My name is Adrian but some people call me Adi and I’m fine with that.
The services I have used here at Survivors Manchester are: Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA), Saferoom, Drop In and assessment for therapy. I thought all the services I used were good, as if someone was genuinely interested in me, not just as if they were someone that was there till 6 p.m if you see what I mean. I found the Drop In service to be really welcome and warm. I didn’t feel that I had to do anything or say anything or act in a certain way if I didn’t want to. It is just a nice place to make friends, feel emotions, feel safe and feel respected and respectful. ISVA was very helpful, understanding and gave me a lot of help, and closure is now looming as a result. It really helped to give me clarity on a busy mind with what to do next. I can relax now that I am organised and following a plan with ISVA helping and making steady progress.
The Saferoom wasn’t for me. It triggered me because I was abused as a child. It was just us me, my brother and sister and in The Saferoom it was just us so it could be situational the trigger but I didn’t like it. It made me feel more depressed. They were nice enough but it tended to be led by the stronger communicators not better communicators when you consider that listening is a good communication skill. One or two of them generally did most of the talking and it seemed more about him and less about us which probably triggered me again because my older brother was my abuser and he interrupted me when I was speaking and had an opinion about what I said and then was immediately brought the conversation back to him again which I didn’t like. It didn’t help and I felt like I wasting my time having sacrificed a 12 step support group to attend.
Having said I was depressed anyway and I do have Asperger’s Syndrome this affects how I communicate, I probably need one to one therapy, which I’ve not had yet, before I benefit from The Saferoom and this sort of Peer Led Support Group. The CODA 12 Step Support Group I missed to attend the Saferoom has rules to listening and talking with regards to crosstalk so I was probably used to that format having nothing to compare it to. I think how it differs from Drop In in that there is no expectation whereas with The Saferoom I think I was expecting to get something from it perhaps I shouldn’t have had, after all I can only get disappointed if I have an expectation.
I thought I was the only one who felt like this but I have met one person who feels the same about the Saferoom but most people I’ve spoke to about it like it. I do have a friend who I met in Drop In who witnessed the person whom I was referring to from The Saferoom and he said quietly when I left the room at Drop In ‘let someone else talk’ so it wasn’t just me. The assessment I had for therapy with one of the counsellors was very good, very professional and it was like therapy started there for me and I was opening up and then had to reign it in because it wasn’t the time for it although it is a reflection on how comfortable I was and the counsellor was good, gave me an answer that made sense and was compassionate, again made me feel cared for and safe. I spent too long no talking about I should have done it sooner although I am doing it now and that’s good enough.
I decided to become a member of the Expert Advisory Panel because I want a career and thought that I was being offered an opportunity, even if that was only to explore myself, realise how I felt or what I thought about certain situations and realise things about myself. I am finding that I am critically self-actualising and finding purpose.
I also want to feel safe and secure, listened to, wanted, valued, to be useful, find something that I am good at, for someone to tell me that I will never be alone anymore even if this is in the subtext of communication which is probably the best way because actions speak louder than words, to be part of something bigger than myself. The chance to impart my gifts upon the world, one of which is the unique view I have of the world to feel supported and supportive.
What I like about Survivors Manchester is integrity. Some who will tell me that they care or by showing it by giving me a call to say that they haven’t seen me for a while and to know that Survivors Manchester is not something that happens in my head it is reciprocal, proactive, emotional and caring. It is human. I like all these little extra things to do like member of the EAP profile which gives me focus, healing and optimism for the future and helping me work at how I feel. Nothing is promised it is all left to up to me create and be proactive and make what I can of every opportunity and noticing opportunities as they arise. I like that I feel cared for and this fives me hope to a make me feel that I really matter, understood and for someone to put a voice to my experiences even if sometimes that voice is not my own, often I want to say nothing and feel empathy I get that. I have never felt like it was all about me before service was delivered and I felt able to embrace myself as someone who had a considerable amount of wrong do to them and I could love myself and the compassion was high. It is like this if you think of it this way, they’re outside and you’re caught in it, it is dark, wet, lonely and you’re shivering with cold. Someone opens the door and invites you in kind. You’re immediately hit with the light and warmth of the room and the food smells like home, you’re given fresh clothes to wear and a pot of tea as you sit gathered round the fire to keep warm. Someone to pick you up when you feel down, a shelter from the storm, a towel to dry your hair with optimism for a better tomorrow, all you’ve got to do it set through today, You realise that kind, supportive person who let you in the door, well that someone was you, you broke your own silence and you did your own healing too Survivors Manchester was there show you the way and be your companions too.
I think Survivors Manchester can improve by investing more into the people that they taking in on a voluntary basis and recognising the talents and the effort that they bestow. Promoting from within is a great way of raising the standards from within because it is doing so by example and internally leading the way, making the message clear if you want to do it then do it and prove with your actions. This goes beyond altruism, this makes strategic sense and constantly checking with staff or regularly anyway asking where are you going, what would you want to do?
What I would like to achieve as a member of EAP during my term of office is to listen by being the voice of the unspoken perspective, what’s really going on in the eye of the observer that the ordinary man hasn’t seen.. How perceptive can I be by giving as deep an insight as possible that my gifts and experiences will allow.