Guest post by a mother and father of two children. The family receives trauma therapy from Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) in Panama City. CAC was chosen as a featured “Hope for the Holidays” organization and is in need of toys, clothing and shoes for children of all ages and sizes: www.flpartnersforpromise.com/hope.shtml.
Our 5-year old daughter came to us and told us she had been sexually abused. Not only was this news the most devastating ordeal we have ever been faced with, but the additional factor was that the accused was her grandfather. Abruptly, and rightfully so, our children lost their grandfather as though he had passed away.
Immediately following the release of this information to the CAC, we were assigned a therapist to assist our daughter in dealing with this situation. The therapist befriended my daughter from the first “Hello!” and has encouraged her to be strong and confident. It was an extremely hard road trying to maintain the status quo of our lives while knowing there was a whole other dimension of destitution to deal with. But our therapist comforted all of us with very thoughtful ideas on how to adjust to what we were living with, not just to ignore it.
Our daughter had frightful nightmares; our therapist recommended a toy wand, which was a huge success! When my kids get home from school every Wednesday afternoon, they want to know, “Do we get to see the therapist today!?” It’s comforting knowing that my children are excited to talk to her about the things they are experiencing as a result of this tragedy, instead of them feeling like they are re-living it with every session.
My son was traumatized by the absence of his grandfather, who was like a second father to him. But again, our therapist has helped find the words to let him have that same relationship with his father. Our therapist uses extremely intelligent methods, words and activities to help my children find peace with what they have been through. She gives the children techniques and ideas on ways to avoid ever letting this happen again. More than just a therapist, she is a motivator and peacekeeper of our family. I will be sad when the day comes that she feels our family no longer needs her assistance. This tragic event will stay with us forever, but she will always be the one I remember who helped us through it.
Note: CAC was chosen as a featured “Hope for the Holidays” organization and is in need of toys, clothing and shoes for children of all ages and sizes. Visit “Hope for the Holidays” to help them this holiday season.
Pics from recent CAC event: