Author Topic: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)  (Read 15834 times)

Twoapenny

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #375 on: January 07, 2018, 11:38:28 AM »
This got me thinking about friendship.

If you don't return my calls (texts/emails) - then we're not friends.
If you don't ring from time to time for a chat - we're not friends.
If, after four years of extreme health problems, you still don't know how ill my son is/has been - we're not friends.

I found myself questioning myself.  I'm not an impossibly demanding friend.  I don't take constantly without giving back.  There are times when I'm not terribly available, but there is a good reason for that (my son) and once the situation with him improves, I get back to normal.  I'll explain why I can't be available right now.  I'm thoughtful - I remember what's going on with people, I call or message to ask about their doctor's appointment, driving test, poorly mum, whatever.  I contact people on their birthdays.  I'm not so big on Christmas, but I find Christmas over commercialised and tend to focus on people who don't have anyone else at that time of year.  But I did stop being so available to people who only phone when they want something or need a shoulder to cry on.  I stopped arranging everything I did to suit other people and started asking people to change their plans to accommodate us more easily.  I stopped ringing people who didn't call me back.  I stopped making a big effort for people who made little or no effort for me.  I have changed as time's gone on.  I don't have the patience to listen to people stressing about their curtains/manicure/car valeting service being substandard.  I don't care whether or not someone has a handbag to go with their shoes for the wedding they're going to at the weekend.  I don't enjoy drinking until I pass out anymore (which in turn means I don't particularly want to watch other people drink until they pass out).  And so on.  I'm a good friend to those who make the effort back but I've stopped putting in the hours with those who don't.

In other news - I've spent most of the day making candles :)  Lol, or more specifically, melting down stubs of candles to make new ones.  I don't like chucking things away if I can squeeze a bit more use out of them so I've melted down dozens of little bits of candles to make about twenty new ones :)  While everything's been melting away (they're different colours and scents so I do them in batches) I've been clearing out kitchen cupboards.  I've got more things bagged up for the charity shop.  I've got a pile of odd bits of bags of lentils and various grains that I'm going to use up in meals this week.  I've got very clean surfaces and I've rearranged some cupboards so that the kitchen runs a little bit more smoothly.  Felt good.  Felt nice. :)

Twoapenny

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #376 on: January 07, 2018, 04:56:59 PM »
I realised as I was cleaning and clearing away that I have kept (often on display) a lot of things because I want my 'stuff' to say something about me to other people when they come into my home.  The educational posters on the wall show I home educate my son and I do it properly.  The displays of certificates and art work show I do other 'stuff' with him.  The recipe books, food processor, slow cooker and so on show I cook and don't feed him nothing but chips.  The first aid and epilepsy posters show I know what to do in an emergency.  And so on and so on.  So much of it is done through fear; it's not there because I need to see it or refer to it constantly, it's there to prove to other people that I'm not a bad mum and I know what I'm doing.  Well bollocks to that, I don't need to keep proving I'm doing a good job by displaying my stuff, I know I'm doing a good job and everyone else can lump it.  I've binned the epilepsy posters; I've coped with every one of his seizures myself and I've never once looked at those posters while I'm doing it.  I've taken down the big display of certificates and put them in an album.  I've binned a lot of the educational posters that aren't actually for anything he's learning about any more.

I've put a lot of my kitchen stuff away in cupboards instead of having it all out on the worktops (to show that I cook and use all this stuff).  Half of it I very rarely use so I'm taking that to the charity shop (I think there's going to be more of my stuff at the charity shop than there is in my flat soon).  I've kept the four recipe books that I use most often and donated the rest.  I've got more cupboards and drawers to do in the kitchen and quite a bit more in other rooms but it already feels so much clearer and I'm liking the big spaces on the walls :)  All in all it has been a very good day :)

Hopalong

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #377 on: January 07, 2018, 06:23:07 PM »
Both of these posts are extraordinary and to my eye wonderful, Tupp!

The first, just hearing your dignity and calm resolve that considerate, reciprocal relationships are the kind you're now choosing to be open to in your life, and that you're just going to calmly turn away from the one-sided parasitic ones...is a joy. You don't even sound worked up, indignant or angry...another cool thing. You just sound matter of fact and as though you are embracing the limits of having expectations of others, and setting expectations for being your own friend instead.

