Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Page 18

Dennis moved out of the flat as Lorna refused to go there until he had moved out and she told him he was not allowed to see the baby. I thought this was very wrong he could have had supervised visits but he said he would keep away. Her Mother was a real tyrant and her sister they were taking over and Lorna being in a vulnerable state was allowing it but she would live to regret it. It was only a matter of time before Lorna wised up.

Dennis went to court and the judge ordered him to go to a new type of rehab in Newark, Notts. called The Red House it was supposed to be a revolutionary approach to getting off and staying off drugs. I really hoped it would work. He would have to stay there for a minimum of 1 year longer if necessary. After the year it would be voluntary.

He seemed to like it there and there was definitely an improvement. He appeared on a TV program called Everyman it covered topical issues and on this occasion was about drug addiction, it was strange seeing my brother on TV looking fit and well. The Red House was self sufficient the inmates for want of a better phrase cared for the grounds and grew just about everything required. This was part of the rehabilitation. It was religion based but Dennis was quite into this anyway, they often went on religious outings. Each to their own.

He had been there for about 18 months and they thought it was time he went from there and tried to stay off the drugs on his own. They found him a flat in Newark set him up with furniture etc.. It took him about a month to get in with the drug fraternity of Newark and he was back on the heroin and back on the slippery slope. He didn't work so had to shop lift for his drugs and food. He had also been told about a shoe shop there that all the junkies went to because they displayed the left and right shoes this was unusual as they usually only had one on show so all the junkies were well shod.

Several years passed and we didn't hear from Dennis, we didn't know if he was alive or dead it was a horrible time. I did see his son occasionally he was a lovely little boy, such a shame he didn't know his Dad but lorna was adament that they shouldn't have contact.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Page 17

A few weeks went by Dennis came over a couple of times and he said they were ok. He said Lorna wasn't taking the anti-biotics and he was getting concerned so I suggested he ring the Doctor and explain to him what was going on, he said he would. The children and I went to their flat two or three times but although we could hear someone inside they wouldn't open the door. I decided this was the last time I would walk to their flat it was quite a hike.

There was a knock at our door it was a saturday morning and I was pleasantly surprised to see Roy Dennis's mate from London, he thought Dennis was still in Yorkshire and came for his address. I explained he was now married with a pregnant wife and in a mess with the heroin addiction. He couldn't believe it and asked if I would take him to see Dennis. I saw this as my opportunity to perhaps get in their flat to see what was going on. I sensed trouble.

We knocked on the door but no one opened it then Roy called through the letter box and Dennis opened the door he was as high as a kite but we went in. I asked where lorna was and he said in bed so I went to see her he tried to stop me but I wasn't having that. She looked up from her bed and she looked terrible as white as a sheet and gaunt. She started crying and I could see she was in a bad state she was so thin even being about 7 months pregnant. She said Dennis wouldn't give her the anti biotics which I found hard to believe but he was in a drug haze. She said she hadnt had anything to eat for days again this wasn't unusual for her but she said Dennis wouldn't buy any. I really didn't know what was going on.
I went and asked Dennis what was going on and he said she refused food and had refused to take the medicine. I went and looked in the fridge and there was quite a bit of food and about 3 bottles of anti-biotics(liquid) as she said she couldn't swallow the tablets, It looked as though she couldn't or wouldn't take the liquid.

I was really concerned and decided to call the Doctor on our way home and let him deal with it as I couldn't figure out who was lying. Roy said he couldn't believe the state Dennis was in and wouldn't contact him again he said he would keep in touch with me and the kids and off he went.
Dr Green called at my house and said I had probably saved Lorna's life as she was near deaths door and had been rushed to hospital and was on what you called open order. He had called her Mum. He said he didn't think Dennis had withheld food and medicine he knew from previous incidents that she had a problem about food and medications. So Dennis had been given the benefit of the doubt.

