First, and no shock here, Social Services have been in no rush to support Daisy. She had an assessment nearly 2 weeks ago and was promised a social worker allocated to get by the end of the week, she is still waiting.
We have had Sean round this week. He has been part of our extended network for many years now having grown up with the kids and we have go to know him well, he’s a really nice lad. He likes it here and we enjoy his company so he stayed for a few days. Nothing more to it than that.
He also happens to be one of James friends.
From the outset James treats Sean coming here as a method of information finding and passing messages on. We can live with that but it is rather unfair on Sean to be out in the position. However, he stepped things up this time involving Sean’s family in being critical of the time Sean spent with Daisy and warning him ‘not to go there’ with her. Later, James himself contacted Sean threatening him not to do anything with Daisy and going on to say how he won’t tolerate any other guy trying to raise his child.
On the one hand, I believe I understand James. He’s scared, he’s unable to cope with the situation and, rather than accept the entire problem is of his own doing, he is blaming anyone else he can because it transfers responsibility. It means that if someone else is to blame then he doesn’t have to change and that is an alien concept to James, actually changing.
To fit in better with the ‘Newton’ crowd he has, apparently, become a lot more homophobic, so much so that when I suggested I did not think he was I was faced with a confused look of disbelief and a repeat that no, he really is very homophobic. Again, on the one hand … and I shall get to the other soon, he may be demonstrating all the signs of homophobia around some generally homophobic lads in order to fit in but, on the other hand, I think back to when he was ill how he needed me to bath him, how he begged me to sleep in the same room as him because he was scared. Nothing sexual in that, not even a thought of it, but, no one that homophobic is going to want to be anywhere ‘vulnerable’ with a gay man.
Now, to that ‘other’ hand. Understanding why someone is as they are and knowing they are putting on an act does NOT excuse their behaviour and attitude. After many ‘second chances’ James eventually crossed the line. This family did nothing but good for the ungrateful twat and he stabbed us in the back over and over again. He repeatedly lied, he was abusive to Daisy and to me. He was oppressive especially to Daisy dictating which friends were acceptable and which were not to him not based on whether they were good people or not but merely whether he liked them. He, on the other hand, demanded to be able to see his drug smoking and drug dealing mates when ever he wanted to. Daisy was not allowed to ride her own bike whilst James threatened anyone who so much as suggested he did not ride his bike. Even now, some time after he and Daisy split up, he is still trying to be a control freak. He demanded to know why I once drove down the street he lives in … like I had any reason to do so with any reference to him at all. This stupid idea he has that he can threaten guys away from Daisy whilst he is free to go off having fun with the likes of Becky and any other girl he takes a fancy to. he believes, quite obviously, that it is OK to spend all his spare money on fags, Dr Pepper clothes of anything else but not on his forthcoming child. He thinks that I am obligated to pay at least 50% of the costs toward his child because Daisy is my daughter. That attitude would be unfair at the best of times but when he shows no signs of paying the remaining 50% it is a laughable proposal. He thinks that his paying nothing and doing nothing entitles him, by virtue of a sex session back in December, to have access to Daisy’s baby. Yes, I did say ‘Daisy’s’ baby for James shall have no part in it. Not, at least, until he proves he has earned the right to be a dad and that shows no signs of happening any time soon, if at all.
James, many times, said how he was never going to turn out like his father yet, here we are. A guy who thinks parenting is no commitment, no cost and all the rewards at a convenient time to make him look big with his mates. well, as Daisy has said to me, this baby is not going to be James trophy!
Now James has a choice. Carry on just as he is until the social services money stops. In the short term he will have a nice fully funded flat, loads of cool stuff and plenty of free time to spend with his mates, those who don’t grow up and leave him that is. Long term his mates will have moved on when James loses the social services crutch. He will be on his own. A guy with a reputation for getting girls pregnant and treating them like shit. A man known for his aggression, mood swings, smoking and sickening attitude to those who have done nothing but cared for him. Right now his lies are catching up with him already. People are starting to see that his claims don’t add up to the evidence. He still tries to tell people, for example, that his £40 each week he paid me was just for staying here. Only when people are actually looking at him only actually getting paid £47 each week are they working out that he was clearly also getting all his food for that, which, by the way, cost £38 on average alone. He had his mobile phone paid for, he was given three mobile phones, he had a holiday out of it, his clothes yes, he got a really good, arguably, an amazing deal for that £40 each week! Did I mention that he and Daisy shared three rooms in this house for their exclusive use? Yes, when people hear him saying how I took all his money just to stay here they are now seeing what he actually got for that, it is not making him popular. He is losing respect.
The most important thing is, he won’t see his child. It is not in the best interest of a child to have a father who lies so habitually, who smokes, who has uncontrollable aggression, who threatens and intimidates. A father who considers he does not have to give up anything for his child, who, even when he has had the resources has chosen to spend them on himself rather than his child and is relying on social services paying out and, even then, that money will only be for his benefit going on HIS flat and what he wants in it. He’ll happily have a quality cot at his place the child will never use whilst the baby sleeps in an inferior cot here all the time, that’s the kind of man James is and that is what will be presented to the courts and very easily so if he doesn’t change.
I know he can change, I want him to change but I don’t think he will. James, most of his life, has got all he ever wanted by doing no more than stamping his feet or stealing. By the time he realises that this situation is different, it really will be too late, this child will not remain young for long, he will miss all the important milestones whilst he gets his head together.
If anyone reading this has access to James, please, for his own good, tell him to stop blaming others, start blaming himself for everything. To get his life together, to calmly change and prove he can and will support this child where this child lives on the terms which exist, not his own fantasy terms of living with him in his own flat. He needs to know, there is no chance now of his ever getting back with Daisy, he has done too much damage there to the trust, too much damage to Daisy. He does though have a slim chance of being an important part of his child’s life. That is not going to happen without change which he can prove and which is sustainable.
He needs to have done several months in college, at work or, preferably, both. He needs to be, without any strings, demands or expectations be paying at least £20 each week to the upkeep of his child and consistently for several months. He can no longer hang out with known drug takers and dealers. He has to accept it is going to take months and, even then, contact will be with supervised visits here until he can prove he has a clue how to cope with a baby. Once he has done all that, just maybe he can be a proper father. If he is not prepared to do that, please someone, tell him, let it go, allow his child a good life without some low life bringing him/her and their mother down. Parenting is hard enough without someone not prepared to make the effort trying to make it more difficult. James needs, right now, to grow up.
Of course, right now, if he read this, he’ll just be saying ‘prick’ (without the ‘c’) and blaming me again for all his problems. It was never me, it has always been James. Anyone who knows James and his history knows that is the case. He’s been the same every placement he has had where he has screwed it up and blamed the people caring for him. We are just another notch on his screw up bed post. It matters not, we are good people, with good values. This new addition to the family will be loved and well nurtured and, most of all, protected. This child is not going to turn out like its father, not as he is now, it is not going to happen and James should also want this child to have secure happy life too, he cannot offer that currently, can he do the work required in the future? Who knows, not by the evidence of the past, that much is certain.