Angela and her family sought refuge in Radiant Futures’ emergency shelter, escaping an abusive environment of domestic violence that had profoundly impacted their lives. Vivid memories of witnessing this violence during her childhood left Angela grappling with emotional turmoil, yearning for a way to heal and move forward.
During their stay at the emergency shelter, Angela felt shy about participating in services while her mother received multiple services in the healing process. It was not until they completed their shelter stay that Angela’s path to healing took a significant turn when she was referred to individual counseling services. This pivotal moment came through a self-referral initiated by her mother, recognizing the need for Angela to address the impact of domestic violence on her mental well-being. It was here that Angela became connected with the Radiant Futures program.
Guided by the compassionate support of her therapist, Angela, who was 14 years old at the time, embarked on a journey to set goals. Together, they crafted a plan to help Angela build new friendships and navigate the complexities of intimate relationships by identifying red flags.
Angela shared her struggles with the social implications of the COVID shutdown two years prior and constant relocations due to her family fleeing from her stepfather as barriers to making positive connections with others. These challenges hindered Angela’s ability to establish roots in her school community and maintain healthy friendships.
Initially shy and timid, Angela’s hesitancy to engage in new relationships was evident at the start of therapy. Her distrust of others impacted her daily interactions; at the beginning of services, she couldn’t even say “Hi” to the bus driver when taking the bus with her family. However, as the sessions progressed, Angela gradually felt comfortable and shared with confidence her fears and what inspired her to establish healthy relationships. Therapy helped Angela rediscover a happier and more confident version of herself. The positive changes were not only felt by Angela but were also noticed by her mother, who witnessed the blossoming transformation.
By the end of her therapeutic journey, Angela had gained something invaluable – confidence. This newfound self-assurance became the driving force behind her successful entry into high school. In just a month, Angela effortlessly made new friends, joined multiple clubs, and expressed an interest in track & field at her new school. Her dreams of attending college and pursuing a career as a lawyer suddenly seemed within reach.
Angela’s story is not just a tale of personal triumph but a call to action for the community. Her story stands out as a testament to resilience, growth, and the transformative power of support. Her inspiring journey, from a survivor of domestic violence to a confident teenager, highlights the importance of teen-driven services and programs.
Witnessing or experiencing domestic violence can leave lasting scars on teens like Angela. It is crucial for us to come together, support programs like Radiant Futures’ counseling services, and actively connect teenagers who have faced such adversity to therapy. By fostering healthy relationships and providing a nurturing environment, we can empower more young individuals like Angela to break free from unhealthy environments and build a brighter future. Counseling services do not have a cost to participants and are available in person or virtually. If you or someone you know can benefit from these services, please contact Radiant Futures’ Helpline at (877) 531-5522 for more information.