Yesterday I had a brief session with my support worker and she was proud of me for standing my ground and she said I must keep firm. It was nice to have a little joke about me being the new "alpha female" in the house! Luckily as we finished, we bumped into the worker who spoke to my son on Monday and we sat down and had a chat about my son. I was so happy and reassured that he is not fooled by anything my son tried to downplay. He sensed a bit of fear in my son and also that my son thinks I am serious about putting him out. He also understands and explained to my son that it is not easy for someone living in the midst of the dysfunction of a family living with addiction, that they can not praise and positively reinforce behaviour as quickly as the addict may like or need. As we spoke of this I was given some good advise. Instead of praising him in the way my son my ideally want with hugs, sweetness or rewards for not being on opiates for 7 days for example, I can offer my support and praise by saying, "well done, I am glad you are making some positive steps forward". I was also advised to do this so that while praising my son, I must be careful not to "get soft" for lack of a better expression, because I need to keep that "alpha female" role going because that dislike or fear my son feels is needed. I must stand my ground and even though my son has initially agreed to rehab, there is a four months waiting period and in that time my son does need to respect me and his sisters and if he steps out of line, he can still be "kicked out".
I have made the point since then to my son that I have the right to kick him out at any time if I feel it is necessary, if he steps out of line again. He knows that since I have called the police on him, next time the police wont let him off with a caution. He also has seen my sincerity and seriousness in my ultimatum of getting help or moving out. He has been calm and more rational the last few days and has even suggested going for a walk or seeing a film when we can afford it so that we can all spend some nice time together instead of always concentrating on the addiction and the negative consequences it has had on us all. Though there is still the occasional comment of buying booze or how nice some opium would be.
Today also is Thursday, which means that our new social worker came to see us, on the right day today! As usual I had to start from ground zero and tell the entire history again! I was not surprised at all when I was asked what action plan the last social worker had in place when he left. He also told me that he will have to review the last social worker's notes and our file. Now one would assume that the a social worker taking over a case would review the family history, the case notes and and file BEFORE seeing the family!
On the bright side, the social worker did discuss things with his his supervisor, so obviously he did have some information about us, and that she is happy for us to stop being involved with social services after a referral to Family Solutions and/or Catch 22 services. So we would be getting more specialised support rather than the broad spectrum social services deal with. Honestly, I do not like social services being involved, nor do my children, and they are not providing us with a service that has had any benefit.
Family Solutions works with families up to 12 months addressing a range of issues such as:
offering possible solutions.
Catch 22 is: http://www.catch-22.org.uk/About-Us
"A forward looking social business, Catch22 has over 200 years’ experience of providing services that help people in tough situations to turn their lives around.
Our programmes help those we work with to steer clear of crime or substance misuse, do the best they can in school or college and develop skills for work, live independently on leaving care or custody, gain new skills and confidence as parents, and play a full part in their community.
Our goal is to deliver social benefit by turning chaotic lives around."
So hopefully these services will be better and offer some real solutions and guidance. The social worker is thinking that we can be discharged from social services in September and he is hopeful in getting the ball rolling with these services very soon.
Maybe, just maybe things are looking up. Maybe these services and the the support worker involved with my son, and the application to rehab will all go forward. Maybe, just maybe, the light is starting to be turned on for my son. Maybe, just maybe, my strength is growing and my son is starting to respect that. Maybe, just maybe, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for us!