She remembers how, as a toddler, she would find herself locked in a closet for hours while her mother forgot about her. She remembers the time that her grandmother got distracted on their car ride to preschool and left Alyssa inside the car for hours. And she hardly saw her father—he forgot to come for almost every visitation he had.
As she grew up, Alyssa became a loner. She never succeeded at much of anything. She didn’t know she was supposed to. She didn’t have any friends.
But finally, one thing started to get someone to pay attention to her: her failing grades. They had been bad throughout elementary school, but in 6th grade she failed all of her classes for the entire year. When her teacher tried to contact her parents, she discovered Alyssa’s unfortunate home situation. That’s when the teacher called Mercy Home.
Alyssa came to us shortly after that, and now the 13-year-old been here for a year and half. Her grades didn’t get better right away. For months, as soon as she started doing her homework, she would begin to cry. She wouldn’t listen to her tutors, and she just looked out the window all day at school without even trying to do her work.
Finally, one day during study time, one of Mercy Home’s coworkers sat down with her. She asked Alyssa why she didn’t want to do her homework. Alyssa responded, “It reminds me that I have to go back to school tomorrow.” When asked if something was going wrong at school, Alyssa answered, “No one talks to me.”
At that point, Alyssa’s therapist at Mercy Home began helping the young teen to socialize. It took her a long time to warm up to anyone. She would spend hours on end in her room, sitting on her bed, looking out her window. She cried because she missed her cats.