Parisi House Graduate Looking Forward to Mother’s Day

Jennifer Cabral is looking forward to Mother’s Day this year. Growing up, she could not wait to be a mother. She has many memories of taking meticulous care of her baby dolls. It was one of her favorite things to do. She loved to feed them, change them, take them all around, and protect them from her big brother. Becoming a mother to her two girls was one of her greatest joys. However, she quickly found that protecting herself and her two daughters was not as easy as caring for her baby dolls.

Like many women, Jennifer’s substance use was fueled by an abusive relationship dynamic with her youngest daughter’s father. The violence and various forms of emotional abuse she was experiencing bled out around her, and her family started witnessing its effects on her. The abuse made her living situation a dangerous environment for her and her daughters and took a significant toll on her mental health. She says, “I was in survival mode and in absolute FEAR of what was happening to me and around me while trying to protect my daughters and immediate family from further harm.” With her attempts to escape the situation physically being thwarted, she turned to unhealthy coping mechanisms as another way to escape. Drugs and alcohol dulled the pain of her experiences while she continued to seek a way to safety and independence.

Sometimes people are nudged to pursue drug and alcohol treatment. Not so for Jennifer. She knew that the trauma she had experienced had left her with invisible scars that only counseling and education could repair. Jennifer found the support and safety she had been looking for when she finally came to Parisi House. Her older daughter stayed with family, and her youngest got to come along with her. Finally, she and her girls were safe. Her counselor took extra time to listen to everything she had been through and validated the heavy emotions she was carrying. She says that the treatment plan that she and her counselor came up with made her feel heard for the first time in ages. She eagerly participated in groups and classes and tried to absorb as much knowledge as possible during her time here. She and her youngest daughter also got critical bonding time.

With a new set of eyes on the world around her, Jennifer says this upcoming Mother’s Day “will be celebrated in a radically new, changed, present, and humble way.” She says that this holiday will be spent with her family together, both physically and spiritually, for the first time in years. Today, Jennifer is looking forward to the future. She will undoubtedly continue to blossom into the mother she always envisioned herself to be.

Parisi House Graduate Looking Forward to Mother’s Day

Jennifer Cabral is looking forward to Mother’s Day this year. Growing up, she could not wait to be a mother. She has many memories of taking meticulous care of her baby dolls. It was one of her favorite things to do. She loved to feed them, change them, take them all around, and protect them from her big brother. Becoming a mother to her two girls was one of her greatest joys. However, she quickly found that protecting herself and her two daughters was not as easy as caring for her baby dolls.

Like many women, Jennifer’s substance use was fueled by an abusive relationship dynamic with her youngest daughter’s father. The violence and various forms of emotional abuse she was experiencing bled out around her, and her family started witnessing its effects on her. The abuse made her living situation a dangerous environment for her and her daughters and took a significant toll on her mental health. She says, “I was in survival mode and in absolute FEAR of what was happening to me and around me while trying to protect my daughters and immediate family from further harm.” With her attempts to escape the situation physically being thwarted, she turned to unhealthy coping mechanisms as another way to escape. Drugs and alcohol dulled the pain of her experiences while she continued to seek a way to safety and independence.

Sometimes people are nudged to pursue drug and alcohol treatment. Not so for Jennifer. She knew that the trauma she had experienced had left her with invisible scars that only counseling and education could repair. Jennifer found the support and safety she had been looking for when she finally came to Parisi House. Her older daughter stayed with family, and her youngest got to come along with her. Finally, she and her girls were safe. Her counselor took extra time to listen to everything she had been through and validated the heavy emotions she was carrying. She says that the treatment plan that she and her counselor came up with made her feel heard for the first time in ages. She eagerly participated in groups and classes and tried to absorb as much knowledge as possible during her time here. She and her youngest daughter also got critical bonding time.

With a new set of eyes on the world around her, Jennifer says this upcoming Mother’s Day “will be celebrated in a radically new, changed, present, and humble way.” She says that this holiday will be spent with her family together, both physically and spiritually, for the first time in years. Today, Jennifer is looking forward to the future. She will undoubtedly continue to blossom into the mother she always envisioned herself to be.