Patricia’s Story

When Patricia came to Childhelp’s Merv Griffin Residential Treatment Village in California, she was a scared and defiant young girl, suffering from years of both physical and emotional abuse.

Childhelp therapists taught Patricia to slowly learn to trust in others again and begin to open up about the trauma she had suffered. But when interacting with the other children, Patricia posed a challenging problem – her years of abuse had prompted her to adopt a confrontational and bossy approach to other people.

While outsiders saw a difficult child, Childhelp’s counselors saw an opportunity – they decided to give Patricia a bit of the authority and control she craved, placing her in charge of the Village recycling program.

To further heal Patricia’s trauma, the counselors at Childhelp’s Village utilized our unique blend of treatments – combining schooling, counseling and medical treatment with donor-funded art, music, equine and animal therapies.

Years later, Patricia reached out to Childhelp with an amazing update – our recycling chief had channeled her skills into an undergraduate degree from Berkeley and a law degree from Northwestern! As a way of saying thank you, she gave Childhelp a ragged teddy bear she carried throughout her childhood – a gift a kind judge had given her when she had to testify in court.

Every child who comes to Childhelp is given their own stuffed animal to love. And now we can share with them Patricia’s journey – and the special road her teddy bear traveled with her.

Thank you for opening your heart to Patricia and all our Childhelp survivors.