Nothing lasts forever – how I got out of the dark days

I felt very on my own when my son was being criminally exploited. It always seemed to be on a weekend when my windows were put through or there were drug dealers banging at my door. The out of hours’ police and social care teams didn’t know what to do.

My child became someone I didn’t recognise, our family was ripped apart and my health was really affected. At first I felt as if the police turned their nose up at my family. A lot of negative feelings came towards me and even my child- from professionals, family, community.

I didn’t want to leave the house. If I saw a neighbour on the street, I didn’t want to go out. It’s easy to go inward and shut yourself off. I cut myself off and it took me to a very dark place. I want to say though, from my experience, the more you cut yourself off and keep yourself in and isolate yourself, the more depressed you become.

It gets more on top of you and the more emotional you become.

I had to start reaching out. I had to take a deep breath and face it.

I know how hard that is, but what I told myself was, ‘nothing lasts forever.’ I had to get passed the judging looks.

The biggest tool that helped me to deal with this was building a relationship with services. I just started talking to them – I reported everything and I kept a timeline of what was happening.

It can be exhausting keeping everyone in the loop and so in the meetings with services I got an agreement that I’d share information with one key person who’d update everyone else. This was such a relief. I started using the meetings to try and get agreements, plans and support about, for instance, how to respond to drug dealers coming to my home in the middle of the night demanding debt drug money from my child.

Think about the one thing you want to come out of a meeting with.

I’m not saying that all the services came together and sorted it out. They didn’t, but I felt less alone with it all; able to get through it.

One of the best tools to help you through it is to find one person you can trust and talk to. I needed someone to tell I was stressed, pissed off and to offload to. I just needed someone I could be honest with- for me it was my Ivison Trust worker. I needed that to feel less alone.