Two of Pam’s siblings were in Visionwest houses and so, when she found herself without a place to live, she contacted our Community Housing team. They found her temporary accommodation in a hotel managed by Visionwest.
Pam admits to going through some dark times which have resulted in rifts in
her family. Eager to see these relationships healed, she was unsure how that
could ever happen; until she met Faye, Mātanga Oranga Kaupapa Māori counselling specialist.
When Faye began some group counselling sessions at the motel, Pam and the other women agreed they felt whakama (shy or embarrassed) about sharing deeply in front of others but also admitted that they needed help to overcome trauma from past experiences. They decided they would all go together.
The moment the women met Faye, they were impressed by how non-judgemental, open, and willing to listen she was.
“The first day, we talked about love within a whānau,” says Pam. “When we looked closely at my life, I realised it was way different to what it should be. What’s more, I recognised there were things I could change if I wanted.
“Everyone in the group had a story to tell. There was so much bad stuff; anger, domestic violence, resentment and unforgiveness. We all had struggles and were determined to do whatever it took to overcome them.
“When you’ve spent years struggling with something personal, you get to thinking that you’re different from others but then, when you’re in a group and people are sharing the same things, you realise, ‘Hey, I’m not alone in this.’”
Today, as Pam looks back, she concedes, “I’ve got an amazing family, but I sort of got lost. Faye brought me back to earth and helped me bring about a transformed life for me and my whānau.”
Pam says her time with Visionwest’s Mātanga Oranga programme has had a bigger impact on her than anything else in her life. And now, she wishes others could experience that transformation.
“It’s about hope – the hope of a changed life and, with people like Faye and places like Visionwest, there is always hope.”
*name changed to protect privacy.