On this page, our former clients speak to you about their experience.

The Realisation of Dee

Dee is 27 years old and is sexually assaulted while on holiday abroad. She is unable to comprehend what has happened to her - because these things don't happen to people like her, do they? Not to a confident, friendly, educated person with a promising career.

Not comprehending what has happened means that Dee can't confront it – or cope with it.

So she buries it.

For 10 years.

Until she has a nervous breakdown.

Dee is now 37 and has a history of depression and undiagnosed anxiety. She is irritable, impatient, insecure, apathetic – and yet also bored, unchallenged and unfulfilled by her menial job.

One day, she reads an article about sexual assaults occurring while the victims were on holiday. An incident less physically invasive than what was done to her 10 years ago is described – and she thinks, If what happened to this person is classed as sexual assault, then what happened to me must also be sexual assault.

"I was sexually assaulted."

The reality and enormity of this realisation hits Dee.

She breaks. And breaks. Waits and waits for NHS help; waits some more. What she finally gets is too brief, too superficial, too focused on the organisation's bureaucracy rather than the patient's needs. It is of little help.

Dee doesn't think her broken pieces can break any more – but they do. Yet among the splinters and shards is an indignant, angry survival instinct that forces her to question if there are other agencies, other counsellors that she – now unemployed due to ill health and receiving Universal Credit – is entitled to request help from.

Kinergy is suggested. Dee makes contact and is placed on their waiting list. After a couple of months, she is told it's likely to be a while longer: sadly, so many people need Kinergy's service. Dee understands, of course: these things do happen to many people; to too many people.

Two months later, she is three days away from suicide.

Dee has lived with suicidal ideation for a long time – and now it has become an action to be completed. She makes her plan – but the concentration needed to think exhausts her too much to immediately do it. Tomorrow, then. Yet she knows she'll still be too exhausted, too depleted. The day after. Definitely.

Later that evening, the phone rings. Surprisingly, Dee answers – she usually doesn't, not to unknown numbers or to numbers where there's a chance of a male speaking, because her now-diagnosed but still-untreated PTSD triggers panic about whether whoever is at the other end of the line means her harm; whether she will be safe; whether she can escape; whether she can survive.

But this time the caller ID reads Kinergy. They can see her in seven days; less than, really, because the appointment is at lunchtime. "Really," she asks, "next week?" Yes, really: she's at the top of the waiting list. It's her time, now.

The gratitude she feels shocks her: help genuinely exists. It won't be whipped away because, according to a policy's criteria, she isn't ill enough – at least, it won't be whipped away if she can keep her precarious hold on life for seven more days. Less than seven, really.

Dee hangs on. Just.

And then her therapy begins. Over the regular sessions with Kinergy’s therapist, she claws back some semblance of life as she processes the trauma she has suffered. It takes time, and is hard work.

But if Kinergy had not existed, had not been able to counsel her, Dee would have died by suicide.

She wouldn't be healing, as she is now. She wouldn’t be learning to accept the ebb and flow of life, as she battles through enduring the bad days, trusting that she will enjoy the good ones when they come. She wouldn’t be finding triumph and freedom in the smallest steps forward.

How do I know? And how do you, reading this, know it is a true and accurate account?

Because I am Dee.


Mary Carpenter House,
Britannia Road,
Bristol BS15 8DB
E: contact@kinergy.org.uk
T: 0117 908 7712


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Charity No: 1099140
Company No: 04391957