Rebecca hasn’t had it easy. Raised by a single mother, times were tough. They never seemed to have an extra penny, but they made it work. They had shelter, food and each other.
As if that wasn’t enough, things got worse for Rebecca. During her sophomore year, Rebecca’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and in a few short months she was gone. Rebecca’s mother took care of her and was the closest person she had in the world. After her death, Rebecca was on her own. Suddenly, she had to learn to take care of herself. She stayed with family and friends when she could and got a job to try to cover her expenses. All the while, her grief went unaddressed and the stress of managing life on her own grew.
Last fall, when Rebecca started her senior year, her school counselor referred her to The Family Conservancy’s Student Assistance Program. She was connected with a case manager and through twice monthly meetings Rebecca connected with a consistent adult with whom she could confide — someone to regularly ask how she was doing in school, offer information about community resources when needed, and support her in accomplishing her goals.
One personal goal Rebecca wanted to work on with her case manager was her anger management. Rebecca explained how she felt as if she got angry for no reason, lashing out at loved ones with hurtful words or expressing her anger by punching a wall. She was confused by this emotion and wanted help understanding and managing it. Her case manager was able to share resources on anger coping strategies and expressing it in healthy ways. By using a diary to record and reflect on each time she felt overwhelmed by anger, Rebecca was able to better understand her emotions and behavior, and developed her ability to express her anger in healthy ways.
As Rebecca grew into managing her anger healthily, her case manager provided her with additional information about conflict management and “fair fighting” rules in healthy relationships. Rebecca has begun using these strategies when she finds herself in conflict with family and friends. She has even shared this information with her boyfriend and both have begun using the strategies collectively. Now, when Rebecca finds herself triggered in anger, she feels much more confident in her ability to recognize, manage, and healthily express this emotion.
With hard work and the support of her case manager, Rebecca learned to manage her anger, and improve her grades. Last month, she graduated and is planning to attend college on the fall.