"I’m normally the type who doesn’t speak about what I’m going through and tries to face it alone. It’s been nice to have someone to speak to"
Arc client, Trixie, kindly offered to tell us her story with homelessness.
"I was struggling with my mental health when I had my daughter. I didn’t feel ready mentally or financially, and not having her dad around was difficult. Having spent a few nights in my council accommodation, we moved into a mother and baby placement, where it took me a few months to realise I wanted my daughter to have two parents and I gave her up to foster care. The family she lived with were lovely, and eventually they happily adopted her! I went back into council accommodation, but I lost it a little bit after that. I wasn’t doing anything all day – I just didn’t want to! And because I wasn’t paying rent or council tax, I was soon evicted.
I ended up at Lindley House. I was happy there and I always had someone I could talk to if I was having problems. Once I started feeling better, I was offered a place in an Arc satellite property. It was weird at first because I had gotten used to the routine and buzz of Lindley, but I eventually settled and began to enjoy the quiet. My support workers have always been so helpful too.
I always got on with other Arc residents, but there was one resident I quite liked, and we soon started a relationship. My support worker noticed this and kept checking in on me. It was like she knew something was wrong. I told her that he sometimes got angry, and I would get the blame. He didn't like me talking to other people, and it began to isolate me from my friends and my family. I was in the satellite property for about a year before I moved in with him away from Arc.
He started calling me names and would get abusive if he didn’t get what he wanted. Lockdown made it worse because we couldn’t escape each other. He got more violent and the stress was causing me health issues. After about 3 years I had the strength to leave. I spent a couple of nights sleeping rough, and it rained both nights. I only had what I was wearing, a t-shirt and trackies, and no duvet or blanket. Then I stayed between my mum and my friend but the back and forth was putting a lot of pressure on all of us. I rang the council and they referred me back to Arc.
I am currently living in a different satellite property to where I was originally and where I am is nice! Actually, one of my friends has just moved in, and another lives around the corner. I like to keep busy for my mental health so I get out and about every day. I have just been linked with a Volunteer Buddy and we are going to get hot chocolate soon and plan what we will get up to. I have also been speaking to one of the Volunteer Counsellors. I’m normally the type who doesn’t speak about what I’m going through and tries to face it alone. It’s been nice to have someone to speak to.
Thanks to the kind donations of Arc's supporters, I have also been taking an art class and it’s been really good because I can channel my feelings and thoughts into my art. The time seems to fly by when I’m doing my art! It’s been helping me learn new skills and build my confidence. One lesson we were drawing skulls and I thought it would be impossible, but the teacher helped me with an outline for me to complete. It turned out really good! Now I don’t need his help so much as I’m getting better and have developed my own style.
My hope for the future is to get back into working as I’ve not been in work properly since losing my daughter. I would like to have my own place, actually on my own this time!"
Trixie's unique take on skulls, created at her art class which was funded by your kind donations. Thank you