Tagged: Experience in refuge
17th April 2016 at 7:59 pm #14281
I can’t describe what happened to me that led to us arriving in Refuge. We were terrified and now homeless and no idea what lay ahead, i couldn’t take in all the paperwork and numbers and postcodes and rules around keeping refuge and us, safe, just numb and mind-blown and traumatised.
… left in peace, to try to re-group mind body and soul, it took such time.
at a time when i fell hard i was caught by the wonderful women in refuge with smiles, kindness, consideration for our needs and careful guidelines for safety for all.
Nothing much made sense, it was a time of trying to calm extreme anxiety, of having someone as your key contact and support for all emotional and practical needs to help with form-filling, emotional turmoil, and understanding for your situation totally without blame.
Absolute respect for your choices and steps, with emphasis on the importance of making your own choices and decisions for yourself and your family, but there is you needed reassurance/guidance.
I know that we were very scared of being around anyone after everything, and untrusting which doesn’t make striking up friendships easily, but there were women/children in Refuge there that left lasting memories for so many reasons, not least their bravery in fighting on against everything, still being alive even, after their suffering. All doing it differently, their way and respected for that.
I felt very lucky to have somewhere to go where i had nowhere! and not just ‘somewhere’ not just a place to sleep, but a place full of concern for our well-being and offers of help.
They cared enough to notice. To notice what matters to each woman and child, their likes and dislikes, what makes them happy…. things that we need to notice and respect in ourselves.
I didn’t find it an easy time, the opposite. Many women trying to recover their footing after such trauma’s with battered emotions/minds/bodies was very hard to be around in so many ways, but it was an experience! and one that we learnt a lot from.
To have a bed made up ready for you and your family to sleep in, just huge, for someone to have made a bed up for you to sleep in… now when did he ever do that…i’d have to sleep on the mattress without bedding and get moaned at if i made the bed.
It was great refuge accommodation with each family having a small flat. I’d assumed we’d be sharing a room/kitchen and hoped for our own bathroom, but it was totally self contained, with shared laundry facilities which were great.
Its no picnic, but they tried very hard to help us and i think the things they did that helped will always stay with me and have changed me.
I thank all the women involved in our care, for their care, thoughts, kindness, and practical supports.
I am amazed at the strength of support for women in these circumstances, and i hope they carry the realisation in them of the difference they make.
My wish would be that the refuge did more group activities to help break down barriers and build good healthy relationships which are so vital for moving forward with.
Many there went back to their previous homes to visit, or their ‘ex’. Massive amounts of drugs/alchohol and continuing abuse.
… but no matter what, lets hope its always there as a choice for when a woman needs it hopefully for the last time, and all the times leading up to the last time. No doubt it saves lives and families over and over.
heaps of strength to any going through this right now, considering it or moving on from it… leaving abuse far behind.
warmest wishes KS xx
18th April 2016 at 6:36 am #14338shine bright 2Participant
You are amazing karma. A very strong person. You kept me going many times.And from what you write here I can see how brave you’ve been. x
18th April 2016 at 8:38 pm #14410LisaMain Moderator
Thank you for sharing this with us.
22nd April 2016 at 1:12 pm #14903
Thank you both for your kind comments. I think not brave or strong though! just surviving. I am trying to deal with being told i’m not strong by a support worker, as since then i’ve believed her. it was said a long while ago now at a time that i was very vulnerable and open to what others told me I was especially if it was negative (just like now then! ha!).
We keep going and i guess that takes strength even though its difficult to know its strength.
22nd April 2016 at 6:42 pm #14926InneedofsomepeaceParticipant
Karmasister, that was like reading about myself, when I moved to refuge! You are strong!! Don’t listen if anyone tells you different
23rd April 2016 at 4:55 pm #15078
🙂 thank you Inneed… xxKS
23rd April 2016 at 5:01 pm #15079
I was pleased to see you on here ShineBright and Inneed and think about all the old names and wonder how everyone is doing. Hope you are safe now…
23rd April 2016 at 7:35 pm #15097InneedofsomepeaceParticipant
Hi karmasister, we’re doing OK. We’re about to move out of refuge, scary times. I hope you’re doing OK, it is good to see familiar names.
23rd April 2016 at 8:09 pm #15102shine bright 2Participant
hi karma…missed u.
We are ok. Kids doing really well. He’s on bailand it’s all about to go to CPS. I’m really scared but ok. Good to hear ur voice On here.
15th May 2016 at 2:18 pm #17343CopperflameParticipant
Hello Karma Sister,
I haven’t posted here for a long time – have a new username. I’m so pleased that you are feeling more positive after being in refuge.
I was in refuge for several months last year and it was the best thing I ever did because my life has completely turned around (apart from dating a couple of (detail removed by Moderator) recently lol) The first refuge I went to did have a lot of group activities, but it was too close to my ex and I then moved to another refuge a long way away. Putting that physical distance between us helped me to start turning my life around. Looking back, when I first came to refuge I realise my emotions were quite unstable and all over the place. Refuge was not always plain sailing and I guess living with other women who were all hurting from DV resulted in some volatile situations at times. Even so there were a lot of good times and I formed a close bond with a couple of the other women who are now good friends. I now look upon those times with fond memories now. I reached a point where I actually did not want to leave the refuge, but in this area the Council will only allow you to stay in refuge for a certain period of time so that you don’t become too dependent, so I had to move on, but I now have my own place which I love.
I couldn’t have made all the progress I have without the fantastic support of the wonderful staff, my DV counsellor and the support project. I want to volunteer to support women experiencing DV but have to wait a year after being a service user myself.
Much love to you
19th May 2016 at 8:43 pm #17602
Thanks for your experiences Copperflame (was your previous name in any way similar to this one? I don’t recognise it)..
so brilliant to hear how its helped you so much and that you want to go on to support others now aswell.
warmest wishes KS
31st May 2016 at 8:45 am #18359LittleBritishPhoenixParticipant
Karma, this bought tears to my eyes! (bought back alot of memories!)
Such a relief to hear you’re doing so well, you’re incredible and strong -no matter what anyone says!
Sending lots of love. x
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