Author Topic: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)  (Read 2718 times)

Twoapenny

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Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« on: June 23, 2017, 07:00:01 AM »
Hi everybody,

I decided to start a new thread for this as it's very specific and it's what I have come to see is a big hurdle and stumbling block for me.  In my other thread I brought up a little while ago the idea of getting away from my to do list and not living my life by it.  What that's brought up is this huge fear of me not being in control, particularly in relation to my son.  The idea of 'other' people being involved literally terrifies me - understandably so, given the very real things that have happened in the past. But - I can't live my life like this.  I'm not just exhausted, stressed and worn out, I'm bored and lethargic and I have no lust for life anymore because I don't do anything I want to do and I can't do anything I want to do unless I get other people involved in looking after my son on a regular basis, not just a favour every now and again.  I'm so unused to doing anything for myself now I don't even know what I want to do, should the opportunity arise and I can see that - a - it's not healthy, for me or for him and b, I think I'm at the stage where I need to do it now, otherwise I might not be able to in the future.  It scares me so much, but it's at a very deep, primal level.  Intellectually I can categorise and be sensible and acknowledge that situations change and people are different and all the rest of it but inside I feel terrified at what harm others might bestow upon him.  I love him so much and I so desperately want him to have a life that's nothing like mine, that isn't filled with scary people who hurt you and take what they can before they chuck you to one side but there are people like that in the world and him coming into contact with them really frightens me.  But I can't do it all on my own and I am aware that there are good people out there, I just don't seem to be very good at finding them!

So.  Two things have become apparent, and quite why they've become apparent now I don't know, but they have.  One is that I have got to start scheduling in two days off a week, just two days where I have nothing arranged or important to do.  I haven't been able to do that for years but I can now, so I need to do that.  I also think I ought to arrange some sort of 'nice' evening prior to the two days off so that there's something a little bit different going on.

But more importantly than that, I do need to get the ball rolling on my son's college placement.  I have been putting it off until I can sort out all of the paperwork - the mass of child abuse allegations from when he was little and writing up my notes on the ten years that I've been home educating him.  Obviously it's a huge amount of work and it's one of those sort of never ending jobs, there's always another avenue that can be explored, exploited, used against me and so on.  What I've decided I need to do - eek! - is contact the local group that can help with the application and let them take the lead and see where it gets me.  It might mean I'm accused of child abuse again.  That really frightens me.  Worst case scenario I could lose him, and that does happen in this country, people with disabilities are removed from the family home, often over disagreements about what the best way to care for them is. The local authority could say my teaching has been the problem and refuse to help him with specialist provision, arguing that he'd be fine in a mainstream college (this is another common argument and one that was used against me when he was little).  The public sector, even without specific problems, is inefficient, ineffective and stressful to deal with, so even if nothing major happens it will still be a pain to deal with all of that.  I could put a lot of time in only for them to refuse to help him anyway, or to have them want to send him to a college fifty miles away.  Or it could go through reasonably okay, they could say yes to helping him and he could get into a decent enough college within a reasonable traveling distance.  I don't cope well with all the myriad possibilities and worrying about what I might have to cope with.  But it is this that I need to get over and get on with, so I'm going to email them today and ask for a meeting.

Sorry, this is already really long!  I am aware that this is going to completely freak me out, trigger loads of stuff off and have me running for all sorts of coping strategies that aren't healthy for me.  But I feel like I need to do it now.  So what I wanted to do was write stuff up here as I go through the process and I would be so very grateful if all of you, with your wise, warrior heads that you all have, could give me a poke in the right direction when I need it and tell me those things that I don't want to hear (which I know I'm very resistant to) and just generally be my wing men (or women, I should say!  Wing persons doesn't have the same ring to it).  I'm really frightened.

Hopalong

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2017, 11:12:39 AM »
A big YES to this!

Quote
contact the local group that can help with the application and let them take the lead and see where it gets me.

I favor the simple, leap-of-faith honest statement:

"I am overwhelmed by this application process. I've been taking care of him completely on my own for a very long time due to some toxic family stuff. Can you help me help him?"

(And I know how hard a leap of faith is for the formerly abused. Still, I think it's time.)

Hugs to you,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2017, 12:40:24 PM »
A big YES to this!

Quote
contact the local group that can help with the application and let them take the lead and see where it gets me.

