2. Kim and Linda “To have it in her own mind”
Maureen: When did you first start thinking about Kim leaving home?
Linda: I started thinking about it when she was really, very young. Kim was the middle one of three children, or is the middle one of three children, and they were all very close in age and I wanted her life to go in the same sort of direction as the other two, and I was very keen for her to go to independent living of some sort certainly in her late teens or early twenties, so that she would be doing the same kind of thing as the other two and I spoke to Kim about moving out from when she was very small, we would talk about her having her own house when she was grown up and how we would go for tea with her and we would visit her and I can remember saying to my sister that I had been speaking to Kim about her having her own flat and that she really didn’t seem very keen and my sister said to me “she’s seven (laughing) nobody wants their own flat when they’re seven”
Maureen: But it was important for you to be doing that early?
Linda: It was very important for me yes, because I wanted her to have it in her mind, that she would be leaving home and moving on to her own place.
Maureen: And why? Why were you thinking about that?
Linda: Well, partly I think because I’d been a social worker, at one point in my life, and I had seen families where the parents died or became ill, and their child, or adult child with learning difficulties, I felt suffered almost a double bereavement, because they would lose a parent, and then they very often lost their home as well, and I had to go and settle into some new place, where they didn’t know anybody, that was completely unfamiliar and I just didn’t want that for Kim, I wanted her to be settled somewhere, long before we couldn’t look after her anymore, so that she had her own social life and people who cared about her and would be there for her, when we were no longer be able to do it.