A Teenager’s Story of Bravery and Hope
Sophie’s struggles did not end even after her father was apprehended and imprisoned. Trauma infiltrates many areas of life. Sophie struggled academically. She was bullied at school and was often called an “idiot” by her classmates. Her cries for help fell on deaf ears. Distrust and fear consumed her. The word “father” triggered negative emotions and flashbacks. The constant fear that her father may retaliate once he is out of prison compelled her several times to think about ending her life.
During her initial sessions at Restore, Sophie displayed low self-esteem and was overly sensitive. She was wary about sharing her story and could not accept praises and affirmation. With constant patience, encouragement and support from Restore staff and her other support system Sophie became more confident and open about her struggles. Child and Family Team (CFT) meetings taught her healthy coping skills and grounding exercises to help her manage nightmares. Restore provided her with an Mp3 player so that she can listen to soothing, relaxing music. Since she actively participated in her therapy sessions, her fears have subsided, and episodes of flashbacks/nightmares are less frequent. Sophie reconnected with her closest brother after about two years of separation. In one of her birthday celebrations, her mother and another brother came to visit her. Sophie is so grateful to Restore for the opportunity to reconnect with her family again.
Sophie’s painful experiences helped mold her into an independent and responsible young lady who continues to strive hard to achieve her goals and aspirations. She found joy and is now able to smile and laugh. She is able to openly express her opinions and struggles. She maintains her interest in music, sports, and other forms of art which helps her focus on positive feelings and keeps her grounded whenever she feels sad or disappointed. Her story is a reminder of how God can take broken pieces to create a beautiful mosaic.