I favor the simple, leap-of-faith honest statement:

"I am overwhelmed by this application process. I've been taking care of him completely on my own for a very long time due to some toxic family stuff. Can you help me help him?"

(And I know how hard a leap of faith is for the formerly abused. Still, I think it's time.)

Hugs to you,
Hops

Thanks, Hopsie :)  I've drafted the email and yes, it's along the lines of, can you help me with this, we've had problems with a family abuse situation and I would appreciate some help in moving this forward in a way that helps my son.  So scared I feel physically sick but it really is time and I think if I don't go for it now I might not have the strength in a few more years time.  Partly a mid-life thing maybe, as in I don't want to take all the fear of my earlier life with my into my middle and later life.  Also what you wrote about your elderlies you look after; sooner or later we all have to slow down a bit, I think, and I don't want to be sitting in my armchair wondering if my life could have been different if I'd taken the plunge.  Anyway, I will keep you updated with news as it comes in :) x Good or bad! x

Hopalong

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2017, 04:03:52 PM »
Just one thought in a rush: will using the word "abuse" right off the bat trigger anything?
IOW, will they instantly go look up reports, etc. if you use that word? Would it matter?

Just wondering if you want to lead with it that directly, or indicate serious issues with another word.

I dunno either way, just occurred to me.

Look forward to the updates, Tupp!

hugs
Hops
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sKePTiKal

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2017, 08:53:29 PM »
Ultimately, you make the final decisions right?

So: TRUST YOURSELF.

You've already navigated a byzantine maze of "officialdom" - this will pale in comparison and you'll find people aren't as suspicious and accusatory and judgemental of you this go round.

BREATHE.

It's going to be OK, it'll be all right. Really it will.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Twoapenny

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2017, 12:07:21 PM »
Skep, thank you, yes, trying to breathe and trust, that's the tricky bit isn't it? Lol, I'm sure to many it's the easy bit.

In theory, yes, I have the final decision.  The potentially scary bit is what echoes from what happened when he was younger.  If 'the State' decide you aren't doing a good enough job then they can step in with court and/or care orders and effectively make decisions on your child's behalf without your agreement, or take them away from you and place them into residential care.  For people with learning difficulties, that's a life long possibility because people without sufficient mental capacity are considered vulnerable (and rightly so) and therefore the state will step in and take over where it's deemed necessary.

There are, of course, all sorts of laws and pieces of legislation in place in relation to things like that and numerous people that would need to get involved and all sorts of procedures to follow.  What happened during my mum's six year malicious allegation spree was that numerous 'professionals' didn't follow procedure and some (doctor, social worker, police officer to name a few) actively fabricated reports and hid evidence that worked in my favour in order to bring a case against me.  Sounds crazy, I know, but I have a 200 page document I worked on over the years to prove that's what happened.  I found all sorts of contradictions and discrepancies in official records, ordered duplicate sets of notes where I discovered that information from one file had been omitted from another (in order to make it appear that I hadn't attended certain appointments or submitted certain pieces of paperwork), conversations had been fabricated (I was able to prove from phone records that a call a social worker claimed I made had never actually happened as I wasn't even in the area at the time) and all sorts of awful, malicious hideousness, all instigated and fueled by my mum but none of it would have happened if the professionals involved had (a) followed procedure and (b) just been honest human beings and not arseholes :)

I do know that logically the chances of all that happening again are slim, and being as aware of it as I am now I do realise it's a very slim possibility and one I can fight.  But that's the fear and the bit I'm trying to get past.  I can really see what a big stumbling block it is now and I need to get past it.  So yes, deep breaths and really trying to rein in the fear and come from a place of calmness and sense rather than letting the fear rule me.  I think there will be so much deep breathing going on that my lungs will be like bellows lol xx

Hopsie, I've been thinking about how to word it and how much info to put in from the beginning.  The previous abuse allegations will all come out at some point during the process because it's all there in his history and that will be reviewed as part of the assessment anyway.  There is also a part of the assessment where you can insert information about child protection concerns and as far as I'm concerned he is at risk from my mum and I want what she has done/does written up there so that it's much harder for her to do this again.  So far I've just drafted an email, not too long, and basically I've explained that there is an ongoing family abuse issue, essentially taking the form of my mother making malicious allegations in regard to myself and my son.  I've briefly explained that it's caused huge problems for both myself and my son and left me very reluctant to engage with public sector services, so I'd really appreciate some help in working through that in order to have the assessments carried out and ensure my son is protected from her whilst also obtaining the support that he needs.  I'm paraphrasing, but something along those lines.  I've mentioned I have the 200 page doc that I've just mentioned to Skep but that obviously 200 pages is a bit of a read so I'd appreciate some help in knowing what sort of information I need to submit.  I've said the same re the fact he's been home educated and basically asked for some guidance on what sort of info is necessary and what isn't.

