I Found My Happy Place at The Gatehouse

Written by: Pamela, Practicum Student, The Gatehouse

I came to the Gatehouse as a placement student to gain firsthand experience of working with people who have, in one way or another, suffered trauma. Little did I know I was going to find my own healing from a silent trauma killer.

Migrating from Africa to the Western world opened my eyes to the struggles that people in Africa endure without receiving healing or having a voice to speak out. The after-effects of domestic violence, sexual abuse, verbal, and physical abuse all lead to trauma, leaving deep scars in the person. These scars include fear, lack of trust, not living to one’s fullest potential, and a theft of peace and happiness.

Learning from the Gatehouse’s Director, Maria, and Stewart, as well as interacting with the staff, taught me that where there is life, there is hope, especially with the support the Gatehouse offers everyone. Embracing compassion, support, and empathy at the Gatehouse helped me heal from this silent trauma that was eroding my peace, joy, happiness, and freedom. I only realized this transformation when I noticed positive changes within myself a few weeks after working at the Gatehouse. Engaging in reading, following the learning goals, and sharing reflections on social media to help others with childhood sexual abuse also facilitated my own healing.

In the past, I used to act irrationally, influenced by my childhood trauma. I was constantly afraid of the unknown. It was my little daughter who one day noticed the positive changes in me and pointed them out. It brought tears to my eyes because deep inside, I knew I had found inner peace, calmness, and happiness. I began to appreciate the things I once took for granted in my everyday life.

To anyone out there facing trauma, I encourage you to search within yourself and embrace the possibility of healing. The Gatehouse became my happy place, where I discovered a second chance at healing from my trauma.