Monday, 28 January 2013
My name is D.(34), recently separated man with two kids and dog and all the rest. I want to thank Amen for keeping me sane, safe and alive through the hardest part of my life to date. When I came through the doors of Amen I was a broken man, I could see no future or happiness or light at the end of the tunnel, the girls in Amen changed that almost immediately. They listened to my sorry story with real sympathy and respect and began to guide me through the processes I needed to get back on my feet, some of the things they had to learn with me, so for the next poor bloke coming through he will get there even quicker. Not knowing what to do didn't stop them finding out and getting me there, they didn't give up on me like every other organisation on an almost daily basis. Every time I came back to there office worn down by "NO" or "We can't help you" or some other rubbish they found a way through for me.
I am only starting on my journey of single life and child access and all the other wonderful stuff I have to deal with but I would be nowhere without the help and honest concern of Amen and there wonderful staff. I have my own apartment with an extra room for my children to visit, I cook, clean and would you believe even wash my own clothes, this to most people might sound ridiculous but when you have never had to do any of these things they are a big deal. I know I can get through anything that's thrown at me now, before the support of Amen I don't think I would have coped, and that is no exaggeration.
Thank God there was somewhere for me to go and for other men in my situation, heaven knows what the alternative would be.
To Whom It May Concern: This man is a farmer and businessman.
My name is x, a small farmer living at the above address. I have been a victim of domestic abuse and I am now being abused through the children. On one occasion I was hospitalised when my wife hit me on the head from behind with an iron. I suffered concussion. Up until the summer of 1997 I lived with my wife and three children aged 11-4 but since then my wife has moved out to live with married man in a rented house about three miles away, taking our three children with her. The man she is living with now is a Mr xx of no fixed abode they now live in xxxx. (She is a teacher)
At one time when my children came to me they were always at the gate waiting for her for at least a half an hour before she was due to collect them. My youngest son told me that the first to the car got £1, the second a bar of chocolate, the third a nice sweet and the last a 'yukki' sweet. Another access arrangement was that we meet in a nearby town, then she changed their watches and clocks in the house and told them, "There you are, your Daddy doesn’t care for you, he doesn’t even bother to come and collect you". Off she would go and then I would have to go searching for them, very often unsuccessfully. The access time would be over if and when I caught up with them.
I'm writing this letter to describe how the good people in Amen helped me when I was at the lowest point of my life. I am a recovering alcoholic and was stuck in a relationship with a lot of mental abuse.
I had no one to turn to. I just thought that marriage was supposed to be like that. Having been through a lot with the battle with drink, I thought I was strong and wouldn't let things show on the outside. But deep down inside I knew I wasn't being treated like a human being. I was living in a total nightmare. I wasn't allowed to say or suggest anything, all I was, was a money making machine and a child minder when she was out spending every penny that she got.
I was in a bad way. I had no confidence and felt worthless, afraid to stay and most of all afraid to leave my children.
My brother took me to Amen, I was glad he did because I wouldn't have gone on my own, I would have been afraid too.
After the first visit it felt like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I couldn't believe that two girls could be so understanding. This wasn't the vision I had of women. They spoke to me like I was a human being and I wasn't used to that. I can't explain how much those two girls helped me, the relief of somebody listening to me. The girls suggested some kind of counselling to me. It was then I met a nice man called Michael.
I can only describe this man as a genius. He taught me things about myself that I didn't even realise myself. Being good at hiding my feelings, he would come at me at different angles and I would trip myself up. Every session I had with Michael my confidence was growing and growing. When the sessions ended I missed them, but deep down I knew I had to go it alone and with my confidence growing it was time to put everything into practice and it is working.
Last but not least, there's Brendan. He is very honest and sincere and has a great knowledge of people's feelings; he has a great way of getting things across to people. It's lovely trait to have. He has a great way with people.
As I said before, I can't even start to explain the gratitude I have to Amen. My family, friends and work mates all notice the big changes in me since I first went to Amen. I don't know how I would have coped with my situation. I was nearly suicidal, not knowing where to turn, all I can say is thank god for those great people, I don't know where I'd be now if I hadn't went with my brother that night.
Thanks everyone in Amen. I am, where I am today because of you all.
Over the years, men from around the country have come to Amen Support Services Ltd. to share their stories of domestic abuse. Men have shared stories of being denied assistance from so many agencies simply because they are men. Many men have shared truly harrowing stories of being disbelieved by state and family support agencies, being falsely accused of heinous crimes. Men have been denied access to their children and children have been denied access to their fathers. Men have shared stories of being removed or forced to leave their family home, in some cases rendering them homeless. In short, men and their children have suffered, and continue to suffer, physical, verbal, psychological and financial abuse in the one place they should feel safe, in their homes.
This blog allows men, their children, their families and society to gain an insight into the plight of these men. All of them are heroes.
There is hope and light at the end of the tunnel. Amen Support Services Ltd. continues to be a lifeline when help and support can not be found elsewhere.
On behalf of Amen Support Services Ltd, I wish to thank most sincerely, all who contribute your stories to this blog. This blog is your forum and it is obvious to say that the blog could not exist if it were not for you.
I truly hope this blog will provide a forum, a sounding board and a glimmer of light to men whose days may sometimes appear clouded in darkness."