Wednesday

Angst over employer's (seemingly new found) addictions

Received Wednesday, October 17, 2007- Perspective & Opinion
The more I get to know my current employer, the more concerned I am about her use of prescription medications. To the best of my knowledge, she does not use illicit substances but she uses a whole lot of OTC medicines. She is incautious about dosage, leaves bottles about all of the time. There are young children in the house. My employer frequently makes remarks about needing her pills and via phone we overhear her bragging as to the great affects of her pills or her need for more of the other. I am aware that her daughter listens intently to such conversations. Most days, she is moody. Occasionally, she will come across as invigorated or energized. I never know which of her personalities I am going to be dealing with. I could not help to observe that she utilizes two doctors for her prescription needs. This is hopeless, right? I recognise I am experiencing angst over her (seemingly new found) addictions? She is a divorcee and therefore alone; and I am additionally concerned as to how she may behave with the children when I am not around.

26 comments:

kelly said...

OP, you poor thing. It stinks when you don't know which of the three people in one person you will be dealing with on any particular day. She has the right to drug herself, but it becomes a poisonous habit when the kids overhear her praising her need for more and more pills. The kids will think it's okay to pop pills anyhow.

I had an employer who had a whole lot of daily pills, and I was happy that she had them and took them because she was annoying without them. She also kept them away from the kids, and never mentioned pills around the kids.

Hopefully someone will give you some great advice. Good luck :)

Anonymous said...

When in Rome...

Anonymous said...

Let me guess, you are in the OC area. Don't worry the daughter and any other kids will grow up being pill poppers like mama but they will add to the cocktail alcohol, shrooms, herb, coke, meth, heroin. Whatever. A drug addict is a drug addict is a drug addict breed a drug addict. I think 30 percent of the mothers in my neighb are high on pharma cocktails 7 days a week. No one rememebers anything. There is no resistance. Only the dim witted faces the falely lit...

OP said...

I wasn't going to say but your post blew me away. I am in "RSM".
Ring any bells?

La Habra Mama said...

Rancho Santa Margarita?

la habra mama said...

and by the way, I'm sober 6 days a week. :)

Anonymous said...

call her doctors - tell them about the other one.
if you are that concerned about the kids when you are not there, call CPS

kelly said...

4:46pm, Get of out town! You are darn good. I can't believe you nailed the county like that. RSM is in the OC area. The place must be popular among drug-resistant pill poppers.

Alicia said...

Get out now! Do not put that burden on your shoulders. And you can't worry about the kids like that. I know it's hard, but you have to distance yourself from that situation or you'll dig an early grave for yourself with worry.

maggie said...

Amanda,
You had me at dodgy and dissipated.
Great comments. Glad to see you found your way to the blog!

maggie said...

I am a huge fan of this blog. I believe that it has helped illuminate shotty caregivers and it has also helped parents learn what to look for. So many of these nannies are little actresses and the parents want to believe the best. Who would think that a nanny went to Weinerschnitzel to look for receipts to turn in for cash? Or that a nanny took her charge to the park and threw grass and dirt on the child and then after telling the child how long they had been at the park and how exhausted they were-left the park. 2 minutes later? What of the nanny who stole the turkey? Left the child with the storekeeper while she shopped? Had her boyfriend steal shrubbery and plants off of her employer's grounds? Not too mention the number of sleeping nannies. I would never in a million years have considered that a nanny would nap on the job and I would NEVER have imagined that other people, even in NYC would defend her ability to nap on the job!

Anonymous said...

Maggie,
what's a shotty caregiver?

Anonymous said...

O poster....

Just wanted to comment as someone who has "been there". I was a nanny years ago 24/7 for a family who lost the mother to suicide. DB was an alcoholic , though at 18 and straight out of high school I was too naive to know what he was sick with. In my first week I called 911 twice due to his incoherent meanderings around the home, scaring me and the kids. Once I 'got a clue' (tons of empty vodka bottles), I made the decision to stay for the kids sake, and I sucked it up.

I did this because they had lost their mom, because I recognized the youngest needed intervention (due to tongue tie and later a diagnosis of autism) and due to the lack of an alternative caregiver. There was no one else to care for them and we had bonded. I was also naive in thinking I could "save them" and no one would fight harder to protect them than me.

