At first. I remember coming here the first night and I absolutely broke down to Becky.
I don’t cry, through domestic violence. He used to say I was a wimp, or this, that if I cried.
So I got to that point where I never cried, even to the point if had a broken eye socket. I’ve never cried. I don’t cry.
But it was like a relief as soon as I got here. Keeping my mind, I only got the clothes that was wearing and a couple of bits and bobs.
I literally just got in here and I just cried to Becky, and she gave me the biggest hug. And I just thought, I’m going to be all right. No matter what, I’m going to be all right.
I’ve been here since October. I’ve come from a mental hospital. I’ve been in there three and a half weeks from trying to kill myself as an alcoholic.
Just come out, domestic violence from five years. I just didn’t want to be, I didn’t want to do anything. Even though I’ve got children, lovely children, they weren’t even keeping me going. So luckily, the hospital got me, they kept me for three and a half weeks, got me stable. 1s I did try to harm myself a little bit in there, but it was getting easier. So, yeah, I moved over here, phoned these, and I was here the next day and that was it. 2s
I always thought it was going to be a nightmare. Because when you say women’s refuge, you panic. I’ve heard bad things about refuges, full stop. But it got to a point where I was that desperate. I knew that I was doing the right thing for my kids to come here. Because I come here and I didn’t tell my family or anybody for about two months that I was here, because I just wanted to prove to myself, I think, and I was just desperate. I couldn’t let anybody in at that time other than these lot. And I built the trust up with these lot and it just all come naturally. 2s
Everything. I don’t think there’s nothing that I haven’t had. I’ve had emotional support. Like, even now, I’m still going through courts. 1s I haven’t got court date yet. These will still support me through it. Because I’m doing so well. But, yeah, I’ve had help in every single way. Literally brought me back to life. That’s how serious it is.
But I’ve had l. I’ve had the What lady from the What Centre. She was a lovely, Julie. She’s helped me. She was happy to carry on, she was happy to stop. She let me take control of that. 1s Yeah, I can’t even explain it’s just everything, literally everything.
My tablets, my medication since being here, I take them the same time, every day. Keeping on a balance, that’s a good thing. 1s My alcohol course, obviously they couldn’t force me to go to it, but it was sort of an agreement. If I’m here, then I’ll go on that. And it’s been the best thing, because no matter how depressed I used to get, I knew I had to go there once a week and it get me out until the next time I had to go. And it’s been really good.
And then, look, I’ve had panic attacks. Now I’ve stopped them. It’s just amazing. I haven’t had thought about self-harming since I’ve been here.
I think I had a little blip. I think it was about a month in. And I told these and they were like, every hour they were checking just to make sure I was all right. It then they were sort of like, after a couple of days, they’d be like, Right, you know, we’re here if you need us. They just work with how you want to be worked with. Sometimes they know to leave me alone. Which sounds terrible, but I know they’re at the end of the phone and now I know I’m safe on how to deal with it.
Carmel was at her lowest when she arrived at Hub 2 – our new specialist refuge for people with complex needs. She could barely talk to anyone, never mind tell her story. The hub provides the 24 hour cover and a calm, welcoming safe space so people can work at the pace they need on the things they need to sort.
But now her life is back on track and here she explains how that came about.
Thank you Carmel for talking about your experience. You can listen to her here or read the transcript below the video: Trigger Warning – the video contains details of domestic violence and addiction.