This week, we’d like to help a teenage girl called Katie.
Katie is a kind, funny, creative girl with big ambitions to become a human rights lawyer and change the world. But she is struggling.
When Katie was younger, she suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of her father. And it has deeply affected her mental health. She has depression and anxiety, recurring nightmares, and spends most of her time locked in her bedroom. She is bright, but misses a lot of school. She has periods of time where she doesn’t leave the house for weeks and sometimes doesn’t even leave her bedroom for days. The room is in complete disarray, which her mum feels is making things even worse.
Katie lives with her mum (Emma) and brother (Ben) who are both trying desperately to help her. She is having counselling now, but Emma feels helpless as to what else she can do to make things better for her daughter. She said:
“I’ve spent many nights praying at the foot of her locked bedroom door and often wonder if she will ever be able to trust in people again. I want her to believe that people can be kind, without wanting to hurt her, and that she is deserving of love.”
Emma was in an abusive relationship with the children’s father many years ago. After being raped by him in her home, she eventually found the strength to leave when the children were young. She has done everything she can to keep the children safe and to make sure they never have to see him again. Sadly Emma lost her Mum (her best friend) to a serious illness a few years after escaping the abuse. Two years later, Emma was diagnosed with stage 3 Cancer. She survived, but the effects of the aggressive cancer treatment remain. Post cancer Emma was diagnosed with a mental and physical impairment, which impacts all aspects of her life and the way she functions. Emma has accepted all of this and has had a lot of therapy over the years, but she knows her experiences have affected both of her children (especially Katie).
Katie’s brother, Ben, adores his mum and his sister and he helps his mum a lot, but he has also been affected by what his sister has gone through and it has changed their relationship. Sadly, mental illness affects all family members.
The 3 of them live in a 2 bedroom flat. Emma sleeps on a camp bed in the living room, so the children can both have their own bedrooms. She doesn’t mind, but admitted she feels embarrassed when people come to visit.
With your help, we’d love to do something kind for Katie and her family.