It is 10 am. The now qualified social worker and regular,since April,male worker arrive.
Each worker, on arrival asks,
’How are you?’
And, they did not disappoint.
Two such enquiries, most days, for the past 18 months.
I tried to pre empt/ avoid this impersonal prescription with a spontaneous greeting-
‘Issy’s dressed and/or in the bath,/
‘Nothing strange or starling has happened’.
Ever hopeful, for an individualised reaction.
Ever dreading, the ritual.
But knew regardless of my reply,
‘How do you think I am ?’,
‘Issy’s been up all night ‘.
I would be ignored, and receive at best, a look of pained/irritated sympathy.
Or, at worst, the question repeated in the kitchen.
This was a box, that had to be ticked.
The social workers/ doctors/ etc. did the same.
My reply of ‘Cataclysmic‘ even incorporated against me by our social worker in a core assessment.
I’d sat in my kitchen now for months, with a Pilgrim’s Progress of workers, all with their stories.
I supported a worker’s partner’s rape trial, another’s partner’s cancer treatment,
they had shed tears.
I too had bared my heart and soul.
Voiced views on the dire state of our country, for hours, not knowing they were both, laughing, and, spying on me.
I considered them friends.
I was isolated.
I had given them clothes, Nintendo games, books, shoes, creams, bags, lent out shoes and dresses, only to have them throw hissy fits, and, never to know why, or to see them again.
I was at their mercy.
Two nice workers, had recently disappeared, and, as always, it was impossible to find out why.
I suspect, they did not want to be part of the final horror, of spy, and remove.
But, it was much worse a betrayal, for Issy.
She still calls out, the departed’s names.
We were being processed by human beings, who themselves, were being processed.
Anyway, back to Friday.
As I said, the standard, how I was, but never Issy.
I thought, I’d clear up the ringing the doctor, although, not mentioned by the social worker, who offered to ring, the day before.
I therefore, thought it best to announc, as Isabel had eaten, didn’t have a temperature, and appeared well,I wouldn’t be ringing the GP.
‘Fine’. Was her only response.
She then asked, if I wanted them to do anything.
The upstairs bathroom floor still had urine on it, and, the floor was still dirty under Isabel’s bed ,so I asked her, if she’d mind doing these tasks.
Fearful to add, she’d had had all day yesterday to do them.
Not knowing, they would later be used, as evidence, of Issy’s unhygienic home conditions.
The social worker support, instructed the male worker, on half her rate, to clean the bathroom floor.
He duly brought the mop out.
On walking into the kitchen, I noticed she was going through the mops threds.
And remarked to me,
‘Finola, you will have to buy a second mop. You can’t use the same one with faeces on from the bathroom, on the kitchen floor’.
But she could find no faeces on the mop, nor can I remember it, nor the bathroom floor ever having had faeces on it.
Taken aback by the comment and accusatory tone, I wittered on apologetically,
’Of course I would later that day’.
Then remembered, we had two mops.
And fetched the other brand new, unused one, from the same place as the other, and gave it to her, with a,
‘Here you are, we have got one’.
She made no comment.
This was the creation of a ‘safeguarding issue’ at its best.
And, what must be what they train disability social workers in.
I felt pleased, I was able to thwart it so easily.
‘Mother using mop with faeces on, to mop the kitchen floor’.
But no doubt, they’ll find another tomorrow.
I pondered, if I now had to, daily date photo my mops, to prove I had two and they were faeces free.
After all that, she didn’t mop the kitchen, although there from 10-4.
No one did.
I entertained them in the kitchen in the afternoon, with stories of my youth in Liverpool.
The social worker, more than half my age, said,
‘She loves being entertained by me’.
Another worker, said I could cook, ( neglect issue).
The trainee lady, the day before so silent and furious, had once hugged me, at length, telling me how ‘strong’ I was.
Aren’t I the lucky bunny.
And so endth another day at 4.00 pm, with as always, no comment about Isabel being still in bed.