When I was twelve, my life started to fall apart. Sometimes I’d get so angry that I blacked out. It was really scary when that would happen, but ‘scary’ didn’t change the way I acted. I’d yell at people whenever I didn’t get my way. I even wound up in juvenile detention after beating someone up and destroying property. I knew what I was doing was wrong but I couldn’t stop. I even thought a lot about hurting myself. It’s really frustrating to feel so messed up. I knew I needed help, but I didn’t know how to ask for it.
When my parents got divorced, my dad fell out of my life. I haven’t seen him in a long time. My mom married a great guy who has two sons of his own. My stepbrothers are good, but I haven’t really gotten to know them. I think they’re scared of me, and I can see why.
My mom was – and still is – really supportive, but she’d get frustrated and upset when I’d act out. She tried to get help for me, but I just wound up bouncing through different hospitals and treatment programs. Nothing worked, and that made me even angrier. It seemed like I was on a merry-go-round that rolled me from place to place, never getting real help… just enough to send me home.
Then someone told my mom about Jackson-Feild. I agreed to go, but I didn’t hold out much hope. Everywhere else I’d been was a waste, so I figured Jackson-Feild would be a waste too.
On my first day on campus, I was told that the plan was to prepare me to leave. So of course I thought, “Yeah… just like everywhere else.” It took a while, but I found out that Jackson-Feild was different and better.
My therapist and case manager were great. They helped me see how I was making my own problems by refusing to trust others. We talked a lot about how hard it is for me to make friends and how I don’t feel like I’ve ever had a true friend. They encouraged me to get involved in the activities on campus, and I learned it’s a lot more fun to be involved than it is to stand by and watch. The arts & crafts program was my favorite, but the spiritual and recreation programs were really good, too.
After finishing my treatment, I was sent home where things were great for a while. But then some of the same old issues came up and I started acting out again. My mom was so upset that I relapsed. She called Jackson-Feild for help and they agreed that I could – and should – go back.
My therapist and case manager asked me how I felt about coming back, and I was surprised to admit that I was excited. Jackson-Feild treats me right.
I know that I need to stop harming myself, and I need to learn coping skills to manage my anger issues.
Maybe it sounds crazy, but when I grow up, I want to be a counselor or therapist so that I can help other people like me. Thanks to Jackson-Feild, I think that’s a goal I can reach. I plan to try.