Let's help 21-year-old single mother Tuuli | Naerata Ometi MTÜ

Let’s help 21-year-old single mother Tuuli

Dear Friends!

A 21-year-old single mother, Tuuli (name changed), has reached out to us for assistance. She and her 3-year-old daughter are currently in a challenging situation. We are forwarding her plea for help:

“I have lived most of my life with my mother. My educational journey has been fragmented: I finished basic school in 2018 and wanted to continue in high school, but I became pregnant and left school during the 11th grade. Soon after my child’s birth, I realized that continuing my studies alongside taking care of a newborn was too difficult for me.

The reasons for my sudden departure from my home did not occur suddenly; these sufferings accumulated over several years. There were countless unpleasant incidents where I was accused of knowing nothing about parenting. My mother always scolded me, claiming she knew better. At the end of 2021, statements like “you can’t do anything” escalated to shouting threats that my parental rights would be taken away. The quarrels were one-sided, and whenever I tried to explain myself or say that things were not the way she perceived them, I was met with more shouting instead of understanding. This situation was similar during my own childhood. These quarrels usually took place in front of my child. As I did not want to quarrel in front of my child, I kept silent, just as my mother wanted. For over 20 years, I was made to believe that if I had a place to live and food on the table, I should not have my own opinions, especially if they differed from hers, and that I should be grateful.

In the first half of 2022, the mental and emotional abuse became physical. Once, when putting my daughter to sleep, she wanted to read storybooks. As I was carrying her through the kitchen to the living room where my mother was, my mother insisted that it was bedtime for the child, not reading time. Exhausted, I responded sarcastically. After only a few steps, my mother confronted me physically, grabbing my shirt and shouting at me. In the process, she slapped me across the face. I took my child and retreated to the bedroom.

It took me time to recover from the shock and gather the courage to ask a social worker for help to find a different place to live. However, I was told unless we were evicted, they couldn’t offer help. My mother either guessed or became paranoid about my interactions with the authorities and threatened that she could also complain to have my child taken away from me. I kept my head down and stayed silent.

In 2023, the responsibilities became too much. Apart from taking care of my own child, I was also tasked with a myriad of household and farming duties, from feeding animals to doing seasonal chores, cleaning, and even managing waste. Despite fulfilling all these duties, I still had to endure mental abuse. By the end of April, my mother gave me an ultimatum: find a job or retake my driver’s theory exam by the 15th of May, or be evicted without my child. This took a toll on my mental health. I reached out for psychological and psychiatric help. However, understanding that I couldn’t heal in the environment that harmed me, I decided to leave for the sake of my child’s well-being. On May 11th, when my parents were away, I packed a few bags and with the help of a transport service, reached a shelter provider.

The silver lining is that I’ve observed significant positive changes in my child’s behavior and independence since our departure. It reaffirms that my decision was right. However, we are now in a very difficult situation, and I hope that you can help or at least provide advice.

Currently, we possess very few belongings (clothes and toys). My own wardrobe is limited to a few items. We received a one-time financial aid of 375 euros from the local government, which was spent on essential items. In addition to this, my monthly income consists of 80 euros of child support from the government and 100 euros from the child’s father. This money has been spent on food and other essentials.

I seek your help and advice in finding a new place to live. We are also in a difficult situation with food, especially essentials that aren’t part of typical food packages like milk, fruits, and meat. Counselling would be greatly appreciated as I’ve never been in such a situation before and don’t know how to move forward.

My future goals include finishing driving school and, once employed, saving money to get dental treatment. I’m hopeful that in five years, I can smile confidently when my child starts school. This would also open job opportunities in customer service for me. But these are just my future plans.

If it’s not too much to ask, I’d like to get a three-wheeled scooter for my child. Other toys aren’t as important to her as she dreams of riding outdoors more than anything.

Thank you so much for reading my plea. Any help or advice you can offer will be gratefully accepted.”

Dear friends! Let’s help this young single mother and her daughter out of their difficult situation. Any advice or assistance in finding a new place to live would be warmly welcomed. If you can donate, even a small amount, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations of food and essential items are also welcome. Together, let’s find a way to get a scooter for her daughter!

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