You can feel it when you walk in that door, you can feel that safety. It’s a safe place. It helps you to be safe.
The Haven has taught me to trust again. I don’t have to hide behind a smile anymore. I can come in and cry. The important thing is that coming here makes you safe enough to change.
I had ten years of psychotherapy and I still managed to avoid the issues. With the counselling I think it’s the fact that it’s here. It makes me feel safer which makes me take more risks than I ever have.
They always look pleased to see you coming through the door.
I isolate and can’t mix with people, but I can see people in The Haven, you are the same as me.
It’s the family I never had.
Before I came to The Haven I used to overdose on a reasonably regular basis, I used to cut myself when anything went wrong, and I used to stop eating when anything went wrong. Basically, it was a whole host of maladaptive coping mechanisms and since coming to The Haven I have sort of redressed these. You have to respect the values of the place.
Before I came to The Haven nearly every other day I was tying things around my neck, overdosing, cutting myself and since coming to The Haven I don’t tie anything round my neck, I’ve had maybe one overdose and I’ve learned to talk and, when things get really bad, to phone and ask for support instead of acting on impulsive thoughts.
I’m clean and have stayed clean. Kind of like instead of popping a pill, I come here. Stopping drugs, feeling the emotion and learning from it.
I think my new skills have fundamentally been to be able to stop and question the reality of the situation, and to think the whole situation through, rather than jump into the first panic stricken thought that comes into my head and act on it. It’s the actual stopping and analysing the situation for what it really is, not what emotionally it’s built itself up to be.
Before The Haven I wanted to die. Now I want to live.
I look to the future more than I ever did. It exists now.
Before I came to The Haven I was locked up in a secure unit. I used to wake up every day wanting to die, trying to find a way to actually harm myself, to actually end it all, and now I’m actually going to college.
If you feel well rooted then, like a tree, you can kind of branch out and blossom.
I’m actually working now and earning a reasonable amount of money. Working gives me a sense of purpose. It’s very easy to slide into the diagnosis and not try to do anything. Although it has been so difficult, my self-esteem and confidence have risen massively.
The Haven is consistent, it’s been progressive and forward thinking, which is not a stale thing, it’s not just something you go back to, it’s something you go forward with. Anyone who tries to hold you back, they’ll either be back at the (hospital), or back in the situation they were before. If you hang on to The Haven you go forward.
Members of the Public
I have just become aware of The Haven in Colchester and read through your research. My daughter went from an inpatient admission for a flare up of her lifelong OCD to self-harming and suicide in a short hospital admission within 'the care' of an acute ward. All the time she was there, although the nurses, my daughter and us, her parents, asked for her to come out we were told by the consultant that 'there's nowhere else for her to go.' Since then I have found out that all the friends she made on the ward and all her friends in the club she went to, have since been diagnosed with PD. Two have died, one immediately after coming out of the same acute ward feeling he didn't belong anywhere. I just wanted to say thank you for this amazing work. I am moved to tears by the improvements you have made.
Thank you-that's all.
I just found you by mistake on the net and loved what I found, looking through your site. I've felt proud of what people can really do in our world when they care. I have very little understanding of what it is to have a personality disorder, although I am someone that had my life well and truly smashed to bits in the mid 90's through a road accident, and had to rebuild it in every way, which took many years. So I do know what it’s like to work on oneself or to be worked with by others, putting themselves into what is something special though out of the ordinary for most people. Years later I can recognise at a glance when people are standing strong and stretching themselves to become richer in life. I have seen it through your site and can only give you masses of love for everything I've seen.