I’ll be honest as a child I was pulled along by so many
processes that I had no idea what was going on with me until I got older and
I didn’t even realise I had been in care until I got older.
When I was 14 my mom tried to commit suicide, was sectioned and
I was taken into Kinship care, I hated every moment, I was an only child, who was desperately attached
and close to my mom and it broke my heart knowing she was in a ‘mad persons
hospital’ as the uneducated called it back then.
I wasn’t even allowed to visit her, so we exchanged letters,
letters that broke my heart to read and to write.
I was also wracked with guilt because she tried to take her
life, was it because of me, why didn’t I find her in time to stop her, what
could I have done to change things? You would probably be keen say no, but I was
actually told that it was my fault by a family member.
I went to stay with my uncle (the one who told me it was my
the most child friendly person, he loved to sit, watch
football and smoke and didn’t really pay any attention to me while I was there. Collecting the money he got for having me and giving me a small amount so i could get to school.
So I pretty much spent my time going to and from school and in between spending
time in ‘my room’
I was riddled with so many emotions and anxiety whilst being
in kinship care. Worried about my mom being in that place, was she ok? What were they doing to her? Was she lovely and sad? When
will she be able to come out? How long would I have to stay with these people
Now I look back it was such a bizarre experience because I just
‘coped’ within the madness going on around me, but I know inside I was hurting because I couldn’t be with my mom and I had my
own mental health problems which hadn’t been dealt with (Post traumatic stress
disorder, depression and panic attacks). Being caring wasn’t my uncles strong point, so it was left to his girlfriend
to take me under her wing. She used to take me to the shops and make cheese and
potato pie which I enjoyed, I just yearned so hard to be back with my mom, I can
only explain it as a pained feeling on the inside, a traumatic feeling, which got worse every day
and with each letter she wrote and sent to me.
When my mom eventually came home I was so happy was so happy
to just have her back, even though she was fragile, we could start to work towards
some kind of normality together again.
There definitely needs to be better support for children to
go into any type of care and communication, it is ridiculous that I wasn’t told
what was going on in my life?! I know I was a child but I had a right to know
what was going on, it’s quite saddening to realise a child didn’t even know a
whole part of their life because nobody thought they had the right to know. Children
need to know what is going on in their lives, knowing that at least will give
them some sort of sense of understanding and direction in a situation where
everything around them feels out of their hands.
I remember this experience as being one of the most painful
distressing parts of my life. Not everyone is close to their parent so I guess
the effects will vary in degree, but for me it was devastating. One thing I do know is that, the lack of communication and sense of loss of control in a child in cares life and the frustrating effects of that is something we will all experience.