It was Steven’s annual Care Plan Review yesterday. The first one carried out by the new social worker. I’ve met her a couple of times about the housing issue but she hadn’t met Steven yet. She wanted to meet him and the support workers without me for the assessment. I was okay about that. I trust the support workers to accurately present our reality. And after years of these assessments, I know that the final outcome will bear no relation to our reality. The social worker is great, so this is no reflection on her. It’s the knowledge that, (a) it’s a form filling exercise and the form is astonishingly narrow in its reach, and (b), whatever is written is completely at the mercy of Panel. That anonymous bunch of people for whom the £ is king.
Steven was disappointed that the last support worker had left. He liked her. She became known as the Pet Shop Boys lady. This was after she carried out the mental capacity assessment to determine if Steven has the capacity to manage a tenancy. It went like this:
“Steven – do you know what rent is?”
“Yes. It’s a Pet Shop Boys’ song”.
” Steven – you will be a tenant. Do you understand?”
“No.Steven Neary is Steven Neary. Neil Tennant is a singing man in Pet Shop Boys”.
Steven has been been very anxious and destructive all week. It might be the stopping of the medication. It might be anxiety about the house move. It might be that he knows that assessments can turn his life upside down. It was probably all three. I find the pre assessment anxiety unbearable. I threw up twice yesterday morning. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I comfort ate. Steven broke a light and a lampshade in the living room on Wednesday. I became obsessed about fixing it and replacing it before the social worker’s arrival. It’s daft really. If only we could let go of something we’ve got absolutely no control over.
I think it’s impossible not to get anxious and the only thing to do is to ride the waves of anxiety for the duration. I keep reminding myself that the assessment is nothing to do with Steven at all. The picture it paints is not him. The life it portrays is not his life.
It’s simply the annual walk along the cliff edge. We don’t want to be on that walk but we have no choice. We could be pushed onto the rocks below in one swift sweep of a bureaucratic pen.
It doesn’t matter. It’s nothing to do with us.