Saturday, 9 March 2019

One step forward, Two steps back!

There is a moment when you deal with professionals where their opinions make you feel like you are massively wrong and feel bad for thinking the way that you do.
This entire process with social services has been stressful and invasive at times. The one thing that we have tried along the way is to be totally honest and transparent to the events, actions and situations that have been happening. The problem is the belief in what we have been saying.

We have an 8 year old (the 7) who is demonstrating actions that are abusive, concerning and not typically expected from a child and one so young. It isn’t that we are lying but the concept of domestic abuse and purposeful manipulation doesn’t seem to match to the idea of a young, blonde haired and blue eyed 7 year old boy but that is exactly what is happening.
Luckily, we have video and photo evidence of it all as well as witnesses who have seen it. This has been great for us to really show the validity of our case.

The real problem then isn’t necessarily convincing these people of what is happening but more that we KNOW exactly what is going on.
I kind of see this the same way as my disability. In many general medical situations like GP’s and hospital the professionals tend to say “Well the truth is Mr Kitney you probably know more about the disability and the medical responses than we do”. It would make sense, I, for the last 22 years, have experienced every aspect of my disability and its degenerative points. I have regularly spoken to the specialist about all the different aspects and how it relates to my health. Therefore, I would have a greater understanding of the specialist aspects of my medical condition than a general practitioner.

So if we use and understand this concept then it is easy to realise that we, as a family, are more understanding of the abuse and manipulation that is going on. After all, we are the ones who are living in the middle of the storm. So why would they feel the need to presume that they know more?
After the report was given and we had the Children in Need meeting there was a certain level of “achievement” in the on-going process. A, at the time, had shown a level of improvement. He had started to acknowledge, chat, respond and interact with me. He seemed to be behaving better around the other children. His outbursts seemed to be limited to less than a handful over a 2 month period compared to weekly. Finally, his manipulation through emotional blackmail and self-harm had only one incident.

The thought process was that the involvement of social services, the strategies that they and we had put into place and the play therapy had combined and tackled the abuse that was happening. We, however, were wary. We had a period of time last year over a 4 to 5 weeks where things dramatically changed after we took a real hard stance on A’s behaviour. However, by the end it changed back and he told us that he was only pretending to be nice. He used what we put in place, adapted and pretended to consider and change his behaviour only to change back when he thought he was “safe” and wasn’t going to have any comeback.
This thought was always in the back of our mind, we knew that his issues and behaviour was controllable and ran deep within him that really only professional and long term support could tackle but alas we got told that we were wrong. We were being pessimistic, negative and not looking at the good progress that we and A had made.

The more it happened there was a part of me that started to believe they were right. Until 3 weeks ago.
3 weeks ago the odd little behaviour trait started to come back out. It wasn’t directly noticeable at times but there was some low level actions happening. Over that time it has increased and in some case has gone back further to what we were dealing with over a year ago.

It seemed to coincide with the “goodbye” happened with the assessing social worker. Could it be a coincidence? Was something triggering A again to start back up? Did something change for him? Or, had we changed and stopped being so proactive and it’s allowed him to slip back?
We managed to chat to him only for him to admit that he had been pretending again. We tried to ask why he had stopped and changed again, pinpoint the reason why this behaviour has started up but all he would tell us was "because i can and want to". All that was clear was that we were back to square one and in some cases further back than that. In the middle of exploring this we found out further information about his manipulation to other family members and his very clear understanding of how he manipulates or in his words “pretends and lies to get what he wants” as well as exposing a manipulation technique he has used to get Hannah into his room in the middle of the night that we, up to last week, had no idea that he was doing it.

In many ways I feel so let down in the social services for being so positive and trying to convince us that it is all good now. I feel let down that I had started to believe it rather than relying on my own understanding of what is happening around us.
We have a new social worker working with us who seems to be able to see exactly what is going on, what he is doing and is capable of so I am holding out the hope that we can work together to at least tackle the long term behaviour that is lurking in the low points.  Until we can get that long term support and treatment to him it is back to being on defence and muddling through.


Kim Carberry said...

I really hope the new social worker can help. Thinking of you and Hannah! It must be so frustrating knowing that someone, a child you both love can be so difficult. (I don't know how else to phrase it without offending) x

Sarah-Jane said...

I'm in the same situation myself, I've been fighting for over 10 years for help for my now 12-year-old girl. She is now going to art therapy but it's took a long time for anyone to listen to us and give our daughter the help she needs.

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