“My relationship failed and suddenly I became a single Mother…”

Just before Luke was due, my relationship with his Father had completely deteriorated. We could no longer agree on anything, and things became abusive. I made the difficult decision of separating from him before Luke was born. I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy and raised him as a single Mother. By the time Luke was approaching 20 months old, his Father had only met him once and had applied through the court to gain access to seeing him. The courts had granted Luke’s Father access to seeing him weekly, so long as he was supervised by the charity, Voice of the Child. 

Looking back, I was absolutely terrified to allow Luke to see his Father. Given our troubled past, I couldn’t see past it and really struggled to come to terms with this new reality. VOC invited me to a 1-1 meeting with Luke so we could get used to the centre and its facilities, independent of Luke’s Father’s impending visit. I was reassured consistently that their support workers would be on hand at all times, and that this contact would only produce a positive experience for my little boy. I still felt anxious but decided it was best to try. The first few weeks were exceptionally hard. Luke threw tantrums all the time, and he appeared to become more and more unsettled. I wasn’t sure if we should continue with Contact, however, VOC advised us to continue. And I am so glad we did.

During the very next session, I could literally see the bond Luke was building with his Father, and it filled my heart with happiness. All I’ve ever wanted is what’s best for my baby. His behaviour improved ten-fold and hearing his little giggles every session is a feeling you just can’t beat. I saw Luke’s Father assume full responsibility, and it became easier to trust him within the safety of VOC. I finally had a meeting with him (under supervision, of course) and Luke was able to experience his parents together in the same room, for the first time ever. 

I learnt how to separate the negativity I felt towards our failed relationship and focused on becoming functional co-parents to our son. We have since been able to forge a new kind of relationship for the sake of Luke, and long may this continue. Eventually, we agreed to move Contact and meet within the community to allow further contact to continue without the need for VOC. I am forever grateful to Voice of the Child for creating a platform for our family to build itself back up in a healthy, mutual way.                                          

Ms Twist’s Family, told by Ms Twist, 32, 2018