My name is Shamila
My body has given up. When I stand up, I collapse on my legs. That's how tired I am. I actually want to go to bed, pull the sheets over me, and cry, but I can't. I have to be strong for my children and for my family. Besides, I have too many responsibilities in my job. I can't let go of that and I have a mortgage to pay off. The house was basically too expensive and I can barely pay the mortgage, so I had to take out a loan for my car. I'm now paying off even more debts every month. That makes me sleep badly.
‘My children are often home alone because I'm at work a lot. I feel very guilty about that, but I don't know how else to do it’.
I desperately need the money. I don't ask my family for help. They will be disappointed in me. They see me as a strong woman with a good job. I don't want to give them my grief.
I sleep bad at night and in the morning I am irritable and short-tempered towards the children, which immediately makes me feel uncomfortable. I'm ashamed of not being the nice mother that I want to be.
‘I'm ashamed of my debts and I'm ashamed of my weakness. How do I get out of this, what do I need to do?’
I schedule an appointment with the GP for my physical complaints. Maybe I need to get a blood test and the fatigue can be solved with a pill. The friendly GP fills in the form for the blood test for me and asks me how things are going at work and at home. The GP asks me about the work-life balance. I snap and tell the GP my situation and how embarrassed I'm about it. The GP calmly listens to my story and advises me to contact a social worker at Akseso. A referral isn't even necessary. I can just drop by.
The social worker takes me seriously and makes me feel appreciated. How can we support you, was soon asked. I felt I was no longer alone. The social worker assisted me in making a plan to regain the work-life balance and to do fun things with the children. So we also participated in activities at Akseso meant for parents and children. We did crafts together and played games that reveal our talents and qualities. It also helps us focus on our positive qualities at home.
I still have a long way to go, but after a very long time I feel like I'm back on the right track. Thanks to the understanding and patience of the GP and the social care facility.
For any form of violence or suspected violence, you can contact:
Guiami, the advice and hotline for domestic violence and child abuse