"When we feel we don't fit in it's very easy to feel a lack of belonging or being wanted. For me, this state of being goes back a long time."

When we feel we do not fit in it is very easy to feel a lack of belonging or being wanted. For me, this state of being goes back a long time.

I had a difficult childhood – my parents’ relationship was not good, and I was bullied at home and at school. I ate to make myself feel better and was quite a recluse. I never went out, like a lot of kids my age would after school, due to anxiety and bouts of depression.


I felt closed off, resigned to being quiet and not engaging socially out of fear, only furthering the sense of loneliness I felt. I fell into a vicious cycle, feeling alone and set apart from my peers.

When I was 14 I moved in with my grandmother, which instantly made me feel safer. We cared for each other while I studied for exams, and I stayed with her until my early twenties. She died when I was 21.

I moved into a bed and breakfast for homeless people, and the sense of isolation started up again. The man living next door to me was being threatened by another resident, and I stopped leaving my room unless I was sure no one else was around. It was six dreary long weeks before supported accommodation became available, and I started to get to know the people at Action for Children.

Finally, I was able to speak about my emotional wellbeing. When I was feeling down there was always someone there. All through my childhood I had no one to talk to and this made it hard to cope. Knowing that there is someone there for you is such a massive help.

"I still suffer with anxiety and when it flares up I do get low moods. But I think I've got a real handle on my issues and that’s thanks to Action for Children."


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