I need help, how do I get taken seriously

This is long, I’m sorry, there’s an awful lot going on and this doesn’t even scratch the surface.

I’m in Scotland.

My husband an I separated three years ago and the children stayed with him so we didn’t disrupt their lives. All was good until last summer when our middle child (14) started self harming. In October she told her counsellor she had a plan to kill herself so she was admitted to a psych unit but they discharged her after two weeks (with no therapy) because they said she was picking up other people’s illnesses. This is where it all started to go wrong for us.

She refused to eat and got into a cycle of falling out with her dad about it and then cutting herself and threatening to kill herself, he would take her to hospital and they would admit her back into the psych unit for a night to calm down. In January her psychiatrist suggested she spend a few days with me to try to break the cycle. She was an absolute model child, started eating again, was fun to be around, no problem at all. Just before she was due to go back to her dad she told me that he had been hitting her and I was really alarmed at her description so I reportrd it to social work and they got the police involved.

As the months have passed she has made more allegations against him and refused to talk to him. She readily tells anyone who will listen that she’s been removed from an abusive home and she’s refusing to go back. The police and social work have concluded that she’s lying.

I live in a tiny, one bedroom flat and I’m technically homeless so I arranged for her to go live with my parents. It wasn’t long before she was accusing them of abuse and neglect. She was phoning me every day, multiple times a day, and she sounded so convincing that I fell out with my parents about it. She ran away and got another parent also convinced that she was being abused by her grandparents. Nobody in authority believes her thankfully so it went nowhere, but she’s caused my parents a lot of stress and my dad got very ill so she’s back with me.

Since she’s been back with me she’s now disclosed that she’s been groomed and abused by someone she met in an online chat site. When the police came I read the conversations between her and this guy and I’m horrified at what she’s been writing. To protect her, we agreed that I’d install monitoring software on her phone. I then discovered that she’s been messaging another child very inappropriate things. She’s 14 and the other child is 13 and also very vulnerable.

As a result of all this, socoal work have put protection measures in place to protect her little sister from her, which means she can’t be alone with her…and so can’t go back home.

I’ve told social work I can’t cope and I’m having suicidal thoughts, I live in a tiny flat, she needs constant attention and watching so I can’t get away from her. She refuses to do anything, she won’t go out so I can’t go out. She just sits on the sofa all day making noises and throwing things around that she says are tics but I know she’s doing it to disrupt me. I can’t even really have a phone call because she’s always listening.

I can’t work when she’s around (she deliberately disrupts my day every day) and I’m self employed so I’ve lost a lot of income. My partner has stopped talking to me because he gets really stressed by me being so upset. I’m scared as to what she’s going to do next and I don’t see an end to this horrible situation.

My child is gone and I’m left with this person who creates drama so extreme I can’t ignore it and gets pleasure out of watching us all run around after her. I’m on my own and I’ve got no support from cahms because they’ve said that to do so would feed her need for attention and she’ll get worse. I’m at the end of my tether and I really don’t know what to do. All my normal coping mechanisms are gone.

How do I get someone to take me seriously? They’ve given me telephone support but the call ends and everything is just the same as it was. I don’t even know what’s wrong with her because cahms won’t diagnose her until she’s an adult. I feel so alone all the time. In a matter of weeks I’ve gone from loving life to wishing it would just end.

Hi Jojo your post struck a chord with me. My situation wasn’t quite the same as yours but my son had very severe mental health problems and like you no one was listening to us or helping us. He was 17 and social services said he was too old for children’s social services but too young for adults ! We felt we were goi g round in circles. I think a visit to your gp regarding your own mental health is in order. Let them know you cannot deal with this on your own. Does your daughter have a named social worker ? If so they need to be putting something in place to help you both. I know it’s hard to find the strength when you’re feeling like this but you really need to make a nuisance of yourself with social services or they don’t do anything. I know this from bitter experience and I have learned to be far more assertive now. Let social services know you need a carers assessment which you are entitled to and that should flag up where help can be given. Please don’t despair many of us have felt as you do and we are all here to vent to when needed. You won’t be judged and I found it does help to let it all out . Hope you get the help you so need

Thank you so much for replying. A lot has happened since I wrote this but the conclusion is that she’s been returned to her dad tonight by social work…they drove her back to his house because all other care arrangements broke down and he’s refused to let her be placed in a care home.

I spoke to a lawyer this morning and I will be making a complaint via my lawyer to both social work and cahms for their incompetence over the past couple of days. I don’t even know the words to explain it all. It’s been hell.

I’ve been told she likely has BPD and there’s nothing cahms can do about it and we just need to deal with it even if that means she’s constantly passed around. Because she’s a minor they’re saying that they can’t formally diagnose her so she can’t get treatment. Meanwhile, social work did have a plan to support me but they didn’t share it with me and instead watched me break.

I knew she was going to do something yesterday and I told both social work and cahms in the morning and they didn’t do anything. Cahms didn’t even speak to her even though they knew she had a plan and the means to hurt herself again. They both said they’d call back and neither did. Then, last night she made it look like she’d hung herself!!!

My mum has been told by cahms today that they know she’s been manipulating us by getting close, playing on our emotions, then doing more and more extreme things that we can’t ignore (they actually said grooming) and that this has led to me, my mum and my dad all breaking down over the past couple of days. They said that, because she isn’t a danger to herself, they won’t do anything. What about the danger she poses to everyone around her!

I’m so angry right now but I feel a little bit better now I have some control back.

On the subject of getting help from the gp, they gave me the number for breathing space. I’m shocked at how little tangible support or concern there is for mental health in Scotland :open_mouth: