I'm Wendy Capewell, a Psychotherapist and Counsellor
Each person who comes to me for help has their own unique story and needs to feel listened to respectfully. You also want to feel that whilst I may not have had exactly the same experiences, I will have a certain amount of life experiences - and that I certainly do have!
You also need to feel comfortable enough to be able to share what's troubling you, and that can take time to build trust. so, the relationship between us is really important.
So, here I'm sharing things about me.
My Professional Qualifications and Training
You can read about my Professional Qualifications and Training Here
My Personal Story
Whilst I'm pretty content with my life right now, I still have my challenges as life can throw us some nasty curve balls when we least expect them, and that has certainly been the case in the past.
An only child whose parent’s marriage wasn’t a happy one. They each had their own issues, which sadly impacted me. They never talked about their struggles, but I'm sure my dad had undiagnosed PTSD, and mum struggled with her own mental and physical health issues, as well as coping with dad's behaviours.
Whilst they provided a roof over my head and enough food, sadly they didn't have the ability to provide the emotional needs I needed to feel safe and secure. Whilst they were fighting and arguing between themselves, I was forgotten.
I learned at a very young age to be 'Hyperalert'. Constantly on guard, checking what mood either might be in and whether it was safe to speak to them or whether it was better to hide away and bury myself in books. The characters in them were my 'friends'.
At the age of four, I contracted polio, paralysed down my right side, and was hospitalised in isolation for several months. My parents weren’t allowed into my room, so you can imagine how frightened and confused I felt. Luckily I made a full recovery, but during that time I had no understanding as to why I had been 'sent away' and left all alone.
My mother was controlling, withdrawing for long periods, without explanation, and my father was distant, coping with his own inner demons.
As children, we look up to our parents, we need to feel that attachment to them, as we cannot survive alone. So, we believe that everything must be our fault and that we are unloveable. So, I spent my life trying to do the right thing and receive the love I craved.
So, I became a 'People-pleaser'
In my desperation, I would try to second guess what I needed to do to be loved, but that was an impossible task, as I couldn’t read their minds!
Image by Steve Bond
I tried on Many Coats in an attempt to find My Tribe, and I discovered many weren't suitable at all!
As I transitioned into adulthood I craved the love, attention, and acceptance I missed out on in childhood. Like many adolescence I was trying to find my place in the world. But my 'People - Pleasing' led me to make some really bad choices in friendships and relationships,
I finally I met and married a lovely man, and we had two beautiful daughters. Happy at last, in a secure relationship and a loving family – or so I thought.
Several years into the relationship, my husband told me he didn’t love me anymore, and that he had met someone else. Amidst all of this, I suffered a bout of depression. We tried to repair the marriage but sadly we just didn’t have the tools to do so, and it finally ended.
I was left bringing up my two daughters alone, with virtually no little or no support from others. Anyone who has brought up children alone will know how difficult it is. Trying to hold down a job to support us all, with no childcare, and hardly any money was tough. Let alone the emotional side of it all.
But we managed. I experienced a series of redundancies, but I worked hard at my career and studied to obtain some accounting qualifications, which meant my confidence grew and my career was taking off. I became a workaholic. But it never felt quite right. I didn’t really enjoy working in that environment.
On the exterior, I appeared full of confidence and able to tackle anything, but inside I was really unhappy.
The Dreaded C - Word
Just when I thought I had got my life back on track, another one of those curveballs came my way. I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and again my world came crashing down around my ears. My girls were now young women, not as dependent on me, but still having to cope with a sick mum.
Two years of surgery and treatment left me emotionally and physically drained. I had to sell my beautiful home and move to something smaller, as well as getting a new job.
Luckily I made a full recovery, but it's still lurking in the baclground of my mind.
Time for some Life Changes - but not my best decisions!
Moving to the south coast meant a smaller mortgage, and what I felt would be a better work/life balance.
I found a job, but soon reverted to the old routine of working long hours with all the stress that it entailed.
I met a guy who I had reservations about, from the start. He had mental health issues going back to his childhood, but in my naivety, I didn’t listen to my sensible voice and began a relationship with him. He had lost his wife to breast cancer, just a few years before. Because of my poor body image I felt at least he would accept me. Not a good basis for any relationship.
But, I was lonely.
At the start, he was kind and caring, but soon his behaviour changed and he became controlling and emotionally abusive. In today's language it would be termed 'Gaslighting'. I became scared, undermined, doubting my sanity, and lacking the little confidence I previously had.
It took me several attempts, but I finally got out.
As a result of a very lengthy and acrimonious divorce I was left homeless, emotionally broken and financially in a very bad place.
It Wasn't All His Fault
You may be surprised by that statement. I'm not condoning my partner's abusive behaviour towards me for one moment. No-one has the right to be emotionally abusive to another. But there were reasons why he lacked trust, and was unable to control his angry outbursts.
As a child, my partner had been physically, mentally, and sexually abused by family members, which had left him extremely damaged. At the time I was totally unaware of the effects it had on him and on our relationship
The Trauma of Childhood abuse can have long-lasting, devastating effects into adulthood and relationships.
Building a New Life
I realised something had to change in me! I needed to stop feeling I wasn’t good enough, and people-pleasing, and get back my confidence and self-esteem. But, it's still a work in progress.
I moved house away from all the bad memories and started a new job.
As part of my healing, I trained as a counsellor, I'm still learning a lot about the effects of childhood abuse, too late to save my relationship.
As a result of my life experiences, I continue to learn the latest research in many areas, specialising in trauma and relationships.
Image by Steve Bond
Wendy Capewell - MBACP (accred). Adv..Dip.Counselling. MNCH( regi. Hyp.
Why I'm sharing my story
This is not a ‘poor me’ story, nor am I sharing it to prove I have ‘triumphed over adversity’.
It’s about me being transparent, and that I have real-life experiences as well as training and qualifications.
I can’t and won’t profess to understand what you are feeling because the effects of your experiences are likely to be very different to mine. But because I've expereinced bumps in the road, I am more able to help and support you with whatever you bring.