Mary, age 24 and the mother of a young son, first came to the Domestic Violence Support Center as a child herself several years ago when her parents divorced, and returned to the Support Center as an adult to discuss the consequences of having experienced early childhood trauma. Over the course of her therapy, Mary has been able to systematically explore very distressing memories about her father’s physical and verbal use and drug addiction, and then to link these memories with the anxiety and guilt she experiences in interpersonal relationships as an adult.
Through this process, she has gained the ability to more accurately describe, accept, and “integrate” trauma memories into her day-to-day experience, rather than to suppress them, blame herself for them, or anxiously expect bad outcomes in future relationships.
Mary, now thriving in her career, engaged to a man she speaks positively about, and thinking about having a second child, continues her work in therapy with much enthusiasm and dedication. Mary also reflects on how her work at the Domestic Violence Support Center has enabled her to break inter-generational patterns of violence and be a better parent to her son.