I closed the door and walked out, disillusioned and hurt. I was a “victim” of some kind of abuse who had had enough and finally left. As I left I didn’t know where I was going or what to do I just knew I had to get out. I was 20 years old at the time and had been married less than a year. I spent one night in a friends spare room, the next on anothers sofa bed, one night at my parents house…realising that going home was not an option for a variety of space related reasons….and then back to the spare room of the first set of friends for a few nights. In between I looked for somewhere to live which I could afford. I was doing my A Levels at evening class at the time and so went to see the student welfare officer at the college; she sorted me out a few days later with a room at the YWCA. I stayed there for about 5 months until I went off to uni. It was a safe place for this young woman to be staying, just as it had been for a friend who had stayed there a couple of years earlier when he had had to get out of home, escaping an alcoholic father. We were both, like many of our friends, “ordinary” young people in most ways, but we were facing “real life” very young.
My own story has a sort of happy ending; my husband (at the time), got himself sorted out and when I moved to go to uni he came too, starting anew our life together, and in many ways my life improved alot. I got sane again; went to uni, had Third Party, got my degree and I guess we had a good few years before he decided enough was enough and fell in love with somebody else. On my own again, within a few months I was facing the possibility of repossession and homelessness with a three year old, (something that thankfully didn’t come to pass).
I was in many ways very lucky and last night as I heard about the work of Aquila Way I became very thankful….as I realised what might have come to pass by the time I was 26. This is a charity which is supporting young people like the one I was. It’s supporting young people like the girl I once taught who had been plonked in a flat of her own after coming out of care with no tangible support who didn’t understand until I told her that you couldn’t buy your frozen food on the way to college and expect it to be ok when you got home. It’s supporting young people like Third Partys 16 year old friend who is expecting a baby in December. The faces might be different, but the stories are all too similar. This is a charity to be applauded and if possible supported.
You Tube clip explaining a little is here: