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Survivor Story - Kindergartner

He’ll be six years old this spring. He loves football, Batman, and his big sisters. He has curly black hair, a perfect button nose, and unwarranted guilt weighing on his shoulders. You see, he let his dad into his house. He was the only kid home to witness Dad’s attack on Mom. He ran and hid. And when all was done, and everyone was safe again, he said he was sorry and that next time, he will protect Mom better. Mom called me right away. She said she hated that she put her son through this – she’s feeling guilty too. Two guilty parties, and neither of them did anything wrong. And so I’m meeting with the little guy. We talk about our feelings, and how we can feel more than one thing at a time. In his case, he feels love for his mom, anger towards his dad, fear for his family, and sadness because he didn’t help mom.


Two guilty parties, and neither of them did anything wrong.

While together, we also talk about domestic violence. Mom asked me to bring it up. He has a therapist he goes to, but Mom said he trusts me and she thinks he’ll really understand me. She said she trusts me and knows I’ll be able to talk about this horribly sad and real subject in a way that her kindergartner will understand, and hopefully take to heart. So we talk. Well, I talk. He responds sometimes, in a very quiet and tiny voice, but mostly he listens, and he colors and he absorbs.


I love to share the joyful stories with everyone. The stories that make you feel warm and happy inside. But the truth about working with youth who have grown up exposed to domestic violence, is that every happy story has a really sad beginning to it. What I just shared with you, is just this kiddo’s story’s beginning. We are not quite to his joyful ending yet, but with our continued mentorship and the love and support he receives from his family, myself and his therapist, I know he’s well on his way to finding his peace.


Niki, Safe Haven

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