On Thursday last week, I arranged for my son to have time off school to attend family therapy. He was upset that his sister was now a resident, so I thought it would be good for him to see where she was and also have an opportunity to maybe say how he was feeling.
The session started without Emily, which is not unusual. Our therapist talked to my son about Cahms, therapy and mental health. She then told me that Emily had said something in a 1-1 session which she needed to share. She told us that since our Wedding Emily felt pushed out and was not receiving as much attention. I burst into tears and looked over at my husband to see shock and disbelief on his face. My emotions were in turmoil. I couldn't understand what more we could do for Emily, so to think she felt like this well, I was devastated.
I spoke of when we were first together 6 years before and admitted, at that time, Emily had said my, now husband, was getting more kisses and cuddles than her. We took that straight on board there and then, cuddles began to include the kids and we did everything we could make them feel part of something, rather than on the edge of it. I asked if this could have been what Emily referred to, no I was told. It was since our Wedding.
When Emily entered the session, she was unsure why I was so upset. The therapist talked about how our family had changed and was leading up to trying to discuss the comment she had made in her 1-1. I studied Emily. If she had said something that she knew would upset me, and was waiting for this to be discussed, she would have been panicky. She was not, she was calm, bordering on bored. When the alleged conversation was finally revealed it was quite clear by her reaction that she had no idea what the therapist was talking about. Her comments of "I don't understand what's going on here", "I don't remember saying anything", "I haven't said that, I wanted them to get married, it made it better" were brushed aside by the therapist. The therapist made the assumption that Emily was denying her comments because they had upset me, but she was denying them because she had not said it. When she finally stormed out of the room, it was not because she was expressing her anger, as we were told, it was because the therapist would not listen to her. My husband was really angry, he told the therapist this, he did not shout, because that's not him, but he told her something must have been misunderstood. My son was sobbing on my knee, I was sobbing and somewhere in the unit, Emily was sobbing.
I left the unit in an almost catatonic state. This was all wrong. It was being made out that the bullying was the tip of the iceberg and actually we were causing the problem.
When we visited Emily that evening we sat as a family and discussed everything that had happened. Emily had assumed we would be upset and cross with her. She assumed we had believed the therapist. It turned out that Emily's actual comment in response to a question about our relationship was "I guess I don't get as much time just on my own with Mum" How this got built up into the statement from earlier that day I can not begin to imagine, but it did throw up serious concerns about what information was being acted upon and whether that information is correct. Later that evening I sat and wrote an email to the therapist detailing our family discussions and our concerns. I did accept that there are times when the perception of one person is different to another, but that this was not the case.
On Friday morning I asked for a meeting to clear up my concerns. I couldn't rest and I certainly couldn't go into the weekend with all this doubt and mistrust hanging over us. It felt like we had just become the enemy.
As my husband was at work, my Mum came with me. I met with the therapist and Doctor. To cut a long story short we heard from the nurse who agreed Emily had only said about not getting as much time on her own with me. No one said they had made a mistake, but it was apparent they knew they had. We talked, Mum talked and I left feeling like a weight had been lifted with my trust in them restored.
- Mum of 2, suffering my own mental health issues, I began to write this blog as a way to release feelings and emotions. At 13 my daughter was terribly bullied which has led to her having serious mental health problems of her own. She is now 16. I wanted to document our journey and hopefully be able to look back and see how far we have come.