Reaching Full Potential
Blake's Story

In a supervised visit with his father, Blake threw the male stuffed bunny out of the dollhouse saying the house was falling down.

When he was 2, he may have felt as if his own home were about to topple the night his father attempted to strangle his mother, causing her to pass out, then keeping her from leaving their home. He cried as he watched his father’s hands clench his mother’s throat, then pin her to the floor when she landed there.

Once in a new home without his father, his mother and therapists began the process of trying to heal a child who was easily startled, angry and was only able to speak some words and no sentences, though he was 3. He didn’t trust anyone besides his mother. He woke up frequently at night, crying and needing to sleep beside her the rest of the night.

Since beginning therapy, his progress has been significant, encouraging his speech and reducing his meltdowns and fears.

“I’m hoping that all of the effects that witnessing this has had on him and on his developing brain can be reversed ... and that I can model for him, at some point, what a healthy relationship looks like so he can be living in that type of environment and grow up and not repeat this pattern,’’ Blake’s mother, Anna said.

Supervised visits with his father, which began about six months after Blake started therapy, slowed his progress for a period. Blake threw things at preschool, tore pictures off walls, yelled the harsh words his father had used.

One day Blake told his mom, “Dad hit you.” “Yes, he did,’’ she said. His mother had hoped he would not remember the violence since he was only 2 at the time.

“Daddy wasn’t safe with me,’’ she explained. “Daddy and I can’t live together anymore.’’

Blake is 6 now. He calls his father “you” - not father, dad or daddy. When he tells his mother about his father, the father he imagines who is calm and always happy to play with him, he refers to him as “another daddy” - as if that person were different from the father he used to live with.

Are you or someone you know in need of help?

View Community Resources
Community Insight
“Horrible unimaginable bad things can happen to kids. If we do a good solid intervention, we can resolve those issues, so there’s a lot of hope for trauma survivors.”
SHARI UNCAPHER, MSW, LISW-S Director, Behavioral Health, Nationwide Children's Hospital
Substance Abuse
Hannah's Story
Developmental Disorders
Sawyer's Story
Mental Illness
Sarah's Story
Psychological Effects
Laura's Story