Life before coming to TRIGON
I am 23 years old. Everyone around me tells me that I am a psychiatric patient. But I don’t think so. I may be strange, different, but that doesn’t mean I’m a psychiatric patient right away. When I was a little girl, I lived with my parents. They got divorced and I didn’t really see my father much and I don’t remember him. When I started living with my mother, it was very difficult. We argued together. She didn’t understand me and I didn’t understand her either. I lacked support a lot in my childhood. Later, I started studying hairdressing and graduated in this field. I wanted to finish my matriculation exam, but at that time I started hearing voices in my head. I sometimes talked to them out loud and everyone else thought it was strange and started telling me I was weird. My friends and acquaintances stopped talking to me. My mother became ashamed of me and secretly took me to a psychiatrist. I immediately started taking medication. Mom moved out to live with another friend and I stayed in the apartment alone, where my conditions started to worsen. One day I ended up in a psychiatric hospital. I don’t remember anything, I just woke up and there were white walls everywhere and the doctor in a white coat was telling me that I had a psychotic attack and destroyed all the things in the apartment. I was in the hospital for about 3 months. I don’t want to talk about this experience at all, I didn’t like it there. When I was released and I came home, she didn’t recognize anything. Everything was broken, scattered. I didn’t know where to start. I had no money or desire to do anything. I went to the store to eat, I always ate there and then left without paying. My friends helped me a lot and they once brought me to an organization called TRIGON.
The situation now
I have been using a therapeutic workshop since I was 19 years old. There is a good community of people with similar problems to me and I understand them. I started coming to Trigon regularly, first once a month and later every week. I sewed blankets, we created various products, which I later sold. The most important thing for me was that I had the trust of the social workers, when I suggested something and others agreed with the idea, we tried it. In some cases, it happened that my idea didn’t work out, but others didn’t criticize me, and I could learn to improve from failure. Later, I started working at Trigon and received a salary every month. It was my first job. I was so happy with myself and all the more I tried not to disappoint others around me. There were situations when I didn’t want to go to work, I heard voices again, but I told myself that I had to overcome it. Such a chance must not be wasted. From the beginning I had a big problem with money, I didn’t know how to plan, so for the first three days I lived like a queen, I bought everything I liked, and the other days I lived a poor life and sometimes I even stole. I knew I was doing bad things, but I was hungry. I had no one to tell or confide in. I was angry with myself and often cried. I asked my supervisor if he could help me, we agreed that he would divide my salary and I would receive a part every week. That helped me a lot. Now I manage to get paid once a month and I will go out. I currently clean at TRIGON and also still go to therapy workshops, I feel safe here and also that I can confide in myself. I’m not afraid of the future, but I’m still very sorry for how I behaved in the past, I won’t do anything about it anymore, but I blame myself for my thefts, drug use, betrayals of my loved ones, I know I’ve let a lot of people down.
About the importance of community
As a part of my community, I see TRIGON in the first place, I have friends, my superiors, colleagues there. I also have an online dating site where I mainly chat with guys. It’s definitely better to have friends with whom I can go out, but when I’m alone at home I miss communication, so I text people on the PC. I really like to write about music or any artistic field such as painting. I have such a community on the Internet. We philosophize with people I’ve never met, we talk about various proposals, situations that would be good to capture either with a drawing or a photograph. I write with people who are either sick or healthy and I don’t notice any difference in communication. The most important thing for me is the feeling that I belong somewhere and that the environment accepts me as I am. I feel useful. In my job, I get paid as an expression of a job well done. On the online chat, I get feedback that people communicate with me, thank me or develop communication, this is very important to me, and in therapy workshops I get praise for the work done. All of that is important to me and it makes me feel good and it makes me feel like I have something to offer.
Characteristics of a good community
In order for the community to be strong, honesty is important in my opinion, because when each of us feels that whether we say what is pleasant or unpleasant to us, it is necessary to know that a person can say it. Another important thing is a sense of belonging, so that the community has one circle of things to work on and all members have something in common, such as friendship, working on a joint project, a good feeling of meeting, whatever. The third area is communication. Each member should be able to say what bothers him, what makes him happy, and others should be able to listen. Communication is difficult for me because I am sometimes afraid that I will say something stupid and inappropriate. Sometimes I’m afraid that others will laugh at me. So I think some safety in the community is also important. It occurs to me that it is important for the individual to have the opportunity to influence the community. For example, if someone can draw nicely so that they have the opportunity to present their work and have the opportunity to supplement the joint work with their drawings. All of this is related to the fact that every voice must be heard and everyone must feel that they are a full member of the community.