A Parents experience of AF support

Ground Zero for me was 11th November 2015, it was the day my world as I knew it, had fell apart.  A bomb had gone off in what I thought was a fairly good life and all that was left was devastation, hurt and loneliness.  I had a loving husband, supportive family and friends but all I felt was pain.  As a mother, I found it hard to accept that I was unable to protect my baby girl from the suffering she had endured.  My daughter was only 14 and I wasn’t there for her when she really needed me.

 My daughter didn’t blame anyone.  All she wanted was not to be reminded of her unfortunate experience, so the only request she had for me was to act ‘normal’.  Can I just say ‘normal’ was the hardest thing she could have asked from me at that point but I tried.  During the day I would be a mother, a wife, work full time and do school pick-ups and drops off as normal, but at night all I wanted to do was question why, what I could have done to avoid it and cry.

 In pure desperation for answers, I searched for some kind of support, help, and understanding, anything that would help me to make sense of what had gone on.  I needed to understand what I was feeling and how I could support my daughter when I didn’t know how to support myself.

 This is when I found Acts Fast, it was only a couple of weeks after ground zero but by then it had felt like I had been suffering for an eternity.  Shrapnel of my life before ground zero lay scattered around.

 I left my contact details and my call was returned within a day or so.  Mandy from Acts Fast was a calm, welcoming voice of reason in my life, which had by that point become an uphill struggle of chaos and only just functioning.  I was offered a time slot to visit Mandy at a local Children’s Centre have a cup of tea and a chat.

 From that very visit, I felt validated, understood and supported. Acts Fast helped me find exactly what I needed.  Over several months, I met some amazing, strong women going through the same struggles I was, helping each other understand the whats and the whys.  Having people who truly, deeply know how you feel and why, brings you some kind of peace.  With the support, the love and kindness Acts Fast have provided me, I have been able to support my daughter in a way that she requires and understand what she has been and will be going through.  

 Unfortunately for us, my daughter’s case didn’t have the outcome, we had hoped for due to the lack of evidence. We felt let down and deflated by the system.  With the help of Acts Fast, I was able to question the Dorset Police & Crime Commisioner in the way my daughter’s case had been handled.  My daughter was given the opportunity to voice her experience to the Chief of Dorset Police.  Although the outcome couldn’t be changed, Acts Fast helped us every step of the way to get my daughter the validation she needed, in the way of an apology and a promise to much needed local change. It is a small step that could not have been faced without the support of Mandy at Acts Fast.

 With Acts Fast by my side I have felt strong, I have been able to forgive myself for not being absolutely everywhere at all times and for not being able to prevent what had happened.

 Slowly but surely I have been able to find pieces of shrapnel and put them back together, not necessarily in the same order as before but feeling more whole as time goes by.

 I feel I have gained true friends in the people I have met at Acts Fast and can’t imagine, where I would be now without them.

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