At the age of 14, I was placed in a care home under police protection due to conflict with and abuse from family members. With the support of my school and social services I was returned home safely and was again in my parents care. However I had entered a relationship with a man at an age and of a nature my family disapproved of and this created ongoing conflict in our relationships.
My circumstances made me a very angry girl, I had deep seated anger and resentment towards my family. I didn’t have good relationships with anyone, though I felt closer to some members than others. I felt no one was listening to me, they kept telling me what to do, and I wanted more freedom.
Shaathi gave me a mentor at a time I most needed someone to guide me through my difficulties and help me rebuild my relationships with my parents and brothers. I felt I was at a cross road trying to carve out an identity for myself growing up in a diverse borough like Tower Hamlets. My mentor who was from the same cultural background as me understood me, and helped me in developing my own identity and establishing my place in the family.
With the time I spent with my mentor both 1-2-1 and in group sessions, I was able to enjoy and unwind from the hardship of life. We did things together and went places I have never been before. Activities included cinema trips, video nights in, theatre performances, eating out, go kart racing, workshops and much more.
With the support of my mentor I feel I have grown from a very troubled young girl to a young woman. I have learnt to reflect on myself more and question myself. My mentor has helped me see both the good and bad that exist in my family, and be proud of the good things and work with the bad. This has helped me develop a deep and meaningful relationship with my mother.
If it hadn’t been for Shaathi I wouldn’t have been able to take an objective angle in dealing with my conflicting circumstances in the way that my mentor has enabled me to. My friends and peers all saw things the way I saw it, but my mentor brought in a different light and if it hadn’t been for that I would have made the wrong choices and decisions in blindness. I would have left the family I love dearly and let my emotions bring me down.
I now have improved relationship with my family. I have also given my education its due focus and taken my interest in Math’s to a further level of study at college. I have learnt to manage my feelings and channel my energy positively. I feel better about myself and my family and I feel confident and more able to battle the challenges life can bring. I aspire to pursue further education at a university after which I hope to either be a chemical engineer or statistician.