Valerie - ADIC

“Me, my mom and my half sister lived together in Landen, a small city. I was really happy there. My mom has always been a very important person in my life. Our bond was almost unbreakable. My sister was a different story. There is a huge age gap between us, seven years. But our bond was also very good from the beginning.”

“Landen is the place where I feel at home. I feel safe there. I”m a mother of two boys. My younger son is eleven months old and the older – eleven years old. It’s important for me to give them a safe place, where they will feel at home. Family is the most important thing for me. I would do anything for my children. Which is why all of this is so hard for me. I want to be with my kids.”

“I was pregnant with my second child when I was on Methadon. The doctor wanted me to stop taking it before delivery, so they lowered the dose. I had withdrawal symptoms and I could feel my son had them too. That’s when I used drugs again. My son was born the day after. Child protection wanted to take him away from me and bring him to a foster family. I didn’t want to lose my child. The case was brought to the juvenile judge. I was given the last chance to get clean. This is how I got to Adic. I’ll be forever grateful for that.”

“I was throwing away my life

and I was the only one

who could change that”

“I knew that I had a problem. But I never realized how bad it was. Now I know that I was throwing my life away and that I’m the only one who can make it better again. I’ve been at Adic for five months now. Which is almost half of the age of my youngest son. I don’t want him to grow up in a place like this, he needs home. So I have something to fight for. Having my son with me makes it easier to try harder. At difficult times I think about my children and remind myself what I’m doing this for. For me, Adic is a place where I take care of myself and my children at the same time. I’m just a woman trying to be a mother for her children.”

“I get to see my oldest son every two weeks on weekends. We have fun together and he stays with me overnight. My other son is here with me during the day. While I have therapy or need to go somewhere, he comes with me or stays in the playing area with someone from Adic. Everyone here is ready to take care of him and help me.”

“I caused grief to many people,

that hurts”

“I started using six years ago. My ex boyfriend was a drug user and I always begged him to stop. I tried everything to get him clean but he wouldn’t listen. I couldn’t understand why drugs were so important to him. That’s when I tried it for the first time, out of curiosity. It was the worst decision of my life, because that’s when I signed a deal with the devil and got addicted.”

“Because of the drug abuse I lost a lot of people who were close to me. But I didn’t care at that time. It hurt when I realized that I was the reason for their grief. Drugs pushed my family away from me and I let it happen. My sister didn’t want to do anything with me anymore. Now, our relationship is slowly becoming better. The relationship with my mother is going better too.

“At the time being I can’t give my children the home they deserve, and it hurts. But I’m finishing the program in May. I’m looking forward to get back to my children and start a new life.”

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Stubborn, steady and compassionate

Which song do you never get tired off

Kon ik nog maar even bij je zijn from Gordon. It reminds me of the time when me and my boyfriend were separated. Of how difficult it was but also of how good we came out of it together.

If you could be anything in the world, what would it be?

I would be a businesswoman. I want to own a clothing store known all over Belgium.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

I would buy a house somewhere abroad. I would give part of the money to my children, so they could move forward in live. I would also give some to my mom and to the mother of my boyfriend.

What’s your favorite place in Antwerp?

My favorite place is The Meir. I like shopping a lot. I don’t know a lot of places in Antwerp but The Meir is a place I always like to visit.

 

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