After suffering abuse at a young age, Tommy was removed from home and placed in what became a whole series of placements in foster and group homes, some where there was further abuse. By the time he was referred to the Matrix program, his explosive anger got him into physical fights at school and home. He had a low threshold of frustration and was dishonest and disrespectful with adults and peers.
Just as Tommy was starting into the Matrix program, news came that his brother had been murdered in a gang related incident. Traumatic as it was, his brother’s death had the positive effect of bringing Tommy and his birth family together in a new way.
His family and Matrix team realized that what would help Tommy most in handling his brother’s death would be to process more with his family and within his Native American traditions. The team ensured that Tommy and his family were able to make multiple trips to visit his tribe where they all felt support and stability for their grieving. It also improved the bond between Tommy and his mother.
Reinforced by these experiences, Tommy began work on his GED and started toward getting his driver’s license. His impulsive and aggressive behaviors diminished almost completely. Both he and his mother developed plans on how to support one another.
Finally, Tommy was able to move back home with his mother, and both are doing well. He stays in touch with his tribe and they have promised to assist him with a new car – a means of independence – once he gets his driver’s license.
Tommy overcame some of the most traumatic events imaginable to be where he is today. He and his family are a testament to resilience and perseverance.