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2son has now met his new psychologist and had his first full session. He seems quite all right about it and has even allowed me to nit comb his hair at long last. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about 1son this week.

Firstly, a bit of background. There is quite an age gap between 1son and his brothers, the time it took me to get divorced and then settle down with someone else. This means that as he got older he separated out more from them as a natural course of events and the fact that the younger 3 are so close in age to each other helped them form a very tight-knit group. While he does get irritated by them, for the most part he gets on well with them and they think he’s quite awesome, except for when they blame him for all things gone missing in the house.

When he was 14 his father suggested that he lived with him. 1son was not doing brilliantly at school, mainly because he wasn’t motivated. The school was going through some upheaval with change of headteacher and they seemed to have marked him down as one of the brighter ones (true) and stopped pushing him. Mainly though, he just wasn’t interested. I had 3 children from age 5 and up and found it difficult in the evening to find the time and energy to discuss homework with 1 son. So his dad, who we will call ex1 suggested that he moved in with him. I should say that I divorced him because he was and still is an alcoholic, About 10 years later he stopped drinking for good and we were able to establish a civilised relationship with each other. I was devastated for 48 hours at the idea that 1son was happy with the idea. His own room and no sibling were obvious attractions. He only had to share his dad with his grandmother and saw a lot more of that side of the family so there were lots of good reasons. His dad was able to spend more time with him and so that was good.

He got 7 average GCSEs; better than some, worse than he could have done but in the circumstances not bad. He then went to a college local to me for his A’ levels, (and so was mostly living back with me) changed his mind about which ones after a few weeks, didn’t change them quickly enough, didn’t then catch up on his work and rather than offer him support and advice, the college asked him to leave before Christmas saying he could try again the following September. He did and then the following September, having done virtually nothing for the previous nine months, proceeded to do no work and got invited to leave again. We criticised the college severely for not offering any support and for not making their position clear. Conversations with other parents brought to light quite a few students with comparable stories and it turns out that if a college throws students out before Christmas, it doesn’t count on their statistics for student retention so they have good incentive to weed out the weaker students in the first term. Their pastoral support was virtually non-existent and they just said they weren’t a school and it wasn’t within their remit to look after students having difficulties. Yes I’m still angry and won’t send any of my children there again, but it was mostly his fault in the first place.

Since then he has done very little. He flits from his dad’s house to mine depending on his social activities as his friends are mostly nearer to mine. He officially lives full time with his father as anything else would mess up my benefits and tax credits. Since he was 18 he signed on, and the DWP have put very little pressure on him to find work and they haven’t offered him any help in writing CV or any other practical support. So he has £55 a week and no bills. He doesn’t manage to keep to that, frequently running out and asking for train fare (ex1 lives other side of London so transport costs not insignificant and of course. I did suggest initially that ex1 takes £10 a week off him, to hold onto for emergencies and when 1son ran out, but that never quite happened.

He talks about wanting to be a film director. I think he’s given up wanting to be an actor but he’s done very little of either. He talks of a course this September, but not sufficient details. He’s not sure about his registration, whether/how he has to pay although he has had some conversations with the DWP about it and it turns out he would probably have to get a student loan and sign off.

sis1 did get him on one video project last year which he completed but when she tried to get him on another things fell apart. He’s done a fair bit of lying to her and the course leaders and other people who have been trying to get him involved. He’s angered and upset her by basically refusing to talk to her any more as he feels pushed and nagged by her. Eventually he did actually tell her to f*** off, which hurt her a great deal.

So that’s more or less the situation.

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