Lorna's Mum wouldn't let either Dennis or myself visit and said it was our fault. Dennis went from bad to worse he spent all his time in London scoring drugs. The police came to my house looking for him as the gas and electric meters in the flat had been emptied and the few bits they had for the baby had gone. The fridge had also disappeared. Evidently Lorna's Mum had been to the flat and found it wrecked and as there was no evidence of a break in the police knew that this was Dennis's M.O. and as he had a suspended sentence he would if found guilty go straight to prison.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Page 16

Dennis and Lorna went to look at the flat, I couldn't go as I was at work. When I got home from work they said it was a really nice flat and they had been to the council and accepted it..... thank goodness. They now had a big problem first Dennis had to go to court and second they had no furniture or anything.
I told them about a charity called Help they provided people in their position with furniture and pota and pans free, Dennis said they would go there the following day. I said I would sort out some bits and pieces and suggested Lorna also ask her Mum. She was still hardly eating and looked thinner if anything and she was about 5 months.
They did go to help and got a three piece suite, old but servicable and a bed and various chest of drawers . They were moving in the following monday and help said they would deliver the bits and pieces then. Just as this was all happening Dennis got a letter summoning him to court that friday, he was really concerned as he was sure he would get a custodial sentence and Lorna would be on her own.
Dennis went to court and Lorna and I were surprised to get a phone call from him saying he was on his way home he had been given a suspended sentence. His solicitor had piled on the agony of him having a pregnant wife at home and just being given a flat and the judge decided to give him a chance. Lorna didn't seem that pleased I think she had been looking forward to having the flat to herself. Their marriage to all intent and purpose was over.

Monday came and off they went , I was going to go and see the flat with my children after work that evening then I would go to my house and enjoy just me and the children. At the weekend I would give it a good spring clean. Lesley could now have her bedroom back.

Their flat was nice and bright and airy the furniture was a bit naff but it would do. They had also been given a cooker , washing machine and fridge not bad for freebies. Lorna's Mum had given her a few bits and some curtains which was a help. Back to normal , Lorna was on her own Dennis had gone to London to try and get his drugs and money as they hadn't got a bean I was really concerned I new they were heading for trouble. At least Lorna had been to the Doctors and he found out she had a urine infection and prescribed anti-biotics which I knew she wouldn't take it had happened previously and she had just kept it in the fridge said it made her feel sick. Perhaps because she was pregnant she would take it, I certainly hoped so.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Page 15

Dennis was getting worse with the drug situation, we hardly saw him he was either as high as a kite or in London shop lifting etc..... We had a gas meter that you had to put coins in to avoid getting bills and one night Dennis was out somewhere or other and I went and topped up the meter and as I put the coins in the noise it made dropping was as if it had been emptied, I called to Lorna and asked if the gas man had been but she said no. I couldnt understand it.
I felt all around the bit where the money was held but it all seemed intact. My suspicious mind was thinking Dennis , then I happened to feel around the back of the meter and I actually cut my hand on jagged pieces of metal. I called Lorna and she had a look and a circular hole had been cut out of the back of the box that held the coins. Usually the children took turns to put money in the meter hence me not knowing it was empty. We assumed Dennis had been emptying it after money had been put in.

I was so angry I said to Lorna I had no choice but to inform the police otherwise I would be in trouble myself but we decided to wait until he came home and then confront him. I knew he would not get too upset about the police as he accepted that if he did the crime he would have to take the consequences.

He came home about 9.00pm a bit worse for wear he had obviously had a good day, well I was just about to spoil it for him. I didnt like what I was about to do but I had no choice. When I confronted him at first he denied all knowledge of the damaged meter but eventually he realised how stupid he was being. I told him I would have to call the police and he agreed. He said he would probably go to prison again as he had just that day been caught shoplifting in London and had spent most of the day in West End Central police station. He had already got one charge against him for a few weeks ago. He said he probably would be remanded in custody it being the third offence in as many months. He said at least it would help him get off the heroin but I remember him previously saying it was easier to get in side than out side.

I rang the police and explained the situation and he said he would be straight round and to try and keep Dennis there. Dennis admitted everything to the policeman and was promptly arrested, they said he would be in the cells overnight and appear before a magistrate in the morning and he would determine whether he would be out on bail or remanded in custody. I was really surprised I thought Lorna would be upset but she appeared quite pleased....some marriage these two had.

