Being taken into care when I was 13 was the happiest time of my life. After 3 years of being sexually abused by my step dad, it was a relief to just feel safe. I only met my real dad a few times when mum took us to see him in prison before she remarried.
Looking back now I suppose I just followed in the family footsteps, with what I was familiar with – sex, drugs and prison. The drugs went hand-in-hand with being a sex worker and the times in prison reminded me of being in care; the good times when I felt safe again and could sleep at night.
It was 4 years ago when I was referred to Blenheim’s project in London. I was really resistant to the programme at first. I’d given up on trusting professionals and myself. They introduced me to a women’s project though and for the first time outside of the care home and prison, I felt ‘at home’.
Blenheim has helped me to have the confidence to believe in myself. I now have a voluntary work placement and I finally got the courage to get in touch with my brother.
They say life begins at 40. Mine began at 50.