Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.

Today, my job as a mum, was much like the metaphor I’ve chosen to explain it…………like jumping through hoops of fire. My daughter, through many complex reasons, has been homeless for almost a year(even though she could live with me, her dad, her grand parents and a whole host of other people) and has been living any where from squats to sofa surfing. On Saturday, when she reached the lowest point I had ever seen her in, she called me. Thirty minutes later, she was in my car and on the way home with me. She’s asked for help and told me everything. All I could do was listen.

Today, the ring master doused the hoop in petrol and held a lit match to it, and I jumped through it over and over again. I’m a bit singed but I’ve lived to tell the tale. First of all, we had to get through to Directgov. After 40 minutes of answering the same question we completed an application of Employment support Allowance(not that she’ll definitely get it!) We then had to open a bank account for her. Now bear in mind that DD has twelve pieces of metal in her face, a mowhawk and dreds and the bank looked us up and down as if she were crap and I were the crap peddler and did everything to get us out of the bank as soon as possible. They fumed when we had all the right ID and they still managed to spend ages on the phone to passport office whilst they verified who she was. Reluctantly, they gave her the paperwork to sign and now she ‘exists’ and has a bank account.

Hoop number three awaited us at the doctor’s surgery. Now bear in mind (there’s a lot of bearing in this email) that she has been treated for clinical depression for three years and is chemically dependent on stuff that would give Amy Winehouse a headache and; they offered counselling and a repeat prescription. They also treated her in a manner that surprised me, she was a nuisance and they didn’t hide it. I asked, at what point would there be a referral to a clinical psychologist and they told me when they referred it and not before. So, go and see a counsellor, let that fail and still drink three litres of white lightening a day along with anything else you can get,and when you’re pissing yourself in a police cell, then and only then, after you’ve gone on the game to get the ketamine, we might give you some support with your mental health problems! The next time you see an alcoholic, urine stained wino slumped outside Marks and Spencer’s, then she may have well have asked for help and may have been packed on her way with a repeat prescription of anti-depressants and a cheery ‘We’ll see you in a fortnight!”

Any way, enough of the slight irritation! After she sobbed to the doctor’s surgery and home again (she did warn me that they always treat her with indifference and seeing it for myself almost reduced me to tears!). The rest of the day improved. She cooked dinner with me, we talked and she helped me fold laundry.

I’m hoping she’ll stay at home for much longer than usual, that she’ll take the counselling and turn up for it, that she’ll get the benefits she’s legally entitled to and we’ll find her somewhere permanent to live. I was thinking today, of the lovely readers who left me comments about their partners not being frugal, of their partner’s waste of money and the struggles they have to convince other family members that the frugal route will save them all in the long run. I’m sorry folks, you won’t be able to change them. You can do what you can, where you are, with what you have. You can’t influence the outcomes of the lives of others, even if they are family, even if you lead them the right way or even if you have any influence. It doesn’t stop you from jumping through hoops, even if it feels futile, you do what you have to do. People are hard work; love them any way!

Until tomorrow, Froogs xxxx


34 thoughts on “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.

  1. I know how you feel FQ, I have someone in my family who lives a chaotic lifestyle and causes carnage when he is on the drink. He has made himself homeless, lost his job, wife, family etc, all through drink, but he can't seem to give it up. When he wants/needs help, he is seen as a nuisance, unfortunatey in his case he is at times. I do hope that things will work out with your daughter, it is a real worry when you get people looking down their noses when you ask for help, they should remember that anyone can find themselves in the same situation………….. I have learned just that. Hugs, samfan. xx


  2. Wishing you all the best, to you and your daughter.

    I'm also loving your response re not being able to change others – you are so right, and sometimes it is hard to realise it but we can't change others.


  3. We are all part of the human family;we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
    We all need help as some point in our lives and it is up to each and every one of us to give help when and if we can. Sometimes it is thrown back in our faces (which is what happened to us) and literally we can do nothing more than pray.
    Jane x


  4. It's never easy being a mother, and I know from bitter experience how hard it can be to get help for a beloved child with mental health problems. (My son went through a geat deal in his teenage years until he was finally diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.) You are right you can only do what you can do – no more, no less. You are doing everything possible just make sure that you also remember your own needs and don't neglect yourself. Wishing your daughter all the best for the future and hope that this is the start of an upward climb for her and sending you much support and ((hugs)). xxx


  5. If only they had given us a manual along with our newborns. Yes we jump through hoops for them and do everything for them but we are human. Hang in there and good luck with everything.