That is what clears the heart-space for healthier friendships! When it's a relaxed yet meaningful commitment to your own dignity (and all the decisions that will flow from that dignity) it's so much more likely that less time will be spent keeping score and more time just naturally (and lightly) stepping away form dead-end attachments and smoothly (and lightly) stepping toward happier connections.

Love it, love it.

And I loved like CRAZY reading your realization that you'd created a "defensive display" of responsible motherhood, out of trauma. And you've now BINNED IT! How lovely (seriously, it made me grin ear to ear) to imagine you staring at all that stage-setting and going, naaaah, I'm going to enjoy my home and not live on a stage in terror of an imaginary theater critic.

That is just huge. I hope the ripples go on and on....the symbolism of not pretending, not feeling like a fake, not feeling that you don't deserve a normal home decor, normal friendships, normal joys...

The bin-the-posters and take back your space gesture just seems to me to sum up healthy self love.

Kudos!
 :D

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

lighter

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #378 on: January 07, 2018, 10:28:04 PM »
You're dialed in to yourself, and those around you, Tupp.

Cleaning house...... you're interior world and exterior.

When our own opinions matter more, or as much, as our fears or need for approval we SEE more clearly.

We take stock, and let things go. 

We accept things we've struggled with, and put them down. 

This frees us to explore and choose other things. Hopefully  hard earned wisdom shows itself, and guides us on our way.

I really enjoyed reading your posts, Tupp.  Your posts make me feel steadier too.

Lighter




Twoapenny

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #379 on: January 08, 2018, 07:40:24 AM »
Hops, thank you - I do actually feel very angry and worked up about this particular friend, I think I'm just hiding it in the post, lol, but I know myself well enough now to know the anger usually covers hurt and this lady was my best friend.  I loved her, loved spending time with her, loved talking to her and being around her.  Her life changed - for the better - and I get that circumstances mean that people can't continue to do the same things for ever but she literally dropped me from her life the minute things changed for her - just stopped returning my calls, never rang me, didn't do text/email/Facebook type convos (and I am firmly in the camp of preferring talking to people but if people don't call or do anything else then it's hard to stay in touch!).  Eventually I gave up and I was so devastated about the whole thing.  It's taken me years to get over it but she popped up before Christmas and I politely told her not to worry about getting in touch (I'm past it all now, too much has happened).  And she emailed again blaming me for her not contacting me.  So I was/am angry about that but I know at some point I'll have a good cry because I missed her for a long time.  If she'd said "sorry, I have been crap about keeping in touch but here's my number, give me a call if you want to" I probably would have phoned her again.  But people blaming me for things they do is a pet peeve of mine.  Anyway - felt good to say what I needed to say, be real about it and yes, like you say, door is open for equal, welcoming friendships, give and take, fun and laughter, and all of that :)

And yes, I am smiling about all the binning that's been going on :)  It's funny when you see something clearly for the first time and it's suddenly so obvious but I can see how I've put stuff everywhere to prove what I'm doing with him.  That probably partly stems from the horrible police officer who came round to tell me they wouldn't be taking any action about my stepdad and then wrote a nasty report and sent it to social services, claiming I wasn't educating my son and her evidence base was a lack of educational material at the property.  It was devastating to me, particularly coming on the back of her more or less calling me a liar (and there was masses of educational material in my home, I counted his books and he had 326 at the time but the silly prejudicial bint failed to spot them.  Probably should have thrown them at her :) ).

