Illuminate hope for a brighter future.
Illuminate is Harbor House’s premier online event! During this week-long journey, we will be shining a light on the journey of some of our younger survivors.
Starting Monday, June 17 and ending Friday, June 21, 2019 participants will have the opportunities to hear about the experiences, challenges, and strength in the 300+ children and youth we serve every year. Below, an individual shares her experience as a childhood survivor of domestic violence and how the services she received helped her ignite her inner light to set herself up for a brighter future.
“Nine years is how long I have been working with my Children and Youth Advocate through Harbor House and their Children and Youth Program. When I first met her, a normal day for me was listening to random screaming, running to rooms to lock the doors, crying in fear and utter sadness, and panic attacks. My two siblings and I were just placed into the foster care system as a result, and our life was a nightmare of pain and anguish that we couldn’t seem to wake up from. I am happy to report that present day, a normal day for me is waking up at 7 a.m. to catch the A or C train to attend class at my dream school in New York City. A true night and day difference that still amazes me. When I look back at the transformation of my daily life, I know none of this would have been possible if it weren’t for the support and guidance provided to me and my family by my Children and Youth Advocate at Harbor House.
“How are you guys doing?” she asked my two siblings and me when we first met. “Good,” we meekly replied. “Alright, now I am going to ask you again, how are you guys really doing?”The three of us burst out into tears – we just couldn’t simply hold it all in anymore. We laid it all out on the table as I felt a huge weight lift off of my shoulders. After our heavy and heartfelt conversation, a new sense of hope was re-awakened in me. My family and I found a sounding board who understood us better than we could even understand ourselves.
After that night, it felt as if my family and I may finally be on the road to recovery. It would be a long and agonizing one, but we hit our turning point. Over the following years, she would give us therapeutic advice in the most caring and honest nature. She provided us with a bird’s eye perspective to help us navigate our way out of the maze we called our life. She was our beacon of light in a sea of confusion and fear. We found comfort and relief in the fact that we had someone who was on our side – we had our very own advocate. During our meetings, we would not only cry, but we would encounter moments of laughter too. We would learn how to survive the abuse – and that is exactly what we did.
The things I have witnessed and endured will forever be a part of my history, however, they no longer define me or my future – a huge part in thanks to my Children and Youth Advocate and the services provided to me by Harbor House Children and Youth Program.”
– A thriving childhood survivor