  6. Your poor daughter, she must feel so let down by the “establishment”. You arent dealing with the “establishment” or a government body, you are dealing with the individual that you talk to at the time, and what they advise you will be dependant on the day theyve had, or whether they have had an arguement with their boyfriend or not! They arent health care professionals or interested in your daughter or you, only themselves! As long as your daughter knows that you love her and place her 1st in your priorities she will be able to carry on tomorrow, because thats what matters, the ability to carry on, to get up in the morning and feel hope that the day will get better and that her mum is looking out for her and that she is at the top of the list of her mums priorities!
    God bless you and your whole family, froogs. xxxxxxxx mollymay!


  7. If she is suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, see if you can get her into a DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) program. Very hard work for the patient, but it is amazing in its results.

    Clinical depression is a disease that is so hard on everyone, patient as well as family. You're doing a great job.


  8. As already said you are a fantastic Mum, there may not be much any of us can do to change someone else but knowing you have a Mum that loves you that much surely helps xx


  9. My eyes are overflowing after reading your post. It didn't help that I'd just watched the repeat of Secret Millionnaire which I am sure is not an ego boost, it was still very emotional watching. Even more emotional reading your post.

    This you are suffering is real and I wish you strength to get through it. x


  10. My heart goes out to you as have been there seen it all and worn the sweathshirt. Its agony its heartwrenching, but you can only deal with those matters within your power You are doing the right thing though, she may rail against you but that is frustration speaking and we always hit out at those closest to you. My step-daughter went through similar problems and she was given acupuncture which helped her get off the street drugs and gas and glue sniffing. It may be worth investigating this avenue as well. Is there a local drug advisory service I think it used to be called? However, the way your daughter is being treated is not very encouraging and may be the reason why others are put off at the pass, despite their intent to get straight and on an even keel. All you can do is love her and try not to be judgmental about her choices. Not easy when as a mother all you want to do is nurture and protect it something that mums are biologically programmed to do. Hang on in there you will get your daughter back but you are going to need a lot of patience – I got my step-daughter back – in fact she doesn't talk to her Mum or her Dad when she needs help she still comes to me and uses me as a sounding board. I give her the choices and options as I see it. However I leave those choices for her to make and love her just as she is warts n all whatever choices she makes (even if I don't really approve). Its the person that stands by them through thick and thin that helps bring them back from the abyss and through to the other side – sometimes that calls for tough love i.e. no messing and marking parameters so that there is a modicum of respect after all they cannot always have everything their own way. Please remember that with substances and alcohol its not necessarily your daughter you are dealing with but the reaction that the substances cause in her. I wish your daughter well and you too. It may well be worth doing some internet research too to see if any help can be accessed externally there are organisations out there its finding them and accessing them, but your daughter will have to want to do this for herself for it to work.

    [hugs and much love to you all]




  11. A few years ago I worked for a charity that provided sheltered accomodation for homeless people. When I got to know the tenants a lot of them had similar stories and in a nutshell they didn't have what your daughter has, someone to love and support them. Knowing that someone loves you and that you are not worthless is the greatest thing ever. You are doing a good job.
    Twiggy x


  12. Please try a different surgery… some Doctors are such a*******s with their heads stuck up their own.

    I take it you've tried social services? We tried them (out of desperation) just to get help/support, and they told us we didn't need any help as we were too pro-active!
    So i know they often aren't much help 😦

    My heart goes out to you both x


  13. Hi, Check if you're local Community Mental Health Team takes direct referrals. The NHS trust I work for is going to start in April but I know some have already gone on to take them. Might be worth giving them a call if you already haven't. Hope its of some help. If I can be of any other help, email me. Take care and you're a loving mom who daughter knows it. Take care Janet. Oh if you do manage to get her at the Job centre or whatever it is, they have workers who specialise in helping people with a variety of mental health/psychological problems find work when they are able to.


  14. I know how you fell but you also have to take care of yourself. I have a daughter who was on the drug P.She stole from us and also where we work. I am now having to have counselling because I didn't give to my self she only took all that I could give her and more now I have nothing more to give.She has cost us so much money and her brother lost his house because she was renting it and didn't pay the rent.


