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Lucy's Story

Stories about homelessnessPosted by Rachel Holliday Thu, August 29, 2013 21:07:25

My name is Lucy and when I was 15 I met my boyfriend at the time. We fell head over heels in love and we both thought this was the real deal. Our parents tried to stop us from being together but we never let it stop us. Due to this my parents through me out and told me not to come back. I was just 16 when I began sofa surfing. I stayed with people that, at the time, I thought were my friends, but I soon found began to realise they were all alcoholics. There was one man who told me I could stay with him as long as I liked. Then he began to abuse me. I finally picked up the strength to report him. I thought I would finally get the help I needed, but nothing was ever done. Ii was back to square one that night and now I had nowhere at all to go. I wandered the streets all night (my boyfriend and his family had gone away).I went back to the police and as i was a minor they could get me emergency housing, the Police treated me with so much compassion. The council however gave me the keys at midnight and took them back off me at 9am they told me i must have done something wrong to be homeless at that age therefore they couldn't help me. They called my parents who denied they had thrown me out and I wasn’t allowed back. I was so messed up and things got worse when my boyfriend split up with me.

Once this happened my parents let me move back home . It wasn’t long before my boyfriend and I got back together and my parents asked me to leave. This time we went to Blackpool and rented a 1 bed apartment. It was great. We both got jobs and had a place of our own. Things were finally coming together. Unfortunately, after just 3 months the tenancy was terminated as the landlady wanted to sell the flat. We moved back to Whitehaven where my boyfriend moved back into his parents and I moved into a homeless hostel where I lived for 2 years. We finally were offered a council flat together.

In 2008 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. In 2011 we finally got married and this year I gave birth to our little boy and we bought our own home. Since we have had children we get on really well with our parents now.

I believe that everyone should have somewhere safe to live. I lived in a hostel and I learned all the skills I needed to know for when I finally got my own home. I think everyone should have the same chance as me.

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Lisa's story

Stories about homelessnessPosted by Rachel Holliday Wed, August 14, 2013 19:55:49

Lisa's story

I’m not from Whitehaven but when my boyfriend who I met on a night out in Blackpool asked me to move there I jumped at the chance. I settled in well in Whitehaven and got a job straight away as a barmaid. We had our own place and I was really happy. I really enjoyed working behind the bar and met lots of friends there. It was like a night out for me because after work I would drink and have fun like everyone else. I got extra hours and soon worked 5 nights a week. Now I was drinking every night not just after work but during. I put it down to loneliness cause my boyfriend worked away a lot so when I became pregnant months later I was the happiest person alive. I stopped drinking straight away and loved pregnancy. When I held my beautiful baby daughter in my arms I cried tears of happiness. She was so perfect. Motherhood was hard sometimes but I loved it so it wasn’t long till our wonderful son came along. My boyfriend proposed as it wasn’t long until not only was I a mother, now also a wife.

4 years on I started drinking again with my husband and friends cause the kids would be staying out at Grandma's and that was when I started taking amphetamines. The feeling was great and a lot of people were doing it. At first it was just at the weekend cause the kids were stopping out and then came the cocaine. I would take that with my husband but didn’t tell him about the amphetamines. I loved being a mother and adored my children but it wasn’t long until I was taking speed every day (if I could get it). And also I drank alcohol with it.

I would lie to my husband and kids and hide drink all around the house. I hated what Id become and even tried to get help but I just couldn’t stay off it for long. After years of battling this my husband had had enough. He told me to go for good. He'd gave me enough chances. I was an absolute disgrace and couldn’t believe what I had done to my children, what I was putting them through.

This was the start of the worst year of my life because I lost everything. I had no money, job but most of all my kids, who I loved and adored. I thought I was going to die and sometimes wished I had cause life without my family unit was the worst pain I had ever gone through. Now I wont even try to guess the number of places and different houses I stayed in over the next few months but it was more than 10. I went from friend to friend and so on but I was never wanted. Who would blame them as they had their own lives to live. The council couldn’t house me cause I had to be put on a list. They did put me up in different hotels or B&B but I was never wanted there cause they knew my situation and one of them even told me not to come out of my room if any guests were there. I have never in my whole life felt so humiliated and I would just cry myself to sleep. What had I done and what had I become. My life was a living hell. It was about then when I got a number for a charity and I was given a support worker. She was the only one I could talk to properly and tell her what my hell of a life was like. For the first time in months she listened and didnt judge me as she had been in the same situation years before because of drink and drugs.

That was when her words sank in when she said “If I can do it you can”. She looked so happy and seemed to believe in me. I cannot thank her enough for what she did. She took me everywhere to get help. She spoke to my husband who agreed to let me see the kids. It was only for 15 minutes at their home. I will never in all my life forget the pain in their eyes when I seen them. I got to see them every week for no more than an hour and still when I wasn’t with them I was drinking and taking drugs. I was totally addicted. I couldn’t go like this. So when my support worker suggested I went back to Scotland to be with my family, I agreed. I needed help, I was an alcoholic and an addict and life couldn’t get any worse.

Looking back now I should have left Whitehaven when my husband through me out, but I didn’t want to be that far away from them and thought I would never see them again. I know know I'd been doing more harm than good.

My family back home were so supportive and got me into rehab straight away. Apart from hurting my kids, it was the hardest thing Id ever done, but also the best. For the first time in my life I opened up about my addiction and spoke the truth. No more lies. I couldn’t believe these people still listened and didn’t judge me. I stayed home for another 18 months before I came back to Whitehaven because I needed to be clean and sober.

I hope I can help somebody out there who might be going through similar to what I went through. There is help out there for addicts. Just dont be afraid to ask for it, youre not alone. There are people out there that can help you. My councillor once said something to me while I was in rehab and I never thought I would say it and mean it.

I’ve come out of the battlefield and into the meadow.

If you have taken the time to read my story, then thank you. If you feel you have a problem then please don’t leave it too late. Ask for help.

Now I’m not going to tell you that it is easy and life’s perfect again cause its not. What I am going to say is that today I am three years clean and sober. I’ve got the kids back in my life (even though they don’t live with me). They are gaining my trust back, they are very happy children and we talk about everything. I hope they can and will forgive me someday as addiction is an illness.

I have now met the most amazing man who has been my rock. We have been together 3 years. He recently proposed to me and we are getting married! I have so much to thank him for. I am back in work and we have a lovely home together.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. I am proud to volunteer for Time to Change Project.

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