I had another 3 weeks to go then my 8 weeks were up, the time had flown. It was strange I was thinking about this,because at about 11.00am my boss called me into his office and said how pleased they were with my work and would like me to stay on as a permanent member of staff after the 8 weeks. They didn’t as yet know which job I would be offered but thought it would be in statistics as I was so good with figures. The reason they were mentioning it now was to make sure I did want to stay there. I said I did.
When I went home that evening and told them all they were so pleased. After I had paid the rent arrears I could start with a clean slate. I would be getting more money, I didn’t know how much more but our standard of living would drastically improve. Also if Mrs Smith kept her word about giving us a house, which I knew she would then the rent would be a lot cheaper. My Mum and Dennis were so pleased.
Mum said when I got the house her and my Dad would come and help us move. I hadn’t even thought about that. Mum had cooked us a lovely dinner it was beef stew with dumplings, it was delicious. The house looked different already, it had a tidy look. I told my Mum not to go mad with the housework or makeover whatever you wanted to call it.
The kids loved my Mum being there, she spoilt them rotten. They could twist her round there little fingers .I loved it because I could relax at work not worry about the kids. My Mum really wasn’t very well you could tell she wasn’t her usual self. I kept asking if she was ok and she said that she was. The doctor had told her he was sure she would need a hysterectomy and would find out for sure when she got to see the consultant. She hadn’t received an appointment yet.
I was called into the office at work and was told the permanent job would be in the statistics dept. under a Miss Lemon who I hadn’t met yet. I was told it was only a small office but very important stats were done there and it needed staff who were meticulous. The figures I and the others compiled of course, would be sent to the government central office for them to assess from our figures what new roads would need building. Also which would need upgrading and which downgrading.
I had another two weeks of the temporary job then I could start my proper job. I had made an appointment to see Mrs Smith the housing officer, in my lunch-break to see how much more I owed and just give her a progress report . I was pleasantly surprised I only owed £14 so I could pay that in two weeks. Mrs Smith said well done and she had better start looking for a house for us. While I was in with her another lady came in and she said is this the lady who has paid her arrears up in record time. Mrs Smith said it was and that two weeks and it would be settled,so she had better pay up. I looked puzzled and she explained that the other lady had bet her 50p that I would not manage it in the time I said I could. It was nice to know that someone had faith in you.
When I got home I told my Mum about it ,she said she knew I would do it because once I had made up my mind about something nothing or no-one could deter me. Dennis still hadn’t got a job but he was behaving himself sort of, maybe because my Mum was there. He hadn’t asked the Doctor for any extra ampoules so if he was selling some, it was from his allocation and I was sure he was because he always had cigarettes and I hadn’t been funding him.
My Mum was going home this Saturday she said she had really enjoyed her time with us and while she was able she would come over every school holiday even the 6 week summer. This was a big relief to me the kids holidays had been a worry . I could relax now. Also my house was spotless every thing was put away. I couldn’t find anything but that was a small price to pay.
It was only about five weeks to Christmas and with a bit of luck my debt will be paid and I should have enough for us to have a really lovely Christmas.
At last my arrears were paid,
Mrs Smith said it would be after Christmas when I would have a house as this close to Christmas no one moved but I didn’t mind as long as I got one. I had started my new job and loved it even more than the last one. The people I worked with were really nice The man a Mr Whitlock who was showing me my job was an ex Max Factor top salesman. He really took me under his wing, he was about 60’ish and evidently his daughter lived in Gadebridge.
Dennis and Linda were sat in the front room talking I was getting tea ready when they called me in the room and said they wanted to speak to me about something. I went in and Dennis said we want to get married. I almost fell off my chair this was madness. I said I didn’t think either of them were in a position to make that kind of commitment , Dennis with his drug addiction and Linda with her hang-ups. I asked what had brought this about and Dennis said Linda’s Dad had been following her around and offering money to her for sex. Dennis had been to the police station and they said they couldn’t do anything unless Linda made an official complaint. Even then it would only be a caution unless Linda and her sisters accused him of sexual abuse going back years. They told Dennis if they were married and her Dad still stalked her then Dennis could take him to court, hence the marriage idea.
I tried my best to put them off but they were adamant. I just couldn’t take it in. I knew they had been out together a couple of times but had no idea they would end up getting married. It was doomed before it started. I asked them where they were going to live and was told with me of course until they could get a flat. I told Dennis he had to get a job for one thing, to pay for the wedding and another if they were after a flat it would take money.
I said they had better go and tell Linda’s Mum and Dad as Linda was not quite eighteen and would need their consent. Hopefully her Dad would say no. This was going to be a nightmare I just could not see it lasting a month. Linda knew about Dennis’s drug situation she new he couldn’t hold down a job. I was sure they didn’t even like each other that much let alone love each other.