Basically this agency are a sort of buffer between the family and the local authority, they're supposed to help the family through the process and I guess make it easier for the local authority so that they get the right information and any queries dealt with somewhere else.  I've spoken to a couple of other families who've done it this way and they've found it very helpful. So - I was thinking I wanted to call it abuse because that's what it is and that if I refer to it as something else it might be downplayed as a bit of a falling out or a misunderstanding (which is what many people have seen it as in the past).  So I thought just to describe it plainly, in the way that I see it and then the scary bit is letting go of the outcome and just dealing with what happens next.  What do you think? xx

Hopalong

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2017, 03:01:27 PM »
With no expertise in this, I'm just doing my always-imagine-impact-on-the-reader you need to reach, I think this part is concise, mature-sounding, and to the point:

Quote
an email, not too long, and basically I've explained that there is an ongoing family abuse issue, essentially taking the form of my mother making malicious allegations in regard to myself and my son.  I've briefly explained that it's caused huge problems for both myself and my son and left me very reluctant to engage with public sector services, so I'd really appreciate some help in working through that in order to have the assessments carried out and ensure my son is protected

If this is your first inquiry to that agency, I wonder if not referring to a "200-page document" (these are no doubt overworked, well-meaning staff) but instead to "comprehensive documentation" or something similar.

What I'm not quite clear on is whether there was a final adjudication of the whole earlier matter. You DO have full legal custody of your son and have maintained NC with your mother and stepfather. However, you have courteous LC with your sister (which might be viewed positively). So you're not "hiding" your son from all relatives...you just removed yourself from interference from your mother.

I think what you say above is perfect, reasonable, and sounds like a responsible parent who really cares. I never did understand what "abuse" your mother accused you of in the first place, but the fact that she remains married to a stepfather who abused you speaks volumes. And I'm pretty sure you could also tell them that.

Is this any help? I know it's been a very complex thing to explain and summarize.

love,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2017, 03:22:39 PM »
PS--with NC with your parents, is "ongoing" abuse actually correct? Will the reader instantly go looking for current restraining orders or active investigations? (I understand they'll see legal trails in the course of it.) Or do you mean it's just ongoing in the sense that you maintain NC?

If the latter, I wouldn't say "ongoing."

You don't want your present need to sound SO complicated and overwhelming that the reader might feel, we simply don't know how to manage this request. (Because likely, they know just what to do for you.) Or, we dread trying to help this family. Just never forget whoever reads your request is a person who has a daily purpose--the mission to help you and your son secure his future.

You are reasonable. You are sane and rational, with only your son's best interests in mind. If you can report what's essential in clear terms, but not re-state every single minor example of how The System Let Me Down, they may be more inclined to work hard in your behalf, imo. It's just a human response. (And I'd encourage you to have a sit-down meeting with them as soon as possible, because emails can be misinterpreted and human connection can make a big difference as you go.)

(The reader is probably a bureaucrat within the system too. You want to present them a request that's entirely within the scope of what they do, but not have them think...oh lord, here's a ticking bomb we'll have to tiptoe around. Keep it as simple and as PRESENT focused as you can.)

Approaching them with good faith (rather than prejudging them all as enemies to fear) is really very important, imo. So perhaps "I've had some fear of public services because of family abuse of the system in the past but I am so grateful for the work you do" may be the more effective attitude to take.

You can do this. Bellows-away. Stay in the present and only haul along as much of the past as is strictly necessary. They will be glad to help you in an efficient way (but don't look to this experience to "heal" the past one.)

xo
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2017, 04:09:08 PM »
Yes, that does help, Hops, thank you, I will keep thinking it over and re-wording it over the weekend.

