Louise's story How Childline counsellors were there for Louise in 1986

I called Childline during its first year as things at home were really bad. It started with emotional abuse as my mother believed that everyone else was wrong and that I should only listen to her.

She also tried to isolate me from my friends saying that they were bad, but anyone apart from her was bad for me in her opinion. It was a case of 'do what I say and believe what I say or nothing good will happen'. She also started to physically abuse me and after a while I started fighting back.

"I had nowhere to go and I didn't know what to do. I came to a phone box and decided to call Childline."
Louise

There had been several threats to throw me out but after one particularly bad row my mother did. I was only 11 and out in the streets by myself at night walking around aimlessly.

I had nowhere to go and I didn't know what to do. I came to a phone box and decided to call Childline. It was great to be able to talk and feel listened to. Because she wasn't rushing her words or acting panicked, I didn't feel panicked either so I was able to just tell her what happened.

I had never had a voice before as my mother always told me what I had to think so it was great to be able to talk and feel listened to. Even though I was only 11, she didn't treat me like a child.

"People see going into care as a very negative thing but for me it was the best outcome."
Louise

I told her that I didn't want to go back home that night and that I had nowhere else to go. She arranged for social services to take me into respite care for the evening. It was exactly what I needed as if they had tried to make me go home it would have resulted in an argument. I stayed in care with an amazing family.

I only had to call Childline that once but it was vital that they were there for me during that emergency situation. People see going into care as a very negative thing but for me it was the best outcome as it allowed my mother and I to reconcile our differences and build a relationship.


*DISCLAiMER

Names and identifying features have been changed to protect identity. Photographs have been posed by models.

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