The home environment gradually became more and more unbearable. As her daughter’s behaviour became unmanageable, the rest of the family became isolated and withdrawn.
“My growing anxiety over the parenting of my new grandson was a daily concern,” says Rhonda. “I didn’t know what to do, for her, for the baby, nor for the rest of my family.”
One day, after coming across an article in a local newspaper, Rhonda discovered the Family Resource Centre at Ontario Shores.
“Within a couple of days, when the environment in my house turned volatile again, I pulled the article off of the fridge and with my other daughter and newly born grandson in tow, we left the house in tears, got in the car and made our way to Ontario Shores.”
Once arriving at Ontario Shores, Rhonda knew she was at the right place.
“We were greeted by a very friendly social worker and volunteer who patiently listened as I told my story through tears,” she recalls. “They were able to calm me down and provided me with some great advice and resources to assist me in dealing with my current situation and moving forward.
“For the first time since my daughter’s diagnosis I felt there was hope for me to survive this.”
In the days that followed Rhonda and her husband participated in a program called Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) for families. This program is designed to help family members of those with mental illnesses, by providing tools and skills to strengthen and look after themselves so they can be well and strong to better understand and support a loved one.
“I have met many wonderful, courageous people that have shared their family stories with me,” notes Rhonda. “It is through their experiences and triumphs that I have been able to better accept the road I need to travel on and understand that we are not always in control of our direction; rather we need to be in control of how we adapt and proceed in the direction necessary to stay well and be strong for our loved one when circumstances change.”
“I’ve learned to accept that we will have our ups and downs and sometimes we will take a few steps backward, and that’s OK. We need to remain positive and strong whatever the circumstance dictates. We need to look after ourselves.”Back
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