The life of any single mother is never an easy one and for Jennifer, caring for her four-year old son, Zander, was made harder by his behavioural problems. There were no good days, only ‘not bad’ days.
Stressed and depressed, Jennifer found the simplest of daily tasks becoming harder and harder to complete. Feeling low and isolated with nobody to turn to, she questioned if she wanted to be alive any more…
Jennifer’s social worker told her about Safe Families for Children and hers became one of the first referred families in Scotland. A volunteer, Linda, was paired with Jennifer and Zander. Linda initially assisted Jennifer once a week, picking Zander up after nursery and having him for a few hours before taking him back home. After a few weeks, Linda then continued her support by having Zander stay overnight. This gave Jennifer longer periods of free time to do things she wanted to do or spend time with friends which she struggled to do before. Jennifer had something to look forward to, and Zander had something to look forward to as he loved his time with Linda.
Meeting with friends is a great stress-reliever but speaking with them openly about how we’re feeling can prove difficult when one is feeling so low. It’s hard to hide our problems behind a smile but it’s still easier than feeling like we’re burdening our friends with our sadness. Safe Families found Jennifer a Family Friend, Marilyn, who provided emotional support. Jennifer could finally open up and talk to someone about the things she’d only previously discussed with herself in her head.
Talking through her worries and stress with Marilyn every couple of weeks gave Jennifer confidence in life again and she started feeling better about things. She began to escape the rut she had found herself in by actively taking part in her life. She was no longer in bed feeling depressed and she managed to get a job. Jennifer started to find joy in the little daily tasks which were previously impossible to accomplish.
It’s difficult to comprehend how much difference having people willing to help us in our times of need can have.
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