19.06.14 (Day 179)


We possibly have just six days left here and it’s tearing me apart.

Early to rise again today and I really don’t why this should be sometimes. I get 3-4 hours sleep per night and as a result, I’m tired during the day. It’s normally too noisy here to sleep. Come the night, I’m out like an extinguished candle. Then I sleep for an hour or two and get up to check on The Courts. She sleeps in a separate room and although it’s safe here with us lot in residence, it is what it is. But this is where she chooses to be.

Today I’m taking The Courts for breakfast, then to the library. I also need to pay a fine for her.

I do find it frustrating that her official foster carer is paid to look after her, yet I’m not and I’ve been taking care of her for the last month. I submit that the official carer has the admin and the calls to deal with, including a nightly one to me, where she has to speak to us both to confirm that we’re together for the benefit of Social Services. But I have a growing pile of paperwork for The Courts here.

I guess my frustration is the same that I get when despite there being five smokers in the house, I’m the only one with tobacco, which everyone else smokes. Even when they have their own, usually there’s a dearth of filters or papers. I usually ensure that I have my own stocks but that stash becomes everyone else’s as well. I provide most of the food, as I pay for it or am given it. I cook it and everyone else eats it. Some of the others donate when they can but were it not for me they’d go largely hungry. I just don’t understand where the others’ money goes when mine goes mainly on them. I’m of very limited financial means, yet for the most part I manage to budget. Some (very little) of what I buy is for my own consumption but most goes to the house. Tobacco, smoking paraphernalia, food, candles and so on. I guess that’s why I’m the daddy.

Library books. I’m the only one who has a membership card, so I borrow books for myself and the others. They get lost, so I have to pay the overdue fees. And my account in general. Some of them have memorised my membership details. So they use my account and by the time I come to use my one hour per day of internet access, it’s already been used. Fortunately, some of the librarians have got to know me quite well. If they notice my card being used without me actually being there, they’ll stop that use.

Then there’s my phone. I keep it topped up but everyone else uses my calls, texts and data. So I have no allowances to deal with the important business, while my phone is used for Facebook and texting friends. And as a switchboard for incoming calls. Buy credit, buy baccy, pay your own ways. Do what I had to do once and beg, steal or borrow. What’s mine is mine.

Yes, I feel hard done by and taken for granted. Not even sure I care about the kids any more. I know in my heart that they just don’t think. Part of me is keen to leave here, be self sufficient and just look after myself. Maybe I should have done that already. I’ve tried. Perhaps not hard enough. Maybe this is a positive rut that I’ve created but I can’t help caring for the kids: it’s in my nature. I’m selfless. Some of them need me and this place as there’s nothing else for them.

I’m fighting to keep hold of the place for us all. Whilst spending a large part of yesterday preparing the Defendant Statement for the court, I was constantly interrupted by people wanting tobacco, filters, papers, a chat. I can’t deny them the latter and didn’t the rest. The statement had to be revised several times, re-written, pages torn out. I asked The Courts why I was bothering: “Because it’s this place; your place, which you opened to us. The reason you’re doing it is because none of us could. You’re the older one. You’re wise and you’re clever. We look up to you.” That was the gist of it anyway. There were probably some expletives interspersed.

The Courts is the girl who called an empty bag of sugar a “cunting fucking cunt”. There’s only one way to describe Courtney: she’s Courtney. She’s left the room but is indelible in my mind, as always. Alone again, I wrote the cunting sixth fucking draft of the cunting Defendant fucking wanking titting statement. Then I called it a cunt.

I hate this place but I love it. I hate this life but I love the people in it.

It’s like manic depression: that big red button bearing the word “Off”, which would switch off the downers, the panic attacks, the voices, the irrational thoughts, the anxiety and paranoia. But that button would also turn off the manics, return you to normal (whatever that is) and make you like everyone else.

Would I press that button? I’m torn.

One thought on “Torn

  1. What’s yours is theirs and what’s theirs is theirs. You buy most of the food that everyone eats and you cook it for them too. They are forever using your phone – running up your bill – whilst you miss important calls. Every so often you get the hump and remind them of the rules and for an hour or so they obey them until ‘something really important’ means they have to break them!
    From what I’ve read I assume that they are teenagers who have ‘connected’ with you and regard you as a sort of surrogate parent. You seem to be quite happy to have taken on this role so you shouldn’t be surprised that they take the piss – that’s what teenagers do to their parents! 

    On a different note I hope your visits to Bromley & Bexley go well.


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