I would have to inform the gas people in the morning I had no idea what they would do. They could check with the police. The next morning I rang the police station and they told me Dennis had been let out on bail and was on his way home, he was bailed to appear at crown court at a later date. I couldnt wait to tell Lorna she would be disappointed.

She was pregnant but refusing to eat she had always had a problem with food but now it was so important to give the baby a good start. She didnt eat enough to keep a sparrow alive but no amount of nagging helped. There was a letter addressed to Dennis it had the council logo on it I took it up to her as she was still in bed. It was the offer of a one bedroomed flat at last I would have my house to myself. I couldnt wait. How they were going to manage i had no idea.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Page 14

Dennis decided against going into rehab and said he would get a job. He duly did it was at an engineering company it was working a night shift. Every night Lorna was making him sandwiches and he would leave for work at about 9.15pm ready to get there for 10.00pm. This went on for two weeks we were really shocked that he had stuck it this long. Friday came and Lorna asked about his wages and he said there had been a mix up and he would have to wait a few days.

My suspicious mind was working overtime had he really been going to work , as he was no longer getting his heroin from the Doctor how was he managing. Was he not going to work and going to London instead? this didnt add up as the shops he would have to shop lift from to get the money would be shut. Then I had this idea that during the day when Lorna was out and I was at work perhaps he did his shop lifting in our town centre and then instead of going to work he would go to London and score his drugs.

I rang the place he was allegedly working I was going to say Lorna had a problem with her pregnancy and he wouldnt be in that night but I was put through to personnel and they said no one of that name worked their. Perhaps my suspicions were not so far fetched. When I got home from work Lorna said she wanted to show me something, evidently one of the children wanted their bike out of the shed so Lorna went to get it and found a cosy little set up. A sun lounger with sleeping bag a couple of cups and the wrapping from the sandwiches Lorna made for Dennis each night and a candle and torch. Now we new why there were no wages.

Lorna said he had got up and gone out to try and sort out his wages at around midday it was now 6.00pm and he wasnt back, I wonder why. He arrived home at about 7.00pm very flushed and hyper no prizes for guessing where he had been. Lorna asked him if she should get his sandwiches and flask ready and of course he said yes. He also said he should get his wages the following friday the error had been sorted out. Off he went to work.

Lorna and I quickly ran downstairs and sat in the shed, it was really difficult for us to stop laughing but we had to as we were going to give Dennis the shock of his life. We heard footsteps then the door opened and Lorna and I just stood up and the look of sheer terror on his face was priceless. He asked how we new and Lorna explained. A heated arguement took place he was full of excuses but they didnt wash. I told him my theory and he said I was more or less right. I was really angry as I had lent them money on the promise of him getting wages but of course if there was no job then obviously there were no wages. I would be really short now we would all suffer. I made it quite clear to him that if he didnt get a job then they were out on there ears as I couldnt support them. Them two sitting at home and me out working no way.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Page 13

Lorna and Dennis were arguing all the time and I was getting really fed up of them and asked Dennis to have another word with Dr Green about getting a flat or something, he said he would.

Dennis continued saying his ampoules were breaking and I wondered just how long it would take Dr Green to realise he was being duped and stop giving him a prescription for the damaged ones. Dennis did go to see him about the flat and was told that the home office had told the Dr. that he was grossly overprescribing and that his licence was going to be revoked in a months time. So he told Dennis he would have to go in to a rehab centre for detox as he wouldnt be able to prescribe class 'A' drugs anymore. Dennis said he would but I expected that he would do his usual and stay perhaps one night then discharge himself as it was voluntary.

Then came the real bombshell Lorna said she was pregnant the poor child it didnt stand a chance. I said how could they be so irresponsible as to bring a child into this nightmare of a marriage. I couldnt believe Lorna's next words they were at least we will now get a flat.

Now all my children were in fulltime school I was going to get a job as I was finding it really difficult to manage on the money I got from DHSS and would prefer to work. Lorna said she would be there for when the children came out of school until I got home.

