Jackson’s Story

February 11, 2011

News and Stories

Imagine a young boy, age 4, with dark brown hair and blue eyes. He wears pants and long-sleeved shirts, even in the hottest of summers. He wets his pants. He doesn’t make eye contact. His sadness radiates around him. But occasionally, he comes out of his shell – only to exhibit extreme violence.

When Jackson came to our Therapeutic Preschool, he and his mother were living in a homeless shelter. Jackson was a victim of physical abuse at the age of 2, when a relative severely burned him with acid, leaving much of his body scarred.

Jackson was traumatized by the abuse, but could not heal because of a series of necessary surgeries required to repair his burn trauma. Each time he had another surgery, his behavior got worse. He would soil himself multiple times a day, yet scream hysterically if a staff member tried to change him. He hated being out of control of the situation.

Jackson’s therapist had an idea one day. Why not let Jackson reenact the abuse afflicted on him? By doing that, he would gain a sense of mastery over the abuse. And it worked. Not right away, and not easily, but over the course of a year Jackson began to heal from his emotional scars. At the end of the program, Jackson was able to smile, to laugh, and to control his behaviors. It was a long road for Jackson, and one that often seemed hopeless. But the staff of Family Resource Center didn’t give up on him.

We did what we do best – we helped Jackson heal.