Shared Grief: If my daughter could know me it would help her understand her own suffering
The day in court that they terminated my parental rights I asked my daughter if I could kiss her. She looked over to check if her foster mother would let her. Then she put her head down. I went... Read More
Rise Presents to Child Welfare Leaders: How are you informing, orienting and encouraging parents?
Rise Parent leader Jeanette Vega delivered an inspiring speech to directors of child welfare agencies at the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies’ (COFCCA) annual meeting. Jeanette focused on toxic stress and the role it plays in a... Read More
Small Steps – I want to give my kids the childhood I didn’t have.
I have always wanted to give my kids a good childhood, something that I didn’t have. On holidays or on their birthdays, I take them out to Toys R Us, Chuck E. Cheese, BBQ’s, or Times Square.... Read More
The Heart of the Problem – Child welfare systems are beginning to recognize—and treat—parents’ trauma.
Trauma is an experience that makes you feel that your life—or a loved one’s life—is in danger and overwhelms your ability to cope. In recent years, child welfare systems around the country have been focusingon the role trauma plays... Read More
From Existing to Living – I needed courage and support to face my childhood and reconnect with my kids.
When my daughters were 4 and 2 years old, I began to feel so numb to my children. I grew up in foster care and have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. At the time, I felt... Read More
A Family That Heals Together – Child-parent therapy can help parents and children recover from trauma.
All parents feel overwhelmed sometimes when their children do normal things, like have temper tantrums or act demanding. But for parents who have experienced trauma, those difficult moments can remind us of painful childhood experiences when we felt terrified... Read More
Smoking Away the Pain – Can I face life without marijuana or will I fall apart?
For 25 years, I’ve been smoking marijuana to cope with a lifetime oftrauma.
When I was young, my family life had some order. My sister’s father and my mother had strict rules for us. We went... Read More
Too Close for Comfort – I was afraid to show my daughter all the love I really felt.
When my daughter was an infant I showed her a lot of love, but when she was 4, our lives changed in a terrible way, and I began to feel that hugging and kissing my daughter was wrong.
Child protective... Read More
Finding Our Way Home
When I was young, life with my mother was good. I used to love going to her job, playing and watching her work. We played little hand games like “thumb war” and “boom-boom clap-clap.” At day care, I didn’t... Read More
To Speak or Not to Speak – Weighing the pros and cons of revealing past trauma in court.
When parents are facing a child welfare case, they often keep silent about their past history of trauma. Sometimes parents’ past experiences are too painful to talk about. Other times parents fear that talking openly about experiences... Read More
There Is Always a Way Forward – Therapy showed me I could build a better future for myself and my children.
When I started attending the Safe Mothers, Safe Children program at the ACS-NYU Children’s Trauma Institute, I felt like my past had completely destroyed me and my relationship with everyone.
As a child, I used to... Read More
Rebuilding Ourselves – After Iraq—and removal—I had to heal myself and my daughter.
I learned early on that black women are supposed to be “strong” and endure pain in silence. The three years I spent in the military and thefive-and-a-half months I spent stationed in Iraq taught me the same... Read More