I just finished Cathy glass’s new book girl alone. It was an amazing and gripping read, as are all of Cathys books. This book told Joss’s story. Joss came to live with Cathy at age 13. 4 years previous her dad had committed suicide. Joss and her mother had come home and found his lifeless body hanging in their garage. Joss as you can imagine had not dealt with this and as a result was doing lots of unsafe things, such as drinking and smoking canibas. Her mother Linda has since remarried, and Joss did not get along with her stepfather Eric and there had been lots of arguments at home resulting in Joss being taken into care. In the beginning when Joss comes to Cathy she has attitude, and continues to act out and do unsafe things. Cathy regularly tries to talk to her to make her see sense but it does no good. A contract of behaviour is drawn up but it is very lax and Joss is allowed to stay out late which Cathy doesnt agree with. However her social worker is young and naive and tries to be Joss’s friend, rather than her social worker. Joss hangs around with older girls, and doesnt do her school work so is behind at school. Then the school inform Cathy that Joss is being collected in a car by two older men. We come to find out the men are Zack, her friend Chelseas uncle, and Carl his friend. Joss lies to Cathy a lot and Cathy begins to wonder if she’ll ever be able to get through to her. Then an incident happens where Cathy goes to Chelseas flat and finds a party going on, lots of young teens smoking and drinking and when she goes upstairs to find Joss she finds her with Chelsea and Chelseas father in the bedroom. After Cathy takes Joss home and tries to talk to her but Joss becomes hostile and tells Cathy she is ruining her life. A week later Joss goes out for an evening and comes home and discloses to Cathy that Zack has raped her. A police investigation ensues. Then Joss makes more disclosures, this time about Eric her moms husband and her stepfather. She tells Cathy that Eric has sexually abused her. At first her mom doesnt believe Joss and sides with Eric. Eventually Joss’s social worker goes to visit her mom and brother Kevin and Kevin is interviewed and he also discloses abuse by ERic. So the social workers say that Kevin has to come in to foster care. However before he does Linda their mother runs away with him and ends up at her parents house. She is distraught and very upset. She tells her parents that she’s left Eric because she realises now that he did abuse her kids, something Kevin told her led her to finally believe him and Joss. Linda becomes very depressed and Joss and Cathy are afraid she is going to kill herself too like her husband. Joss’s grandparents fight for kevin and Joss to live with them permanently and Kevin does, but Joss stays with Cathy and sees her family at weekends. After a couple months of this arrangement her grandparents threaten social services with court action if they dont make a decision so it is decided that Joss and Kevin can live with their grandparents full time. Joss, Kevin and their mom live with their grandparents for another year after Joss eventually moves back to live there. Eventually after a year linda is deamed well enough to parent her children again. The book was shocking in so many places. Its heartbreaking in other parts, it is deeply moving and a testiment to the resilience and determination of children who have survived awful tragedies. After disclosing the abuse joss’s behaviour drastically improves, she’s like a totally different child. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in fostering, social work, or any abuse survivor. You wont be able to put it down.
The Mental Health Blog Award aims to recognise those who promote Mental Health Awareness in the blogosphere. So I am greatly honored to have received this award from Addi over at
thanks you Addi my friend! 🙂
I am so happy people enjoy my blog. After all sometimes I wonder if my rambles are boring, so when people read and go so far as to nominate me for awards I am delighted!
The rules are simple. Nominate five bloggers who promote Mental Health awareness to receive this award and give reasons for your choices.
My nominees are
Matters to Sam
Fumbling through therapy
I was a foster kid
Me, looking for the missing pieces
Pen, paper and crazy
My reasons for choosing these blogs? They are honest portrayals of what its like to live with mental illness. Each of these people writes passionately on the subject. Their blogs are amazing and well worth a visit.
Recently I read my dads a policeman. Its by Cathy Glass. Its a short read at only 100 pages. Its Cathy Glass’s first short story.
The story is based on a true story. It centres around Ryan, who is a 12 year old boy. His mom is an alcoholic and because of her drinking Ryan and his little brother Tommy are taken into care. Ryan doesnt want to go into care. When his social worker Duffy talks to him about it, he becomes agitated and very angry and ends up punching her in the face. Ryan is in trouble a lot because of his temper, also, even though he’s never seen his real dad, he wants to believe his dads a policeman, and he tells everyone this, even duffy his social worker. Duffy wants to split him and Tommy up and Ryan wants them to stay together. However that doesnt happen when they’re taken into foster care. So Ryan decides to run away from his foster hom and go home. He also wants to rescue Tommy. He runs away when his foster mom is sleeping. He finds his way home to his moms house, but then his foster mom finds him gone and calls the police. They come to his mothers house and try to get him to go with him, however he again runs away, and this time, they dont catch him. He ends up calling his best friend and spending the night in his house. His best friends dad is abusive and beats up and verbally abuses his kids. After spending the night with his best friend, Ryan tries to rescue Tommy, however Tommy wont go with him, he’s happy with his new foster carers. Ryan hangs around the town all day and then tries to go back to his friends house for a shower and to charge his phone. It is then that he sees the dad beating up his best friend. Eventually Ryan goes back to his moms and his mom talks to him and pleads with him to go back to his foster mom and dad, so she can go into rehab and get better. The book ends with her going into rehab, with Ryan going back to his foster mom and dad, and Tommy ends up coming to live with Ryan and his foster family. Ryans best friend ends up also going into care. At the end of the book Ryan finds out that his foster dad is a policeman, so it turns out that in the end, his dad is a policeman.
