“I felt like I’d been put on the scrap heap, like she’s not worth it! My therapy had been terminated without warning, I was very low and just wasn’t getting the help I needed, my anxiety levels where through the roof. Although it was daunting at the beginning of the course I soon realised I wasn’t alone, that I wasn’t the only person feeling this way . . . that was nice!”
“It gave me a better understanding of my own psychological wellbeing, how my life experiences had impacted on me as an adult . . . I was able to put all the links together. I know I can get the help I need to deal with some of my difficulties and I have made friends who can support me, who understand how it is. It’s given me the fight to move forward.”
Lorraine is in the final year of her degree. She has completed trauma therapy and has initiated a support group for people like herself with eating disorders.
“I was existing, not living a life as such. I had no role even within my family, I didn’t feel like a father figure anymore, I’d been brought up to look after my family to be the bread winner, be the man. From the start of the course I quickly realised that if I wanted to get anything from it, I would have to make an effort. It was a moment of realisation, I could see why I was behaving in a certain way and how my behaviour could be interpreted by other people. The course taught me to regain control over who I am rather than just existing . . . to take back a lot of the ground I’d let go of.”
“I felt I had made some new friends, people who accepted who I was. I realised I had skills that I could utilise . . . .before the course I let things happen and then just coped. I feel in control now, I don’t just react and I’m looking to start my own business so that I can work around some of my physical challenges.”
Peter has established a social enterprise to refurbish IT equipment which is distributed to unemployed people.
“It’s easy to let everything slip you just want to shut yourself off from the world, so I was happy to be just left and forgotten . . . I was brought up in a violent situation; all my life was violence. I’ve suffered from domestic abuse, sexual abuse all my life has basically been abuse in some way . . . I was angry and I struggled to cope in life without using anger or violence because that’s all I knew.”
“The course gave me the knowledge, the know-how, the tools and the skills to be able to re-train my brain and to be who I felt I should be. I was always uncomfortable with the violence and anger, but the way I was brought up it was how I had to be because if I wasn’t I got punished anyway.”
“Life still has its ups and downs but now I know and understand more about myself I know where I can go to get help. I’m having counselling and I’m finally facing my past, I understand why I am the way I am and how I can change. When I’m in situations that in the past I would have dealt with violence or verbal abuse, I now take the time to think about how I’m going to react and what I’m going to say. I understand the effect that my behaviour might have on others, how other people are affected by the way I show my anger. Going into school to deal with a problem the kids are having I’ve dealt with it differently and people have commented on it, how I react differently to how I did prior to coming on the course.”
“Prior to coming on the course I didn’t have a life, I was living an existence. I feel I’ve been given the opportunity to get my life back and to live a normal life.”
Tina is engaged in therapy and is actively seeking employment.