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Real Life Stories

“I am bothered by a lot of things like my exams, bf, dad, Uni, everything.”

(A’s story, based on one of our service users, Helpline Service 2012)

I just dont know how to start.  I’m 17 and I’m taking my A level in Psychology and English and other subjects.  I started having mood swings about a year ago and some days I just don’t want to get out of bed.  I do have my fine days but lately I’ve noticed that I get pretty low a lot more often than before.  My dad has a temper since he stopped smoking and has said harsh words to me a couple of times like how I do not have direction in my life like my older sister (she’s working in a government office).  I just dont know what to do.  I feel massive pressure but at the same time sad and low.

And then I saw this Childline advert in a bulletin board at school and thought maybe if I ring them that they could help me.  It took me three tries to finally speak up.  I just couldn’t say anything the first two tries and had to put down the phone again every time someone answered.  The lady who answered on my third try was very attentive.  She listened to me most of the time and let me talk.  I could feel everything just pouring out of me.  When I asked for any tips or ways that would help me for when I feel low again, she gave me options to consider.  I felt relieved then.  I felt as if there is a way out of this.  I am so glad I called Childline and thanks to that lady who talked to me whoever she is.

“I could hear the children crying and screaming and whinging every night.”

(Anonymous, based on one of our service users, Helpline Service 2013)

I didn’t want to get involved.  I am just concerned that there must be something wrong with these little girls who live in the flat above me.  The two girls go to nursery daily and get back home around 5:30pm.  From about 6pm till 1am, sometimes all night, one of the girls (sometimes I could hear the two of them) is crying and bawling at the top of her lungs.  I am kept awake most nights!  I believe there is no comforting that is happening to the children.  Their parents are very young and have a large extended family.  Both children look well-dressed when they go out but very, very shy and look even scared when I see them and greet them even though I have known them since they were little.  Almost each night as well I hear cots/beds or heavy furniture being moved around.  I also do not see the father playing with the two girls or even talking to them.  He seems like he does not want to be near his children.  Many times I wanted to call the police but I don’t want to be asked questions and if Care Agency is involved there might be repercussions.

I decided to call Childline and thank God they assured me of their confidentiality.  They told me that I could choose to remain anonymous or not. They asked me to call again after a week for updates.  I was so relieved when, a week after, they told me that Care Agency are in the process of doing an assessment of the family.  I just think they need all the help they can get.

“A boy takes my stuff every day and breaks them.”

(G’s story, based on one of our service users, Online Service 2014)

I am in Year 6 and there’s a boy who takes my stuff almost daily and breaks them.  Please help me.  He won’t stop.  I have pleaded with him but he doesn’t listen.  This boy, he just takes my stuff and not say anything.  I told my Dad and my teacher but nothing has changed.  I don’t know what to do anymore.  He looks mean.  I don’t have friends at school that I can talk to about this.  I don’t know how to make friends.  I clam up whenever someone talks to me.

Childline went to my school and told us all about what they do.  I decided to email them through their website.  I am glad I did.  I filled up their online form asking them to talk to this boy and to tell him to stop taking my stuff and breaking them.  The lady who replied back to me told me she could help.  A week later, the boy stopped taking my stuff and my teacher asked me to let her know if it happens again.  I am glad I emailed Childline.  Now I know what to do if a boy does that to me again.

Ella’s Story

One evening, 6-year old Ella called our 8008 Helpline number and asked the volunteer who answered her call how to turn on the microwave. The volunteer asked her why she needed to turn it on and she said she needed to heat up the milk for her baby brother because he was crying and her mummy was out. Ella had been left at home alone, in charge of her baby brother. She innocently called the number she had heard about in school and had no idea that there was anything wrong with being left at home like that. She genuinely only wanted to know how the microwave worked.

14-year old Sarah

“I think I might have depression and I get angry very easily. I have also self-harmed in the past. No one knows about this, not even my family. My parents are splitting up, I think. It’s because my mum is an alcoholic. They constantly argue and they don’t want to know anything about me or my brother at all. I spend most of my hours in bed, thinking about not wanting to do anything or communicate with anyone. I am quite sure I’d get kicked out of school soon but I don’t care. Honestly, in the past I’ve had bad luck opening up to people. It’s just very difficult for me but a small part of me wants to vent to someone. I have tried calling Childline in the past but no words came out because I was that scared.

When I finally managed to get through to Childline’s Helpline, they were very reassuring. First, they checked if I was safe and we talked through a lot of things like how I was feeling. To know I was being listened to, that was really a big stepping stone. To feel that my opinion mattered and I was worthy of asking out for help. I think the one big thing that I’ve learnt, that’s been so amazing with Childline, is knowing that Childline is always there, even if it’s just to listen, and that will help me through whatever I go through. It’s just such a huge relief to know that. I really dont know where I would’ve been without Childline. I dont want to think about it. I just know that I’d be in a big pit of despair, it would’ve been a huge downward spiral. Things would have got worse, and I just would not have known where to turn or who to turn to. Childline really is a lifeline.”

Shut……..Tight

That tiny scar becomes a single thought,
Enmeshed in the Labyrinth of the mind.
The singeing impact on the skin,
This silent scream,
This tiny blade
The urgency…..
The need to hide.

Everything dissolves the dream
And every reason
To survive;

The spitting, crackling
Echoes,
The voices
Drowning all the lies,
Knocking, pounding
On that hidden door,
Where every hope is held
Shut…..
Tight.

Violeta Chevasco