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Author Topic: In a bit of a pickle... :s
JenBug24
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I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, so feel free to put it where it should be. It is sort of centred around something that came up in the 'venting room', and I was given some good advice. But now I'm stuck and looking for some support and advice.

Here's the short version of my story, if you want more info, just ask and if I'm ok with it, I'll share. (just so you know this may contain triggers for other abuse victims):

As a child I was beaten really badly by my mother; I was admitted to hospital quite a few times in ICU. Strangley, she hardly laid a hand on my little sister, although she has slapped her and given her the ruler on occasion when she was young. Eventually, aged about 10-ish (I don't remember exactly), my mum suddenly stopped beating me. Although she did continue to verbally abuse me pretty badly.

But then one day when I was about 12-13 years old, she asked me to go grocery shopping. Of course, I said yes, but I asked if I could go on a couple of hours because I had loads if homework and an exam the next day. She didn't like that. She grabbed a wooden spoon and started beating me with it over and over and over, while screeching such horrible things that I cannot write it down. She was a monster to me.

*Back track*
My father had phoned the school asking them to keep an eye on me because my nan was dying of cancer and I don't talk at home, so he didn't know if I was dealing. My head of year then reffered me to the school councillor. I had been seeing her for about two months or so, I think, when this incident happened.
*back to the incident*

When I went back to school on the Monday following this, I had a very sore arm from attempting to sheild myself. In fact, it was so bruised that it went black and I was unable to use it at all. The school councillor noted that I wasn't using it, during a session that day, and asked me about it. In the end I told her, and the child protection officer was called. She phoned for the police and social services. My parents were called in to be questioned. I was sent home and told that as long as I was taken to the hospital that night for X-rays and no other incident came up again, I would remain at home. I was offered no other support. But I carried on seeing the school councillor.

The social worker came to the house a couple of times; my mum made me scrub the place clean and dress nicely for when she came. She made us pretend to be some really happy family. The social worker spoke to me on my own only once and very briefly. She got on really well with my mum and decided I was exagerating to get attention. The school, my parents and the GP were informed by her that I was extremely attention seeking and emotionally immature. Noone but one member of staff and the councillor believed me about anything after this. You should note that all my teachers and anyone who met my mum thought she was really nice too. [Frown]

The verbal abuse continued and the councillor contacted social services to try to get them to reassess, saying that I was being emotionally abused. The social worker dismissed this and stopped visiting all together and I was never even placed on the register.

I soon became depressed and intermittently suicidal. In order to try to cope, I write poetry, some of which was forwarded on to social services, who did nothing. {edited for your protection. Please don't link websites that may identify you, or any username or password for any site you use.}

I ended up in ICU for a short stay at the end of June because my head of year thought I was going to actually commit suicide if I was left at home. The hospital kept me on bed watch 24 hours a day, I wasn't even allowed to shower or pee without a nurse there. Social services took no notice of this, except to make me go to a therapist on occasion.

I am now 16 years old and still in the care of my parents. I am forbidden to speak to the school councillor. My parents are also homophobic so when they found out that the member of staff I was 'in contact with' was a lesbian, I was forbidden from talking to her as well. She was my rock and my sole source of encouragement for ages- I'm lost without her. And who knows what they might do to me if they found out I am gay!? I am desperate to get out, but I have no money because I'm not allowed to get a job, and I have no where else to go. I want to go to college next year, so that I can then go to university abroad after my a-levels and do better with myself.

A volunteer here suggested a couple of organisations that might be able to help me, but I'm terrified of approaching them. If my parents found out .... Well, let's just say that I would be dead meat. I don't know what to do. :s

Please help?!?!
( support and advice encouraged and welcomed [Smile] )

[ 02-13-2011, 02:13 PM: Message edited by: Stephanie_1 ]

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Heather
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Jen: I know that another volunteer is working on finding resources for you right now, and will pop back in when she has them.

In the meantime, I am very deeply concerned about your safety, which is obviously at great risk in your household. I'm very sorry that your abusive parent was able to snow so many people: unfortunately, abusive people are sometimes very good at manipulating people.

This staff member who it sounds like was an excellent support for you: is she aware of all of your history? Or, is there anyone at all -- extended family, an older sibling, a friend -- who you could stay with temporarily?

