On a recent trip to California I was visiting with the family of a recent Oxbow graduate at his home. While we were talking his parents had a meaningful realization. They were talking about how they were so fearful, anxious, angry, and distraught the day that they brought their son to Oxbow. They talked about the devastation that they felt when the sexual issues were discovered and the trauma that they endured before they found the help of Oxbow.
In the next sentence parents reflected how they were in such a different place today. Today there were still challenges but these challenges were “dreadfully normal.” They talked about transporting kids to school, coordinating therapy appointments, helping with homework, their jobs, advocating to help their sons receive the school services they needed, but there was no mention of the pain, guilt, and shame that had plagued the family less than two years ago. Gone was the pain, anger, and shame and what they discovered as they sat in their home was hope that their son can have the future that they as parents dreamed he would have. As we said our goodbyes and gave the family a hug I asked the parents to take care of our son. I seemed to walk a little lighter knowing that we at Oxbow had played a small part in returning this boy to his parents and restoring their hopes and dreams that years before they had felt were lost. by Todd Spaulding, Clinical Director, Oxbow Academy