By the weekend things had improved. The real story was that when Emily went to visit mainstream school, they were unprepared. They asked her questions, understandably. When was she coming back? Was she coming back next week?? Half days, full days?? Emily felt under terrible pressure. The Unit had, unfortunately, not really had a conversation with school and as a result, the visit went badly.
We talked things over while we sat and wrapped Christmas presents. Emily has no real 'wants' this year. In a way that's been nice. I've gone out and been able to look for things that she might like. As a result she is actually looking forward to Christmas, lunch at home with her family and surprises under the tree. This is an achievement in itself. Emily looking forward to anything. We are not a religious family, but for us Christmas is a time when the family comes together and, amongst other things, share thoughtful gifts, gifts that show how much we care.
Last week we had another review meeting. Very few people attended this time. I made no attempt to hide my feelings. It was me who had instigated reduced residential attendance to aid Emily's transition to day attender, the unit had not. Not only this, but the school visits during the last six weeks had been a total of one, when there should have been several. I expressed my 'disappointment', which was met with embarrassment. There are so many good staff in this place, but co-ordination and communication continue to let us down.
I am hoping we are now back on track and things will happen. Emily continues to have ups and downs. Ups show me the old Emily, downs show me a frightened child shaking with fear.
And me? I have taken the step of weighing myself. I have put 2 stone on in 4 months. I am ashamed. Still, I am also determined to do something, My low mood, and attempts to cope with Emily, have lead to alcohol and comfort food. I can not hate myself for trying to find a way to cope, to feel just a small amount better. No, in contrast, what I can do is say 'enough!'. I no longer fit in any of my clothes, the time has come to take action. Gone is the junk food, 'in' is the low fat, low carb eating regime. (I will not say diet) Small positive changes can make a big impact. I hope I can keep it up.
Tonight Emily asked to talk to me, she was upset, worrying about school. We talked for a while, thinking of real things we could do, strategies we could put in place. Emily's concerns are around more school visits. I told her that it was no use looking at the past, we can only affect the future. We need to look at her concerns and work out what solutions may be available to potential problems.
My life is so up and down and so is Emily's, but while ever we can keep talking we have a chance.
- Mum of 2, suffering my own mental health issues, I began to write this blog as a way to release feelings and emotions. At 13 my daughter was terribly bullied which has led to her having serious mental health problems of her own. She is now 16. I wanted to document our journey and hopefully be able to look back and see how far we have come.