“A month after moving from The Redwood, Eva my case manager and Ngasseu, my son Chris’s Child and Youth Counsellor, came by for a home visit. They both shared they could feel the sense of hominess in my new apartment. It’s reassuring that others can feel it, even though it’s quite basic and scantily furnished. It’s our new home, a sanctuary where we can finally breathe easy. Somewhere I don’t always need to be on guard or worry if my ex-partner has left pills or powder strewn about within reach of my son Chris.”
“Chris and I must have appeared quite calm and different from our earlier selves. They noticed our hair looked glossy and thicker, our faces fuller, and our complexions were now glowing. When I had arrived at The Redwood we were sullen, dull and pale. I could barely answer their questions at intake. But it was a relief to know they would let me take my time. My case worker even relayed my story to a Child Protective Services worker when I physically couldn’t say the words. To hear that they could see our transformations meant it wasn’t just my imagination.”
“It is amazing what getting a solid night’s sleep feels like, now that we no longer have to constantly deal with my ex-partner’s explosively volatile outbursts. Since leaving I no longer suffer from panic attacks and my stress induced ulcers have subsided. I’ve been able to reduce my anti-anxiety meds, something I’ve wanted to do for the longest time since I knew deep down my symptoms were just stemming from the abuse. Chris’s health has improved remarkably also. His allergies have lessened and his rash is clearing up. He carries a new sense of security, a sureness that everything is going to be alright.”
“Best of all now that we have a place to call home, I can finally set my plans in motion, turning all my future dreams into a reality. I recently scored a 91% on my entrance exam for the Medical Receptionist diploma, and I can see a future where I can support Chris on my own.”
For more of Becky’s story watch “Strengthened After the Storm”, a short film by Susan Tiihonen.