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Becka: Chill & Spill

“Now, my anger is more like a cushion… because it’s softer than it used to be…”

“Becka” was an angry 12 year-old. She never knew what would set her off, and it was scary when her temper flared out of control.

Bounced between relatives and the foster care system since she was an infant, Becka didn’t have much stability in her life. Her grandma raised her while her mother grappled with health issues – until her grandma died. She didn’t know who her father was. After an aunt took her in, her mother passed away as well. Becka’s grief turned into anger.

A clinical social worker remembers meeting Becka when the pre-teen didn’t have any coping skills to help her figure out how to handle her rage and grief. Becka needed a way to express her feelings in a non-destructive manner.

She gave Becka a Chill & Spill journal, and the ‘tween gravitated towards the free-form expression the book invited. A page in the journal prompted her to respond to questions such as “I want…I need… I fear… I wish…” – giving Becka a springboard for writing poetry about her feelings. She found out she was good at it. She even submitted her poetry to a newsletter for kids in the foster system, and was proud to see them published.

“Now, my anger is more like a cushion… because it’s softer than it used to be,” she wrote in her book.

Now that she’s beginning to understand the reasons behind her big feelings, Becka is now able to figure out healthier ways to cope.

“Becka is more aware of what triggers her now. Her blow-outs are not anywhere near what they used to be,” her social worker shared with us.

Now, instead of throwing an all-out tantrum, she’ll tell the other person, “I need my space. I need to go in my room.” Everyone is amazed at the change.

NOTE: To protect the child’s identity\, the image does not necessarily match the story and names may or may not have been changed.