Below are two first hand stories from clients who have previously attended our service for support.
Please note that names have been changed to protect their confidentiality.
"Losing my wonderful Mum to cancer turned my whole world upside down. I found myself desperately trying to manage powerful emotions that made me feel totally overwhelmed. Making me feel unable to cope with all aspects of everyday life. I felt trapped in a maze of pain, fear, anxiety, guilt and anger. So consumed by these emotions I became increasingly detached from my husband & children, friends, and the world.
Safe Harbour was recommended to me by my husband, as he was so worried about my emotional wellbeing. He encouraged me to attend Safe Harbour as it had an excellent reputation in the community providing emotional support. I was unsure at first, but I was invited along. I immediately was made to feel welcome, relaxed and at ease with myself. From the very beginning Safe Harbour has been exactly that for me: a quiet, peaceful, safe space I can ease my pain - allowing me to begin to deal with my grief, guilt, shame and pain, without it hurting those that I love.
Within Safe Harbour's peaceful environment I was able to feel confident and safe to summon the courage not only to talk about my bereavement but also to share a dark childhood trauma. Through sharing these sensitive and difficult issues within Safe Harbour, their insight and experience has helped me understand and make sense of the pain I was feeling. We explored how my Mum was my protector, my guardian angel. Giving me an immense amount of unconditional love to help and support me through and get away from his abuse.
When I lost my amazing Mum my feelings of vulnerability, fear, anger, shame, and guilt all flooded back to me. I couldn't see or understand why I was feeling all these emotions racing through my mind. When we began to explore the wonderful emotional strengths, values and morals instilled in me by Mum through her love. I began to realise that although she was not physically here with me, she gave me wonderful emotional gifts to help me through.
Safe Harbour helped and guided me through dark times, helping me focus on my inner strengths that my Mum had given me throughout her life. This insight into self and my Mums wonderful life, has given me the skills confidence and resilience to live and love life again.
The support received from Safe Harbour has been extremely valuable. Without it I would have been unable to get my life back."
"It was only after our much loved beautiful baby girl's funeral I think I just realised what had happened was real, I started to struggle, all I could think about was being with my baby, I wasn't sleeping or eating properly, I was crying in secret and just wanted to die and be with my baby.
I decided to take valium to help me relax and maybe sleep, I ended up taking seven and not feeling relaxed in any way, that's when I knew I needed help. I tried to find bereavement counselling in my area when I came across Phoenix Safe Harbour, I think I phoned them the next day, I don't really know what I expected but I remember feeling nervous and stupid for even going. The first session was me blubbering a load of mixed up mumbo jumbo with a lot of guilt over the loss of my beautiful baby. After my third session I couldn't wait to go back.
Safe Harbour sessions helped me to deal with one issue at a time and to try find one positive in every negative situation, I was encouraged to get to know me. I loved my walk and talk sessions because not only did I have a reason to get dressed, I got to offload. With the help and support from Phoenix Safe Harbour I got to know me again, it gave me the strength to face the dark days, which I don't think will ever go away but they will become less frequent hopefully, I now know me better which helps to rationalise my dark thoughts.
The service has been fantastic and to me it was definitely my life line at a dark period in my life.