Resilience: A Family’s Story of Healing
The following letter was written by a caregiver whose child received Lotus services
and published anonymously with permission.
“And I will ask the Father and He will give you another advocate to help you…” John 14:16 NIV
I have found that God sends specific people in to my life when I need them the most. Lotus was a whole group of wonderful, supportive, and loving people that God lead to our lives when our family was at its lowest point.
Abuse is something that no one should ever have to experience, but unfortunately it is all too often an everyday ugly truth. My daughter was abused by someone that I grew up with, loved, and trusted.
That abuse not only broke me, but I watched it take away my daughter’s innocence, self resilience, and her voice. The counselors at Lotus have helped her over the years to find her voice, work through moments of anxiety, and realize her self worth. Lotus gave me and my husband added tools to support her, and helped us to heal as well.
They gave me the support and encouragement when I felt I was failing as a mother. There were days when I felt like the turmoil and the hurt would never end, but they helped me find strength to push on and be there for my daughter. I found hope that helped to keep me from falling in to the encompassing darkness of depression. I found joy in celebrating everyday victories, like getting to hear the miracle of my daughter’s laughter.
She has gone through counseling twice now and it is a comfort to me and to her to know that if and when she needs it again, Lotus is there waiting with open arms to welcome her and support her. This is crucial to us as she enters her teenage years. Life is tough, but life with exploding hormones, conflicting emotions and everyday struggles is even more complicated, especially when said teenagers realize that they don’t know everything, and Google does not in fact have all the answers.
Our journey with Lotus not only includes counseling that has strengthened us as a family, but supported us and helped us to navigate and understand the judicial process. When our daughter’s abuser was going to walk away with a misdemeanor slap on the wrist plea deal, Grace, our local legal advocate, helped us to find our voice and speak out in court about the unfairness of the deal. After 6 years of being dragged through the system, we were finally able to get some justice for our daughter. Justice that we thought we would never see.
Justice is different for everyone, but we found peace in what we were able to get. Knowing that this individual, who took advantage of our family, will have to wake up every morning with the realization he’s on a national registry, knowing that he has to report and essentially own up to his actions every time he applies for a job, or even wants to volunteer, gives an indescribable sense of peace. This individual has to live with the fact that people he once called family, no longer think of him that way. He can continue to lie to himself all he wants, but he didn’t get to hit the reset button and erase that portion of his life or his actions.
Our daughter is moving on in her life and not being held back by this abuse, but he will always be held responsible for his actions and hit road blocks that he will struggle to get around. She will continue to free herself from trauma and continue to bloom in to the wonderful young woman she is becoming, and one day hopefully, she will reach the point where she never gives him another thought, but he won’t be able to do the same. My daughter can say she met her definition of justice in this matter. She spoke up, told the truth, and helped to stop a predator, and she did it with the support of her family and Lotus.
Lotus has helped us in so many aspects, but if I had to pick one specific way that Lotus helped us the most, I would say it was that they heard us. Advocates, like Bethany, Grace, Amberly, counselors like Nichole, and others with Lotus were sounding boards that put value in what we were saying. We didn’t get shoved in the corner, and told to sit back and wait. Their actions said we hear you, we have you, and we’re going to get through this. Their actions helped us to keep living each day and moving forward, because we knew that we were not alone. They were there with us, down in the trenches, fighting for our daughter with us, helping us push through the mire of despair and mounting discouragement at every set back. They shared in the joyous moments of our victories, even the small ones, like our daughter finally making it through a night without a nightmare to her being able to stand up and say “this abuse is not who I am.” They cried with us and the celebrated with us; they became an extension of our family.
I could write for days about the number of ways Lotus impacted me and my family for the better, but I think if people would look and see what this group of people does, they would understand why it’s so hard to put what they do and how they help in to just a few lines and paragraphs. If they saw how they make midnight runs to help a survivor in the ER, the way that this group of people helps lift a broken mother with her broken husband and broken daughter to a place of healing that’s beyond measure, to see how Lotus makes sure every survivor is NEVER alone, then people would understand what a beautiful gift God has given to this community.
I want people to know, that no matter what they may think, they are not alone in this world. There are people, like the people at Lotus who care, and I don’t mean the “here’s a tissue for your tears” kind of care, I mean the “I am going to grab the box of tissues and cry with you and then we might just eat this whole box of chocolates” kind of care. If you’re hurting, scared, and/or feeling all alone in this world, don’t be afraid to reach out, because you are not alone. Do not give up hope, reach out for help. You have more value than what you think. Lotus did more than help my daughter through her times of strife, they helped this broken family to find itself, value and beauty again. While we hate reason that we met them, our family continues to thank God daily for placing them in to our lives. Lotus played a huge roll in our family’s healing, and I will always count myself blessed to have met and worked with the beautiful souls at Lotus.