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Everyone Plays Darts

November 20, 2015

The anniversaries come thick and fast at this time of the year. Just this week, yesterday was the first anniversary of getting the keys to my flat and five years ago today, I met Chris, our solicitor for the first time.

The past four weeks, I’ve been invited to speak at several conferences, so have been telling the Get Steven Home story over and over.

Am I over it? The thing I’ve noticed recently is that it feels a long time ago now. The anger isn’t so sharp. The unanswered questions don’t seem so important. The sadness doesn’t stop me dead in my tracks as it once did.

One thing that is still there, and seems to become more potent the more settled and less anxious Steven becomes, is the “what ifs”. And it’s always the same – what if we’d lost the case and Steven was still in a Welsh hospital five years on.

The 1970s band Darts are my fifth favourite band of all time. It’s cool that Steven has really got into them and we regularly watch a DVD of one of their later concerts. The other day, browsing Amazon, I came across a six CD box set of Darts, including masses of unreleased material. Steven’s favourite track from the concert has never been released before but is there on the new CD. What a great Christmas present (for him or me?) One thing that bothers Steven about the Darts CDs we already own is that none of them have a picture of Kenny Andrews on. ” Kenny doesn’t like his picture taken. He doesn’t want the batteries in his camera go bang”. So I can imagine the excitement on Christmas morning when not only will we see a photo of Kenny but we’ll be able to sing and dance to Let Rip With The Lip as well.

This is when the “what ifs” kick in. If Steven was in the hospital, would we be allowed to spend Christmas together? How would I get there on Christmas Day? Would we be supervised whilst listening to Darts? Would the memories of previous family Christmases at home get too much for either of us and ruin the day? The what ifs go on and on.

And then I remember that Steven is living in his own home and Christmas can be exactly as we want it to be. And then I snap out of it and the what ifs evaporate for another day.

And then I read Chris Hatton’s latest blog revealing the current LD in-patient statistics and know that for over 3000 people, my self indulgent what ifs are a terrible reality.


From → Social Care

  1. I flippin love Darts. 77/78 I think I had their album on the turntable almost continuously.

  2. Ps, I also love your blog. It’s fascinating, funny, insightful and not a bit scary in equal measure (scary cos we are only a few short years from the world of adult services ourselves).

  3. Pauline Thomas permalink

    Mark the ‘what ifs’ are fine when everything turns out okay when looking back on your struggles. It’s the ‘if onlys’ that really kick you in the stomach when your loved ones lives go so terribly wrong. If only I did this. If only I said that. If only I stood my ground. The guilt at not being brave or strong enough at the time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and regret is so bloody painful.

    • Shirley Buckley permalink

      Pauline -they will win anyway. The more you stand your ground the more they will seek to annihilate you. They have the ultimate weapon your son or daughter. The braver and stronger you are, the more of a threat you are. And making you feel guilty is exactly what they aim at. Dont let the bastards get you down.

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