Sun shining through tree

"They don't say when she absconds. The police make this known to you at two a.m. when they knock on your door, looking for her"

Things They Do Not Tell You

They don’t say when your wee girl is getting out of hospital,

You only find out when she needs something they didn’t give her.

They don’t say when the Mental Health Officer is unable to attend her first tribunal.

You are called upon to speak in their stead. You don’t get to say how that feels.

They don’t say when Psychology or Family Therapy can be provided.

You know that the “unmet need” has been acknowledged.

They don’t say when she was readmitted under section.

They don’t say when she absconds. The police make this known to you

at two a.m. when they knock on your door, looking for her. You help them find her.

You learn to phone the ward when you can’t get in touch with her.

They don’t tell you about her admission to supported living.

Nor do they tell you how happy they are to rid themselves of this difficult individual,

on Christmas Eve in the rain. They don’t tell your sister, your brother, your children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends or anyone who might care.

They don’t tell you why it is your job to clean up her filthy flat. You do it because you love her.

You buy her clothes, food, furniture, appliances. They don’t tell you about support available.

But you find out about Self-Directed Support and you push for the big meeting.

They do not tell you why they cannot show up and lend their expertise in this.

And they do not tell the student they sent instead.

They carry on not telling you.

You carry on reaching out. The police show up from time to time.

Is she alive or dead? They never said.

You used to have a child. Now you have lots of questions.