  15. God watch over you and your daughter. My daughter is now 20 and tried to commit suicide at age 16. We had great treatment, which she refused after the initial hospitalization. We have been thru hell and back with her behavior, but she is finally seeing some light. Take care of yourself, but never give up on her, just love her any way you can. The treatment she received is unbelievable! I agree, keep looking for help, even though you shouldn't have to! xx


  16. That she has you is the best thing for her. I hope she can see this.

    I have no great words of advice I've never been through anything so severe with my boys, the usual teenage problems but nothing on this scale.

    All I can say is that she is SO lucky to have you in her corner. It must have taken guts on her part to contact you, so she is showing signs of being as strong as you are.

    When she can remove the 'bits of metal' from her face one by one and step out as the girl she is, she will be well on the way, but you are on a long road. Sending you both love and good wishes as you walk it together.

    Sue xx


  17. It's appalling the way psychological problems are dealt with in this country.

    After my divorce I went into depression, we don't really need the details here, upon going to the doctor they just threw pills at me. I took them they did nothing I went back. They just threw a stronger dosage at me.

    I took them I felt ill I threw them down the loo.

    All the pills do is become a crutch. My sister has been on one form of antidepressant or another for around 13 years and now physically cannot come off them without a very controlled withdrawal program. She has gone cold turkey a few times and it has not gone well.

    Problems then become self fulfilling, you drink because you can't get a job, you can't get a job because you drink etc and its a downward spiral unless someone amazing is there.

    She is lucky to have you.

    'Mother is the name for god in the lips and hearts of little children'


  18. I have so much sympathy for your daughter's experiences with the Dr's. It is amazing how little the medical professions seem to care for anyone with depression or anything related such as self harm or suicidal tendancies. They seem to forget that the hippocratic oath states “In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients,”. The above instances are not wasting their time, they are as important as any other sick person.

    As you can tell I am personally bitter!

    Hold on in there, both of you. You, FQ, are doing a sterling job and have my upmost respect.


  19. I feel so angry on behalf of you and your daughter.
    I really hope you manage to find a different doctor. Have you thought about contacting MIND? They are meant to be very good – here's the website

    Its a massive step for anyone to open up, so the fact that your daughter has is such a good start.

    No one deserves to be treated by banks or anyone else that way.

    I really feel for the both of you right now, she is lucky to have a mum like you who she has finally felt ready to turn to.
    Homelessness and depression can so easily happen to anyone.

    Thinking of you both, hang in there!

    megan x


  20. The best thing about all of this is that your daughter conquered part of her fear asked for your help.

    The second best thing is that as she goes through the process of trying to access mental health services she has someone by her side. People with mental health issues are often pushed into the cheapest and most convenient “treatment” rather than being properly assessed and helped. It's a catch 22 because they are often in no fit state to evaluate the suitability of the services and medication they are being offered. Often doctors will hand out prozac like they are smarties as a FIRST resort. Don't let them fob your daughter off with the kind of attitude that medicates people into silent compliance. It ticks boxes for them but it doesn't help the patient. As others have said, see if you can access other mental health services directly and find local support groups who will often know the best places to try.



  21. Hey Froogs,
    Shocked, saddened but ultimately uplifted by your post me dear. The world would be a far, far better place with more people like you me dear. You are a good person and a wonderful mother.


  22. Thank heavens she swallowed her pride or whatever was stopping her before and rang you – nobody warns you about this sort of thing at ante-natal lessons – I hope it works out well for the both of you – she's very lucky to have you and on the flip side even with all her trials you're also very lucky to have her – I wish you well


  23. I know you've had a gajillion comments but I wanted to add one more.
    I'm going to keep you family (and your daughter in particular) in my thoughts and prayers. Mums are the best medicine, I'd still be in one heck of a mess if it weren't for mine…


  24. Hi your post has really struck a raw nerve with me. Tears have filled my eyes. I totally understand everything you are going through and all the range of emotions you have probably been through to and are still going through. From blame to why ? each of us is at a different stage. I cry lots and ask myself why my child is like this? other times I accept that it is not my fault, sometimes I go full circle. I could really relate. Big hug to you . You are not alone on your journey xx


  25. You cannot change someone, I know, I have learned and am still learning that the hard way. But you can accept them and you can hold their hand, and that is far, far harder (still learning that too). You are way way ahead of me and on a day when I was ready to slip several steps back you have given me the strength to keep accepting and keep holding that hand. Thank you.


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