I got a job that was for just 8 weeks at the Dept. of Transport in the statistics dept. It was 9.15 to 5.00pm so I could get the children to school then Lorna would look after them until I got home.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Page 12

Dennis and Lorna came back from having their meal and said they had something to tell me and that was that they were going to get married as Lorna was almost 18 yrs old. I was too shocked for words I could not believe what I had just heard. I asked if they were out of their minds. Dennis addicted to heroin and Lorna had so many hangups it was a disaster waiting to happen.
They did not display any affection for each other at all. I asked where they were going to live and Dennis said with me for the moment until they got a house or flat.

I told them if that was the case they were both going to have to get jobs and pay towards food and rent etc.. of course they agreed to this but I had little or no faith at all. I kept trying to put them off but the following day they went to the registrars office in Berkhamsted where Lorna lived and fixed a date December 1970. Her Dad wouldn't give his consent to the marriage , she needed this as she was not quite 18 but her Mum signed the necessary forms to this day I cant understand her doing this. There was no love lost between mother and daughter for her not stopping her husband sexually abusing the children so I think she thought it would get rid of Lorna she would now be Dennis's problem. The blind leading the blind.

Dr Green also spoke to both Dennis and Lorna saying they should wait until Dennis was off the heroin but they wouldnt listen. He did say he would write a letter to the council after they were married to try and get them a flat on medical grounds.

The wedding was a farce, they both looked as miserable as sin, Lorna's Mum invited everybody back to her house for something to eat and drink. This was also a farce we were given a slice of some kind of cake and a cup of tea. If I had known that this was her idea of a wedding breakfast I would have done it myself.

We went home after about an hour and Dennis and Lorna sat on the sofa with about a 2 foot gap between them. You would have thought they had been to a funeral not their wedding. We were all starving so I went to prepare dinner. The only people showing any sign of excitement was the children.

The next morning the ritual started me getting the children off to school, the twins were now in full time school and Dennis going to the chemist. When I got back Dennis was in the bathroom and Lorna was in the kitchen making tea. When Dennis emerged all bright and flushed he said half of the ampoules had broken so he only got half his dose. He said he was going to see Dr Green to see if he could get them replaced. I was dubious I had a strange feeling he was pulling a fast one and intended getting replacement amps and going to Piccadilly to sell them as he was short of money. My suspitions were raised because he looked like he had had his full dosage as he was flushed and hyper. I could be wrong but I knew Dennis but did Dr Green. Obviously not because he wrote out a prescription for the ones that were 'allegedly' broken. Need I tell you we didnt see Dennis until about 10.00pm that night the first day of their honeymoon, he had money, so I had been right in my assumptions. He apologised to Lorna but she was having none of it and really tore into him. I couldnt believe it she said she thought with them getting married he wouldnt take drugs anymore, how naive can you be. I did tell her she was making a big mistake. They had only been married 1 day.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Page 11

Dennis agreed to go and see Dr Green the following day to try and get into rehab. He admitted he had been on Heroin on and off , more on than off since before he went to Yorkshire. I was so angry with him if I had known this I would not have let him come back with us.

Lorna was round again she was definitely after Dennis I dont know why who would want a drug addict as a boyfriend. Dennis came back from seeing Dr Green he had agreed to help him. He was getting in touch with the home office to get permission to take Dennis on as a registered addict. This way Dennis would pick up a certain amount of ampoules of heroin from our local chemist every day, this way he wouldn't have to go to London to shoplift and score drugs this would help him to avoid getting caught by the police. Over time the amount of ampoules the doctor would prescribe him would reduce until eventually he would be weaned off them and then go on to Methadone a heroin substitute , which was if anything harder to get off but this was way down the line.

Dennis and Lorna started going out again, I was shocked I thought she was crazy and told her so but she said she loved him. It took about a week for the procedure for Dennis getting his daily dose of heroin to be put in place. I was a bit concerned because I thought Dennis had told Dr Green that he had been taking more than he really was and I was just going to wait and see if he started going to London again because he had no job anymore and I had a feeling that he would go to Piccadilly and try to sell the excess heroin to have some money in his pocket.