Lighter, yes, when our own opinions matter more, that is a good T shirt slogan, I think :)  Definitely the way I'm feeling now, it's about what I think/want/feel, not about everybody else :)  I'm glad to read other people enjoy reading my waffle :)

I do feel quite anxious and jittery today; whether that's a fearful reaction to my chucking out my defences or whether it's a menopausal thing I don't know but I'm just ignoring it anyway.  I am carrying on with the decluttering.  My landing becomes a bit of a dumping ground with things waiting to go out of the flat and things waiting to be put away somewhere in it.  I've cleared it all; there's a line of bags to go to the charity shop and some stuff went out into the shed (I don't want it anymore so will put it on Freecycle but need an afternoon to put everything on and get rid of it en masse, I think).  Everything else that was staying has been put away somewhere and I've chucked out odd little things that I hang on to even though I don't really know what they are.  Random bits of plastic or screws that have obviously fallen off something but if they were essential something would have fallen apart, presumably, and I'd know where they came from.  So they've gone in the bin and I've bagged up various little bits and pieces that I keep because they might be useful one day.  They're cheap little bits so if I did find I needed something one day it's easy enough to buy it and I daresay I'd be able to find a friend with a drawerful of the very same thing.  Lol.

I do feel clearer headed, stronger, somehow.  Keen to crack on and get more done now. xx

Hopalong

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #380 on: January 08, 2018, 08:42:00 AM »
Oh yes. I remember about that former friend and your brave/wise/dignified decision to not pick up that one-way relationship again. I went through a similar thing when I "broke up" with the special friend I was soooo enthused about, who couldn't be bothered to pick up the phone or reply to an email and had gotten so languid about friendship maintenance that it'd started to really, really hurt. One day I just decided not to hurt that way any more and withdrew (even while also telling her why).

Wowsers for us both, eh? I agree with Lighter. When our own opinions matter more or as much as our fears or need for approval....

Now if only I could clean up my clutter and organize myself the way you are, Tupp!

(Lighter, I believe you need to start a line of self-esteem cookies. Like fortune cookies, except healthier. You do wonderfully pithy summary statements, imo...)

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

Twoapenny

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #381 on: January 08, 2018, 09:26:22 AM »
Oh yes. I remember about that former friend and your brave/wise/dignified decision to not pick up that one-way relationship again. I went through a similar thing when I "broke up" with the special friend I was soooo enthused about, who couldn't be bothered to pick up the phone or reply to an email and had gotten so languid about friendship maintenance that it'd started to really, really hurt. One day I just decided not to hurt that way any more and withdrew (even while also telling her why).

Wowsers for us both, eh? I agree with Lighter. When our own opinions matter more or as much as our fears or need for approval....

Now if only I could clean up my clutter and organize myself the way you are, Tupp!

(Lighter, I believe you need to start a line of self-esteem cookies. Like fortune cookies, except healthier. You do wonderfully pithy summary statements, imo...)

Hugs
Hops

Yes, I remember you having a similar thing with a friend, Hops, I get the circumstances/time/situations change but I've never demanded someone continue a friendship with me that just isn't practical anymore; it's more about adapting to those circumstances.  If someone's life changes so much that the only time they have for me is the two minutes a year it takes for them to write me a Christmas card then I would prefer to leave that friendship completely, but I do it without wishing them harm or any hurt (even though it hurts me a great deal but I just don't wish bad things for people).  But when that person then blames me for them withdrawing their contact my buttons get pushed! (and I have some people in my life where contact is only a brief message for birthday/Christmas, but that's generally situations with more distant family members who I have just that tiny bit of contact with and it's never been any more).  These aren't the people I pour my heart and soul out to or would race through the night to be with if they needed a friend.  I'm a good friend and people should treat me as such! :) 

Hopsie if I lived near you (even just on the same continent!) I would gladly come and organise and declutter your home - pooch could help :)  The sense of weight coming off is huge (and quite tiring, funnily enough, I am feeling in need of a little nap now).  But it is a nice feeling of release and lessening of need to hold on, I suppose (for me, anyway).

I've had the idea to start working on a kind of 'This Is Your Life' scrapbook for my son's eighteenth birthday - it's a couple of years away yet but it will probably take me that long to get everything together - just a nice retelling of his life, with pictures - this is where we lived, these are people that we spent time with, this is what you liked to play with/read/watch on TV.  I'm just conscious that I'm starting to, not forget things, but the memories are getting a little further away.  I went through some photos of him when he was about three and I kind of can't imagine that cute, long haired, cheeky faced little boy when I look at this big, shaved headed, ADDC T shirt wearing bloke sitting in my front room now.  My son's memory for facts and events is phenomenal - I can show him a picture and he knows where we were at the time and can often remember an event if prompted - but he needs the prompt so it would be nice for him to have a book of prompts, I think, all done up nicely on good paper (I'll have to work on my IT skills because I think probably doing it all on the computer would be best, with some little handwritten notes and drawings to embellish it would be nice).  Anyway, a little project to be getting on with :)

Yes, second the idea of self esteem cookies as a business venture for Lighter :) xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #382 on: January 08, 2018, 05:23:23 PM »
Tupps, it sounds like you're going through a life make-over. A remodeling of Tupps and her public "face"... along with what is prioritized on the internal slide-show.