When things got to the point where the children were receiving services through school counceling, speech therapy, assistance in preschool for the youngest and working toward diagnosis and support in school, it came to a point where DB's behavior was getting far worse.

I did call CPS. I was told because I lived there, and was paid to care for the children ($125/week) that DB had "provided' for his children and there was nothing they could do.

I documented all I could, and then left. I called Grandma immediately, and CPS too. The children were left there for a few weeks and in that time the oldest 7years old called 911 and neighbours repeatedly.

It was terrible. I fell into quite a depressive state, but quickly realized if I could get my act together (find a job, and place to live) I could offer these children a same place to go, to visit, to stay... a refuge, and I would not let them down.

That was years ago. Grandma got custody and after her husband died, she moved in with the children and DB.

This year, DB died, and the kids are orphans. They are now 9 years older than when I first met them, and each are doing quite well. Until last month I lived a block away.

what I want to say to you... my advice...

* Before you leave, do everything you can to reach out into the community.
* Do not gossip to neighbours, but look at the situation and community relationships from the children's point of view. Who could those children go to for help? Strengthen those bonds.
* Access community members, and remember that professionals in the community have ethics and codes of conduct that will help you. Make an appointment to see the doctors, and tell them what you know. They do NOT and WILL NOT give you information, but I don't see why they wouldn't be open to listening to what you have to say. In my case, I spoke to the receptionist in confidence about DB and she was alerted to the situation. I spoke to the doctor in confidence regarding my charge, and he helped me to obtain referrals for the child, even though I did not have consigning consent. He became the advocate for the child, he even came to the home to address DB, and in the end, he didn't stop till he had obtained consent (From Grandma)

gotta go - but stick strong :)

frmr nanny now a mom said...

Maggie,
just out of curiosity, if a nanny is caring for an infant who naps two or three times a day, do you think it is innapropriate for her to nap while the child does? (given that any cleaning or household responsibilities she had were completed)

Anonymous said...

Is there a relative or close friend of your employer that you could enlist to try to get her help? Going to two Dr. to get more drugs than it is safe to take, is very serious. The fact that she is divorced also means there is a risk of her loosing custody if this continues.

Anonymous said...

Why are you getting off track? This posting is about a mother abusing, not a nanny.

Anonymous said...

Can you somehow let the children's father know what is going on? Maybe he will fight for custody.

Anonymous said...

Maggie is a notorious drunk.
shotty = shotworthy
shoddy = inferior

es said...

827, you confused me with your post because it should have been dh. not db? but a sad story- none the less.

This OP, where is the father? Is he in the OC area too? Does he realize what is going on? Unfortunately, people who use all travel in the same circles. I have mentioned having a headache and been offered Darvon. And seriously with the bottle out. And, at a playground I might add.

You should talk to the father and don't be afraid. In California, you are a mandated reporter. If the children are in any danger, by law YOU HAVE To report it.

Child Protective Services of Orange County:
714-940-1000

Anonymous said...

Oh great! Maggie and Amanda are friends now. The laser eyes and the scary boobs! Just what we all needed.

jaya said...

ummmm, dblAmanda, please don't take this wrong, but I doubt Maggie recalls welcoming you to this blog. She has a problem, it seems.

le tigre said...

I feel so bad for you...It's great that you are looking out for the kids. I imagine she's taking adderall; a stimulant that can cause hypercativity and aggression; as well as an antidepressant. I would just let her gently know that she left her medicine out, and aks if it's ok to put them back. Then, grind up some valium in her diet coke, and enjoy some peace and quiet! (kidding)
Wish there were more like you.

Anonymous said...

When I am seeking a new position, I see the interview process 90% from MY point of view, 10% theirs. I am interviewing families to see which will be the best fit for me. True- I have been fooled ONCE, and I quit promptly. It seems most of the problems I read about here could have been avoided if both parents and nannies had been a LOT more selective in finding the right fit.

Meme said...

I never knew Maggie was a drunk! Learn something new every day!

She seems to have at least somewhat insightful things to say, but I do have to say that photo she uses scares me a bit. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Did your pill popping employer start these fires? Strange that after this post aired, fires burst out all across the OC, including RSF!

Anonymous said...

Call the police. If something happened to the children, and you knew the danger they were in and did nothing... you can also be charged with child neglect.

Call the police and Child Welfare Services. It's the right thing to do.