Lifelong Learning Programme

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Training > Experiences

Personal Experience

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Language: English
Country: Slovakia
Typology: patients and relatives
1. Description of a client 1.1 Self-description I was born in Stropkovo. I cannot recall my early childhood, but I remember I grew up in a house with a garden near the cemetery. My childhood was great until I was 13. I had a freedom because my parents did not control me. I played around the cemetery and in the fields. I had been stealing apples, cherries and pears from the gardens of our neighbors and I enjoyed it. It was a wonderful childhood and I am glad I had something like this. But then, when puberty came, I often run away from home. Approximately until I was 16 I stayed rather at my room and I was arguing with my mother more often. At the age of 17 I had my first epileptic fit. I finished a grammar school. After this, I did not know what to do, where to go. At this time I was reading detective stories and I was interested in politics. At the age of 16 or 17 my father left my mother. I used to have depressions so I overdose on the medicines – for the first time in the second grade of the high school. I finished the high school with honors. I went to study the law and there I met a boy. From the first time I met him I knew he is my true love. I knew that it is going to be bad and so it was. I fell in love and the school had lost its meaning for me so I decided to end my study. My mother did not even know why. Then I was working for 4 years in a restaurant. I got married to a completely different person whom I did not love as much as my schoolmate. My mother bought us a flat. I was not happy and I was thinking about a suicide. I got divorced and I kept the flat. Then my mother found a boyfriend, she asked me whether she has to stay with me or get married. I did not want to restrain her. I had my depressive periods alternated with manias. They put me to a mental hospital. When I was 30 I was put to Veľký Biel for a treatment. It was terrible there, only ill women which fought, argued and which were envious. They humiliated us there, there was no perspective. I did not know what was going to happen. I was locked up there in times when I was supposed to have the best time of my life. I did not even think that there might be a change, but there was one coming. It happened when medicine from the west came. They enabled me a treatment. Now, I am glad I am here, in Social Services Home. I am living with a nice roommate and also the staff is sympathetic. I like to go for a walk or to a church. I do not like recalling all I have been through because it was really tough. I am not used to participate in activities with other members of the Social Services Home. I only visit the community meeting every Wednesday. I do not feel well in noisy places with many people, it distracts me from reading or spending time with my needlework. When I have one of my better days I go to a dayroom and I ask other clients how it is going and try to help them if they need it. When I meet someone for the first time I am more careful and it takes a time to earn my trust. 1.2 Experience of a client with the service. I have been there for 14 years now. During this time every one of us had his bad or good times. I could not get used to the service for a long time because it was different in comparison with the previous one which was terrible. I can tell I feel differently than 15 or 20 years ago. The biggest turning point was when I started to believe in God which changed my value chain. I used to be a believer before, but then I started to reject the faith in God completely. I thought I can do everything on my own. My egoism and pride were broken at Christmas when I realized all the emptiness, the senselessness of cooking, baking and cleaning and the grayness which comes with missing faith. I was desperate. I ran to a church and confessed and accepted Jesus Christ. Since then I was slowly walking on the road of faith and gospel. It is tough but only this gives me the reason to live and fulfill my life. We pray every morning and every afternoon with my roommate Gitka. I go to the church with Magduška and read religious literature. I consider this transformation as the most important in my life. Loneliness has changed into pleasurable solitude which I enjoy, because at that moment I can feel God’s presence. I believe in the power of a prayer which can change many things around us and also in ourselves. I can see big changes but also these little ones which are important too. All these things give me feeling of peace and joy and I know that solution to all our problems is Christ. I am thankful that I live here, I am thankful for everything he gives me and I try to change all the bad in my soul. Thanks to the God who gives me certainty. I pray every day also with other clients, because praying has a bigger meaning when more of us do it. How the narrative medicine helped us to work with the client and to be in better contact with her We take Mrs. Gabika as an individual when we work with her. During our interviews we ask her to say her opinion and news she wants to share with us. We listen to her actively in order to understand her, accept her and to encourage her to talk more about her and parts of her life. According to her deeper understanding of herself she can explain her behavior and on the basis of experiences we interpret our point of view on the situation what helps her to see her situation from the other point of view. After each meeting we write down notes from the meeting to help us find other ways of intervention. Some of the events we communicate to other colleagues in order to provide Mrs. Gabika an adequate care which she needs. It is almost a year of her stabilization She can now handle and solve her inner and outer conflicts with help from the staff of the Social Care Home. She lives peaceful and harmonic life.

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