There was a meeting at my son's school yesterday to ascertain whether my son was still a "Child in Need". The last time we all met was just before my son and I were being evicted and they determined then that my child was one in need, and yes, I'd have agreed, in need of a home.
At that meeting they agreed I should be presented to the mental health services for counselling.
That was then. The social services hadn't been able to help us. This is now; two bedroom flat, fairly settled, all things improving, you can let us go, concentrate on another child who perhaps isn't as fortunate as mine.
They swooped on my mental health and the impact this was having on my child.
"It's not as bad now," I was saying. "The eviction was traumatic, as it would be for anybody, we're not being evicted now."
They said there'd been a recommendation that I talk to the mental health services, had I done this.
"Yes," I said. "I'm on the waiting list."
Where? How long waiting? Wouldn't it be better to try for some psychotherapy instead of or ontop of counselling? Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez
"It's the mental services, it can take a while, it's fine. It's not like I've got a huge tumour inside me and waiting is going to kill me..."
Do you know, at one point I had to tell the room "I am stable you know" and they laughed, nervously because yes, they were going too fucking far trying to portray me as some kind of unhinged mother. "We want to help you, we're here to help you."
I have support, I told them, I have friends, my son has friends who come to play, life is better now. They want everything though, everything, barely considering that we moved recently. Imagine it had been Kilburn; imagine my son would've had to change school, at least I still see people of my old community. Not enough though.
They said my son would remain on their books "for the time being".
As if to qualify this, they said I was anxious. "We can see you displaying signs of anxiety now!"
I was speechless. I could only half smile like some dumb, dumb what? Dumb me I guess.
D'you know what? I'm actually enraged by the whole meeting. The more I think about it, the angrier I'm feeling.
Will they genuinely help us? They decided that housing made no difference to my mental health.
It's easier to think that isn't it?
I asked them if they'd take our case to the exceptions panel, to get more points. I wonder if they heard me?
It's not the system that beats me down, of course not
But it is me who puts my son at risk
It is you who puts your child at risk
It's shocking what you learn down here.