“You all saved” me from homelessness
Evaluation of IPS Works Employment Support Programme
I had 12 sessions of counselling with EACH.
I was referred by IAPT to EACH for more specialised and long-term therapy.
I am 58 years old and left an abusive marriage 20 years ago. The split resulted in me having to give up my two sons, aged 8 and 11 at the time, or face constant threats and fear for my life. My daughter stayed with me as she was only 3 years old at the time and he could not look after her.
Throughout this relationship I had been abused physically, psychologically and manipulated. On two occasions he attempted to strangle me. 20 years ago there was very little support for victims of abuse so I felt helpless to do anything. I was so scared of this man and what he was capable of doing that I was forced to give up my two sons to him.
He restricted my contact with my sons until eventually I had no contact with them at all. I have not seen my sons for 15 years and they do not want to know me at all because he has manipulated them into believing I walked out of their lives.
I came for counselling to help me come to terms with the abuse, losing my children and their rejection of me, coping with the constant anxiety and fear I experience. My counsellor made me feel safe and never judged me so I was able to share my issues and I felt supported and protected.
Through counselling I felt safe to share my experience and talk about the shame and guilt I felt of abandoning my children. My counsellor helped me accept that I had done what I needed to protect my daughter and also my own life.
I was so scared of this man, even now, although I have not seen him for 20 years, I still feared that if I contacted my sons it would aggrevate my ex husband. I needed support and courage to help me make contact with my sons. After 15 years of not seeing or speaking to my boys, through counselling support, I made contact with them. Although this is early days this has been a huge step for me.
Although my therapy has ended, my counsellor has sent me resources of self-help books and relevant youtube videos to help me in the future.