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I was 52 when I had my one and only child eight years ago. She is the joy of my life and we have a well bonded and loving Father and Daughter relationship. However, things were not perfect in my family circle. My wife being 22 years younger than me was experiencing resentment because she married me against the wishes of her parents. We had been married four years when our child had come along and had been together eight years in all. My Wife worked for many years as a carer and I had developed diabetes induced peripheral neuropathy, which was and still is very disabilitating, along with other medical conditions. This did not cause us money problems because as a much younger man, I had accident and illness cover as a safeguard against such an eventuality.
My wife is also a sufferer from OCD, and is a compulsive hoarder. My mother and Father in law had hardly spent or for that matter talked to myself or my wife since we had gotten married or for that matter, since we had been together. This changed when Emily was born. We were invited to spend Christmas with them. They showered Emily with many gifts and they started taking Emily for weekends and on holiday with them. This was very much welcome by my wife, she had missed their comfort since she had made home with me and saw this as a way back into her old family life. I however had my reservations.
As time went by, our home started to become cluttered due to my wife's hoarding and try as I did, my wife would have none of it when I suggested throwing things away. To compromise, I rented a garage and moved many belongings into it to alleviated the clutter in the house. This worked for a time but still our home started to become cluttered again. When Emily was around four, we were visited by Social Services, regarding our home conditions. Emily was classified as 'a child in need' and we hired a skip and threw much of the clutter away and also continued to place my wife's belongings in the garage, which was now getting full. My wife had only really allowed me to throw my belongings in the skip and had resented throwing things of hers away complaining that it was hers and she had a right to keep it.
I of course realised that it was my Mother In Law that had reported us, this being confirmed when I challenged her about this. My Father In Law, phoned me up stating that if through the actions of his wife, access was denied of Emily to him he would never speak to his daughter (my wife) again. He also sent a text to my wife stating the same thing. My wife was deeply upset about this and although I had further reservations, we agreed to drop the matter and carry on as usual. Also. we were signed off by Social Services and went back to our way of life.
Although I was very much disliked by both my In Laws, My Mother In Law had a real hatred of me and was happy to express this to me leaving things in no uncertain terms. As time went by my wife's OCD worsened and once again the cluttering continued. To make things worse my Peripheral Neuropathy got worse and I found it very hard to use my hands and stay on my feet for any length of time. The conditions in the house deteriorated I found it hard to clean due to my conditions and my wife was going down the road of touching nothing due to her OCD, More complaints from my In Laws saw Social Services return and this time they came with a real negative and much sterner view.
Social Services arranged a Family Group Conference due to home conditions and try as hard as I could, I/We could not get enough done to satisfy them. My daughter was sleeping with her mother on the sofa as her room was to cluttered for her to get into. We had a problem with our boiler, it would only supply us with hot water and not central heating. There was a leak from the bath coming into the kitchen and wetting the carpet. There was a lot of condensation on our walls, caused mainly from our shower as my wife had up to three one hour showers a day and insisted on leaving the bathroom door open. There was also so much clutter in one of our hallways that one of our bedrooms could not be accessed and so much storage in one other of our bedrooms, it could not be entered.
We cleared Emily's bedroom and the cluttered hallway, I cleaned the kitchen and bathroom up so it was acceptable, we placed more things in the garage and I bought a new Combi Boiler so we had central heating. I also got a plumber in to fix the leak in the bathroom however, after putting new seals and taps in, the leak still persisted.
Social services then escalated things to PLO stating not enough was being done and not fast enough. Also, Social Services were making us send Emily to her Nanas (my In Laws) stating I was not allowing Emily to see them. This is not correct and Emily's Grandparents went from seeing Emily from about one weekend in six to every second weekend and nearly all the school holidays.
It seemed to me that Social Services were priming Emily towards taking her off us and placing her with her maternal grandparents. I was getting nowhere with my wife, her OCD had become severe and although I had talked her into finally getting some help with it, I could see the writing on the cards. I decided that my best course of action was to leave my home and get a rented house where I and Emily could live until I could help my wife sort out our family home, and then I could either come back or we could at least time share Emily. My wife although very reluctantly agreed and I put this to our social worker, who was very negative about this from the start. He insisted we as a couple would have PLO meetings separately and we would have to go on the conclusion of a report of our parenting assessment organised a while back by social services. The report came in and it was absolutely awful. It made me and my wife look like we had no understanding of what being a parent was about. It especially went on about my inability to empathise with others and made me look like a lazy uncaring person who's only interest was to sit around all day doing nothing. It had no mention at all of my wife's OCD, hardly any mention of her hoarding and barely any mention at all of my own disabilities.
I received this report just a few days before our next now separate PLO meetings and intended to take the contents up regarding it. It was a Thursday and my Wife was in her meeting first. I did not see my wife leave the meeting however, straight after the meeting I went into the conference room to have mine. After the usual introductions and pleasantries, I was hit with what I could only describe as a bombshell. I was told that my wife had gone to live with her parents, (my Emily was already there as social services had advised that another long holiday she was having with them be extended till after the PLO meetings) and I could not contact my wife or my Emily as I had been accused of physically abusing both of them and I had to wait a couple of weeks before I could have supervised access to Emily.
To say I was shocked is a total understatement and could not think of anything to say or do and just went home. On the Sunday however, my wife sent a message to a friend of mine stating that her and Emily hate being where they are and both desperately want to come back home. My wife further stated that at her meeting she was given no choice about going to live with them and had to ring her Father to take her to his house. Before my meeting there were no allegations of my physically abusing anybody and I don't know who or why they have been made against me. This brings me up to exactly where I am now writing this post. I am trying to contact my social worker and my solicitor to hopefully bring about a positive outcome for all three of us.
Wish me luck.
What you are going through sounds absolutely heartbreaking and I am so sorry that you are experiencing this. I can see that you guys have had a rough road and not to have your wife and daugther with you sounds awful. I think it would be helpful to speak to an organisation called Family Rights Group as they may be able to provide advocacy for you and support. This is a link to their website
so please do get in touch with them as this is the work they do. I do hope you are granted access to your family soon and able to start rebuilding your lives together.
Hi I'm not a parent but my friend is and is really struggling with her 7 year old son. He is obsessed with death and looking up people kissing on YouTube and how to get people pregnant and he hides food around the house at 4 am. She has turned to social services and early help and they have sent her on a parenting course. Does anyone have any ideas about what else she can do. She's already had one child taken away by her dad to make sure she is safe in case he experiments with someone.
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