Michelle’s Story (Roots and Wings)
Michelle was struggling with depression as she was building up the courage to get a divorce. Stuck in an abusive relationship, she felt that she had no control of her life. Even with her husband working out of town Michelle still found herself living with restrictions. She was not able to leave the house, and her husband would give money to the neighbours to pick her up groceries.
“He isolated me from friends, my family, everything. Everybody I knew was all in Saskatchewan, and the people that I knew here were all his friends, his coworkers, everything revolved around him,” says Michelle.
Her children were the only people she felt did not revolve completely around him. However, they began seeing her through the same lens as their father. “My kids were getting the attitude where my opinion and whatever I wanted didn’t matter because it was their dad’s opinion that mattered. And when it came down to questioning who they should listen to it was always their dad and not me.”
Deep in depression, Michelle became very difficult to get ahold of while her son was having problems and attendance issues at his school. Finally, the principal asked Michelle if Cricket, a Roots and Wings worker from The Family Centre, could offer any assistance to Michelle. At first she wanted nothing to do with Cricket and had a hard time accepting professional guidance.
Cricket began pursuing Michelle with determination. Michelle recalls that Cricket’s persistence “was just awesome” and that “she wasn’t disrespectful but she softly nudged and she made it known that she was there and to help.” Finally, Michelle knew that if she didn’t accept the help and change her way of life she would eventually commit suicide.
Cricket guided Michelle to The Family Centre where she took Focus on Communication in Separation, Parenting after Separation - High Conflict, and Healthy Relationships. Cricket provided even more supports by setting Michelle up with a lawyer, giving her rides, attending all of her meetings, and making sure that Michelle was capable of being on her own. “She helped me find resources to get me out of the situation I was in and to do it safely and to have a plan,” says Michelle. Once she began accepting the help, Michelle was determined to jump over any hurdles.
Like her financial stability, Michelle finds that her relationships with her sons are improving. She currently lives with one of her sons and is going through court processes to have her youngest move in with her. Michelle and her sons are also involved with counselling at The Family Centre. “With your programs’ help, they are getting better. We’re recovering from everything,” says Michelle. Moving forward, Michelle is excited about starting a new job and hopes to spend many more years in the Roots and Wings program as her youngest ventures through school.