Anne - "I approve of myself”
“The first lesson I learnt in life was how to walk on eggshells. When I was growing up, that was just how it was. I was the carer; never the cared for. Sometimes I got it right and I was mummy’s special girl. I loved those times…but mostly I got it wrong. I preferred being punched and kicked. It was better than the verbal abuse. I wouldn’t repeat here the names I was called, but I hear them still, even now.
I left when I was still young. But I soon discovered that although you can move away physically, the abuse stays there, locked inside. You become your own abuser, recreating in your adult relationships all the abuse you experienced as a child. I never defended myself, because I hated myself more than those who abused me.
And so I finally gave in and returned to care for my mother. I became trapped and isolated, living continuously on the edge of homelessness.
Then I discovered The Welcome Organisation. I almost fell in the door, bursting with anxiety and loneliness, and full of drugs and alcohol.
The people I met there treated me like the person I actually am, not the abused victim I had become.
It changed my life.
I grew in confidence and started to attend the photography course. Things really started to take off then. I discovered my skills and it turned out that not only did I love photography, but I was really good at it! There was no stopping me then.
So today, as I sit here writing my story, I can honestly say I am a different person and that is the person I was always meant to be. I discovered that I wasn’t dependent on substances and I didn’t need to be abused to exist. And what’s more, I didn’t need the approval of others. Why? Because I approve of myself. It’s that simple.
The motto I now live by is “I am a strong and powerful person”. But it took the Welcome Organisation to prove that to me and for that I am so thankful.”