My name is Deborah. Towards the end of last year I moved to live in my own home, enabled by ubu, so that I could have more independence. I had some difficult times in the past and lots of new challenges to face and so I felt uncertain about what might happen to me next.
If anyone had asked me at the time what my ambition in life was, I would have said “to have a baby”. I felt that if I became a mum, I would have someone to love and someone who would love me back. I was upset when I was told by social workers that in their opinion I wouldn’t be able to look after a child. At that point I felt that everything had been taken away from me.
It took me a while to make friends with the other women who live where I do now. I didn’t want enablers to support me or make a fuss. I felt like I could do everything myself and that I didn’t need anyone. Although it wasn’t really true, I felt that the enabling team just wanted to imprison me.
It also took a while to trust the people around me who were trying to help me find what I wanted to do next. With some encouragement from the ubu service manager, I started looking for ways to build my confidence and self-esteem. I found a ‘Well-Woman’ course and started going to a weekly psychologist appointment so that I could talk through my feelings. The Well-Woman group has been fantastic. I have been able to share my experiences with other women and start talking about how I can move forward in the future to achieve what I want to in my life.
The other big thing I decided to do was to change my college course because I’d lost interest in the course I was doing and I wasn’t going to college at all. Instead I’d then go to friends’ houses and spend my days not really doing much. It just triggered depressing and negative thoughts and then I would spend all night upset and feeling very low. I felt lonely and different to everybody else.
I am still ‘processing’ with my psychologist and at my Well-Woman group some of the things that have made me who I am. Now I’m also doing this with the ubu enablers who give me support and I feel that they really listen to what I’m talking about. After a long time, feeling really closed up, I feel I can talk about things at last and it has given me more confidence. I am enjoying my new college course, and my tutor says I am doing brilliantly. I don’t skip the classes anymore because I actually want to be there now.
I think that it’s only natural that I want to be loved and needed. After talking about these feelings and thinking about how to get and give the love I have to offer, I thought looking after a pet might give me some of what I need. I wanted a rabbit.
So I wrote to my housing association to ask if I could have a pet at home because part of my tenancy agreement is to check with them first. I found out about how much a rabbit would cost and made a budget plan with some help from the ubu enabling team. I checked out the care a rabbit would need, getting advice and reading up about it. Then I chose the rabbit which would become mine. I go shopping for vegetables and food and clean my rabbits’ hutch out every day. I love my rabbit, who I’ve called Vesper and I’ve never felt so happy!
Once I’ve finished doing my life skills college course, I am going to start looking for a job working with animals. At last I’m feeling that I’m being heard and understood by other people, I have skills that I can actually use in my life, a friend, my rabbit Vesper, to love. I’m not alone anymore.