Cosmo, a Grateful Patient of The Providence Center, Tells his Story
Written By: Cosmo on February 22, 2021
I was always socially rejected at school.
I was different, but I didn’t understand why.
In kindergarten, I would sit alone watching the other kids run around having fun. On the autism spectrum with Asperger syndrome, it was hard for me to form relationships.
I didn’t understand why kids were responding the way they were to me. I didn’t know how to interact with them at all. Even when I tried, I felt invisible.
I would dream of ways to get kids attention, but nothing worked. I never made any real friends. The few I had, I pushed away.
As I approached junior high, I thought things would be different. I started my first day hoping it would be better. Maybe the kids will be wiser and more accepting of me? Unfortunately they weren’t. My fears only deepened as I realized I wasn’t just fighting to find a friend. I was also trying to fit in.
The harder I tried to fix things, the worse it all became.
At school, word of mouth is terrible. It didn’t take long before I started to get a reputation of being crazy and weird. My mom was crushed. She worked tirelessly to advocate for me. She pressed to have me transferred to multiple schools hoping for a better start each time. But, that never happened.
To protect myself from the pain, I started to internalize everything. I went to a dark place and became angry. Kids were scared to talk to me because of my reputation. Academically, I was so overwhelmed by my social challenges that I found it hard to pay attention to what was going on in the classroom. I simply stopped trying.
I was insulted and bullied for years. I was attacked multiple times. I was traumatized, angry and afraid.
I started seeing different psychiatrists and therapists, but I wasn’t able to connect with any one. I felt like I was screaming out for help but no one was truly listening.
By the time I was in 8th grade, I was suicidal. I was experiencing so many thoughts and feelings that I didn’t understand. That’s when The Providence Center came into my life and things began to change.
My mother worked with a psychiatrist and therapist from The Providence Center to advocate on my behalf with the school department. I was evaluated and quickly hospitalized. I was then referred to The Providence Center’s Partial Hospital Program for teens ages 12-17 where I began to develop coping skills and learn how to manage my emotions.
Although I made progress, things continued to be very challenging.
I was crying every day. I tried many medications, constantly struggling with side effects which made it hard to cope. I wasn’t active at all. But through it all, the staff at The Providence Center didn’t give up on me.
I will never forget the first time I met my therapist Peter. He came to my house and sat down with me. He let me talk. He was the first person outside my family, to listen without reaction as I shared my darkest thoughts. Peter was unbelievably calm and kind. I let my guard down and told him everything. Never once did Peter judge me!
You can’t imagine how relieved I felt to finally be heard and understood. I felt empowered and no longer like a victim.
Over the next few years, I continued to make significant progress through my weekly therapy sessions with Peter, and I graduated from high school. Today, I feel so much better. I’m working part-time and attending The Community College of Rhode Island.
The Providence Center gave me a second chance at life. They helped me to finally find a spark of hope for my future. That’s why I’m writing. Can you find it in your heart to be there for other children like me in crisis by making a gift today?
There is no doubt that we are living through extraordinary times. The pandemic is taking a serious toll on children who struggle with mental illness. The need has never been greater. The Providence Center is part of the solution — and so are you!
It’s hard to imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t been able to find help. I honestly don’t know. Thanks to you, The Providence Center was there for me.
They helped save my life. YOU helped save my life.
Sincerely, Cosmo A grateful patient of The Providence Center
If you or someone you know is in need of behavioral health services, our care teams at The Providence Center are here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us today at 401-276-4020 or visit us online at: https://www.providencecenter.org/.