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May 25, 2017

The last three days encapsulates perfectly the totally destabilising mood swings I experience whenever I have an encounter with Services (Non Services). It’s not a permanent state (thank goodness) but it is a familiar state and my only coping mechanism is to try to withstand the swings in the knowledge that they will pass.

Tuesday was horrid. Already feeling very anxious about the upcoming inspection of Steven’s house and how his life can be so fatally misinterpreted, Steven got a letter telling him his housing benefit had been cancelled from the day he moved in and that he owed £4k. Of course it was an error. But my history with the LA over errors has been frightening, albeit with successful outcomes. Twice in six years we have ended up in court because the LA sought to defend their errors at all costs. The financial cost to them has probably been in the region of £100k but that hasn’t mattered to them at all. Reading the overpayment letter takes me back to that place and I’m left shaking with fear and keeping a bowl by the side of the sofa because I feel so nauseous. Just three hours sleep on Tuesday night adds to the wibbly wobbly sensation.

Yesterday, the inspector called and it’s all good news. Steven will now get a fixed secure tenancy; the shower that has caused so much damage to three walls will be replaced and I get an acknowledgement that the cancelling of Steven’s HB is an error (“We received an indicator that the rent reference has changed”). Faster than the speed of sound, I come whizzing out of the dark scary space and I want to play Echo Beach at a seriously high volume. I stay on Planet Whizzy after I speak to the producer of a film who wants to make a documentary along the lines of “a day in the life of a Human Rights Act success story. We’ve been discussing it for a while now and yesterday we agreed the final shooting schedule for next week. In a slightly manic phase of my swinging, I go to Tesco and buy a roast beef joint and a bottle of wine to toast the day. Gently pissed, I retire to bed at 10pm.

Today, I woke up at 6.30 feeling exhausted, physically and emotionally. It’s now 8.55 and I’m still in bed. I don’t feel up or down, just knackered. I check my social media and have messages like, “You have to make a formal complaint about how you’ve been treated”. I pull the duvet up tighter and Martha & The Muffins have become a lot more muted. I’ll feel like this until the weekend. Hopefully there won’t be another encounter with Services between now and then or the whole rollercoaster will start up again. Without those encounters, when life ticks along, I actually feel quite a strong and stable chap.

Trembling, gut wrenching fear – whizzy, satisfied joy – unable to leave my bed exhaustion.

That’s my experience of services.


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  1. Just stay in bed if nothing vital needs to be done. These LA scares get the adrenalin rushing round the body as you are once more plunged into fear and uncertainty. Your body really is exhausted! Take whatever time you have available to you to let it rest & recover xx

  2. Bloody hell, you couldn’t make it up. We ‘dipped our toe’ into social services support some for years ago. My son was leaving full time education and we thought we ought to ‘do something’ as his world was getting smaller and smaller now and we are getting older. They assessed him and offered a substantial budget for support but I’ve yet to see sight if this. They sent a lovely chap from the ‘maximising independence team’ round. But after the first meeting he said ‘Sorry we can’t work with (my son), as he doesn’t ‘want’ to go out.
    I looked at managing personal budgets but when I saw what the implications of it was, I lost the will. I’ve never chased up the support money. But I know I need to find the will from somewhere….
    Take care of yourself, have a peaceful day if you can. And thanks for sharing your experiences….it helps me find the will…

  3. weary mother permalink

    Mark you describe the casually inflicted damage that is chucked into ‘other’ peoples’ lives. Just another life shortening nightmare week, only too familiar to those of us,

    ……living at the whim of disfunctional LA’s.

  4. shirley buckley permalink

    We are now in year 12 of Court of Protection orders, finally with a DoLs challenge in the Court. However this challenge has now disappeared and although we are still in Court I dont know why as I have not been sent a copy of the last order, Chaos reigns. I have postponed my nervous breakdown for another year. Enjoy the wine – I had to give up three years ago, Drink a toat to the glorious ss

  5. shirley buckley permalink

    Sorry toast

  6. Pauline Thomas permalink

    Mark they just do not have a clue do they? These professionals who drift in and out of our lives just do not know how bad it can really get. We do not show them how much it hurts to be constantly handed from one service professional to another. None of them really ready to help, just passing the baton to someone else on the payroll. (Sorry cannot help you, try this number) We put on the I can cope face and crumble in private.

    • weary mother permalink


      You are so right.

      And their words and behaviour can build us up or take us down, in our soul ..and in ‘who we are’.

      Not all LA’s have defenisve aggressive cultures. Some are led by people who react in a human way to complaints and when mistakes and or incompetence is shown, by their staff.

      Where the organisational response is to be feared, damage is always done.

      The member of staff too often goes on sick leave, goes home for a while, but in truth has little to fear, for in reality is very rarely sacked.

      The family involved buckles a bit more; is more battered and more broken in health, self and in spirit…

      But unlike the staff member we have nowhere

      …. else to go.

  7. simone aspis permalink

    Hello everyone Care and Treatment Review (CTR) – how useful are there and how do they differ from a second opinion? What are your experiences?

  8. Marie Strawberry permalink

    A friend of mine is fond of saying that ‘any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice”… honestly I have no idea what the LA’s are trying to do but decided some time back that the distinction is unacertainable, or at best not worth the brain power to try and unravel.

    Sorry the c*nt have come back for another go.

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