I had to move away from my family and friends into refuge and I thought that I was utterly broken, I hadn’t realised how damaged by the mental abuse I had become and how much we had suffered and how it affected me, but I found the positives outweighed the negatives, I found strength in the other women and my son found resolve in meeting other children like him, it was a tough time at first we were in a communal refuge and then we moved to self contained which was great, The staff at all the refuges I stayed at this year were amazing and I have so much to thank them for, as for the people who break rules or morals, yes I met people who drank and smoked and did weed BUT I have not lived their lives and how they coped may be not be how I or you would choose to get through it. People self medicate to forget the abuse, myself I have gaping holes in my memory and I still have nightmares and awake in terror I have anxiety and panic attacks and I am on medication from the DR but some people cope by drinking etc – it’s so hard we have all been through so much hell and I try not to judge I do not walk their path Knowing I could live without fear of being found was liberating and I could do things my way. I had more time for myself and the children and I have started to discover who I am and what I like to do.
Unfortunately you can never get on with everyone and that’s the same in a refuge although I never witnessed any arguments, but when we live in a street we do not get on with all our neighbours. all in all my experience has been amazingly positive
I’ve had time and space and support to discover myself and the most important thing is that you and the children are safe and together

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