Nathan: My Mum Was Emotionally Abusive

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This blog is part of TheSprout’s Supporting Young Cardiffians campaign. It tells the story of 14-year-old Nathan, who got support from the Family Help Team, part of Cardiff Family Advice and Support service.

Why did you contact the Cardiff Family Gateway?

Nathan used to live with his mother but now lives with his father. He explained before support he felt “rubbish”. 

The family were referred to Family Help after children’s services were involved with supporting Nathan. Nathan explained that his dad had wanted to find some support for him after Nathan’s mum had been emotionally abusive towards him. He stated that their Social Worker Charlene had referred them to CFAS.

They were first allocated a male worker, however, later requested a female worker to work with Nathan.

What support did you receive? 

Nathan and his Family Help Advisor Lily met every Thursday afternoon over WhatsApp Video call. With the consent of both Nathan and his father, these sessions took place while Nathan was in his bedroom. This meant that he could talk openly in a private space where he felt most comfortable. 

At first, Lily and Nathan explored Nathan’s different memories (‘Words & Pictures’, ‘House of Worries’) to explore his feelings and what he felt anxious about. By exploring these issues, he was able to feel much more comfortable sharing his feelings with his father. 

Nathan had support for 12 sessions completed. Some of them included exploring his worries with his father. Towards the end of support, Nathan and his Family Help Advisor agreed that he would need further emotional support, so Lily made a referral to Barnardos Wellbeing Service.

How has the support provided by CFAS helped you and your family? 

Nathan explained that it was good to have someone different to talk to, someone who wasn’t a family member. He said that he didn’t feel worried about the Family Help Advisor sharing what they had discussed. He even finds it much easier to speak to people now.

He added that Lily “didn’t put pressure” on him to talk. He liked that if he didn’t want to talk, they could play a game or talk about Harry Potter instead. 

What advice would you give to a young person going through similar challenges? 

Nathan said that he would encourage them to “speak to people – it’s hard but you have to”. He would highly encourage people to go to CFAS and get “whatever help you can get”. Another piece of advice Nathan has is to “talk to anyone you feel safe with”. 

Related Information

This is a true story from a young person who accessed help from Cardiff Family Advice and Support service. To respect the privacy of the young people who shared their stories with us, we have changed their names to keep them anonymous. To read more stories about how CFAS has helped young people and their families, click here.

Keep up to speed with TheSprout by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. If you’re sharing anything from this campaign, be sure to use the #CFASNotSoAlone hashtag.

To get in touch with CFAS for free call 03000 133 133 or email ContactFAS@cardiff.gov.uk.

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TheSprout : News and Information for Young People in Cardiff