Good afternoon Merredith,
I hope this email finds you well. I want to thank you first of all for the grant*, and confirm that i did receive it, before the new year in fact and I am sorry for how long it has taken me to email you.
The reason i held off on the email is that there have been a lot of changes for me since coming through Fitted for Work, and i really needed to get some confirmation and solid ground so that i could really identify how you guys helped me make the changes i have. I am just going to be very blunt and work backwards, but i think it will be easier and shorter that way!
It turns out that my family history and current situations were more abusive than i would have even been able to recognize had i not been put in a healthy environment with genuine people. I have grown up with and pursued unhealthy relationships without knowing they were unhealthy, and believing i was incapable of proper interaction due to anxiety and depression, so have known no different my 28 years of life. Going through fitted for work opened my eyes in so many ways, and on many levels.
1) The confidence and change of perception via the boutique on its own was a big catalyst, it was somewhat of a shock to myself perception in a good way, and the genuine warmth of the women involved broke barriers to accepting support in a really gentle way. Peggy was also a vital part in feeling able to go further with the programs, her enthusiasm and gentle approach is amazing, and my thanks goes to her as well.
2)The WomanKind program. Basically, boot camp in the best way. I believe this program was instrumental in being able to rebuild myself as a person, and identify a lot of issues with my confidence and thinking, and also see that the expectations i had of the important people in my life were realistic and basic, and that i was not at fault for having emotional needs. I have since been able to identify and remove, the best i can, the toxic relationships in my life and move on with a functional mindset.
3) Support. I have to be very honest here in saying that it was a very difficult experience to accept help and support coming from the history i have, as there was always a feeling that something would be expected of me in return, or it was not of genuine intention. The interaction i have had with you all over the last few months is what has enabled me to open up to other support systems, and i can guarantee i would not be in recovery right now if i had not spoken to these people and received the help i have.
4) Momentum. Building the routine and having support to be an individual (this may not make sense, but im trying to keep it short), as well as being accountable for my life as separate to others has allowed me to be hopeful again. I want to build a life for myself, rather than an existence.
I have tried to be short, and most likely left out a lot of things, but it is important to me that you know this has been a vital part of my life, and why. I have zero doubt that you have had this impact on many women, and i am sure they are just as grateful as i am. I just wanted you to know, because all of these small gestures have been immense acts of kindness to me, and legitimately changed my life for the better.
I hope to keep in touch, and would still love to volunteer at some stage, whenever you may have something open for me.
My thanks again. I hope you have a great week ahead. If there is ever anything i can do, big or small to help FFW, please let me know. I have a still growing pile of clothes to bring, but it will be a month or so until i drop them off, still unpacking!
Name withheld for privacy reasons.
*Provided by Oreta as a one-off grant to women seeking to achieve their goals to study or work in the IT field.