Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Please Read This First...

On 5th January, 2016, I took my daughter to school - just like any other morning.
That was the last time I ever saw or heard from her.
She's now in Foster Care, having made horrendous allegations against me.

This blog is my attempt to explain how and why this has happened - plus perhaps the odd occasional update.

Many of you may judge me.  All I ask is that you read on and try to reserve your judgement until you've read the whole story.  I really did try my best...

So why do this?  Why write about myself and what's happened so openly when, quite frankly, it tears me apart and leaves me open to judgement and unfair criticism?  There are many reasons...

I'm writing this in the hope that one day Milly might read it and believe it.  Then perhaps she'll understand that what she thinks happened never really did.   I don't know how many more 'tomorrow's' I have - none of us do...  but at least this way I can try and explain things to her.  Whether she believes me it not is another matter...

I'm also writing this because I know that the BBC are considering doing a programme that specifically highlights the issues around parenting High Functioning girl's with Autism.  To be blunt, it's bloody hard work - especially once they reach their teenage years.

And the other reason?

Because there's a stigma attached to parent's such as me who haven't done anything wrong but get treated as though they have.  My husband and I are not the only parents to have had our lives ripped apart because of Autism...  or to be more precise, because of a lack of understanding of Autism and how it presents itself.  I want people to know that they are not alone if something like this ever happens to them...  because I can assure you you will feel alone.  And you'll blame yourself and replay things over and over in your head, trying to second guess where it all went so wrong and how you never saw the signs.
Let me assure you, the signs are so subtle you would never have been able to change the outcome on your own.  So stop beating yourself up.  You've been through enough already.

The truth is this...

There are only a small handful of professionals that exist who know and understand the complexities of High Functioning Autistic girls.   We have spoken to one of them and she has explained to us the probable reasons as to why this has happened.   But Social Services refuse to meet or even speak with her and refuse to acknowledge that my daughter is 'in crisis'.   I have asked them repeatedly to access additional support for Milly, but as they only look at her surface behaviour and see a whole host of 'positive' changes (I'll elaborate on that later on), they see no need and simply don't realise the damage they are causing by not helping her.

But you see, it's not even that simple...

As Milly is now 15 years old, she gets to call the shots. That's simply the way that Social Services deal with her age group.  So no one can make Milly get the mental health help that she needs.  It still doesn't excuse Social Services ignoring our plea to access additional support for themselves in dealing with Milly...  But if I'm honest I think they either don't believe us or just really don't care.


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I'm sure I'm stating the obvious to you, but Milly is not my daughter's real name.  I chose it because as a child she named a lot of her toys Milly.  We didn't know back then that we were raising a daughter with Autism, but in hindsight this was one of many tiny clues.

So...  Unless I say otherwise, all names have been changed.

As you read ahead you will notice that this is a 'book style' blog - mainly because I needed to find a way to give it some structure.  If you feel the need to comment or ask questions, please do.  I have nothing to hide.  Far from it.

I hope it helps point to the truth...

15 comments:

  1. Sending you love and hugs Xxxx Pam xxx

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    1. Thank you, Pam.
      I don't think you realise just how much people like you help to keep me going.
      Thank you for your kindness. x

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  2. Sending hugs and prayers mf.
    Working with children all my life, I can appreciate your struggles.
    xx Karen

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    1. Hello, Karen.
      As I said in my email to you, I'd always worked with children too...
      Your hugs and prayers are appreciated, my lovely 'bloggy' friend.
      Thank you. x

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  3. Donna, I am so sorry ! I will keep you all in my prayers.

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    1. Autism isn't fair, Marybeth... It just is what it is.
      Maybe one day things will be better for families like mine, though I don't envisage that being any time soon.
      Thank you for your kindness... and your prayers. x

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  4. I'm among those that wishes you well, and hopes you will find comfort in that, Donna ... no one has the right to judge, or criticize you. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts...
    M

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    1. I didn't expect you to read this. Sounds daft, but I cope by segregating my craft life from the rest of it...
      Thank you, Michele. X

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  5. Donna, you are a very strong woman, until someone has walked in your shoes, they can't make a judgement. I admire you for blogging your story. My thoughts and prayers are with you! Hang in there my friend.💜🤗

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    1. Thank you, Gretchen...
      If you saw me on my bad days you wouldn't think I was strong, let me assure you of that.
      I simply decided that having had all power and all options taken away from me, this was the only thing I could do.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and read this. X

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  6. I have sat and carefully read your blog posts from the beginning. I knew very little of the condition so I thank you for explaining your experiences x I can't imagine how you must feel but you can only ever do your best, especially with very limited knowledge etc of the condition x Please excuse the intrusion from the craft world into your personal life but so glad you wrote this diary and words fail me....Thoughts and hugs x

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    1. Thank you, Mac.
      Even if this only ever helps one person one day, it'll be worth it. X

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  7. Donna, I'm adding my hugs, prayers and support to those from the others. Your experience sounds incredibly challenging; my heart hurts for what you're enduring. I admire your perseverance, resilience and courage to continue to do what you can to 'cope' with things unfolding beyond your control. I'm here for you; we're all here for you. You need not travel this path alone...
    Hugs and love,
    ~carol

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    1. Hey you...
      It's not like you to sign off with your name. :)
      I don't know if you've had time to read the whole thing or just this section, but there are no words, Carol.
      Thank you for taking the time to show your kindness and support. I know that a lot of us 'crafters' have our struggles. I've simply decided that once a year I will highlight mine... although I am considering making that twice a year as World Autism Day is April 5th if I remember correctly. What do you think?
      Maybe, just maybe one day someone somewhere will be able to affect the changes that are needed. You never know. X

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