Brandon, a high school sophomore, immigrated to the United States from Mexico when he was in the third grade. Ever since he could remember, his father berated and physically abused his mother. The cycle of violence finally stopped when his mother found the courage to leave with her children and his father was deported. Even so, Brandon never felt safe anywhere. In school, he was flunking classes and had no friends.
In sessions with his Spanish-speaking therapist at Southside Center, Brandon finally admitted that his father had sexually abused him when he was younger. He became aware of how his hyper-vigilance – his “Spidey senses,” as he called them – had hurt his school performance and isolated him from his peers.