sometimes by the skin of my teeth is that good people are out there too, fighting for the right thing, even though they don't have and it would be easier to not, IME.

It's hard to think creatively when under this kind of heart sickness, but IS there a new contact you could make?  Is there a supervisor or attorney or friend who could be contacted at this point who can help?  Maybe someone from another agency who can walk the paperwork through?  Someone you connected with? 

You're used to doing everything on your own, my dear.  Look around, when you can, and remember to breath.  You've gotten through worse, and you're one if the most capable people I know.  Ask for help when you can, if you can, Tupp. 

::Sending you serenity, strength and pause to think your way out of this with economy of motion::..

Just rambling on here - I feel like every set back now takes another piece of my soul and moves me one step closer to being an empty shell with nothing left to offer.

I spent almost all day yesterday going through my son's paperwork for this college placement.  They haven't followed the law, contacted the necessary people or put together a cohesive, useful plan.  It's so badly written it took me five hours just to work out what they hadn't done (the legislative framework is complex and new to me so I've been having to get my head around sections and then look for the corresponding sections in their report).  We have a lengthy medical report that they've just ignored and essentially they haven't actually done the assessment they were supposed to.  I applied for this in August and it all needs to be finalised within the next month for us to have any chance of him starting in January.  Essentially, the chances of this happening now are slim to nothing and, at best, I will have a lot more paperwork, phone calls and emails to wade through.  At worst, we will end up in court again, trying to get a judge to make these people do the jobs they are paid to do.

I just feel I have nothing left.  No reserves to dig into, no more depths to plummet, no more tricks to pull out of the bag.  I work so hard and have provided them with meticulous accounts of information, with frequent offers of "I have more if you need it".  They've not communicated any problems to me, so I assumed everything was fine - part of my 'giving up control' desire not to keep checking and double checking.  But they've done a terrible job and created a lot more work for me, as well making it fairly certain that my son won't be starting college in January.  I've lost count now of the number of times we've been knocked in this way over the last fourteen years.  I just don't feel like I'm recovering from it anymore.  I don't even feel like I want to try, to be honest.

A friend popped over last night and brought food.  I should have felt glad of the distraction and the company but I didn't.  I just felt empty and critical and was wishing I was sitting there on my own.  I feel like all the life has been knocked out of me again and I don't feel like I've got the energy to try and stuff it back in again - knowing full well it's only a matter of time before this happens again.

Just needed to vent.  There's nothing anyone can do.  It's just how the system is here.  I'm just so very, very tired of always being on the receiving end of it.
Hi Tupp:

It's hard to know if you're gaining emotional distance, and handling old FOO stuff better, or just getting better at compartmentalizing.  If it's the latter, is that a good or bad thing?  I don't know, but I do notice when I handle upsetting topics better lately.  Sometimes something comes up and my stomach FLIPS in anticipation of FEELING something negative, only to find there's nothing or something quite positive come up instead.  A blessing, but really positive I think. Growth.


I like Hop's advice about not reading the e mail exchanges between your mum and sis.  The things your sister writes about you come from the heart of a deeply wounded child, and sis hasn't had the benefit of therapy you've sought for yourself, as you wrote.  It's hurtful though, and limiting the harm, while maximizing the sibling relationship is worth some thought, and serious boundary placements, IMO.  I'd find it difficult to put the relationship down too, Tupp.  Remember phrases like...
Let me know how that works out for you, and
I'm sure you'll figure that out.

You can't fix sis, or make her understand anything, but you can create space for her to feel heard, and responsible for what goes on between her and your mum.  People tend to listen more when we aren't trying to convince or persuade them of our view.  They tend to ask for our advice more often, and HEAR what we have to say when we're reserved with our POV, IME. 

Remember you can repeat back her own words to you, and have that be enough.  You aren't the fixer, problem solver any more.  You're free to lend support, and go back to your own life.  You can seek your joy, even when others are struggling..... it's OK.  It's time.  Model that for your sister, and leave guilt behind as you can. 

I'm so excited about college starting in January for your son.  Woo hoo, yes!


Hi Lighter :)

I think perhaps a combination of handling old stuff better, compartmentalizing and really just being in a situation of seeing those old patterns surface and thinking, "well if I do what I did last time this won't change".  I really try now to focus on putting my energy into something positive or useful rather than letting my mum suck it all out and control the situation (which essentially is always her aim).  I have encouraged my sis to try similar and focus on doing something nice with her kids instead of responding to my mum or jumping through her hoops, which is easier said than done - those Pavlov's Dog reactions are very deeply ingrained.

And yes, you are right about the comments, it's her inner child speaking and mine responding :)  Such old wounds.  We are in a good place, though.  She was happy with the boundary I set and understands why, and that's a first for me.  Almost everyone else I've ever needed to set a boundary with has rejected me and I've found that very painful and difficult to deal with.  So her acceptance of it has really encouraged me there is a future for us and we can keep getting to know each other and help each other to heal, hopefully.

I am slightly less excited about college at the mo.  The local authority have sent my son's plan though and it's awful.  The process is supposed to be that all the relevant medical, educational and social information is collated and broken down into a meaningful plan with short, medium and long term targets and clear explanations of what will be done to try to meet those targets.  They've copied and pasted some bits from one report and ignored thirty odd pages from somewhere else, contacted a medical centre that my son's never been to and then put in their 'Not Known' response as his medical section, and then claimed we've never been seen by someone who did a fairly lengthy assessment which they have a copy of.  So I have a lot of rewriting to do over the weekend and it has worried me that he won't get his place now, added to which the NHS have still not even made the referrals we needed as part of the process so there are some bits that won't be documented regardless.  I spent five hours working through it yesterday and can see myself at it all day today and tomorrow.  It has burst my bubble a bit but we will just have to see where we get to with it.

In other news, man I thought I would like to have a coffee with was keen, then didn't respond, then got in touch, then didn't respond again.  I've been focusing on my feelings about what I want and who I want it with rather than my old response of doing or being what someone else wants in the hope that they'll like me (and this is just coffee with a guy I already know; I'm starting off small!  Lol).  So, platonic or romantic, I like people who get on with things - if getting together is mentioned I like to get a date down straight away (the date doesn't have to be straight away, I just like to get a firm plan made rather than 'let's get together and three months later there's still no date set).  Initially I scolded myself for being impatient and then I thought, no, you're a busy lady, you've got things to do and you need people around you who get on with things, make plans and, probably most importantly, want to see you enough to mark a space in their diaries to fit you in.  That's probably the key thing for me at the mo.

Anyway - back to the paperwork!  I'll keep you posted and catch up on other threads later xx
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