Essentially my mum's claims were that I was mentally ill and I neglected and abused my son to such an extent that he developed developmental problems - ie, he wasn't really disabled, it was me that was the problem.  She presented it as fact, to different agencies over time, and changed the story each time when the previous agency didn't do enough for her liking.  So for example, the first occasion I'm aware of (and I'm very aware there may be more I don't know; I haven't been able to get hold of every set of records and some sets are so heavily redacted that I'm aware contact was made by 'someone' but I've no idea what was said) she claimed I was at risk or relapsing (I'd experienced depression after my son was born) and that I wouldn't be able to call for help and that placed my son at risk.  I didn't know she'd done that until about six or seven years after the event but suddenly a very odd conversation I'd had with a social worker years earlier made sense, as she'd asked me to talk her through exactly what I'd do if I felt depressed again and who I would contact, and asked if I had a back up plan if I couldn't make contact with anyone.  It was odd at the time but I brushed it off, and it was only when I found out what she'd been told by my mum that things made sense.  And basically that was how it went on, the next contact she made was with a different medical team (we'd just moved house) so she told them that it had been established that there was nothing wrong with my son, it was my neglectful parenting, all fabricated and easily checked with the previous team (who had all been heavily involved because I'd been depressed and had written numerous reports saying I was a good mum, my son was well looked after etc etc) and when I found out about that the odd behaviour of the health visitor suddenly made sense and so it went on over the years.  Each time she added more details to make me sound more unstable; she wrote to a consultant with her concerns about my erratic lifestyle claiming she believed me to be living with friends but no-one was too sure where when I was actually living in a flat she'd paid the deposit on and signed as guarantor for.  The information she gave social services (which was when the child protection stuff actually kicked in and they were threatening all sorts of things) was so bad you wouldn't have let me look after a cat, let alone a child.  I fought that one, proved it was all fabricated and in the course of that found out she'd forged my signature on a bank document to draw money out of my son's account.  She wasn't successful because I'd moved the money anyway but I did report her to the police that time and subsequently discovered that she told them I have schizophrenia and can't be trusted with my son's money, whilst still claiming he wasn't really disabled (he'd been diagnosed for several years at this point), again they just accepted everything she told them when a phone call to our doctor would have confirmed that it was all fabricated.  And she just carried on like that, I think there are nine separate incidents that I'm aware of and was able to prove were fabricated, there were a couple of others that I would lay my last penny were her but there's no proof and as I say there could be more in records I haven't been able to get copies of.

Phew!  Just writing that down has brought me out into a cold sweat.  So - there was no final adjudication, there's just a stream of documents over a long period (six to seven years, maybe a bit longer), all of which I had to fight myself and I did prove everything was fabricated, complaints were upheld, records were amended and so on.  Which is why I'm nervous about stoking the hornet's nest, because this could all blow up in my face again.  Hopefully it won't, but there's only one way to find out now.

I will look at re-drafting the email again; I see the abuse as ongoing because it continues to be a risk, from my point of view, and I feel once my son is in a public establishment again there will be an opportunity for her to make an anonymous call either to the college or social services but I see what you mean about that making it sound that it still happens regularly (although maybe it does and I just don't know!).  So I can see how changing that wording would help, and the same with not scaring them with the 200 page document.  So perhaps tomorrow I should redraft and really simplify it to its most basic aspects and just mention there were child protection allegations when he was younger and that he is now home educated.  I will sleep on it tonight and start trimming it down again tomorrow.

Thank you for your help, it is very much appreciated :) xx

Hopalong

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2017, 04:19:07 PM »
WOW.

Jesus. You are something amazing, Tupp.

Here's what I hear:
She LIED. She committed FRAUD (the stealing attempt). And medical diagnoses and RECORDS disprove all of her insane vindictive bullshit. Nobody with a grain of sense will be fooled.

I'm not worried about you any more. (I know, sounds too easy, but there it is.) The reason is that you have been smarter, saner, more mature than this hideous person Every Single Step of the Way.

Go forth without fear, Tupp!

I now, truly, and totally, know that this is going to be okay.

love to you,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2017, 04:30:05 PM »
WOW.

Jesus. You are something amazing, Tupp.

Here's what I hear:
She LIED. She committed FRAUD (the stealing attempt). And medical diagnoses and RECORDS disprove all of her insane vindictive bullshit. Nobody with a grain of sense will be fooled.

I'm not worried about you any more. (I know, sounds too easy, but there it is.) The reason is that you have been smarter, saner, more mature than this hideous person Every Single Step of the Way.

Go forth without fear, Tupp!

