Having the children stay over at the weekend boosted my motivation and I decided to ask for an appeal. I cited the grounds for which I wished to challenge the decision. I hoped that because the charity campaigned to raise awareness around mental illness and to reduce stigma that they would understand my state of mind at the time of the crime.
I’d started blogging my experiences and this had given me a renewed purpose. I had been quite lethargic and had felt I had no real purpose to life. Even getting out of bed to face the day was a huge struggle.
I received a letter back from the Area manager stating the time, place and conditions of my appeal hearing. The conditions were that the area manager’s decision would be final and the decision would be communicated in letter format within ten days of the appeal. The venue was the regional offices which meant a round trip of over one hundred and forty miles.
I arranged early for the meeting. However, the HR representation was late in arrival which delayed the start of our consultation.
By the time of the appeal, I’d written nine pages of this blog (up to and including ‘Coping Strategies’) so I submitted this as part of my appeal.
It’s not easy talking about the Domestic Abuse that you have suffered, but I tried to share the impact it had on me. I did hope that they would understand the mental anguish I was placed under, the way in which my whole thought process became disturbed and how I lose sight of reality, making misguided efforts to try and placate Sandra by continuously providing treats that I could not afford. I emptied my entire emotional reservoir out in that room.
I’m not proud of the crime I committed. I can’t make any excuses. I’ve taken responsibility for my actions. I do know though, had I not suffered long term domestic abuse, I would never have done what I did. I told the room that I had made restitution and suffering DV had cost me everything; my vocation, my home. Here I was trying to rebuild my life and forget the mistakes of the past.
They listened and thanked me for attending. The appeal finished. I was informed that I would be notified in writing of the decision within ten days.
Everyday I watched and waited for the postman to deliver the mail. It was soul destroying waiting for a letter which I thought may bring closure. That letter has never arrived and far more days than ten have elapsed. I am bitterly disappointed. I thought highly of the charity when I first started working with them. They seemed to have a sound management structure and values.
The questions I asked in my appeal were never answered. I imagine that the original decision to dismiss me was upheld with them looking at the caution, but ignoring the circumstances. I had hope that they would understand the effect of suffering Domestic Abuse had on my mental health being a mental health charity themselves. Working for them had given me some insight into my own mental state of mind. I am bitterly disappointed that charity never had the courtesy to convey to me the decision of the appeal.