I really didn't like this, Dennis would be at the chemist when it opened then come home go straight to the bathroom and inject the heroin I would be downstairs and the thought of what he was doing made me feel awful and I didn't know if I could cope with it. Two or three days past and then he went out allegedly for a walk and he didn't come back until around 10.00pm that night with money. I challenged him and he eventually said I was right he had sold some ampoules in London. He said he had promised to take Lorna out for a meal so he needed money.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Page 10

Monday morning came quickly Dennis would not get up, I tried and tried but he said he felt too ill to go to work. Lorna came round she was really pleased Dennis was here, why I dont know because at the moment I was so angry with him I could strangle him.
He got out of his pit at about 1.00pm and said he was going to the butchers and try to explain why he hadn't been to work this morning and would hopefully be able to work the afternoon. I was impressed this responsible attitude was completely out of character.
Time passed and he didn't come back so I assumed he had persuaded them to keep him on. Lorna stayed for lunch and I think she was hoping Dennis would be straight back but he showed no interest in her at all. He had barely said two words to her. I asked her if she would like to stay for dinner and she said she would.

The children came home and I started dinner expecting Dennis home at about 5.30pm it got to 6.00pm no sign of him Lorna said she would go and see where he was, she came back and said she had spoken to one of the lads in the butchers and they said he hadn't showed up today, they hadn't seen him since friday. I feared the worst I thought he had probably gone to London to score some drugs. I said to Lorna she should steer clear of him as he would never give up the drugs totally.

We had dinner and then she went home very disappointed but perhaps wiser. I was really fed up of waiting for Dennis not knowing where he was he could be laying in a gutter somewhere. It was a waiting game.

He arrived home at about 11.0pm as high as a kite I guided him to his room as there was no point trying to talk to him I would leave it until morning. I went through his coat pockets maybe not the right thing to do but I needed to know what was going on. In his pocket I found a syringe vitamin C tablets and various other drug parafinalia this told me he was probably on Class 'A' most likely heroin I was scared I couldn't send him back to my Mum and Dad they would not be able to deal with it so I was going to make him see Dr Green again to see if he would help again.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Page 9

They soon settled in at their new house and Dennis got a job and appeared to stay away from the drug scene. In the meantime around February 1970 my husband got himself and us into a lot of debt and he just walked out one day leaving me and the children to fend for ourselves.

I missed being able to see my Mum , I really needed her just now. My Dad suggested we get on a coach and go and stay with them for a couple of weeks, this sounded good so I did just that. My Mum said I should look for a mutual exchange from Hemel to Rotherham but I didn't want to unsettle the children so I said I would think about it.

We stayed for two weeks and Dennis asked if he could come and live with us as Mike had gone he said he could get a job and help out. It did seem a good idea and he promised not to touch drugs. So he went and booked another ticket for himself and off we went back to Hemel.

He was true to his word and got a job after a couple of weeks at the local butchers as an assistant , it was good because apart from getting free meat I could keep an eye on him. Things were going good.

Things were going really well for quite a while then one friday Dennis said he was going to meet a guy he worked with and they were going for a drink, I was really pleased it was good he was making friends. Guess what I didn't see him again until sunday evening looking under the influence and dishevelled, I ranted and raved at him but it was pointless as he wasn't on this planet so I pointed him in the direction of his bedroom and suggested he sleep it off.

I felt so let down, things had been going so well and I really didn't want my kids to see him in this state luckily they were out playing on this occasion.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Page 8

It was February 1969 and Dennis decided he was going back to live with my Mum and Dad, I tried to dissuade him but he said he would stay away from drugs. He said he really missed his mates and London life. I asked him to go and see Dr Green hoping he could change his mind but it didn't work. My Mum and Dad were worried they had been able to relax while Dennis was with us but I made them promise to throw him out at the first sign of trouble not wait until they were at the end of their tether.

The children would miss him as he took them on long walks and had made them really appreciate nature they had also had a lot of fun. Dennis had this knack of making everything fun. You could be feeling a bit down in the dumps and he would walk in and in 2 minutes everyone would be laughing. In spite of his drug problem he was a really nice guy and we all loved him.

