Client C’s Story
1. How did you come to hear about Nexus?
I would like to start at the beginning and tell you that I am a recovering addict. In 2018, I was completing a substitute prescribing programme. I was finishing the programme during the start of Covid-19 which involved follow-up calls from a key worker in the programme. On one of those follow up calls, I disclosed about my assault and what had happened to me. A few months later, another organisation called me about my disclosure, and I was in shock. I was not told what she was going to do with my disclosure, I felt as though I had been betrayed. It was very overwhelming to know that someone reported my assault without my knowledge or consent. I felt my power had been taken away from me. I wanted to take things forward in my own time. I never got to report things for myself, my choice was taken away from me. After all this happened, I was referred to Nexus and a lady called me, and she turned out to be my counsellor, and she ended up saving my life.
2. How has counselling impacted your life?
My counsellor was always there for me. The first thing she ever said to me was “I believe you”. See what that meant to me? I feel the justice system was not there for me. There is an assumption that anybody with an addiction is not a credible human being. There were many who said, “they won’t believe you, nobody’s going to believe you about that”, Nexus believed me. I had my counsellor, and I don’t know what I would’ve done without her. I never once missed an appointment with her. My counsellor was there for me when I felt harassed from other organisations and groups. I found my counsellor was honest with me, which I needed after what I had been through. I know she is a professional; however, I felt she was like a friend and could talk to her about anything because of the rapport between us, which made me feel comfortable talking to her. I always felt my counsellor was supportive, especially when I was asking more questions and looking answers about my case. While I was being passed around all different agencies, my counsellor was there for me. When I was finishing my substitute drug programme, my counsellor helped me find the strength to finish the programme and no longer use it as a crutch. It was the most liberating feeling. From this, I have been able to go to Queen’s University to talk with their students about my experiences with the drug substitute programme. It was the best thing I had done.
3.What would you like other people who have gone through or are going through a similar journey to know about counselling?
Nexus has experienced counsellors who understand different kinds of abuse so you can be paired with someone who understands what you have experienced. I feel the right people get put with the right counsellor, which meant my counsellor was so understanding and really got me. Nexus was there when no one else was. When every other organisation turned their back on me, Nexus was there. This is a safe environment; you are in very safe hands. They support you on your journey. I do think it is important that people know that pursuing legal action is hard, it is a battle. Nexus can provide support every step of the way, no matter which way your case goes. I know that my case is different to others, and no one knows what is going to happen, but all I know is that Nexus gave me strength. And, if there is anyone struggling with addiction and anything like this has happened to them, please know that Nexus is a safe place to come forward, because they recognise that addiction itself could be a symptom of unresolved trauma, past and present. I cannot thank you enough; I cannot thank my counsellor enough.