From Horrible to Empowered

When we first joined APSGO, we had been struggling with our daughter's acting up behaviour on our own for three years. She was then 16 years old. Her behaviour had impacted on the whole family, placing severe stress on our marriage as we blamed each other, and causing our son to be embarrassed because of her. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends were all concerned about the repercussions of her choices.

Our daughter had done it all: drugs, alcohol, truancy, suspensions from school, charges by the police, house parties without permission, sneaking out at night, stealing our vehicles, running away, and the list goes on. We had tried counselling, monitoring her every move and sending her to live with relatives. Nothing helped. We felt guilt ridden, anxious, helpless and very frightened. Then we heard of APSGO.

I'll never forget our first meeting. I walked into the room with all those horrible feelings, and two hours later walked out feeling empowered. I had a plan. I had a peer group of my own, other parents who were experiencing the same chaos as we were and had great ideas on how to handle difficult situations. And they were there for us 24 hours a day! It all seemed too good to be true.

But it was true. We slowly started to hold our daughter accountable for her actions, and take back our own lives. It wasn't easy. Our daughter didn't like the new us. She eventually ran away, and it was nine months before she indicated that she wanted to come home. With the group's support, we negotiated her home over the next nine months, using guidelines we could live with. And what a different kid we got. She returned to school, graduated and went on to university. She wasn’t perfect, but 95% of the negative behaviours were in the past. She is now self-supporting and a mom herself. We have a pretty good relationship with her, our marriage is stronger than ever, and her brother is slowly becoming friends with her again.

Thank you, APSGO. Without all the great support and help we got from you, our lives would be very different today. It is wonderful to have peace and joy again.