The last straw was two and a half years ago when my boiler burst. I saw water coming down through the ceiling, the wall, the electrics… and even though I knew it could be fixed, it triggered something off in my brain that I couldn’t understand. Something was troubling me but I couldn’t work it out in my own head; I couldn’t find a reason for why I felt like I did. I’ve always been very strong.
I thought I was going mad.
I was first introduced to Llanelli Mind by a friend whose daughter was coming here. The first time I arrived, it was like entering a safe haven. It felt like sanctuary and I know now that when I’m here, I can just relax – this time is mine.
Now, after counselling and other treatments, I am starting to understand my problems. It all stems back to my childhood when my father used to give me good hidings. He would drag me, kicking and screaming, and lock me in a cupboard in the bathroom. Hanging up in there was this old gas mask with a hose like an elephant’s trunk and a tin at the bottom… It absolutely petrified me. We lived in a bungalow at the time so this cupboard was in the bathroom. And where’s the cupboard where my boiler is now? Also, in the bathroom. My counsellor explained the connection to me.
After two-and-a-half years, I finally know what has been troubling me.
This is also why I am so fastidious about the house; I like everything neat and tidy, everything has got to be clean. In my mind, if I don’t keep it clean and something goes wrong, then I’ve been naughty and I’m going to be pushed back into that cupboard again. So I now have to try very hard to get my life back together again, and I’m very angry and sad at the same time. If it wasn’t for Llanelli Mind and Rhod, my counsellor, I’d just be in bed. I’d probably stay there for months and months; I’d be a snivelling wreck.
Each week, I can’t wait for the Thursday to the Monday that I’m back down here, because I know as soon as I come through that door I can relax. I come to therapy on a Thursday, craft on Tuesday afternoon, and I’m allowed to just do things that I want to do; nothing structured. I’ve started to do colouring in and mindfulness. It’s just wonderful here, I can’t fault it. Some people have been coming for many years and I’m so glad I found it too. I would tell anyone that needs this kind of support to just come here, because you’ll get it. People will sit and listen to you.
They don’t judge you.
This place has been absolutely amazing for me. It’s been a life saver – and I know my husband will agree because he comes with me. He’ll be downstairs now! The staff don’t mind that he stays, in fact, he knows everyone here now. The people are absolutely brilliant – the staff, the volunteers, and the other services users. We all have our different issues but we never judge one another; we’re just one big happy family, and it’s lovely. People like me desperately need Llanelli Mind. It’s our safe haven.