“My son, Tre’shion and I began coming to The Children’s Center about two years ago when he was seven.
Tre’shion was a happy, silly, and friendly kid, who was full of love. He’s a handsome little guy and for years he had this beautiful long hair. I could never bring myself to cut it.
We came from a very close family. A family that stuck together through everything. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I had my village. At least I thought so.
When he was six years old, while playing video games with the family, out of nowhere he told me and my mom that one of our relatives had been playing a game with him. I didn’t think much of it when he said it, but then he repeated it and said how it wasn’t so fun. He said the family member called him “his girlfriend” as he had the long beautiful hair. At that point, to avoid causing a scene, I removed my child from the room and asked him to repeat what he had just told me. Without hesitation, he explained the vulgar details and showed me where everything happened.
As I listened and watched my baby boy speak, I felt a piece of me die. Everything around me went blank and darkened. I felt like I was in a nightmare and just waiting to wake up.
We teach our kids about “stranger danger” but we don’t teach them about the danger that can exist in our most trusted and sacred places – our homes. I told Tre’shion, “you didn’t do anything wrong” and how I was proud of him for saying something. We tried family counseling through our church, but they just wanted to get our family back together and put a band-aid on the issue. Another counseling service told us, “stuff happens.”
The guilt and anger finally caught up with me about a year later. I lost it. I was blaming myself a lot and had to be institutionalized because I just checked out, and I couldn’t take it anymore. Through my own therapy, I came to understand it wasn’t my fault either. But it took Tre’shion saying, “Mommy, it’s not your fault” for me to really come out of the darkness and back into the light.
Tre’shion had struggles on figuring out who he was. We are dealing with the aftermath of his sexual abuse. Bed wetting, night terrors, managing his sexual behavior. Helping him understand why he can’t sleep over at his friend’s house or have friends over to our house. Why he no longer sees some family members. And he insists his hair be kept short.
I was very grateful that we found The Children’s Center after such a long journey of looking for the right place for help. I don’t know how we would deal with all of this without them. Now Tre’shion is working on building up his confidence. He’s more verbal, talking to me, talking at school. He’ll tell you what’s going on and what he’s feeling. I started to slowly see the Tre’shion we all knew and loved. I believe Tre’shion will rise above this – and become the young man God intends him to be. Thank you – The Children’s Center – for giving us the opportunity to live again.”