Below is the fifteenth in a series of blog posts created by those caring for children with a parent in prison that we have supported. The series aims to shine a light on the harms experienced by children and families when a parent goes to prison, and highlight the benefits that providing good support can bring.
I Took my Son to his First Football Match!!
It is an odd one, with my daughter crikey we went everywhere. I never ever thought about the what if’s when I took her out. So many happy memories of hiking in the Lakes, wandering through town without a care in the world, to rolling down hills hysterically laughing.
With my youngest two though it’s a different ball game. When the boys Dad was convicted, I was asked about what level of contact I wanted by children’s services. At the time I was so overwhelmed and in utter shock over Dad’s conviction so I replied I would need more time to think about this.
I contacted a charity connected with the prison the children’s father was imprisoned to seek advice. The lady I spoke with was not only a family liaison officer but also heavily involved with the family charity connected to this prison. She told me that children’s services were tricking me, that if I decide the children should have contact then they will be removed from my care. She expanded that my house will be patrolled bombed, that my children would be severely bullied, that I will be attacked on the street.
It’s almost been three years now since his conviction and these words still send a chill down my spine. I have spent three wasted years not doing the things I used to do with my daughter. Terrified to do a lot really in fear of someone hurting my two youngest.
My oldest son is very much into football and has been desperate to attend a match. But I have been in fear for three years to take him. So out of the God’s a FA cup match came up with his two favourite teams and even more so it was local!! I had to get tickets!! Harry Kane is like God to my oldest boy!
He has begged me to go to a match for the last year. But I was always fearful in terms of Dad. In fact, terrified. How could I face seeing us attacked? He’s my child.
I had to now face my fears – we went!!! And what a blast we had – my son’s little face. He had that amazing experience!! No one attacked us, no one petrol bombed us, no one did anything!!!! We just simply had the most wonderful time ever.
I then the next day wrote to the charity as follows:
I took my son to his first football match yesterday; he had the most amazing time. You told me three years ago that my house would be petrol bombed. You told me that they would be severely bullied. You told me that we would be attacked on the street. I spent the next three years in fear. But guess what, no one has petrol bombed my house, no one has attacked us, no one has severely bullied my children.
I took my child to a football match this week – it’s taken me three years to build up the courage to go to such an event due to what YOU told me. We had the best time ever which I was to terrified to take him to as per your statements. My son’s by the way are thriving, they are overachieving at school in the highest set, they are two amazing beings. They have a great friendship group. I’m doing well too and have not been attacked!
Just thought I would update to say we have not been petrol bombed,
I contacted them in order to receive some form of support, guidance or advice, but what I got was fear. I am in recent contact with a different charity called Children Heard and Seen. This charity is about the children. I remember my initial enquiry was about football and my fears of going. I was wondering what the heck to do as my child wants to go to a football match but am too sacred to go. They introduced me to others in the similar situations – through this I had so much strength that my family are not alone!
I took my SON to his FIRST FOOTBALL MATCH!! He had the most amazing time.