A fresh new look - better function - nothing in excess that is just "taking up space".
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Twoapenny

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #383 on: January 09, 2018, 05:51:49 AM »
Tupps, it sounds like you're going through a life make-over. A remodeling of Tupps and her public "face"... along with what is prioritized on the internal slide-show.

A fresh new look - better function - nothing in excess that is just "taking up space".

Yes a life make over is a good way to look at it, Skep :)  It feels good :)

I'm carrying on with the declutter and reorganise programme and it is really reducing my stress levels!  This can only be a good thing.  I had paperwork that needed putting away yesterday.  Some of my files are bulging now so I went through the stuff that needed to go away.  Some didn't really need to be kept - so much is online these days and I get sent things from the bank, for example, that are pages and pages of terms and conditions, the majority of which doesn't apply to my very modest income as it's all very simple.  If I need to know something specific I can look it up so I binned a lot of that.  I went through the other things I was putting away and took out everything that's more than a year old, save for one or two bits that are proof of odd things that's worth hanging on to.  I got out all the paperwork relating to my son's dad and his endless efforts to dodge child support and it's all gone on the pile to be shredded.  Very freeing (he doesn't pay anything and I'm not forcing my son to have a DNA test against his wishes to satisfy that arsehole so we don't need the paper mountain any more).

There were a couple of small jobs that I thought would be quite time consuming but when I sat down and read it properly it was actually all quite simple and has been sorted out by email.  The fuzz of stuff cleared and I found I had less to do than I thought.

I try and sort out meals, meds, laundry and other essential bits and pieces first thing so that it's done and out of the way.  It sometimes takes half the morning to sort everything out.  But with my now 'essential items only' cupboards and clear work surfaces the whole day was organised in an hour.  The flat is relatively tidy (by my standards, anyway) and I've sorted out the plaster above the windows now (I haven't been able to put any curtains up because the plasterboard above the windows was so old it wouldn't take any fastenings so I've had to sort all of that out and put up battens to attach the poles to).  I just need to paint the battens and the window areas now and can then get the poles (and curtains!) up.  A friend has offered to help with the poles and whilst clearing out drawers I found really good heavy duty screws that I didn't know I had to I should be able to fix them securely.  Once the curtains are all sorted I can switch my attention to the mold in the bathroom and whilst that's being done I should be able to sort flooring for son's room and get that finished :)

That in turn will mean I will have a proper sitting room (son is currently using it as a bedroom).  The paperwork, computer and office type stuff is all crammed into my room at the moment - that can all go in sitting room.  The large table and chairs in kitchen (too big for the space) can go into lounge and I've seen a small and inexpensive breakfast bar type thing that will be perfect for bowls of cereal and sipping coffee :)  So we should end up with a nice, spacious, uncluttered flat.  I can't wait :) xx

lighter

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #384 on: January 09, 2018, 09:02:04 AM »
Ohhhhh.... I'm reading your post while sipping morning coffee, Tupp.  Such a satisfying read as I line up another round of decluterring and organizing efficiently.  The idea of more space,less stuff.....very appealing.  Very. 

I'm almost giddy thinking about having half full closets with easy to find items......
that bring me joy.

Yes.

You're inspiring posts are wonderful to read!

Light


Twoapenny

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #385 on: January 09, 2018, 01:57:28 PM »
Ohhhhh.... I'm reading your post while sipping morning coffee, Tupp.  Such a satisfying read as I line up another round of decluterring and organizing efficiently.  The idea of more space,less stuff.....very appealing.  Very. 

I'm almost giddy thinking about having half full closets with easy to find items......
that bring me joy.

