Mum lived in married quarters on an army barracks, most of the wives seemed to find it great fun with a good social life and a ready-made family but for this Mum who suffered with poor mental health and agoraphobia, she felt like she was an outsider looking in. She felt guilty that she was letting her husband down, reducing his prospects of promotion and putting him under a lot of additional pressure. She also worried about her child, about passing on her anxieties to him and about her issues limiting his opportunities for mixing with others. This Mum was quite positive about lock-down as it meant she was no longer under pressure to go out or mix with others, she told me she liked living in a bubble, it felt safe and secure.
Due to government restrictions, I introduced her volunteer on the doorstep, in the rain, with our umbrellas! The volunteer contacted Mum by telephone each week, giving emotional support and lots of encouragement, allowing Mum to talk through her concerns without judgement. Mum began to feel a little better and even managed to get her child into nursery which helped her to feel more positive about his day-to-day life.
I recently completed a review with this family, and it was remarkable to reflect on how far they had come. The family have moved into their own home, had another baby and Mum has even completed an OU degree! Mum shared that it makes the world of difference to have someone on the end of the phone to talk to if she was feeling anxious or even to “just talk rubbish to!” it had eased feelings of isolation and loneliness that she was not even aware that she had. Mum said she feels much more positive about the future and despite ongoing issues with her mental health, she believes that she can and will cope, can and will provide a stable, secure loving home for her family.