After years of domestic abuse towards my children and myself at the hands of my ex partner and father of my kids. I finally found the courage and confidence to leave. I dealt with years of abuse on myself and always thought I could fix it but as I noticed it wasn’t just me who suffered deeply. Only now I see the true impact that lifestyle had on my innocent babies. I witnessed a horrendous physical attack on my son at the hands of the man who ruled the house.

 I fled. I ran. I packed. I panicked.

I locked the door and never went back. We moved into my mum’s spare room and waited a homeless property. My children started new schools and nursery’s and we began our new journey… survivors. We didn’t receive any help for a while, I was running on my own steam. My son was still suffering and this reflexed on his schooling. With the help of the school we interacted with CAMHS who after assessing my oldest put us in touch with Cedar, where we finally found the help we needed.

Last year I attended the Cedar project with my oldest son Cameron. Cameron had attended CAMHS who had referred him to Cedar. At first I was apprehensive as I was told there was a mothers class that ran alongside the kids group. I thought “uck that’s not gonna help me”. I felt I didn’t need “help”. I had come such a long way after what we had been through. Last thing I wanted was to go back over it all again!

But I knew what my son needed and we had come this far together, so together was how we would face the next chapter.

I received an invitation to our first meeting, a chance to meet the other mothers and children. I saw a girl sitting in the lobby as I entered the building, surrounded by her 4 children. She looked as lost as I was. I knew we were looking for the same place. I went over and spoke to her and together we found the room where the rest of the mums and kids were waiting. We all found our feet rather quick as our Cedar ladies Dianne, Lorna and Wendy helped us brake the ice. There calming natures and pleasant vibes made us all feel normal in a strange environment. Weekly we met and our friendships grew.

I was so surprised how much I enjoyed Cedar. I got a lot off my chest that I didn’t know was even bothering me.

My group was made up of 4 ladies, myself included. I was so surprised how much I enjoyed Cedar. I got a lot off my chest that I didn’t know was even bothering me. I came to terms what had happened to me and my children. I learned new coping stratifies and that most importantly I was not alone. I’m not the only mother who’s had to face this battle and when I feel the world is against me I always have some-one to listen. Even after our term was over with Dianne is always at the other end of a phone. She has counselled me through a lot of dark moments and when I feel I can no longer stand she somehow manages to prop me up.

We had to come a long way before we found Cedar and Dianne but I am very  very glad of this. I am now awaiting a new group for my daughter as I know she will benefit as my son has from Cedars help. Their family oriented environment and relaxed approach made us feel at ease for what was and is for us a very anxious stressful journey in a very clinical world. I look forward to my next experience as my daughter seeks the help she needs. A child’s mind is a very fragile place and for them to find a coping method, or confidence which has been knocked away from them, is an important part of the healing process as a mother, finding somewhere that treats my children with kindness and respect and not just another strange face with a clipboard is very important to me.