Its a great short read. I highly recommend it to everyone.
I just finished this book a few days ago. And as usual it was a great read.
This is Michaels story. It is an unusual case for Cathy in that Michael did not come from an abusive family or one that neglected his needs. Michael was very much loved.
The reason Michael came into foster care was that his dad was terminally ill. He was dying of cancer. He needed someone to look after Michael when he went into hospice and when he eventually died.
The book is poignant in so many places. Patrick who is michaels dad is such a kind, caring, gentle man. He wins Cathys heart and the hearts of her family.
In the early part of the book Michael comes to Cathy while his dad is in and out of hospital due to his illness. Each time he stays a couple of days or weeks. He is not a permanent foster child in Cathys home like in her other books where the child she’s looking after stays for a long time maybe a year or more.
Patrick also gets to know Cathy. They go out together for a meal, and they’re two families are closely in contact with one another, they go swimming together, and do other activities to allow michael to get acquainted with Cathy and her children. But while all this is happening of course Cathy and her children become very close to Patrick.
Patrick realises this too and during one of his hospital stays he makes the decision that he should put some distance between himself and Cathy and her children for the sake of everyone. He doesnt want them unduely effected by his illness and impending death.
Cathy takes Michael to visit his dad in hospital. One of the most poignant parts of the book is the very last time Michael visits his dad when his dad is unconscious in the hospice. He sits talking to his dad and just spending quality time with him. And on that night his dad dies.
During the book patricks friends nora and jack, and coleen and eamon are prominant figures. They are patricks dearest and oldest friends. It turns out that Coleen and Eamon offered to look after Michael when pat dies. But so did Cathy. She had mentioned this to pat early on when they’d been out together. Cathy did not know that Coleen and Eamon had also offered to look after michael, so it came as a huge shock. In the end Michael does to go Eamon and Coleen, because they are his god parents, and also they’ve known him since he was a baby. In the end it is the decision of both stella michaels social worker, and Michael as to where he should live. And he chooses to live with Coleen and eamon.
It is a really fabulous and touching book with a lot of depth and emotional parts. I really liked it and I’m sure you will too. Be prepared for many emotional scenes and sad parts but also lots of happy moments too. I think anyone whose going through terminal illness or the death of a loved one should read it. Also foster parents, social workers etc.
In this gripping memoir, Cathy tells Harrisons story. Harrison came to cathy as a newborn baby. He’d come to the attention of social services four months earlier, when his birth mother had asked that he be taken into care upon being born, and adopted. Cathy had never fostered a baby so was very apprehensive about it. But Harrison soon settled into her family. Right from the start Rianna, Harrisons mother was co-operating with social services. There was a lot of mystery surrounding Harrisons case. At first Cathy didnt know why he’d been placed in care. Eventually she found out though. At first Rianna spent some weeks loitering outside Cathys house, trying to get a glimpse of Harrison. Cathy was quite worried and discussed this with her support social worker Jill and Sharyl who was Harrisons social worker. When Harrison was a few months old, Rianna came to see Cathy. She then told Cathy why it was that she’d had to give Harrison up. Her family were asian, and she’d been having a relationship with a mixed race man. If her family found out, they’d disapprove, and she felt that her cousins might kill the man, or her. An honour killing. Cathy was very shocked upon hearing this information and she told Rianna she’d have to tell Jill. Before rianna left that night, Cathy offered to let her see Harrison. At first Rianna hesitated but eventually she agreed and she saw him and it was after that first contact, a few weeks later, that Rianna came again to Cathys house, late at night, and shared that she’d told her parents and they were willing to support her. She wanted to take Harrison that night, but Cathy persuaded her to leave him with her and go through her solicitor and social worker. Cathy met Riannas father that night who also wished to take Harrison there and then. Over the following 3 months, contact between rianna and harrison was set up and Rianna saw him twice a week for an hour and a half. Eventually a decision was made that Harrison should live permanently with Rianna. A two week introductory move was planned to introduce Harrison to living with his mother. Eventually after the two weeks were complete Harrison returned to live permanently with his mother and it was very sad for Cathy and her family when they all had to say goodbye. The book is an amazing read and as always Cathy has done an excellent job of telling a gripping, heart warming, sometimes sad, but touching story of Harrisons time with her. Its well worth a read if you like memoirs, stories about people who’ve over come the odds, stories about children in care etc.