“I used to think everything was my own fault. I’m just learning it wasn’t all just me.”


Natasha is settling in Liverpool with her one year old son and her partner. Having a small house, a caring partner and a happy son is more than she would ever imagine she’d have.



Born in prison

When she tells her story, you understand why. Natasha was born in prison and comes from a world of gangs and drugs. She was placed on a witness protection programme and was taken away from everything and everyone she knows. To deal with it she started lashing out, turning to alcohol, fighting the police and ended up losing her children to social services.

“I call it the curse of 9 months. As soon as one of my kids turned 9 months, I started going off me head; I got scared and acted out in a way that they were taken away by social services.”



Settling down and new challenges

After she came out of prison, 6 years ago, she gave birth to her third child. As her daughter was approaching her 9th month, the fear that she could lose another child made her want to break her self-destructive pattern. She went to her GP to ask for mental health support. Medication, counselling, therapy, and support from the Isis Women’s Centre all contributed to her finding a more stable life.

But her challenges are not over, as she explains in the video below. Having kept a third bedroom for her daughter, who only stays with her at weekends, she could face eviction due to the bedroom tax. 


timeline web Natasha v2

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Insights form Natasha’s story:

Coping with love, rejection & trauma

icons3Unaddressed childhood trauma and rejection from a loved one, linked with a lack of support to cope with this trauma are often at the source of many of the issues people experience later in life. Access to therapeutic support is key.

For a more in-depth insight, read these stories and blog posts:

Lizz Zeb Natasha Tex Martin Karen Stuart Colin
Coping with love and rejection Society’s expectations of you shape you


What is normal?

icons4.pngPeople experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage have often grown up in worlds where alcohol or drug use, violence, or offending are normal. How much does it take for someone to recognise and challenge these norms? Services need to not just focus on the individual, but also support whole families and sometimes communities to change.

For a more in-depth insight, read these stories and blog posts:

Paul James Natasha Tex Steve


The system is full of missed opportunities

icons5Most of the interactions people have had with services could be seen as missed opportunities. By stigmatising people and focusing on ‘risk’ rather than recovery, services end up not providing the right support and disempower people. Services are missing key moments when help is needed and people are reaching out.

For a more in-depth insight, read these stories and blog posts:

Lizz James Natasha Steve
A system of missed opportunities The system punishes you for doing well


Change: “the hardest thing you’ll have to do in your life.”

icons2Acknowledging traumas and learning to be vulnerable are part of the recovery journey. It can be challenging to adapt to a “stable” life, especially when it means giving up on old relationships and environments, or when people then have to face universal services that don’t recognise how far they have come. We need to recognise that recovery is a journey, not just a step.

For a more in-depth insight, read these stories and blog posts:

Lizz Zeb Natasha Tex Martin Karen Lee Colin
Building a new me – Part 1 Building a new me – Part 2


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