What a long meeting, but she was very nice and kind. Poppy was meant to meet her at 2pm, then speak with her, then I speak with her. Poppy didn't turn up, so I went in and talked. Still no Poppy after half an hour so she went back to the desk to see where she was, they went to call her again.Poppy rang me at 3pm in tears saying she wasn't going to come, she didn't want to talk to any one, I said I'll come and find you, she told me where she was. I found her with a friend, who was saying it'll be OK, just go and talk to her. She didn't even know who it was, or why, but she assumed it was something to do with home bc I was here, though she didn't know that until the second time of being called, she was just asked to go to student support. Poor thing was all mixed up and didn't know what was happening, but I managed to persuade her to come with me, I didn't say she was a SW, just wanted to talk about home. Maybe she thought it was something to do with the other night, in fact I think she thought she was a counsellor.
So, during my chat, she took a brief family history, and told me that Dr H had referred due to the incident on the Sunday night, which I tried to recount as best I could, but had to rely on what the kids had told me for the first part, and I forgot part of the ending. I told her of other events that had happened, the evening he told us he was going to kill himself, Tuesday night, the night he took the kids from me when they were little and locked me out. We talked about his drinking habits, she knew about his DUI, that we have separate rooms bc of his drinking. I told her about his verbal aggression towards us all, his controlling behaviour, but wasn't able to paint a very good picture of what it's like to live with him.
We talked about my plans for the marriage, that I'd tried to get away twice, but he wouldn't allow it. I told her what my plans were with the lawyer, and she read the letter. She was clear that it was a situation that would be better if we separated, and seemed to be saying that it needs to be escalated, but I'm not sure how.
I told her that he had a dislike for authority (understatement!), and that I was anxious about them talking with him, that he would be very angry with me bc I'd been talking to them. I felt really bad, told her so, that I had been telling her all that stuff, I stopped in my thoughts on a couple of occasions thinking I mustn't say that, he will know I've told them such and such.... (drinking and driving for example).
She asked about the children's health, I said Poppy has been fine, Sam has been struggling with some emotional issues, that he has ADHD, some anger issues, mostly bc of D, that he has seen a counsellor, and can see her when he wants to, that he has a psych for his ADD
, that he has started on meds. She asked about physical abuse, I just mentioned pushing and shoving, and that he had stamped on Sam's bare foot with work boots on, otherwise just intimidating and demeaning bahaviour, and plenty of verbal abuse.
I think we pretty much covered all bases, I could have added more and more, I talked OK, but cried many tears, and she referred to my anxiety and depression several times.
Poppy called at last, and she came in with me, she said she wasn't going to say anything, but I wasn't asked to leave. I sat on a chair behind the table, so Poppy could sit in my place, but she wanted to come and sit with me. She was crying as she came in, and the SW tried to reassure her that it was just a chat, she put her head on my shoulder and I put my arm around her. The SW asked Poppy if she knew what we were here for, and P said bc Mum's not well. The SW said is mum not well bc of things at home? P said yes. She asked P why she was afraid of talking to her, and P said bc I don't want mum and dad to split up. SW asked kindly if P had any friends whose parents had split up, she nodded and cried. She told her that often everyone is a lot happier if the parents split up, and who knows, once dad has sorted himself out, and mum feels better, maybe they can get together again. Poppy nodded.
She asked her if there were any times that dad had been physically aggressive, asked specifically what happened that night, in fact Poppy said what night was that, so we had to tell her a bit more about it. She didn't think much of it, but the SW realised that's bc there are many nights like it but she hasn't felt scared of him, or at risk of being hurt by him. She asked her if she had a good relationship with him, she said sometimes, but they argue a lot. We talked about ways of talking to grown ups, that she had lost her respect for him, that she was rude to him bc he was so unpleasant to her. The SW asked her if she fought with her brother, that they must make sure they don't hit each other, and that she mustn't hit her dad, then things get more complicated. Sigh.
She asked P if she wanted to report D for his behaviour (to the CPS), she said no. She asked me how I felt about them talking to D. I asked if P could wait outside. I didn't know what to say for a minute, I was silent. I didn't want them to speak to him. She said she really needs to talk to him, and tell him that his behaviour, drunkenness, drink driving etc needs to be sorted, that he is not giving a good example to the kids, that maybe they can suggest he gets help, to sort himself out.
I told her I was scared of his reaction, and she said she would let the domestic violence and abuse service get in touch with me, on my mobile, and arrange for some support from them, an outreach worker to meet with. She also gave me the out of hours number for the social work dept, though my file won't be written up, the referral will be there on the system.
I'll finish off after supper.....