Hey loves.

The world keeps turning.

We incrementally inch forward. Some days we slump back.

Things are very, very hard right now.

The boy had his first day back at school on Friday. I called repeatedly earlier in the week to try and speak to his head of house to make sure he would be supported. I finally got through on Thursday afternoon. She assured me of all kinds of things, only some of which they actually delivered on Friday. Too little, too late and some not at all.

I am honestly furious.

What made me most furious was when I finally got hold of his head of house on Friday after school she said, ‘He was fine when he spoke to me. He’s doing really well.’ I was very good and didn’t march down there to set fire to the school, but did point out that I didn’t think he would particularly want to confide in her and that instead of her five minute assessment of a boy she barely knows and hardly tolerates and has had repeated run ins with in the past, that perhaps it was best if she took it from me that he really wasn’t.

My main takeaway from this is that we do a good ‘talk’ about mental health and being open, but in practice, most adults want kids (and everyone else) to spend a maximum of two days being sad and then to go back to ‘normal’ as quickly as possible because a) they are busy and mental health is not compatible with time tables and b) they are emotionally constipated and don’t like feeling uncomfortable when emotions don’t comply to a handy meme or a tick box Ted talk.

And it is no wonder that children’s mental health services are in crisis.

We have had very little sleep this weekend as a consequence.

I have promised the boy I will not make a formal complaint, but all bets are off if they mess this up again.

I have other news.

I start working as a part time bookseller at Waterstones on Wednesday. I need regular, paid employment as our financial situation is interesting.

I may be a part time bookseller but it appears I am a full time filler in of pointless paperwork right now.

I can’t say I’m excited about the job, because my home life is such that I am holding things together on several fronts and I am existing on about four hours sleep a night at the moment with one thing and another.

I always wondered how an in real life job would fit in with my unpaid vocation as the holder up of many lives.

We are about to find out.

5 responses to “

  1. Sally Griffiths

    Good luck. 🤗❤️

  2. Where to start?
    Very disappointed but sadly not that surprised by the response of the school. I think you have neatly summed up the difficulty, they don’t have time for mental health, or indeed any problem that can’t be neatly wrapped up in about ten minutes of discussion and a day or so of ‘getting on with things’. Acknowledging that isn’t realistic opens a whole canning factory of worms that they aren’t equipped to deal with, and they don’t have the resources to employ people who are.

    Congratulations (I think) on your new job.
    Whilst you can not relinquish your other vocation, you must try to conserve your energies a bit, because it won’t help anyone if you end up having a breakdown. How exactly you manage that is another matter, and I wish I had some handy tips to pass on.
    In the best case scenario time at work will give you a distraction from the caring responsibilities, since there is nothing you can do about them while you are there. I think we can all guess what the worst case scenario might be, but probably best not to dwell on that and focus on the positives if possible. Not being so worried about money is certainly one of them.

    Keeping everything crossed for you, at least you will make an excellent seller of books, I can’t think of anyone better qualified.
    Also if you can beg, borrow or steal access to Disney+ I can absolutely recommend watching Cruella for some light relief (if you haven’t seen it already). I was part way through watching it with my granddaughter at the weekend and thought of you. As a fully paid up fashion aficionado you would really appreciate the costumes, which were sublime. I don’t think it was especially suitable for Coral, but my daughter and I loved it. xxx

  3. elspeth L. Cunningham

    Katy – very best wishes – that’s all I have

  4. Good luck on all fronts. You are good at doing what needs to be done, you’ll do this. Look after yourself too if you can. xx

  5. I had an eye test last week. One of the questions, besides “Does it look clearer through this lens or this?” was “Do you work.”

    Of course I work (I didn’t say. What I did say was,) “I look after my husband, home and garden. However I am not in paid employment, which I think is what you meant.” This from a female optician too!

    Bloomin’ white Male Deciders of what constitutes and doesn’t constitute ‘Work’, and whether it is actually worthwhile, or just gets paid a lot!

    As for Mental Health Services, as a long-term user of Adult Services locally – they were poor thirty-five years ago, and have only gotten worse due to chronic underfunding. Child Mental Health Services I don’t know about, but suspect they are at least as bad. And when you get old enough and have to to transition from one to t’other – the cracks are so wide, and widening, there are whole tribes lost down them.

    Hang in there, as with so much, This, too, shall pass.

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