Time's Running Out
There are only a few hours left to help out families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Gifts made today will be matched.
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14-year-old Brian was coming to school with new bruises at least once a week. Every teacher, principal, and student in his school saw what was happening. For a while he lied that the marks were from fights with other boys, but eventually people realized they had never seen him in a fight.
The school counselor spotted him walking down the hallway that morning with a fresh gash near his eye. She called him into her office. He knew from the look on her face that she wasn’t going to believe his friend did it.
So he told her the truth: his mother had punched him.
He told the truth for another reason, too—that the violence in his home had been escalating. He was scared that he or his sister could soon end up physically impaired, or dead, from one of his mother’s beatings.
His counselor helped him make the call.
His mother was gone when he came home from school.
After that, he and his sister went to live with their aunt. He no longer lived in fear of violence, but he couldn’t forgive himself for putting his own mother behind bars.
Nightmares about the abuse and his mother hating him haunted him at night. He was so frightened of the dreams that he tried to avoid sleeping at all, which caused him to have trouble focusing at school. He didn’t want to get close to anyone because he was worried he would hurt them the way he did his mom.
One Sunday after church, he asked his preacher what it would take for God to forgive him.
The preacher was struck by Brian’s belief that the boy felt like he was in the wrong for what happened. When Brian told him about the nightmares and all his trouble at school, the preacher referred Brian to Mercy Home.
Now at Mercy Home, Brian has worked through his feelings in therapy and realized he did the right thing with his mother. He has been learning social skills to make better friends with his peers and can sleep through the night.
Now that his mind isn’t occupied by fear or guilt, his grades have also risen. By the time he told his preacher how he felt, he was failing almost everything—but now his report card is mostly B’s.
With his newfound confidence, he has decided to go to college next year. He hopes to study Information Technology, so he can build a career writing computer code.
The guidance he has received at Mercy Home has given him the courage and self-esteem to pursue his dreams, and he is deeply grateful for the opportunities he has here to learn and grow.
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