LSS Behavioral Health Services
Amber fled an abusive marriage and used the LSS sliding fee scale to receive counseling services for herself and her son. “You helped us to get the counseling that we needed. To give my son a fighting chance to be a good man. So, thank you!”
Amber married in her early 20s. She didn’t realize the pain she would endure for the next three years of marriage until it was too late.
One month into the marriage, the abuse started—emotionally, physically and sexually. “He beat and sexually assaulted me. The abuse was so intense that I miscarried our first child because of it.” He isolated her from family and friends to gain more control of her life. She soon became pregnant again and had a son.
He convinced her she was a horrible person, wife and mother. Amber felt alone. “I was in this big black hole. A pit of despair. No one could reach me to help me. I was thinking about suicide because the abuse was that bad.”
“Even though my family was worried about my health and well-being, I felt like I was alone. And I couldn’t pull myself out.”
“Literally my son was the only thing keeping me alive at that point in time.” Her son’s safety was her first priority. “I figured if I could absorb all of the abuse and as long as it doesn’t trickle down to my son then I’m doing my part as a mother. As a wife.”
Once the emotional abuse was directed toward her son at just a year old, Amber found the strength to seek safety, file for divorce, and get the help she and her son needed.
Amber found help through LSS Behavioral Health Services. “Not only help for myself but my son too. Someone who could do youth counseling and therapy. They could help save us both.”
“Through therapy, he is able to be a happy young boy again.” After ten years, it is still difficult for Amber to tell her story. “It’s hard to relive all of that. He ripped all of my self-worth out of my soul.”
“We think we are alone. It’s not true.” Amber remembers, “I was comforted. It felt like LSS made me feel like I was at home. It was a completely judge-free zone. They made me feel like I was a person—that I could be seen. I wasn’t this scared, timid, outcast of a mother.”
“Thank you. Thank you for letting me cry and letting me feel again. Thank you for pulling me out of a black hole, out of the pit of despair. Thank you for making me feel like a good mom.”
LSS made Amber feel safe and accepted. “People should never feel the way I did. LSS was there to help me and my son. They have amazing people. They can help.”
Mental Health Challenge 50 donors = $25,000
Committed to ensuring that cost is not a barrier for clients to access mental health care, LSS is one of the only providers in the state to offer a sliding fee scale based on income. Your support can ensure our ability to continue offering these services at an affordable price. 50 donors will unlock $25,000 to support LSS Behavioral Health Services! Consider a gift today through SouthDakotaCares.org April 10-14, 2023.