Since I grew up with violence, I didn’t know any way to defend myself other than with violence.”
After a lifetime surviving trauma after trauma, it wasn’t easy for Anyi to break old habits.
Relapse is an essential part of the change process. It’s why we spend four years with each young person, sticking with them through setbacks and showing we won’t give up on them, no matter what. But for Anyi, relapse hit especially hard.
Anyi had a history of domestic violence which had gotten her mixed up with the justice system before, and it was only a matter of time before her past caught up with her. One day things came to a head with her daughter’s father, and an altercation ended with her arrest. There was already an open case against her for a previous incident, so this time she was sentenced to two months in prison.
In hard moments when I’ve felt like I couldn’t do it anymore, I’ve used CBT skills and then been able to think about things more clearly and find the solution.”
Devastated at being separated from her daughters, Anyi turned to the CBT skills she had learned at Roca. They helped her stay in control and keep her emotions from carrying her away while she was incarcerated.
She didn’t have to go it alone. Her Youth Worker Ignacia kept in touch throughout her incarceration, and Roca was there for her when she got out.
Anyi came home determined to move forward. She rededicated herself to Roca’s program, and to keeping herself and her children stable. Practicing CBT helped her understand her mistakes and notice when she was falling back into old patterns.
I’m solving things little by little. It hasn’t been easy but… I’ve learned so much in all this time. My personality has changed a lot, how I think. I am healing my traumas.”
Anyi practices her hair cutting skills as part of her training to become a stylist.
Now, Anyi is preparing herself for the future she wants. Thanks to her healing process and Roca’s support, she achieved her lifelong dream of becoming a stylist, and is well on her way to getting her GED. One day, she hopes to become a Youth Worker herself.
When she spots a new Roca participant who is too afraid to talk to anyone, she takes them under her wing. She tells them to trust their Youth Worker and not hide anything, no matter how bad things get. Their Youth Worker will always see them through to the other side.
Without the support that [donors] give to Roca, I believe the change we have had in our lives would not be possible.”