Sometimes at the OnlyDads office we hear from men who are clearly at breaking point. Can I share the latest such case?
no names mentioned and one or two slight details have been changed. The vast bulk of this post is fact.
Position as of this morning:
- Dad raising four children, 6, 10, 14, and 15
- Children have NO contact with Mum. Mum is not in a good place! He is the full-time carer for his children.
- Dad has lost his job and is in economic melt-down. He has to move from his current home very soon because of money.
- His 15yo son is drug-taking and becoming increasingly violent towards Dad and siblings. Things are going missing from the house.
- Dad admits to being “out of control”
- GP has put Dad on drugs for depression and suggested counselling. Dad is doing neither.
- 15yo has started using the house as a place for drug-dealers to hang out. Dad knows this is wrong and unacceptable.
We are talking to a broken man. He is clearly educated – but tears and just a never-ending stream of hardship and a very difficult domestic set-up have driven this man to breaking point. He is at the end of his tether.
Dad is supposed to be down the Job Centre for a meeting to ensure he continues to receive benefits. He says he can’t go. He is (you may know this state) beyond tears. He tells me he has contacted OnlyDads because we may understand.
His repeated assertion that he “would prefer death than having to carry on” (exact words)has left us in a position where we have to act.
The seriousness of this case led me to seek our own professional opinion yesterday. I passed the advice on to him this morning.
- Go to your GP and/or Child and Adolescent Mental Health service urgently. He isn’t going to. He says because he hasn’t done what the GP suggested previously and he can’t face him.
- Go the Police regarding your sons drug taking and threats of violence. He isn’t going to do this either for fear that there will be repercussions on him. He is very scared that his other children will be taken away from him, because he knows the facts are he isn’t really coping.
This Dad needs urgent respite and, to use that word, holistic and urgent advice. It breaks my heart that OnlyDads and OnlyMums do not yet have a “buddy” system up and running nor indeed links to professional crisis teams that can step in and help Dad regain self-respect and take control. This is not the first time OnlyDads has been presented with a potential catastrophe! My God we know what is needed…but lack of human and financial resource continually dog our ambition for making this the organisation it needs to be!
It has taken me 15 minutes to dash off this post. I do not want to be hearing on the news that another single dad has taken his own life and if you are a professional reading this who thinks they can offer genuine and urgent advice to OnlyDads, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks. Bob