‘I am happy, positive and excited to see what the future holds for me’

Sunrise over the Waveney Valley at Earsham. Picture: Andrew Atterwill.

Sunrise over the Waveney Valley at Earsham. Picture: Andrew Atterwill. - Credit: Archant

As we look at the work Time Norfolk do for those who have experienced a pregnancy loss through miscarriage, termination or still birth, one former client tells her story.

She said: 'I was 19 when my son was born. After a difficult pregnancy, I was desperate to make our home happy, but undiagnosed depression made things problematic and our relationship began to break down.

'Nine months later, with my relationship hanging on by a very sad thread, I found out I was pregnant again.

'I told no-one. I had isolated myself from family and friends; I had nobody to call to ask for help, nobody to tell and no idea what my options were.

'I visited my GP and told her I was pregnant but that I did not want to be, and within a couple of weeks I was scheduled for a termination.

'I was terrified, but somehow shut down all of my feelings.

'I arranged for my son to be looked after for the day, and while his father was at work I went to the hospital for the procedure.

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'It was painful, it was heart-breaking and I blocked out what was happening. I returned home, made dinner, and pretended I had a stomach ache.

'On the inside I felt like I was dying.

'My heart was screaming and the physical pain made the situation unbelievably difficult to hide.

'Somehow I kept the whole experience secret from most of the people in my life, and as a result, never dealt with the emotional damage I had incurred.

'My relationship ultimately ended and I felt more alone than ever.

'Almost seven years later, I was told about TimeNorfolk by a friend, and as soon as I learned that the charity existed, I cried with relief.

'Finally, I thought, I might be able to work through what happened all those years ago.

'I saw a counsellor for my initial appointment and I finally felt safe.

'Soon, I started attending a weekly group therapy session with one or two other women. Hearing other women's stories, sharing mine, and supporting one another through ongoing issues was an enriching experience, led by two counsellors.

'We identified root causes of issues which, although unrelated to our terminations, go a long way to explain how we reacted to and dealt with them.

'For almost six months, I attended the sessions, and I went from being in a black box of self-hatred, guilt, regret and gloom to finally reaching forgiveness.

'I went from spending every day in tears, mourning my son's sibling we never met, to appreciating the life we do have.

'I was taught to forgive my younger self, identify the problems in my relationships, and accept that for me, at that time, I was brave to have made the decisions I made.

'I reached a point during the sessions where I could be kind to myself and believe that there are a million things to look forward to.

'I no longer regret or feel guilty for what happened during that time. I am happy, positive and excited to see what the future holds for me.

'I believe that as a direct result of the support I received from TimeNorfolk, I am a better mother to my son, a stronger person, and deserve a happier life than I ever thought possible, and I cannot thank them enough.'