By P McG
Please note this story mentions violence and mental health problems. If you are affected by someone else’s alcohol or drug use, you can contact us on 08080 10 10 11, email@example.com or chat to us here on our webchat.
My son Jonathan has mental health issues, and at age 19 he started using drugs.
Now, he is 26, and he is constantly threatening me if I didn’t get money for him to buy crack cocaine, Valium or cannabis.
My sister and I took him for help, but no-one helped us. Even when he came out of jail, there was never any help for him, not even finding employment.
While he was on a tag, he would force me to walk to my sister’s house in the early hours of the morning for money for drugs. If I didn’t go, he would take a knife to my neck, stab my leg, throw stones at my face to walk faster. He would punch and kick me where I ended up in hospital a few times.
I had to walk out of our house on a few occasions to sleep in a shelter at waterfront. When I did, he would go in the early hours to my sister demanding to see me, or even phone the Police saying that my sister is “hiding me”. And if he couldn’t get me, he’d threaten her by saying “I’m going to smash your windows”, or “I will set fire to your cars, see how you like it”.
Eventually I would go home, and it would kick off again, but the threats got worse. 7 years I’ve put up with this. I don’t go to bed as I have to sleep on the sofa with my clothes on, in case I need to run out of the house quickly.
I’ve lost all my family because of Jonathan’s drug abuse.
I’ve taken overdoses on a couple of occasions. I didn’t get any help from the mental health team.
I’ve never charged Jonathan with any of this. Any time Jonathan got angry and took knives to me I have just walked away.
The reason I have not charged him is because I don’t want to hurt him, I love him. If I did charge him, I would never hear the end of it. He would bring it up to me constantly. And I wouldn’t trust him when he is using drugs.
When I walk away from the home, I go back after a couple of weeks hoping things have changed. I feel sorry for him at times, he is such a lovely person when he is not on drugs. He will last for about a few days then the drugs come back into it, then the threats follow.
I keep some money handy to give him so that I can get out the house again I just keep hoping that he will change. I know I have been enabling him with money but it keeps me safe so I can leave the house again.
I have tried to leave and contacted Women’s Aid, but they said they couldn’t help me. The Council told me if I flee the house, I’d be making myself homeless and wouldn’t get any help from them.
I have now been away from my house for a couple of months, and with the help from my sister, and Scottish Families, I have managed to say “No, I’m not giving you money”. I can only do this through text messages, not to his face, as I know how he would react to it and it wouldn’t be good.
If it wasn’t for Daryl and Scottish Families I wouldn’t be here today.