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JenBug24
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Hi Heather! [Smile]
No, I was unable to tell this person very much about the history. She knew bits and pieces but I have been more focused on the here and now, so less was shared about previous 'events'. [I am a little disappointed to say/write that she is leaving our school at the end of the week. :'( I think people have been making life very hard for her at the school since she 'came out' about her sexuality.]

The only family member that I could have gone to was my nan, but she died a couple of days after my 13th birthday. Her birthday ( or what would have been) was yesterday :'(. The rest of my family... they basically hate me for ruining the family. I don't really blame them, to be honest. *sad smile*

That includes my sister, who lives here and is just over a year younger than me. I don't get on with her at all- my mum made sure of that. [Frown]

At this point I feel that I have to make it very plain that my mum has not actually hit me since social services and the school initially got involved. :s
Just thought I'd make that part clear. [Smile]

[ 02-13-2011, 03:19 PM: Message edited by: JenBug24 ]

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Heather
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I know how hard it can be when other family members are treated well and you're abused: unfortunately, I've been there myself.

This staff person who is leaving: do you think you could ask her for some time and would feel comfortable disclosing all of this to her?

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JenBug24
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I'm not sure. She's been really busy getting her 'replacement' settled. I haven't spoken to her or barely said hi since before the summer vacation. Not only that, but if my mum ever found out... :s

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Heather
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It sounds like you feel this is someone you can trust, and also someone you really connect with. Let's assume your Mom won't find out you talk to her, okay? Even if she's busy, do you suspect that if she knew all that had gone on, she'd want to support you and help you with this?

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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JenBug24
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Almost deffinately. [Smile]

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Heather
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Okay. So -- knowing that soon we should have more resources for you, also -- what I'd suggest is asking her if she could please make some time for you because you very much need a support person you can talk to about your home life.

You can make clear to her this needs to be very private, but that you are hoping she can give you some support and also help you to find solid, local help.

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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JenBug24
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Ok. I'll see if I can go talk to her tomorrow.
Thanks, Heather [Smile]

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JenBug24
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I just spoke to that teacher. It was very brief because she had to commute to the lower school (we are about ten mins apart). She stopped me right after she picked up on the nature of what I was going to talk about and said that there was nothing that she could do, but as she's going to be seeing my head of year during this period, she will mention it.

I'm a little worried now: this has high potential of reaching my parents!!!!! :s

I'm beginning to think I shouldn't have said anything... the last time someone went to my head of year, 'they' made me stay in hospital, even though it wasn't necessary. And I am still in trouble for this whole palaver with my parents.

What do I do?!?
:/

[ 02-14-2011, 04:48 AM: Message edited by: JenBug24 ]

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Heather
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I think what you really need is an advocate to help get you through this and make sure, as best they can, that anyone informed of this is able to see your side and recognize you as a victim.

Mind, when we're in an unsafe home, a hospital stay probably is not the worst thing ever: it can feasibly be a little solace.

But we have a couple resources for you to look into:

• http://www.akt.org.uk/
The Albert Kennedy Trust can potentially help you find housing outside your home

• http://www.pacehealth.org.uk/youth_work/One2one+Support.htm
PACE offers free support and you can talk to them by phone or in person

• http://www.galop.org.uk/
GALOP is another org that can feasibly help you.

I think any of those places might be good places to start to connect with an advocate.

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JenBug24
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OK. I'll have a look at those.
Thank you, Heather [Smile]

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Heather
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I'd start with the trust, because they can help you with housing so that you do NOT have to live in an unsafe home, physically or emotionally.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Also, I wanted to mention something important when looking for help services.

It's really vital you do NOT downplay the history of abuse in your home. I know that when there have been times when some kinds of abuse haven't been happening for a while it can be easy to do that (especially since thinking that way can make us feel safer, even if we aren't), but it can impact what help you get.

So, make sure with anyone like this that you are clear there has been a history of very serious physical and emotional abuse. The fact that some of it has been documented by social services and hospitals is also very good to mention.

I'd just hate to see you not get services you should by not working the system well, basically.

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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JenBug24
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Ok. I'll bare that in mind. [Smile]

Say I do manage to leave here, what can I do to stop my parents finding me? Is there anything? ( naturally i would sever contact, but apart from that? ) Considering that my sister attends the same school that I do and although I am hoping not to stay next year, there is a possibility I may still be there for sixth form and certainly until the summer. She also knows where I have applied to for college and she knows that I have received conditional places from all of them. Is there anything that I can do in that instance? Apart from moving very far away? :/

[ 02-14-2011, 01:04 PM: Message edited by: JenBug24 ]

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Heather
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Unfortunately, my knowledge of the child protection system in the UK is very limited, so this is a question best posed to one of those advocacy resources above.

