Eight-year-old Nikki* loved her life. Her family had just moved to a big farm in the country and her dad showered her with gifts whenever he returned from a trip. As she got older, Nikki began to wonder where her dad was going and how he could afford these gifts—until the day her home was the target of a meth raid. Suddenly, she understood.
The rollercoaster began
Shortly after the raid, Nikki’s dad died in a tragic car accident and she was left to care for her younger sister while her mother was using and dealing drugs. After a second meth raid, the sisters were sent to their grandparents, where more addiction and abuse left them afraid for their safety. Following in her parents’ footsteps, Nikki also started to use and deal drugs.
Eventually, an aunt and uncle agreed to become their guardians, and life began to settle down. Nikki became sober. Her fears were subsiding. Things were looking up—until another painful setback with her mother sent Nikki into a dangerous spiral of rebellion, drug abuse, and despair.
A chance to heal
Desperate for help, Nikki’s aunt and uncle sent her to Nexus-Gerard Family Healing. Nikki was furious. She could barely talk to them without starting an argument.
But, after some time, Nikki discovered something she’d never had: space for herself. For the first time, she wasn’t caring for her sister—or her mother. She felt safe. She was surrounded by people who would listen to her.
“Now that I’m not so scared and tense, I can actually relax and take care of the things I do need to take care of,” said Nikki.
Eventually, through family therapy, Nikki was able to strengthen her relationship with her aunt and uncle. Home visits helped her get back into life outside of treatment. With help from Nexus-Gerard, Nikki caught up in school and even made the honor roll for her first time ever.
The gift of hope
By the time Nikki moved home with her aunt and uncle, she was looking forward to enjoying her senior year and finding friends who could respect her and her sobriety. She was closer than ever to her goal of college—and she had the tools and skills to make it happen.
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*Name and some details have been changed to protect privacy.