Self Doubt & Tiny Chinks of Light
Checking my emails before bed last night, I’d received one from a person who had heard me speak at a Mental Capacity Conference last year. I’m not writing this post to be critical of the person. I think they have a very fair point. I’m writing it, partly to help me process the dilemma and also to show that for the families of a learning disabled person, the Mental Capacity Act isn’t just a piece of statute (whether you like it or not). It’s a very emotional piece of statute.
Basically, the email writer had taken exception to a post I wrote a week ago about Steven’s housing situation. They picked up on the bit where I said I hadn’t told Steven yet about the demolition and therefore, wasn’t telling him about the properties that have been popping up on Housing Options that I have been bidding for. Here’s a piece from the email:
“You, more than most, should know that the MCA is meant to be about supporting people to make decisions. Not only, are you not supporting Steven to make a decision on which properties to bid for, you haven’t even let him know that there is a decision to be made. You are critical of professionals not following the Act. Aren’t you guilty of exactly the same thing?”
As I said, I think the correspondent is making a reasonable point. At the moment, Steven has no idea that he will be moving soon because I haven’t told him so. I’m not at all comfortable with withholding this important piece of information about his life from him. I would be far from happy if someone did the same to me.
My defence is it’s a best interests decision. For whom? Well obviously for Steven. We have been through this before back in 2013 and I remember too well, the terrible anxiety for over six months that he experienced. (https://markneary1dotcom1.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/get-back-in-the-box-wolfman/) I know what he will ask if I tell him that we’re moving again. Where To? And When? And I can’t answer either of those two questions. Delivering the information without answers to those questions seems very cruel to me.
I must admit that, for the time being, not saying anything makes life easier for me too. I can’t describe how stressful I find the bidding/raised hopes/silence/hopes dashed process on a weekly basis. It’s horrid. To add the extra layer of Steven’s anxiety and subsequent meltdowns to that process feels unbearable.
That is my defence and I know that it has nothing to do with the Mental Capacity Act. Whatever my motives, I know I’m turning a blind eye to a chunk of the legislation.
Then yesterday morning – BOOM! Competelty out of the blue, I received an email from Steven’s social worker, who had just had a meeting with the Lettings manager. Here is the crucial paragraph from that email:
“I can advise that the tentative date from *** (the Housing Association) for people to move is April 2017.
From → Social Care