I now, truly, and totally, know that this is going to be okay.

love to you,
Hops

Aw Hops, thank you, it's good to hear someone else say it was all bad, even writing it down tonight I find myself thinking I sound like I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill so it's good to know that someone else thinks it's not okay!  I've redrafted again and basically deleted most of it and just said that I'd appreciate some help with the application, he's been home educated so I'd like some advice on what sort of educational information I need to include and then I've written that there were some (unfounded) child protection allegations when he was younger and do I need to provide information about this as part of the application process?  I'll look at it again tomorrow and then put it on here, I think, but yes, I think you're right, keep it simple, it might even be more simple than I think?  They may not even want to know about the earlier abuse allegations as they were shown to be unfounded so maybe we won't even need to do anything about them?  That would be very nice.  It would be great to finally draw a line under this and not be worried about it constantly.

Thank you again for your help, I will look at it again tomorrow :) xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2017, 06:13:16 PM »
Dear Tupps. The past is all water over the dam now. Yes, it makes sense that you're afraid. Of course you are dear. That was horrendously ugly of your mother - AND she brought the force the State against you. Good lord. But that doesn't change the fact, that that was then and this now - and you of course have grown and healed much.

I second all of Hops' writing advice; it's sound. Just giving them the pertinant facts of what you're seeking for your son's situation makes total sense. For now. You may NOT have to present any of the reasons for why/how to you got to now at all. You'll know of course.

As for protecting your son going forward, just ask questions IN PERSON when you get further along in the process. You don't have to volunteer any info, until you're asked. And then I would address it in as dry and an an old history way, as possible. Right now, your inquiry is only about - can we have your help for this purpose? Stick to JUST THAT and you'll start the process. IMO, you don't even need to explain why you think you need their help just yet.

Yeah, I have the same sort of stuff in my head when I'm trying to do something new. I have to remind myself: look at what you have DONE, and how that went. Most of the time it went pretty well. There really isn't any rational justification for beating myself up because of the nasty voice in my head that spews the old abuse - except that I fear ever having to hear it again, in person. I'd really like not having to hear it in my head at ALL, too. But, some things take longer to change. Sometimes, I can take that voice & cuss it out good, shake it, and make it go away. Not all the time - and the dang thing is persistent.

But you know - I didn't deserve having that crap inserted into my head in the first place. And neither do you. It doesn't make you a bad person to tell it to get lost, it has no idea what it's talking about. You won't instantly turn into a frog or something more horrible. It just wants you to think that might happen.
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Hopalong

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2017, 06:22:00 PM »
Outstanding!

I wonder...do you even need to bring up the unfounded allegations in your very first contact? Or could you ask about making a face-to-face appointment? And then when you actually meet, you could say, again fairly briefly...that there was part of a family harrassment issue in the past. (Now mostly irrelevant as you've had no contact with them for X amount of time).

I just don't want you to be so stimulated by the past abuse that you "lead with it", if that makes sense.

IOW, you're introducing yourself. Hello, I'm Tupp, loving mother of Adored Son With Disability. I'm needing to plan a situation that will be right for him as he gets older, and need your help.

Right?

Alternatively, you might (ignore this if I'm exaggerating) be saying: Hello, I'm Tupp, Wounded and Triggered Survivor of Abuse and Family Manipulation of the System You're Part Of So I'm Terrified Of You and Partly Paranoid, and would like you to get involved?

KWIM? No reason you need to HIDE anything about what happened those years back. You have nothing to apologize for and don't need to overprotect these folks. But also there's no reason that old identity has to precede you on a sign down the sidewalk. You are FIRST: Tupp, responsible and loving mother of a Beloved Son with serious medical issues, who needs this organization's assistance. You are SECONDLY all the other.

(And I totally agree with Amber's pragmatic advice:
"As for protecting your son going forward, just ask questions IN PERSON when you get further along in the process. You don't have to volunteer any info, until you're asked. And then I would address it in as dry and an an old history way, as possible. Right now, your inquiry is only about - can we have your help for this purpose? Stick to JUST THAT and you'll start the process.")

love
Hops
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 06:26:10 PM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2017, 11:06:24 PM »
One more question if you don't mind explaining it...what exactly does "college placement" mean in your son's situation?

Is it a "college" like we call it here in the U.S.? A four-year higher education thing?

Or do you mean a group home or residential school for people with disabilities?

Is it education focused? Living support based?

I've never quite understood the term.

xo
Hops
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sKePTiKal

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2017, 07:14:05 AM »
Thanks for the word help, Hops. If I ever decide to write seriously, wanna be an editor?? LOL.
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