Lorna wasn't too happy, she thought Dennis and her had a future, although she knew about his drug problem she still thought it might work, personnally I think it had happened for the best . She still came to see us and we became friends but she was a strange person difficult to understand.

Dennis got a job shop fitting and did seem to be staying away from drugs. My Mum and Dad found it difficult to be able to trust him again. They decided to go to Yorkshire to visit some relatives as they needed a break. All our family lived in Yorkshire. They were taking a chance leaving Dennis on his own but after all he was 21 yrs old they couldn't babysit him all the time.

When they got back everything did seem ok it was obvious to them that Dennis had mates around there was some damage to the front room door but not to bad. While they were in Yorkshire they went to visit my Mum's brother Doug and his wife and the house next door to them was to let they talked my Mum and Dad into making enquiries about it. They said it would be good for them to have lots of family around(my Mum was one of 13 children) also it would get Dennis away from the drugs. Guess what they decided to take it and a date was agreed so off they went home to pack.

My Dad sudenly noticed one day that the fire surround in the living room wasn't lined up properly and he tried to straighten it up but it fell out along with some jewellery
my Dad was really puzzled there were a couple of gold watches and some other bits and pieces and he said they looked really expensive. His first thought was Dennis what was he up to now. He quickly put it in a drawer and then Dennis walked in and the look of absolute horror on his face said it all. He said he was looking after it for a mate, my Dad said he would sell it and it would pay for them to move and have a bit in the bank. Dennis was now beside himself and said if he didn't return the jewellery he would be seriously hurt. He later admitted it was a drug dealers property who was going to pay Dennis in drugs for keeping it for him.My Dad lost it and said he had better return it and better not take any drugs or he would be out on his ear and wouldn't be going to Yorkshire with them and he would also make sure I wouldnt have him
Dennis took the stuff to his mate and my Dad made him empty all his pockets when he got backto make sure there were no drugs.

All too soon they were off lots of tears were shed. It was bad enough being 25 miles away now it would be 130 miles away still as my Dad said they had enough room to put us all up.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Page 7

Mum and Dad were thrilled to bits with Dennis's progress and realised it was early days. Getting a job was a really good move also.

It was chaos Monday morning with me trying to get Lesley, my daughter, ready for school and Dennis in a bit of a panic starting his new job, as was to be expected. Dennis walked with Lesley and I as the bus stop was close to her school we wished him luck and off he went.

When he came home that evening he was full of it he had really enjoyed it. He had been put upstairs in the model department which is what he had hoped for. He was being shown the ropes by a young girl called Lorna .

He had his evening meal and then he went to see Dr Green for his counselling session. I did wonder if perhaps after a days work he might not go but thank goodness I was wrong. I bathed and put the children to bed and Mike, Dennis and I sat down for the evening and had a good chat about anything and everything, it was really nice. Mike even told Dennis how impressed he was with his progress.

Time passed, Dennis was still off the drugs and still at work, he had got quite friendly with the girl at work Lorna and had asked her out. The following week he asked if he could invite her round to our house one evening, of course I said yes and said she could have dinner with us.
She seemed a really nice girl she was tiny about 5ft. and about 17 yrs old. You could tell they really liked each other.

Lorna became a regular visitor to our house the children really liked her. I believe from what Dennis had mentioned she had a lot of problems resulting from being sexually abused by her father, this is something I find difficult to understand if you cant trust your Dad who can you trust. I felt so sorry for her. Dennis took her out now and again for meals and the pictures.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Page 6

Dennis came home at about 3 pm and he seemed perfectly normal, I dont know what I expected. He said he had been to see some mates but I was dubious but gave him the benefit of the doubt. I told him he had an appointment at the Doctors at 5.30pm and explained what Dr Green had said to me about a drug program and he seemed quite keen. Time will tell.

When he came back from the Doctors he seemed very keen and impressed and said he would try his best , also that Dr Green was going to come and see Mike and I after surgery so we could all be in the picture , our participation was vital as drug addicts are notorious for distorting the truth.

