During the past months of lockdown home became even more important to all of us. A place of shelter and safety despite the uncertainty of the outside world. But it wasn’t like that for  Angela. She shared her story with us to encourage others to speak up and start to get help.

“Lockdown really didn’t come at the right time for me, you see I had just started my therapy. I had been going to One in Four for 6 months. I had a routine, every Tuesday, after my session I would  grab a nice coffee, go to the park across the road from the office and focus on the birds singing or the leaves on the trees rustling in the wind. It helped centre me, it was all part of “my thing I did “, my recovery.

You see the injuries and scars sexual abuse left we with me are not visible or obvious, but  I left them untreated , and the effects were significant , they caused real damage.

Therapy allowed me to remember positive things about my childhood such as my love for knitting that I had blocked out with the other memories. Over the 6 months I learned to trust my therapist, my family, and in doing so I was getting my life back.

Then Lockdown happened. The first weekend my mum organised a Family Zoom quiz. There staring back at me on one of the boxes was my uncle, my abuser.  I felt trapped ,  isolated, angry, and even  ashamed.

Then early that Monday morning, my phone rang. It was my therapist from One in Four, she told me to put the kettle on, make myself a nice cup of coffee and join her at our usual time on Tuesday morning for Therapy session, using my mobile.

It was as if I got my power back, you see I knew whatever the week threw at me, Tuesday morning would come and I would have that outlet. To be myself, my real self , and to have that space to say, “you know what…….everything isn’t ok  and that would be ok“.

 Each week after my online session, I go out to my mum’s garden, close my eyes and listen to the birds signing, and I knit.  One in Four has been my rock during the Pandemic. I don’t how they have managed it but they have kept their services running and I am truly grateful.

When the abuse started I thought it must have been my own fault and I wondered if I was a bad person for allowing it to happen .  I felt unlovable, but after 10 months of therapy I am fixing myself. So for anyone who is struggling at the moment I would say don’t let the COVID restrictions make you stop believing, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

46% of One in Four clients have been abused by a member of their own family. Over 17 years we have developed recognised expertise in supporting people to deal with the devastation and go on to live fulfilling lives. If you are in the position to support our work with a donation we will be in the position to help more people like Angela.

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