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Part one

Posted by annalouise on 18 November 2016.

There are 200,000 grandparents and family members raising up to 300,000 children. Many give up work to care for these children and end up in poverty. 7 in 10 are stressed, depressed or isolated. They raise these children without any financial, practical or emotional support.(These facts/ figures are directly from the grandparents plus organisation.) These people are called kinship carers and I am one of them. My partner and I have been raising our 2 grandsons now aged 6 & 8 for the last 14 months and all of the above apply to us! Mothers day 2012 I found out that my daughter was and had been for years a heroin addict. My World fell apart I couldn't believe it but everything finally made sense. The constant weekly requests for money. Nappies, baby milk, gas, electric, food etc etc. I remember thinking that her job and top up benefits simply weren't covering the cost of raising my 2 beautiful grandsons, her partner the boys father didn't/wouldn't work, he spent his days in bed, and out at night, I didn't understand her appeal, he never spent time with the boys or help her out amd they constantly argued. To this day he's never provided! So apart from sympathy we loved our grandsons so much we didn't want to see them go without so we kept on handing over money. we paid for Christmas, birthdays we paid debts we paid for furniture. Basically unbeknown to us we had been funding them a good life on heroin. The list is endless of the pennies that dropped into place once we found out. Our feelings keep on looping, anger, guilt, serene sadness. The events of the last nearly 5 years have been detrimental to my family both emotionally and financially and it's not over yet not by a long shot. My daughter is currently in prison and my 2 grandsons suffer with attachment disorder, feelings of abandonment and issues of early years neglect. They are happy sweet boys but need constant reassurance. The older tells stories of sad experiances, to have to look that little boy in the eye and not react is extremely hard, heartbreaking, he is older, wiser in his years.The youngest is way younger in his years and needs extra support which I have had to acquire myself its taking a long time but we are getting there with him. It's such a long complex story, sad to say not an uncommon one. I'm happy to finish writing for now, I might pop back and write some more at a later time as the events over the last few years have been intense and in part a bit unbelievable but for now it's goodnight. it's been good for the soul to share.

Comments

Icarus Trust
28 Nov 2016

Hi AnnaLouise,

Thank you for sharing. I'm so sad to read your story and to see what a difficult time it has been for you and your family. It sounds like you are doing a brilliant job for your grandchildren. Thank goodness they have you to look after them.

If you would ever like to offload how you're feeling, the charity I work for Icarus Trust has experienced trained volunteers who you could talk to. The charity is there to support people like yourself who are dealing with the impact of a loved one's addiction. We offer a free service. Talking with those that understand is always good and it may help you to find a way ahead.
You can contact us on help@icarustrust.org or visit the website www.icarustrust.org
All the best with everything.

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