They came back full of it ,her Dad had refused to give his consent but her Mother agreed and evidently that was ok. They were going to get married at Berkhamsted Registry Office on December 17th. Her Dad refused to attend thank goodness. He said he had a business meeting he couldn’t get out of.
There would only be myself and a friend Maureen and my kids and on Linda’s side just her Mum and brother Greg. We went back to Linda’s house for a piece of cake and cup of tea. It was really very sad. Her Mum and Dad were supposed to have pots of money ,their own business yet this was all they could come up with. I have no idea why her Mum despised her so. Maybe because she was the one that told the police, way back what her Dad was up to.
We got back to my house and Dennis and Linda sat on the sofa with a gap of about 3’ between them, this was the couple who had just got married. I know Dennis only did it to get her away from her Dad, he thought that if they were married he would leave her alone but I was not so sure.
It didn’t get any better they behaved like strangers, Linda was at Dennis all the time. I think she thought if she kept on about him giving up the drugs he would stop but it wasn’t that easy. She kept on about him getting a job, I was with her on this but equally why didn’t she get a job. I was the only one working. They would have to contribute quickly as I couldn’t afford to keep me and the kids let alone those two.
Things were going from bad to worse Dennis couldn’t get extra heroin from the Doctor like he did before, as the Doctor had been warned by the medical board to stop over -prescribing. His drug habit was getting much worse so he was back shoplifting then going to Piccadilly to buy drugs off the street. The risks attached to this were enormous. Getting caught by the police for shoplifting and buying drugs. Also running the risk of buying contaminated drugs some of the heroin was cut with talcum powder and some by rat poison and all sorts of things.
In spite of everything we had a nice Christmas, the kids all had nice presents my Mum and Dad helped me out. Dennis got some money from somewhere, I didn’t ask where, what I didn’t know I couldn’t fret about.
Mike came a couple of days before Christmas and bought three really ropey bikes for the kids. They looked as though he had got them from a skip and hand painted them badly. They tried to look pleased but it was hard for them. Then of course Mike insisted on teaching them to ride them. He really hadn’t a clue he told Steve to sit on it and he would hold him, then did no more than push him and then let go .Of course Steve fell off into a bush and wouldn’t get on again. Mike was furious told him he was useless. I stepped in and told him to leave him alone he was nothing more than a bully and had no clue how to treat children. Guess what , he got his coat and once more said it would be the last time he came. The kids and myself all looked at each other and hoped he meant it.
Dennis was getting really bad if things weren’t nailed down then he would steal them and sell them for drugs. This included Lesley’s bike my watch, money out of my purse even my clothes. The arguments were bad I would accuse him and he would flatly deny it. In the middle of all this Linda dropped another bombshell she was pregnant. I couldn’t believe how irresponsible they both were. They couldn’t look after themselves at the moment.
Later that evening I went to put some money in the electric meter and noticed that as the coin dropped it sounded empty, I asked Linda if they had been to empty it but she said no. I went and got another coin and asked Linda to come and listen and she agreed with me that the meter was empty. I dont know why but I felt around the meter and cut my hand on something sharp. Guess what ,there was a gaping hole in the back of the meter....Dennis came to mind, it looked as though he had somehow cut a hole in the back of the meter and as soon as I was putting in coins he was taking them out again. Well actually it was usually one of the children who put the money in the meter , hence how I hadnt noticed it before. Linda said do you remember last night Dennis came in the front room with scratches on the back of his hand and when we asked what had happened he said a cat had scratched him when he went to stroke it.......haha we fell for it but no more. We decided to not say anything , wait till he came in and see if he went to the meter, then we could catch him red handed. A short while later we heard the front door open and Dennis went into the cupboard where we hung our coats and where also were the meters. He was taking too long to just be hanging his coat up. I opened the door and there was Dennis with his hand in the back of the meter,` a fair cop wouldnt you say.`
I told Dennis I had no choice but to inform the police as if I didnt I would be held responsible and there was no wayI was going to let that happen. I did this and they came round and arrested him and took him to the police station. He didnt hold it against me as he knew I had no choice. He was bailed to appear in court at a later date and was back home.
Things were going from bad to worse I was supporting us all, now and again Dennis came home with a bit of money but not very often. Linda and Dennis were arguing all the time I was getting to the end of my tether. To top all that Linda wouldn’t eat and of course, being pregnant she needed good food.
I went to see the Doctor about there situation and he said that Dennis had said it was a difficult situation and that he had set things in motion and they should be offered somewhere to live in the very near future. I was furious with Dennis he hadn’t said a thing about it. He said when I challenged him that he was waiting for an offer. I think and told him so that he was scared. Just him and Linda it would be a disaster. His drug situation was getting worse. I couldn’t believe that there was a baby on the way .It didn’t stand a chance.
