Looking back my life was dull and lonely. I kept looking over my shoulder and would sulk around in order that no one would see me. My routine would consist of taking my children to school. Returning home and then waiting to pick them up again. I would not venture to a shop or least of all to town unless I had someone else with me. I felt everyone was watching and judging me. I shut myself off to the world, should I let anyone into my life then I may get hurt.
My self esteem and confidence seemed non-existent and friends did not exist in my world. I am suspicious of everyone.
Nice clothes or putting on makeup…What was the point…. No one was going to see me…It was best to keep a low profile. I spend my days cleaning my house from top to bottom in case anyone in authority turned up on my doorstep…Paranoia had set in…
It was suggested to me by my son's social worker to be refereed to Brighter Futures. She had concerns about my well being and felt that my youngest daughter would benefit from mixing with other children.
I was assigned a key worker who was a lovely lady, she rang to arrange a time to come and visit me in my home, I was dreading it, paranoia again, and would she be judging me? Would she be reporting back to someone about me? Would she think that I was just a failure…?
The meeting went well, the lady who was the Outreach facilitator spoke about the services at Brighter Futures and how they may benefit from them. One of those services was a Growing Together playgroup…I really was not keen, how would I cope with all those strangers looking at me…no way was I going. I said I would attend but surprise surprise I never showed.
This went on for a few months but give the Outreach facilitator her due she never gave up… She came to visit me at home many times and rang me weekly and was very persistent. In fact I remember her not being able to make a meeting with me but bless her she came out at 7 o'clock at night just to make sure I was ok. Now that's dedication.
I gave in and went to Growing Together and yes I was dubious and nervous and I stood in the corner and did not speak to anyone, but I went back the next week and the week after, in fact now I love going and so does my daughter.
I have made friends and so has my daughter, we have even been on play dates, 12 months ago that would never have happened.
I have become engaged in other activities and am looking forward to doing more next year, I have even put my name down as a volunteer.
Attending Brighter Futures has given me back my confidence and self esteem and helped me deal with personal issues I had. I am happier and so are my children.
It has been hard at times and I have had wobbles and spent hours crying to the Outreach Facilitator and she has always listened and never judged. I know I can always pick the phone up and she will be there.
My future is looking very good, I now have the confidence to undertake a teaching assistant course with the hope of becoming special needs teaching assistant, something I would never have done 12 months ago.
I am happy to interact with people now and am able to leave my house and not think everyone is watching or judging me.
I am happier which means my children are happier!
Life is good and can only get better.
I could not have achieved any of this without the help and persistence of a fabulous Outreach worker.
Thank you so much, you have changed my life!