I attended a Pattern Changing course on September 2010. It was life changing for me. I met some amazing and inspiring women, not just delivering the course, but more specifically, those also attending.
There were so many ‘light bulb’ moments, so much connection. Finally, someone understood what I had been through, and it wasn’t just me, there are so many of us. At the end of our course the devastating news came that funding cuts had been made instantly with the new conservative government, and thus rose a determination to help get this course out to others.
Probably one of my hardest hitting moments, was when I joined the charities for a peaceful protest and Devon County Hall. We took shoes, women’s and children’s, and laid them in a row, to represent the lives that had been lost to domestic violence this year. We could see the ‘decision makers up in the windows, some sort of celebration was going on, or did they always have wine at luncheons? A couple of them looked down at us, one raised his glass to us. That hurt. The shear arrogance.
The following years saw me volunteering for the domestic abuse services, volunteering for SEEDS and sharing my story at AGM’s & police training, joining forums as the survivor’s voice. I stated working at the refuge, which subsequently closed, I worked as admin. I trained in delivering pattern changing, lucky enough to have two amazing mentors and started to deliver the course.
It was always hit and miss where the funding would come from and in 2016, I set up More Positive Me with a couple of awesome ladies, with the intent of making pattern changing a regular and easy to access course for all. We developed a 4 day/4-week course that had fantastic feedback and retention rates and delivered monthly sessions.
The greatest plans and ideas never really run smoothly do they. One of our team left due to bereavement, the next followed suit after hanging on in there and my mental health deteriorated after another court battle wiped me clean out of the energy and spirit I once had. I entered full time employment and More Positive Me sat dormant.
While my children were away with no contact allowed for 3 weeks a designed and delivered a 21-day email program – 21 Days for a More Positive Me. It takes 21 days to form a habit, I had 21 days, it’s amazing how doing something to help others also helps yourself. I made the course to make myself self-care through that time, I shared it to become accountable, there was no getting out of it. Those emails had to be delivered and they were.
Early this year I worked closely with Splitz to create Rediscovering You – a Self-Care Toolkit, that is now going out to service users and available to purchase on the website. I began to come alive again.
So, to this book project, inspired by the course, my vision is a workbook that can be used on the course, with all the important information but room to explore your own feelings. Some colouring in to help with mindfulness, activities, inspiration from others experience and room to journal, goal set and create hope for a positive future.
This is where you come in, I can’t do this all myself. It’s about that peer support, hearing from others who have been through it, and stories of tenacity and overcoming the odds. Stories of resilience, even when you thought you could not go on. If there’s one thing you could tell your old self now, what would it be, what would be the game changer for you, if you knew back then, what you know now?
If you would like to get involved please email Jeanette.firstname.lastname@example.org