I went to the GP today, along with 2son’s therapist and the consultant psychiatrist. Social services were supposed to attend but she’s ill.
We discussed Plan B.
2son has not had a bath for a good month. He’s now got dirt patches stuck on his feet and wherever he sits down he creates a pile of hair, dried skin and nits from his scratching. Makes me so glad I took up the carpets downstairs last year. So his self-care has taken a turn for the worse with the total lack of bathing.
On the other hand, he’s noticed that 3son is driving me totally batshit with his pre-teen never-ending arguments, back chat, condescension and moaning. So he’s stopped any belligerence or anger and has been helpful in mediating between his brothers. That’s nice but what gives?
2son is barely talking to his therapist, maybe trying one session out of three and this is still over the phone. Sometimes he feels capable of talking about himself and others he clearly doesn’t. She gives him tasks to practice over the week, starting at opening the front door and looking at the outside world until he feel anxious and then until he calms down afterwards. He will do this with her, sometimes but not at all on his own and he only once did it with me.
So basically, although we’ve given him all the time in the world to come to his own decisions, all he is doing is retreating.
So 3 possible plans of action, and I wasn’t taking notes:
- Do nothing. Hope he comes out of this by himself and decides to use his therapy. Even this has a deadline as I have certain parental control and rights that dwindle away once he’s 16 or so. He will continue to feel as safe as he currently is but may not shift at all.
- Mental Health Act – section him. This doesn’t apply as he’s not a danger to himself or others. GP pointed out that you could just about argue that he is a danger to himself, from the self-neglect causing him physical harm, but it’s not really applicable to him.
- Children’s Act – this I can’t separate from Social Services taking the lead, but can forcibly remove him to a hospital, attend to his physical needs and then attempt to give him a psychiatric assessment, keeping him in for several days. As far as I can tell, either I take the lead or Social Services do but it amounts to the same. This has to be done before he’s 16 and his rights change.
Essentially then we are looking at a forced removal from the house for a few days (and I have no idea how long/short a few is), clean him up, try and talk to him, and hopefully make a diagnosis and move on from there. It may work. It may not. If he won’t respond to the assessment we won’t achieve anything very much. Who knows. But it’s better than doing nothing and leaving him to it.
I’m not that sure.
The one factor he’s talked about over the past years is this need for security and safety. When all the various services started to intervene they wouldn’t go and interrupt him in his bedroom, recognising it as his refuge and not wanting to take away that safe point from him.
We’re now talking about not just invading that space but forcibly removing him from it, which will cut the ground out from under him. That’s a dreadful thing to do, but it might just work.
Therapist and psychiatrist came back with me after the meeting and had preliminary words with 2son about all this, to just let him know we were looking at this sort of thing. The psychiatrist is going away to find the right type of unit to do an assessment of 2son and we’ll have another meeting there.
So with this hanging over me, and 3son’s constant badgering, I’ve lost the plot somewhat. I’ve just been exhausted ever since half term and now Spring is starting up my hayfever has kicked in. I’ve completed 2 full months of exercise and have skipped a few days this week for the first time. I am constantly exhausted.