1. How did you come to hear about Nexus?
I was talking with a friend one day, and she was telling me about someone who came to her about getting help for sexual abuse, and my friend pointed her to Nexus. I went online and got the telephone number for Nexus, and I held onto it for about 6 months. I was pacing up and down in my mind, “Will I, Won’t I?”. Then the day came when I picked up the phone, set it down, walked away, then came back, and someone said “Hello”. And that was the start.
2. What brought you to the point of reaching out for help?
I was at a time in my life where I was busy, because I had a big family and they come first. Without being able to talk about it for so many years, you start to convince yourself that there is something wrong with you. The vulnerability is overpowering; the tiredness is exhausting. It was a hard decision, but when I got to my early 40s, it started to really impact my life. It was as if I couldn’t concentrate, because I had more time to think and it was like a wave of pressure. I decided that, for my healing and to move forward, I would have to do something about it.
3. How has counselling impacted your life?
Talking is a great healer. It was difficult and there were a lot of stops and starts, but I had a great counsellor who went a step at a time, in my own time. Every week my confidence started to grow, and I could share more. The pressure started to release and I started to feel better about myself. And I know that I have a long way to go, but with Nexus I can see the bigger picture. I now feel like a survivor. There are days when I can’t cope, when I am triggered, but Nexus counselling gave me the platform to bring me to a different place. I understand that it is in my mind, and the more I talk the more I feel better. It’s as if my thoughts land on a soft pillow, the bitterness does not eat me up and I can be who I was meant to be.
4. What would you like other people who have gone through or are going through a similar journey to know about counselling?
The first thing is to talk about it. When it starts to go around in your head, it doesn’t stop. When we talk about it, when we get help, we know that we can push through that door to a better place. It is very powerful to get that person who will give you that space within counselling and say “I am here for you”. Because I had it in my head for years, and I used to pray that God would never give me a daughter because of the fear of what happened to me. Generational abuse means that the patterns repeats and I wanted to change this. Anyone who is in that situation, in the beginning the “what ifs” are scary, but to open up and share yourself is going to bring you to a better place. You need to trust the process and work with it in the counselling and in the group sessions. You build your confidence over time with sharing. I know that I can open up and show others that they aren’t alone. As a volunteer I can see that when I open up to others, they can see that they too can go through that door towards healing.
5. Do you have any words you would say to your younger self before you came to Nexus?
If I had to do it all again, I would. Parts of my life haven’t been easy, but I’ve dealt with it and it’s made me a better person. This is a journey that I am openly dealing with and I hope it continues for another few years. My kids can’t believe the change in their mum. They’ve always known me as their mum, but I wanted them to know me as a human being, and that’s where we are now. The joy and the love that I now have with my daughter is unbelievable. The appreciation she shows me because I showed her where she could get help. She took courage from what I did, in her own time. We’ve seen each other’s pain, but we are there for each other and the feeling of knowing that someone is there, whether in counselling or the group sessions or at home, has brought me to a place of contentment, happiness and peace. All I hope is that what I’m doing can help other people in that vulnerable situation, and the more people I can help the better.