Adi’s parents referred her to Restore in March 2022 after she suffered sexual abuse from a stranger she encountered when she ran away from home. On the surface, Adi appears shy, quiet, snobbish, and closed off. It later became apparent that to survive and protect herself from the effects of trauma during different periods of her life, she had to learn to suppress her feelings. She became accustomed to hiding them and presented herself as a tough and strong child even though deep inside she was crumbling.
Adi grew up in a chaotic home with an explosive, emotionally distant mother. Her mother expressed her anger by throwing things and saying demeaning words. Adi didn’t have the freedom to share her feelings and thoughts because when she did, her mother called her names or physically abused her. When it became too overwhelming, she ran away.
Her experience at home stunted her ability to express or share her emotions which in turn has made it difficult for her to create healthy relationships. She believed that to gain favor from others she must follow what they say even if it is harmful. Her low self-esteem and distorted self-image affected her capacity to socially engage. She experiences anxiety and becomes fidgety when she’s in a crowd. She has difficulty finding joy in simple things like going to the mall, beach, park, or even school.
Through psychoeducation, Adi began to understand herself better when she learned to connect her behavior to her past trauma. Her sessions at Restore taught her emotion identification and expression, self-regulation, how to build healthy relationships with peers, and reframing unhelpful thoughts. She is evolving into an assertive, confident, transparent communicator. She learned how to embrace and feel her emotions. She conquered her fear of speaking in front of others and became class president. She enjoyed participating in the phototherapy sessions as she is highly interested in art and dreams of being an animator. Her self-confidence was boosted when her photo entry seized the first prize award at the Restore Kindness in Lens Photo Exhibit. Her sessions at Restore helped Adi realize that her past can never define her future.
Adi’s story is a reminder that nothing is impossible with the Lord. Adi and her mom have learned how to compromise, extend respect, forgive and love one another. May the Lord continue to bring restoration, transformation, and healing from their past traumas and move forward to a hope filled future.