Ruhama offered support to Leah* by way of counselling and trauma healing therapy. This is her story, as told by her Ruhama caseworker.
I left school at the beginning of the nineties and secured a place in college but decided to defer it for a year so I could do some travelling. I rounded off my year with a summer in Ibiza, mostly sleeping during the day and working at night in the clubs. I knew I was coming back to Ireland to start college so I was determined to really enjoy that summer – ecstasy was everywhere. I found it hard to make enough money doing promotional work so sometimes I would dance at one of the adult clubs to make a little extra. Some of the girls were escorts there. I got involved, thinking it would be just another experience to have before I went back to Ireland and one that could make me good money. I called this my summer of madness.
After that, I came back to Ireland, went back to living at home and started college. The years rolled past, I qualified; got a good job, met my husband and now have two beautiful little girls. That summer was a distant memory.
That is, until last year. My husband works for a large multinational and we were at a corporate function. I was happily making chit-chat to people at the event. At the end of the evening we were saying goodbye to people we knew, when a man came up to me and said, smiling “I think I know you”. He moved his hand to touch me lightly, after moving away. In that moment, I couldn’t move or breathe.
In the days afterwards I told myself not to be stupid or to overreact, convincing myself that I would never see him again and even if I did, I had done nothing wrong. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was all I could think about. I began to look at people on the street and wonder if they knew me and were they looking at me because of it. It consumed me. Vague memories of that summer and certain things that happened in Ibiza came back to me and it was painful reliving them in my head.
I couldn’t tell my husband or anyone in my family because they just wouldn’t understand. I did a search online to see if someone had similar experiences to me and found Ruhama. I gave them a call. I was able to talk to them and open up – they just ‘get it’
Everything was confidential. I met with a counsellor over a period of time and they helped me work through my anxiety and put certain events of the past behind me. I was determined to talk through these events but ultimately move past the pain and take a step forward, not back. My experience with Ruhama was a great one, they were truly helpful in supporting me to move past my trauma.
“I did a search online to see if someone had similar experiences to me and found Ruhama. I gave them a call. I was able to talk to them and open up – they just ‘get it’.”