The children went up to their bedroom to play as I didnt want to discuss all this in their presence. Dr Green started by saying Dennis had only just started taking heroin and only took it occassionally so it would be easier to attempt to wean him off . He said it would take a lot of patience on our part as part of the treatment would be with anti-depressants. The Doctor gave Dennis his home telephone number in case he felt like going to score drugs so he could try and talk him out of it.

He said drug addicts are renowned for abusing even the drugs that were supposed to be helping their symptoms of withdrawal , he thought the close relationship Dennis and I had would help enormously. He arranged to see Dennis monday, wednesday and friday to help him keep on the right track with counselling.

After Dr Green had left Dennis said he thought he could do it and would try his utmost with Dr Green and our help. Things were going well Dennis kept his appointments and occasionally took more tablets than he should have but on the whole things were going well.

This went on for a month and Dr Green was really pleased with him and suggested he should try and get a job to keep him occupied as too much time on his hands could be detrimental. Fate must have stepped in as that very evening there was a job in the local paper for a shop assisstant at a toy and model shop in Hemel Town Centre and Dennis said he really fancied that as he was still a big kid at heart. My children absolutely adored him.

He was up bright and early put on his suit and off he went to the shop to see about the job. I wished him luck and hoped he would get lucky as this could be the making of him.

I was getting a bit worried as Dennis had been gone about 2 hours and doubts were creeping in my mind , had he gone to the town or had he skipped to London . I was really scared. Then there was a knock on the door and Dennis stood there with a huge smile on his face, he picked me up and spun around saying he had got the job there and then and had to start on the following monday it was now thursday. He had his appointment with Doctor Green on friday so he would have to sort out his appointments to fit in to his work hours. We both agreed that he should definitely carry on with the counselling as we all wanted this to work.

I wrote to my Mum and Dad and said we were all coming to see them on saturday as we had some good news for them. Up until now they didn't know about the counselling and how well it had worked so far........not counting our chickens its early days but any improvement would help them as I knew they felt guilty about sending him to us but we really didn't mind.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Page 5

When we got home I put the children to bed and Dennis, Mike and I sat down for a chat. I asked him what drugs he was taking and was shocked to the core when he said Heroin, I asked him how he took it and he said by injection I was totally dumbstruck from what my Mum and Dad said it was just tablets......bad enough but Heroin was real drug abuse. He said my Mum and Dad had no idea about this.

I asked him where he got it from and this shocked me even more he had been shop lifting particularly in Marks and Spencers as they had a money back returns policy with or without receipts. What he would do was initially buy something small and cheap this would enable him to get a M & S carrier bag then he would pick out some fairly expensive items, leave the shop without paying for them then a while later he would return to the shop after making it look as though he had removed the items from the packaging and say they were either too small or too big and ask for his money back. He would also ask for the carrier bag back so he could do the same again later. He said he could make as much as £200-300 a day.

I could not believe this was my brother he had not been brought up this way. This he did every day, sometimes he would shop lift to order. I was definitely scared now I had no idea what to do next neither did Mike, it was real scary.

I decided I would go and see my family doctor Dr Green to see if he could help us with what we did next. The next morning I got Lesley off to school andd went to wake Dennis up but his room was empty and a note saying he had gone to The Dilly this meant Piccadily in London he would explain when he got back.

I went to see Dr. Green and explained the situation and was very surprised as he said he was at the moment doing a study on drug addiction and would very much like to see Dennis to see if they could put a program together to get him off the drugs over time, as this would have to be a gradual thing and this depended on how much he was using daily. I said I thought he only used it now and again but he said that wouldn't be the case as it was highly addictive. I arranged an appointment for Dennis for that evening.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Page 4

Saturday soon came round and I felt I knew a little more about 'the addict' I had been to the local library and found out quite a lot about dealing with an addict. One thing I found out for sure was we would need help and information from our G.P. but until we knew what types of drugs we were going to have to deal with I couldnt set anything in motion. Patience I don't do well.

As soon as we walked into my Mum and Dads house you could feel the tension they both looked to be at the end of their tether. I can only guess at what they had been through and began to wonder if we were doing the right thing by having Dennis with us......time would tell.

