Case Studies

 

My Story by Helena

The beginning: I first met my ex partner in my late twenties through a friend of mine, we have three wonderful children together. I got pregnant with our first child at the beginning of the relationship and things seemed fine, he was charming, kind and helpful a real gentleman. I have always thought of myself as a strong person so what was to happen I didn’t see coming.

The change: As time went by he was making more decisions, telling me what to wear, how to do my make up and how to do my hair. He told me my family were no good and they had a negative effect on our lives so by the time I was pregnant with our second child I was alone and had no social life. He kept telling me I have put weight on, let myself go and that we should stick together away from others.

We just argued at first as I did challenge him but he would convince me that he was right and that I needed to change the way that I was thinking to come round to his way. When I was pregnant with our third child he wasn’t happy and that’s when things began to change.

Whilst I was pregnant I was late home one day due to traffic stopping him from going to another appointment, he calmly called me upstairs and closed the door. He started strangling and punching me (whilst the kids were downstairs) and I was so shocked as he acted like it hadn’t happened. He said he was sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again, but this was just the beginning, it never stopped until I left. For everything no matter how small I was strangled, punched, stabbed, slapped, spat on, suffocated, raped and called vile names, he locked me in rooms and threatened to kill me. He would say he would kill himself, hurt himself and turn the blame onto me manipulating the situation until finally I had no confidence, self esteem and no energy to deal with anything.

Leaving: My revelation came when I was ill. The time in hospital gave me time to think and breathe. When I decided to leave I couldn’t write anything down incase he found it, I had secret meetings with the school and finally told the kids only on the day that we left as I couldn’t risk anything. I finally left and when I found safety I was referred to Action Housing.

Having a support worker really helped me to focus and find my strength again, she helped direct me and helped focus my though as everything is just a blur. She referred me to group work sessions for both me and my children, she helped my gain a home. In fact I was allocated two really bad properties that she helped me refuse and get the right one for me an my children for which I am every thankful for, I had no furniture or belongings, she helped me with this and guide me in the direction I wanted to go rather than someone else telling me. We now have a peaceful family home. . The courses that I have attended have helped me see that there are others with commonalities as mine and we have supported one another. I am now helping to give something back to the project as I know that support is vital to help you gain that strength and confidence that you have lost and gives you space and time to breathe.

The future:
Things are ongoing and they always will be, we have children but we have proved that we can survive without him, our lives are full of potential and we have a positive future together.

 


 

My Story by Robert
 

I thought my life was set, in employment living life to the full. I always had a hard time of it with my mental health but coped with it, or so I thought.  I was young and naïve and began using ketamine and amphetamine which was not a problem to start with but eventually I lost my job because of it. A friend came to stay with me, who I had met whilst working but had followed the same path as me in terms of substance use. We became hooked on ketamine to relieve the boredom and the mundane lives we were leading. We ended up shoplifting to fund our habits and to put drugs up my nose as we blew our benefit money as soon as we got it.  

This culminated in us hatching a plan to rob someone so we could gain extra money. We had not eaten for days and where really destitute and at a low ebb although this is no excuse for my actions. We robbed someone and were arrested; I was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

I served 8 months in Doncaster and Everthorpe and was released on tag to another friends address else I would not have been released.  I had nowhere to call home where I felt safe and secure. I was referred to Action Housing by Probation who housed me in their shared accommodation. I was not really happy about sharing as I had wanted my own accommodation but it wasn’t as bad in the end as I got on with the people I was housed with. I eventually was put forward by Action Housing for my own tenancy and was buzzing I had my own place. I initially thought my life had finally got back on track; I even secured a part time job. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise,  I needed a home with a bath to soothe my eczema and as I only had a shower, the condition was aggravated. I became depressed and stopped caring about myself.

My Keyworker and I worked with the Housing Association and I was offered a place in an apartment block with a bath. I accepted the tenancy and was going to move in but was told on the day I had signed for the tenancy that I could not. A witness to the robbery  saw me at there and  lived in the apartments and complained. I was told it was in my best interests not to move there, I had set my heart on the place and was gutted about this. I did a crime which I regret every day and think about every day but I had served my sentence. Now I was being punished again. I wanted to see the person to explain things and work it out but the Housing Association would not allow me. I was so close to throwing in the towel at that point. Through help from my friends and my Action Housing keyworker, I kept plodding on though but it was close.

Two months later I was offered and accepted another flat with a bath close to my old house, I feel I can settle here and work towards obtaining the goals I have set for myself in terms of gaining full time employment and enjoying life again, without drugs for a high of course. It’s not been easy and there have been plenty of times when I could have said sod it but with the assistance of Staff at Action Housing, I came through it.

My advice would be “You can’t change the past, but you can shape the future”