In spite of feeling that way I knitted loads of clothes for it. I helped Linda where I could but she was a very difficult and stubborn person. We were rowing now as I couldn’t believe she could jeopardise her babies life by not eating.
A letter arrived from the council for Dennis and it was an offer of a one bedroomed flat in Adeyfield. They had to arrange a visit to look it over and if it was acceptable they could move in the following week. They were excited and worried as they had no furniture or any thing. I suggested Linda spoke to her Mum to see if she could help out.
We all went to look at the flat , it was a really nice place all newly decorated and clean. They agreed to take it. I got in touch with an organisation called Help that helped people on DHSS with furniture, cookers and most other things. They were all donated by people. Help delivered a cooker a three piece suite ,old fashioned but better than nothing also a double bed and some baby items. All in all they did very well.
It was lovely when they moved out but it gave me a problem with the children after school. There would’nt be any one to look after them. Linda said she would come over each day if I paid her bus fares and stay at my house until I got home. She would start on Monday. Monday came I went to work I was really enjoying my new job and new what I was doing now. When I got home that evening the children were sat in the hallway. I couldn’t believe it Linda hadn’t been near and they couldn’t get indoors and had sat there for 2 hours.
I was so angry I couldn’t believe she would do this but I was wrong. Dennis came round later and he didn’t even know she was supposed to come round, he was livid too. He said he would make sure she came tomorrow. Just in case I gave Lesley a door-key with strict instructions to not cook anything. They could get sandwiches and cold drinks but nothing else. She was so mature for her age she said she would look after the twins. I also told them that they had to do as Lesley told them. I was sure Linda would come but just in case the kids were prepared.
I worried about the children all day and couldn’t wait to get home. When I did, no Linda, the children were fine and said they didn’t need any-one to be there .It was only an hour and a half and all they did was watch TV. I said in future I would make them a plate of sandwiches and leave them in the fridge. All they had to do was get their drinks. This was just in case she didn’t turn up. I was very annoyed after everything I had done for them they left my children on their own. I know it was my responsibility but I thought I had arranged everything.
Dennis came round again and said Linda had forgotten to come over. I went mad and said I didn’t need them, I had made other arrangements and that if they wanted anything. Dennis and Linda, that is, then to ask someone who cares as I couldn’t believe they had left my kids. All they had to do was say no and I would have made other arrangements.
It worked out really well the children seemed to appreciate being trusted and they were as good as gold I knew it wasn’t right but I didn’t have a choice I had to go to work. They got a treat each at the weekend for being so good. I didn’t see Dennis or Linda for several weeks .I needed to cool down.
It was a lovely evening so the kids and I set off to walk to Dennis’s flat in Adeyfield it was quite a hike but we made it fun. When we got there no one answered the door I knocked and knocked I could hear someone inside but they didn’t answer ,so off we went back home. We did this trip several times over the next couple of weeks and I was getting very worried.
On the following Saturday there was a knock at our door and who should be stood there but Dennis’s friend Roy from London. I told him Dennis had got married and now lived in a flat not far away I suggested we went to see them, thinking this might be a way of getting in the flat to make sure everything was ok. Roy agreed so off we went. Again no answer so Roy shouted through the letterbox that it was him and Dennis came to the door and I quickly dashed in . I found Linda in a terrible state just skin and bone she looked close to death. She said Dennis was really messed up on the drugs and hadn’t fetched her medicine from the chemist and she had had no food only coke. I said I would call the Doctor bearing in mind she was about 5 or 6 months pregnant she looked as if she weighed about 4 stones.
I went to see Dennis in the front room but could see it wasn’t even worth talking to him as he was as high as a kite. He asked me what lies she had been telling me. Roy was disgusted and said he would like to go. The place was an absolute tip not fit for pigs. At the first telephone box we came to I phoned Doctor Jones and gave him my version of events and he said he would go straight round there and call in to see me afterwards.
Roy said he didn’t think he would bother coming to see Dennis again as he could see he was in a shocking state it was only a matter of time before he would either be dead or in prison. I said I fully understood but to drop me a line every now and again just to keep in touch, he said he would.
About 4 hours later Dr Jones came and said Linda was in hospital that I was right she was at deaths door, he didn’t really know what had been going on Dennis said she wouldn’t take the medicine or eat(she had done this before) she said Dennis withheld medicine and food. Dennis was so far gone you couldn’t reason with him. Dr Jones said he was pretty sure she would lose the baby and her own life was in danger.
I said I would telephone her Mum and she could take it from there. I knew when they saw the state of Linda I wouldn’t be welcome.