We had a good chat to my Mum and Dad before Dennis came in. I couldn't believe it he looked pale and drawn and grubby and couldn't look me in the eye. This wasn't my brother, he had changed beyond belief since I last saw him.

I asked him how he felt about coming to stay with us for a while and trying to get off the drugs, he said he wanted that more than anything as he knew he was causing my Mum and Dad a lot of hassle and he knew he wouldn't get away with it with Mike. One problem was my Mum was too soft with him he was her baby so she gave into him with money not realising she was helping to feed his habit. Mike also took him to one side and laid down some ground rules, this was done away from my Mum and Dad and me and the children it was man to man. Dennis agreed to the conditions Mike laid down but neither of us were under any illusions and expected that they would go out of the window quite quickly but both of us knew that my Mum and Dad couldn't take any more.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Page 3

We had been living in Hemel for about 3 months when my Mum came over and told us that Dennis was now really into drugs and had stolen a television and various other things from them and sold them for money for drugs. He was also very abusive and my Mum and Dad could`nt take it any longer. They were too scared to tell him to leave as he had no where to go and they couldnt bear to see him on the streets.

I said I would speak to my husband and see if he thought we could have Dennis here to live with us and perhaps being away from his so called mates might help us help him get off the drugs. My Mum was so relieved and we both hoped both Dennis and Mike would agree. There would have to be certain conditions. Dennis knew Mike wouldnt take any nonsense. We knew nothing about drug abuse.

When Mike came home from work I told him what my Mum had said and he agreed we would have Dennis here but we would want assurances that he would want to get off the drugs. At this time we had no idea what drugs he was abusing. One would assume he had progressed from purple hearts.

I had provisionally arranged with my Mum that if it was ok with Mike we would go to their house for dinner on the following Saturday and if Dennis agreed to our terms then he could come back with us. Not forgetting we had three young children who absolutely loved Dennis but we had to protect them.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Page 2

Dennis and his friend Roy helped us move and what a day that was. It was November 1967 Dennis was now 19 yrs old my Mum and Dad believed he was again dabbling in illegal substances of some kind but he strongly denied it.

My Mum came over to Hemel to see us and it wasnt long before she broke down and said she was sure Dennis was back on drugs he had lost his job( he was an apprentice gas fitter) but wouldnt tell them why. He was staying out for days and came home acting drunk but my Mum and Dad thought it might have been the after effects of drugs but he said he had finished with all that. My Mum had also noticed that money had gone missing and some bits of jewellery not worth much but they meant alot to my Mum. She didnt tell my Dad because she thought he would tell him to leave the house and he was her little boy so she covered for him.

I told her she wasnt helping him by covering for him he needed professional help and to talk to their doctor and explain the situation.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Page 1

I was an only child until I was 10 yrs old and then along came my brother Dennis whom I absolutely adored. Due to my father being ill when Dennis was born he did not have such an amazing childhood as me but my Mum and I did try to compensate, possibly too much.

He was a good child growing up but when he got to about 16 yrs old things started to go wrong, by this time I was married and had one child. Dennis started staying out all night on a friday and didnt arrive home until sunday and would not tell my Mum and Dad where he had been but he certainly looked worse for wear.

This went on for several weeks and my Mum was getting really worried, so much so that when he went to work she searched his room and found a match box hidden in a pair of shoes inside were 2 tablets which she had no idea what they were.
She came to see me, we then still lived in Fulham We asked my local chemist what he thought they were and he said they were purple hearts , very popular at the moment but also illegal.
Mum couldnt wait to challenge Dennis. I can tell you my Mum was formidable when angry, poor Dennis.

He owned up to using these drugs at the weekends with his mates but promised it would stop from now on, he realised how stupid he was being. He was true to his word and didnt stay out at weekends.

Time passed I had now got three children and was living in a really lovely flat but on the 10th floor. This was not good having a 4yr old and 18 month old twins. We managed to get a mutual exchange to a house in Hemel Hempstead with a large garden and out in the sticks compared to Fulham.