In the beginning, Olivia’s* monster came out at bedtime. Unlike most kids, whose imaginary beasts only threaten to crawl out from their under-bed lair and eat them, Olivia’s monster was real and big enough to paralyze her with fear all the way from the next room.

He smashed anything in his path, he threatened to kill, and he hit her mom. Her mom pleaded with him to stop, to please be quiet so Olivia wouldn’t hear.

But huddled under her covers, Olivia always heard. And she cried herself to sleep, dreading the worst, that her mom would die, and that she would be left alone with the monster.

Then he turned on Olivia

It wasn’t long before he couldn’t wait until bedtime to hurt her mom. He punched her, pulled her hair and wrapped his large hands around her throat, Olivia’s entire world crumbling as she watched her mom struggle to breathe.

Then he turned on Olivia, screaming that she was garbage and not good enough for anyone, calling her degrading names unfit for any ears, let alone a child’s ears.

Mom shares her horror

Months later, while safe and protected at CVIC, Olivia’s mom shared her horror as she watched her terrified daughter being verbally torn apart. It was so much harder than any of the abuse she had endured herself.

Olivia cried and cried, and she was still confused even after her mom settled them into a new home, asking over and over why he called her those names.

Even her pretend play became full of conflict, always with a bad character in them, and sometimes Olivia would be the bad character.

At CVIC, the monster goes away

At CVIC, with the help of our child therapist, Olivia was able to share the scary parts of her memories and to learn the truth that she wasn’t bad and she didn’t cause the abuse. We are happy to report that Olivia’s monster has finally gone away and the gleam in her eye is back again.

* Photo, name and some details changed to protect safety and  confidentiality.

This is how children's therapy can change a life.


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