Yes.

You're inspiring posts are wonderful to read!

Light

Thank, Lighter :)  I did find the kitchen so much easier without loads of stuff in loads of cupboards.  Just easy to pick out what we need.  The other thing I noticed is that I feel guilt when I see things I have but I don't use - slow cooker, food processor, a whole load of thermal cups/water bottles, that sort of thing.  So I've taken them all down the charity shop and now I don't feel guilty when I open the doors :)  Thank you for saying the posts are inspiring!  Very nice of you :) xx

In other news - I have contacted a psychotherapist for help in dealing with my stress levels.  I have just kicked off at a social worker on the phone.  As well as the clutter clearing and keeping on top of the day to day stuff (which is going well) I currently have in orbit -

One medical appointment with a genetic specialist - this starts the process to find out whether my son has a terminal genetic condition.  Fifteen months in now and this is as far as we've got and I've had to fight all the way.

One complaint in with above hospital for taking so long to organise this and other things (the other things are less important but still need to be dealt with). Complaints generally take around eighteen months to go through each different stage and all the work has to come from me.

No college or home tuition provision even finalised in writing yet.  One complaint went in, second one needs to follow. Subject Access Request made so I can see copies of my son's records as what they are claiming and what I know to be true are different and we need to see where this is coming from.

Complaint in about the above lack of provision; second complaint is needed.

Up coming - applying to court for permission to deal with son's money and all his affairs when he turns 16.
Transition from child to adult benefits
Possibly court to force local authority to provide education as they don't seem to be in any hurry to do so.

The social worker phoned about my request for my son's records.  Because my son can't give consent, this man (who he doesn't know) will decide on his behalf and I have to justify why I want the records and why it's in my son's best interests.  This man doesn't have the knowledge to make this decision.  If he makes a decision based on what I tell him, I can easily lie (as my mother has so many times before) and tell him any old nonsense.  If they aren't willing to accept my word for it then they need to go to a suitably qualified medical practitioner who can go through my son's medical records to establish capacity.  I object to having to justify what I'm doing when I'm the only person on the planet who has ever fought for my boy and what he needs.  I explained - angrily - that if anyone we encountered did their job properly I wouldn't need the records as I wouldn't be fighting for things my son is legally entitled to.  This man made two inaccurate statements about my son.  I corrected him.  He refused to be corrected.  This is what I'm up against constantly; an army of people who don't know him but insist they know better than I do.  I had no choice but to tell him I am making complaints and fighting decisions I don't agree with.  This means the records can now magically disappear (this has happened to me before) or they can be sent through so heavily redacted that I can't read them (this has also happened to me before).  So now I have the possibility looming over me that these records won't materialise and so will weaken my case.  Of course, he may send them through - but they have two months to process the application so I might wait two months now before I now either way.

I don't have an issue with people making decisions or making checks - I have an issue with people who don't know or understand the situation, or who have a vested interest in what I do with the information - being involved with the process.

I didn't handle it well and I am aware of that, but equally I am aware that I've had sixteen years of this now and the very thought of these people makes me want to vomit, quite frankly.  All I could think of after I argued with him was killing myself and once that subsided I sat sobbing on the floor for half an hour.  I just can't deal with the stress any more.  However much I organise my home, work on myself, keep my relationships healthy and all the rest of it the interactions with these agencies just send me through the roof.  The thought of dealing with this for the rest of my life fills me with dread.  The thought of no-one being around to deal with this for my son after I'm gone fills me with horror.

Anyway - I have contacted this lady for an appointment in the hope she can help me learn some techniques to help me manage it in the moment.  I feel enormously resentful that I am, once again, spending time and money I don't have on dealing with people I don't want to deal with and having to keep accepting these people who stick to procedure when it suits them (ie, when they can stop me doing something) but ignore it when it means them having to do something to help.

