“So my life’s been painful from the start. I’ve been through so much trauma, upset, hurt and I’ve been let down so many times. My life started to change at the age of 7; my Mam was diagnosed with acute adenoid carcinoma (cancer). As if dealing with this wasn’t enough this was when my Step Dad starting sexually abusing me. There had always been domestic violence in the household from a very young age; my Mam was constantly being hurt, emotionally, physically & psychologically. After radiotherapy and chemotherapy, losing her hair and her confidence my mam pulled through and was given the all clear and has been clear for 10 years now!
At the age of 12 I started going missing from home and refusing to stay in contact with anyone, I was constantly getting into trouble at school and with the police. In 2012 I ended up involved in child sexual exploitation; I was groomed and sexually assaulted on many occasions.
Later that year I was placed into local authority care after several suicide attempts/self-harm and substance misuse. I was moved to several different placements and the sexual exploitation still continued. I was placed in a secure children’s home under welfare grounds, I continued to misbehave and was continuously restrained.
During this 8 month period I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, conduct disorder, emotional disorder due to trauma, PTSD and a disorganised attachment.
On leaving the secure home, I went back into local authority care for several months until again I was placed back into a secure unit after putting myself at so much risk. This time round I was only there for a month period but refused to engage with all services available.
Upon leaving the secure unit for the second time, I continued to put myself at risk and again to be readmitted, however this time around I stayed there for 8 months and was supported so much better; I started to finally engage with services that were available. At one point I was even able to tell someone about my childhood experiences with my Step Dad and the sexual abuse which I’d never been able to talk about before. The support I got was absolutely amazing and I couldn’t thank this place enough for helping me speak out and be confident in fighting for what I deserve; and that is justice.
At 17 when I’d left the secure unit again I was preparing to be independent; I moved to a semi -independent placement and continued to misuse cannabis. I was fine for the first couple of months to follow but then started running away again.
I was then moved closer to my family and still continued to misuse cannabis to forget about things. I attended court to give evidence against the men who had sexually exploited me. It was the hardest thing I have ever done but afterwards I was so pleased that I’d done it and could finally start moving forward with my life. Returning to secure for the fourth time, although this time round there was no restraints, no misbehaving and an amazing team of support staff.
I am currently close to my 18th birthday and in semi independence but am just about managing to live my life with a smile, although I’ve not dealt with everything I am continuing to work with professionals to get the help and support I need. Life’s been difficult and I constantly worry about everything and anything but I’ll never forget what I was taught in secure and that was this; every time I start worrying ask myself some questions –
‘What is the point in worrying?’
‘Will worrying solve anything?’
‘Is it making me feel any better?’
Soon enough I realised that there’s no point in worrying, although it hasn’t stopped me completely it has helped me to not worry as much.
I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has tried their best to help me throughout the years and although at the time I was in such a bad place, I still took in your advice and continue to use it in my day-to-day life.”
-By Chloe Curry.
Huge thank you to Chloe for opening up and sharing her story ❤
Themanicyears is still looking for people to share their stories! If you have an experience with Mental Health you would like to share on here, please do not hesitate to drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org, and get your story published on our “Sharing Stories” feature.– M.