Rage, grief, and hate. These feelings took over Brianna’s heart and mind as a child when she suffered severe abuse and trauma. Though she had a loving mother, by age 11, Brianna began showing serious psychological symptoms. She saw shadows, hearing voices, lashing out in anger, or shutting down in silence.
Brianna had been to several counselors, but real change began when her mother took her to Catholic Charities’ Medina County Mental Health Services. “At first, I wouldn’t look at the counselor. I just defended myself and said I didn’t want to be there. But she would always listen and allow me to vent. She didn’t say I was wrong or blame me or say what I should’ve done.”
Brianna continued seeing the Catholic Charities counselor and slowly opened up, becoming more mature by learning about herself and the chaotic experiences that so deeply affected her as a child. “The whole environment in their office was welcoming. I’ve always been very creative and known as ‘the art kid,’ so my counselor encouraged me to show my emotions through my drawings and even put them on her office walls. She stuck with me through thick and thin, at my worst and at my best.”
Now at age 19, Brianna says her anger issues are gone, and she has a close and loving relationship with her mom. She still talks with her counselor and shares the many good things going on in her life, from managing her diabetes to looking into getting her GED, a driver’s license, and eventually a job.
Though it took years to see progress, counseling helped Brianna understand and express her feelings about what she’d been through. “Catholic Charities counseling is the reason I'm the person I am today. All I needed was someone who'd listen and give helpful advice, even when I was filled with hurt and didn't want to hear anything. My counselor made me feel I could start over, and I had people cheering me on. Even though I had no faith or hope, she made sure I knew I had love.”
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact Central Intake for Behavioral Health Services at 800.860.7373.