Meet Wendy, a client in The Guidance Center’s CalWORKS program in Long Beach. She’s the third of four clients that we are honored to feature during May Mental Health Month. The stress of bravely escaping domestic violence triggered a previously unknown mental illness that Wendy had: schizophrenia. Through mental health support, Wendy realized her own unique super powers and is using them to build a bright future for herself and her son. She’s sharing her story through this letter and video so that others can be encouraged.
I am a mother of a 16-year-old, and will be graduating from Long Beach City College this coming summer. I have overcome several obstacles to get this far. And I’m here to let you know you can too.
I went through a really tough divorce that ended up driving me out of my apartment, and the next apartment I moved into, because my ex-husband would not stop trying to break into my place. Soon after I found myself homeless, sleeping in my car, and my son staying at my sister’s house.
All of this fear grew bigger as I couldn’t find someone to show me support. I tried quitting my job and moving far away so my ex-husband couldn’t find us again. After all that I found an affordable apartment in Long Beach. I decided to look for a job around here, and enroll in college to make my dream happen.
But all the fear and pain I had inside was bottled up and made its way out without me being able to control it. I had a mental break down and was diagnosed with PTSD and Schizophrenia.
Here is where I found the help, support and love I needed in The Guidance Center. My son and I were welcomed and embraced. They understood what both of us had gone through and helped us heal and move on.