However, you should very much have options, whether that means changing schools or something like a protection order. However, as I understand it, at your age in the UK your parents cannot compel you to move back home if you leave.

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JenBug24
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Thank you. That makes me feel a bit better [Smile]

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Heather
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After you get connected with one or two of those folks, Jen, if leaving home does appear to be an option and you just want to talk to someone about what separating from family can be like when you do that as a young person, I'd be happy to be someone you could talk to about that.

I left my mother's home before my 16th birthday myself (around 25 years ago) to get away from abuse, so while everyone's experience is going to be different in some ways, that's a life experience I'd be glad to talk about if you want a perspective on it, in both the short and the long-term.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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JenBug24
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Thanks, Heather. It means alot. And it's good to know that I'm not completely alone [Smile]

Do you think it would be a good idea to ask that teacher to help me talk to these organisations? Only, I'm not very good at talking ( I have some social anxieties ).

[ 02-14-2011, 02:03 PM: Message edited by: JenBug24 ]

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Heather
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I think that's up to you, however, it might help to know that LGBT youth-serving organizations like this are usually VERY easy people to talk to. One thing it might help to know, and might make it feel easier, is to know that they exist EXPRESSLY to advocate for you. In other words. helping you is what they do, what they want to do, and very much what they intend to do.

So, whether you ask that teacher to go or not, something else you might want to do to help you relax is just to let them know you have social anxiety. That way, they can make extra efforts to do their best to serve you well.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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JenBug24
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Ok. That makes sense. Thanks [Smile]

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JenBug24
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Hi Heather,

Just thought I would let you know how I got on in the end. After a while I ended up getting in touch with an amazing org called Mosaic Youth (http://www.mosaicyouth.org.uk) and received plenty of support from them, and not too long ago I made contact with a PACE Advocate, and am finally on some housing lists with all Jigsaw orgs and various other too. Unfortunately, I have been unable to get an actual placement as of yet (everywhere is full), but I am very hopeful.

Things at home are steadily getting worse, and I'm struggling to keep my boat afloat. I'm trying though, and it helps that there will hopefully be an end soon.

Thanks Heather [Smile]

Jenna

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Heather
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Mosaic Youth are totally awesome, from what I know.

I am so delighted and relieved to hear that some progress is being made here. Obviously, it'd be much better if it was happening faster, but this is how these things usually go, unfortunately. [Frown]

Is there anything we can help you with in terms of hanging in there and staying as safe as you can in the meantime?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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JenBug24
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To be entirely honest, I have no idea what I need at the moment. All I know is that I'm feeling very lost and stuck. I am just about staying in College (the British system of college mind), which gives me some stability, but even though I'm very academically able, I'm not keeping up and don't know how much longer they'll let me stay.... :s
Things are generally going to pots and I don't really know how to hold on for much longer.

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Heather
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It's so tough to be in the middle of something academically challenging when another part of your life is in turmoil. I've been there myself: I completely understand how very hard it can be. I wasn't able to pull it off, myself.

But in hindsight, the thing I wish I'd have known was that what was most important was taking care of myself, and if that meant that I blew things academically, it did. After all, we can get redos with the academic stuff, but we can't skip sound self-care.

Do you have any advisors or counselors there who know what's going on and who can help you through this?

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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JenBug24
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Not as such.... I deal with the student support manager on a day-to-day basis, as I am running the LGBTQ+ group at the college (the only thing I am being almost successful at at the moment); she's the person who I'm supposed to talk to, and she knows the facts of the situation, but that's it. I'm way too scared of my parents' threats to talk to her or another teacher who really get on with.

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Heather
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Can I ask what your parents are threatening if you disclose to her?

Also, how about asking her in advance to tell you what privacy protection she can afford students who might disclose abuse or neglect, be it from a partner or a family member? That way, you can know what disclosing to her might or might not mean when it comes to your parents finding out.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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JenBug24
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It's complicated... I feel a little uncomfortable discussing this in such an open space.... could I email you pls?

[ 11-18-2011, 05:09 PM: Message edited by: JenBug24 ]

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Heather
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Of course. I think you already have my contact info, but if not, the "contact us" link below bounces to my email.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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