Tina* was being abused by her husband for years. She trained her mind to find ways to avoid making him upset in the hope that it would protect her and her kids, but it didn’t. She began to rely on drinking to cope. She was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and was referred to Highfields’ Families Together Building Solutions program, designed to keep families together.
“It was a huge sign telling me that I wasn’t okay,” said Tina.
Tina was uneasy around new people because she felt like she was always being judged, but when she was introduced to her Highfields’ counselor, Nichole Way, everything changed. At first, Tina was skeptical about meeting. Her first instinct was to just get through interaction and not say anything. But when Nichole’s first question was “How can I help?” she quickly realized how different Highfields was.
“I’ve never been the type to ask for help, but the compassion and empathy shown to me was more than I could put into words,” said Tina. “After such a long time of having someone telling me what to do, I felt like I was gaining a sense of freedom back.”
Tina finally felt like she had someone she could count on. She felt Nichole was the first person who not only focused on her struggles, but addressed challenges her kids were facing as well. After leaving her husband, Tina worked to overcome abusive anxieties by listening to her kids concerns, reevaluating situations, and asking for help when needed. She was given books and resources to help her understand her trauma and find ways to heal. Nichole took the time to get to know Tina and her family by focusing on their individual needs rather than things they had to do.
Tina learned how to stay focused on the future by reevaluating tough situations, and staying open-minded when meeting new people. Tina found comfort in Highfields, and the power of having someone to be there to listen to her story and support her in her time of need.
“Highfields taught me to be kind to myself and ask for help,” said Tina. “There are good people out there who want to help.”