A Mother’s Story
It was my son who referred me to Bringing Hope – my son who was sent down for six years for armed robbery and kidnap.
No woman has a child for him to become a criminal. I have no criminal ties. My son was brought up in a loving home with two other brothers and a sister.
As a child, my son loved school but school did not love him. My son’s school would passively vilify him for his lack of academic ability. Instead of encouraging him, they would isolate him.
He had trouble reading and writing but instead of calling in the right authorities to help him they called in the police authorities when he got into his first fight at school – he was 13. It was his first offence. He was charged.
One day he was playing with peers on the green. As children do, they found a derelict house with drinks and food. My son was encouraged to go and get some of the drinks and the food but was caught and arrested.
After these incidents the police would target him. As a child, he would ask: “Why me?” As a young man he just shrugged and resigned himself to “Why not?”
He ended up taking the path that made me fearful and made me think I was going mad. I was afraid of police raids, afraid of answering the phone when I was work in case there was news of my son being killed, afraid of it happening to any of my other children.
I used to hate my old house. I never wanted to go in. I would sit outside in the car – smoking. My house was not my home – the memories of the laughter of my children and banter with friends trampled under the memories of 15 – 20 policemen raiding and arresting my son time and time again.
I turned to doctors who wanted to prescribe me antidepressants. When I refused those I was sent to a psychiatric nurse who wanted me to write down my troubles.
One day my son was arrested and sent down for six years. It was after that, that he met Bringing Hope.
He told me about the course he was doing whilst in prison that Bringing Hope was running. This course was challenging his thinking processes, making him reflect in ways he hadn’t done before. It was helping him to set his goals without resorting to crime. He didn’t need to go into detail – just what he was saying indicated a change in his thinking.
Then, knowing what I had been through with his lifestyle, he suggested that I talk with these Bringing Hope people. He, my son, referred me to Bringing Hope! I met them and talked to them about my son, about my past and about my fears.
Bringing Hope showed pride in my son. Despite his crimes they see him for who he really is, they see what I see as his mum. This gave me hope. The fog lifted and the feedback I got from them gave me comfort and hope. Their intervention into our lives has eased my mind and given me relief, even more so because of their commitment and dedication to support us in the long-term.
Because of the empowerment and support from Bringing Hope I have set up a parents peer group as a forum for advice, sharing of ideas and encouragement for those going through similar experiences to mine. This group will help parents navigate the criminal justice system, address relationship breakdowns and tackle their own emotional issues. It will help to create a supportive and healing network to welcome their son/daughter home after serving a period of time in prison.
It will help to sustain transformed lives. It will continue to bring hope.
Supporting People in Need of a
Supporting People in Need of a second chance
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