If you ever feel like you are isolated, alone and help just isn't there - read this wonderful feedback that should give everyone the confidence to reach out to us...

I would like to comment on the recent help I have received from The Next Chapter.     I can honestly say without the help given to me, it is doubtful that I would be here to write this at all!

I was at my lowest point and was literally emotionally and physically at a breakpoint.  I did not feel I could carry on another day.  I was not eating or sleeping and constantly on edge and fearful.  I was in an abusive relationship which was not only physical but mentally abusive.  I believed, in the end, all he told me, and that I deserved all he did and said to me.  

I believed it was all my fault.  He told me continuously that I was useless and no one else would want me.  He made me believe that if I walked away from him things would get worse. 

I was terrified and each time I left him  I just wanted to go back to stop him harassing me.    Family and friends could not understand.  People would say "why do you go back?   "You have a good job, home, it is your own fault"!   No one understood and  I felt totally cut off and isolated.    The worst part was he told me continuously that  “ no one would believe me if I reported it”.     I lived in fear every single day.  I dreaded the texts, the calls, the mood swings, the temper, the violence and his drinking. 

My doctor realised I had been coming to surgery covering up injuries and was very ill and put me in touch with The Next Chapter Organisation.

From the outset I received support and help from The Next Chapter, the biggest thing for me was that “they understood and they believed me”.     No one called me “stupid or an idiot or a liar” from the outset they advised me on how to log the abuse and provided details of legal help available to me.   They gave me steps to empower myself  and how to take the steps to cut him out of my life completely.   At every step of the way, I was supported.  

Naomi an Outreach Counsellor began visiting me and I cannot begin to describe how much that first visit gave me confidence.   I was no longer alone, I had someone who supported me.    In the beginning, there were tears and Naomi would listen and make small suggestions (small steps) each day began to get a little easier.  Nothing was ever forced on me, but I was gently encouraged.  I did get upset at Christmas/Valentines Day/Birthdays but Naomi gave me things to read and a plan to keep me from doubting myself and going back.  

I began to slowly see the light - I started to see that life was worth living and I was not dependent on my abuser for my happiness.  I began to enjoy being free again.  I began to slowly believe in myself and get my own self worth back.   I am a different person for the first time in years.       

Lockdown came amongst it all and I have spent 5 weeks in total isolation alone seeing no one, and rather than feel like I needed him or that I was stupid and could not cope,  I actually feel free and am able to just be on my own, make my own decisions again, not live on my nerves waiting for him to explode.   I received telephone calls in Lockdown checking up on me.   I cannot speak highly enough of the service I received.   

Why The  Next Chapter is different and such an invaluable service!  I did try to seek help to get away previously, I tried Counselling, Hypnosis, CBT - talking etc but no one really seemed to understand the “hold” my abuser had over me.  Well-meaning people would say “Just put the Phone down or Ignore him and walk away” but it is not that simple when you live in fear daily.  No one really gave me any proper steps to help me get away and put a complete stop to it.   The Abuser will turn up and turn on the charm and worm their way back in time after time.  

Naomi understood and her wealth of experience shone through she was helpful, practical and talked through the fears and helped me face them and put them aside.  I had the confidence to put an end to it for good.  I will never be in an abusive relationship again,  Naomi and Darina taught me the signs to look out for and I feel so much more empowered now.   

I have work in a fast-paced environment all my working life and have always been independent- and I think people were shocked at the extent of the abuse and how it had happened to me!  People kept saying "But how could this have happened to you"?   Abuse happens in all environments to all sorts of people.   

Abusers are cunning they are kind in the beginning and then they become controlling and manipulative and I kept on believing that the nice side would return!  It can happen to anyone - I blamed myself but Naomi helped me stop beating myself up and building up my confidence again. 

For me the abuse and constant tormenting was rapidly accelerating and had The Next Chapter not been there I am in no doubt whatsoever it would have been a different story.  I am in no doubt I would have been badly injured. 

I would also like to mention that their service gives you the tools to equip yourself for the future via The Freedom Programme and the outreach Friendship groups.  It is geared up to help you take the steps needed.  It is about empowering you and helping you to see you are worth more.  

This is something I will always be so grateful for.  Naomi literally saved my life in so many ways - her experience and knowledge was so helpful.  I hope that my review will help people see just what an amazing service this is and how experienced and invaluable their counsellors truly are.   If anyone is reading this feeling isolated and alone, I can say from my experience that you are not,  and if you are fearful about reaching out then don't be - this was the best call I ever made.  Take that step and change your life, you are worth so much more.      I am a totally different person to the one I was 6 months ago.     I will always be very grateful to Naomi and The Next Chapter

Thank you for the wonderful feedback on the support from Naomi!  We are so very delighted that we have been able to be part of your journey and to see your transformation...