“For two years I have been taking my daughter, Liza, to the Sunflower centre and in the summer we spend a week at camp with other families. This gives me the strength to carry on and gives me hope that my and my daughter’s lives will work out”.
All of our families come to us with difficult stories, so it it wonderful when we are able to light a path for them through to brighter times. If Liza’s grandmother had had the help her mother’s found with us, a whole world of suffering could have been prevented. We’re just glad that, thanks to you, we can be here for the family now and have been able to break the cycle of misery.
The story starts back when Liza’s mother was a child, growing up in a communal flat with her mom. Once when she was alone at home, a neighbour started molesting her in the shared kitchen. With difficulty she managed to get away from him, locked herself into their room and waited for her mom to come home. Her mother was, of course, horrified and tried to protect her daughter. She spoke to the neighbour, whose wife became very aggressive. She spoke to the police, but nothing was done. The sexual harassment continued, the threats became worse. After one last scandal, the neighbours wife called the psychiatric services and got the mother taken away to hospital. Her daughter was sent to an orphanage. When she got out of hospital, several times she contacted her daughter and said they would be together soon, but the psychological pressure continued, and soon she couldn’t cope any more. Her daughter spent the rest of her childhood in a children’s home believing that she was responsible for her mother’s death.
When she grew up Liza’s mother went to art school where she got involved in drugs. She takes up her story:
“At the time it was easier for me not to think about my life, and so with my lifestyle I was gradually killing myself. Goodness knows what would have happened if I hadn’t got pregnant. I married the father, but then I ran away because he beat me. Liza wasn’t yet a year old when, by a miracle, I discovered “Sunflower”. It was all down to Liza. I needed help with my daughter, but I didn’t know what to do. For a long time I wouldn’t accept help, but I went regularly to their sessions, if only so that I could be with my daughter. Somehow, they knew how to manage things so that Liza started looking at me and smiling at me. I ended up, like my mother, in a psychiatric hospital, but Sunflower did the impossible. They were with me every step of the way and saved my daughter for me. I believe that you can change the outlook for your family if some one believes in you and supports you like that. By some miracle my family rallied round me and Liza. My aunt looked after Liza while I was in hospital and Liza took her to Sunflower.
Everything’s fine now. Liza goes to kindergarten and, like every little girl, imagines that she’s a princess. I got a job in a jewellery studio and paint minatures, which I sell on the internet. And we still visit Sunflower!”
We are so proud of Liza’s mum for overcoming all her difficulties. She needs us much less now than she did but we have more new families, who are just starting off on their journey. This summer’s camp will be vital for them.