I was thinking of what to write in regards to how your classes have helped and to be honest I don’t know where to start!
As you can probably remember I came to your Empowering Parents (now Parent Champion) course when E was one year old, gosh three years ago now! I was tired, broken and had no faith or confidence in myself. Coming from not a good home myself where I was mentally, emotionally and physically abused.
I wanted to make sure I did everything I could in regards to creating a loving supportive home for my family. I was told about your class and to be honest was nervous about joining because I felt ashamed of myself. I’m really glad I took the plunge because I got so much out of your dynamics and I have been better able to manage some of his behaviours.
We have E being seen by a Clinical Psychologist in ASD and now he has been referred to CAHMS Tier 3 with an Occupational Therapist, trauma specialist and sensory room. They are looking at SPD (sensory processing disorder), ASD more so along Aspergers because of his intelligence. As even though he has had a few problems since birth, along with a highly intelligent mind, to add to what his half sister did to him (sexually interfered) this made matters a hundred times worse.
This in itself sent me over the edge because I was continuously stigmatised having Bi-polar and Personality Disorder for over re-acting about all the problems and what was happening to him. As I said earlier I was completely broken and no confidence in myself to fight to prove that it wasn’t ‘in my mind’ and that my son really did need help.
I knew from age 14 that I needed to sort things out, that’s when I first started down the therapy road for mental health, to which I have used it to the full potential and I now no longer need it. I can lead a normal life where I’m back at work in a training job I really enjoy.
When I came to your classes I felt totally unemotional inside, but struggled to show how bad the feelings were. I couldn’t believe I was listening to “ I can make a change, I can make it positive”. To be honest at first, I felt I didn’t deserve to be a mother because nobody was helping me after constantly asking. It was a struggle to get well, create a better family life and deal with so much drama.
Please don’t get me wrong, I had my breakdowns, suicide attempts and self-harming etc. but when I was listening to what you were saying about we can make that difference. It definitely started to empower me to believe that I can make the difference and help my child. I was very ill when I was pregnant with E, the stress of being poor, family abuse, both myself and my husband working two jobs to live basically and having Psychosis which started due to stress and losing my sons twin, it has been an extremely hard time.
E was born two weeks early and it was a very difficult birth, I wasn’t treated well at the Hospital. This left me so ill I couldn’t even go near my son for five months because I felt I would contaminate him, with how damaged I was. Adding to all of this we started having over night contact with my step-daughters, at my husbands request, as he wanted the whole family together. I can understand to a degree but I was so unwell and struggling to get people to see past me to see the early signs with my son. Unfortunately my husband was one of these people. I was made to feel isolated every time I spoke up, but using your knowledge gave me the strength to go in there and fight for my child.
For example, he has nightmares, head banging (even in sleep), hears voices and sees people who are not there like you or I. He switches from this lovely great humoured little boy into a little boy with no emotions or feelings for others and will do anything to hurt people or bugs. He was refusing any female to come remotely near him, let alone wash him, he will claw at his own face or mine and flat down refused to eat.
So we were forced to place him back on bottle milk for three months, biting, kicking, wanting to kill everything, sit upside down, anger and aggression — we would even have to bear hug him in the town centre as he went into frenzy mode.
Now E still has his problems but they have become a lot easier, like you said change your way of thinking, I honestly don’t always manage it but the majority of the time it works. I have started to believe more in myself that I can make a decent life for my family and myself.
I feel that people should back you in every way with what you are doing, because you know what your doing and it’s effective. It’s people like us that actually want to be better for ourselves, and our family, that we place our trust in your teaching and it pays off. It’s just a shame for all the parents that miss out because they don’t realise the benefits of making a change in their life.”
Mrs GS, Parent, Kent