Twoapenny

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #386 on: January 09, 2018, 02:40:55 PM »
Just to update - this is a therapist I haven't used before - I only emailed half an hour ago and she's already got back to me with a date for this Thursday and she's not hideously expensive, either.  I feel relieved that she is available and can see me quickly.  At least if feels like I'm doing something.  I asked a friend to have my son for me.  I find it difficult to ask for help at times like this because often in the past I've had negative or unhelpful responses to requests for help and then I find that even harder to deal with.  It's often easier not to ask because then I don't have to cope with the rejection on top of everything else.  But this friend immediately offered to give me a lift to the clinic and then take the kids out for something to eat and told me just to ring when I need picking up again.  Enormously helpful and so nice of her, and another good thing to come out of it.

I will need to ring the social worker tomorrow and apologise for kicking off; I didn't swear or make any personal insults but he did bear the brunt of my frustrations with many different things and he was just doing what he needs to do to tick the boxes on his forms so I shouldn't have gone off at him like that.  Apology is needed so I will do that tomorrow (office will be shut now).

Twoapenny

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #387 on: January 10, 2018, 07:29:29 AM »
Woke up this morning even angrier than I went to bed; won't be apologising to anyone for being offended that they have the audacity to question my motives when my record with my son is impeccable, quite frankly.  They happily accepted every word my mum told them despite it all being fabricated but I'm expected to prove myself?  Because I gave birth to him?

Final plan has come through re college education; they have arranged nothing, there's no start date for home provision and they haven't corrected any of the inaccuracies I sent back to them with the draft plan.  They have, in short, done nothing; I could have done the whole thing myself in less than a week and it's taken them eight months to get nowhere.  No option now other than court.  We will definitely be moving; if I'm to work until I drop dead from exhaustion with zero support for my son then I at least want to do it with a couple of friends nearby and a nice seaside to sit by on a sunny day.

With that in mind have undercoated my curtain battens and cleared out a bit more clutter.  Lunch next, then more work on flat and paperwork.  Have discovered a situation with my son's savings account is easier to sort than I thought, which is good.

Hopalong

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Re: Relinquishing Control - Please will you help me? :)
« Reply #388 on: January 10, 2018, 09:16:16 AM »
Oh (((((((((((((((Tupp))))))))))))))).

I am so very sorry. I'm glad you have a T appointment.

I do think it's good to apologize to the man. When he asked why you needed the records it was a bureaucrat question probably, something he was required to ask. It sounds as though that shoved you right back into feeling helpless, disrespected, unrecognized as a good mother, and re-triggered all the trauma you went through with your mother's sabotage of you....not just regarded your care of your son but your whole life.

You didn't mean to react that way. You were just overwhelmed by that trigger and all the frustration. Somehow, maybe the T can help you de-enemyize the people within the system, despite its maddening ineptitude.

I so hope so. And I'm so very sorry you're dealing with this level of stress. It is not fair.

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 #389 on: January 10, 2018, 10:33:32 AM »
Oh (((((((((((((((Tupp))))))))))))))).

I am so very sorry. I'm glad you have a T appointment.

I do think it's good to apologize to the man. When he asked why you needed the records it was a bureaucrat question probably, something he was required to ask. It sounds as though that shoved you right back into feeling helpless, disrespected, unrecognized as a good mother, and re-triggered all the trauma you went through with your mother's sabotage of you....not just regarded your care of your son but your whole life.

You didn't mean to react that way. You were just overwhelmed by that trigger and all the frustration. Somehow, maybe the T can help you de-enemyize the people within the system, despite its maddening ineptitude.

I so hope so. And I'm so very sorry you're dealing with this level of stress. It is not fair.

love to you,
Hops

Hopsie, thank you, all is better!  It's amazing how much can change so quickly.  I was so stuck about which mess to deal with first that I didn't know what to do or how to go about it, so decided to call the college in the area we want to move to to discuss the situation and see whether they even have space at the moment.  The lady was so nice, advised me that they never get full as they're the main provider in the area so can access additional funding without the problems a lot of places have (particularly places around here as we are in a rural area so individual places cover huge areas sometimes).  She told me to apply, they'll invite for interview and then we can all have a chat and see if everything looks good and take it from there.  They can offer him a place provisionally before we move if everyone is in agreement that it's the right course and so on.  I filled everything in online and it's all done!  Such a difference to what we've been dealing with here.  So I feel better for just getting on with something and taking a step in the right direction.  Now getting on with more decluttering :)  And the sun is out! :) xx