Frankie and his family are survivors of domestic violence. As the Coronavirus spread across Frankie’s local community, he noticed many people were experiencing anxiety – something he has been coping with since his abuse. He told his counselor with the Children’s Home Society of Florida he wanted to help others understand and overcome their anxiety – just like she had helped him.

Frankie uses his Legos to overcome his anxiety. While he builds he focuses on his dream of becoming a mechanic at NASA. He visualizes his future success and happiness and his anxiety lessens.

Frankie is tremendously proud of the progress he has made to overcome his anxiety and find healthy coping skills, and he hopes his journey can now help others.

This is Frankie’s story, written in his own words:

The start of a journey

To start it all off, during coved-19 it was bad to go outside because of germs, nevertheless we had to stay inside, and mainly I got the chance to say something to kids with anxiety or chronic anxiety. I wanted to shout out to my parents, and to all the parents out there, to say that you guys are worried and you may think your kids are even more worried.

When I grew up I had a therapist and she gave me a lead to try to find out where this anxiety was coming from and to learn what domestic violence was. I learned to start something new, of where I could handle my anxiety. My therapist is kind, and during coronavirus she would always give me these projects to do, but this is where I get to tell you what to do if you’re feeling this anxiety and you don’t know what to do with it and your parents and your therapist is helping you, but in the meantime, while you aren’t talking to someone, and you aren’t sure what to do with your feelings, you can do positive things and and start something new. You can reinvent yourself and your life.

Physical, mental, and emotional

During coronavirus or life for that matter, when you’re stuck inside your house, and you have all this time to think, and think about your anxiety and all these different emotions, you have to create the life you want.

Physical anxiety started for me when I couldn’t handle the abuse I endured. It was intense. It was scary. I didn’t understand the feelings I was feeling and that they weren’t my fault. My abuser had a big personality. Seeing my Mom be abused was awful. I felt the pain they caused me and that their abuse caused my whole family. My anxiety came from not being able to process everything I went through. I felt powerless in my condition. But I now understand that I have the right to feel happy. I no longer have to be afraid of my abuser.

There’s physical responses to stress, when something’s physical, it could remind you how you were hurt physically, so if your anxiety comes off of this, then usually you would have very vivid memories of this person or thing hurting you so you have to either confront this thing or be brave, that’s when your parents and people that care can help you to confront your past. You can write it all down, you can talk about it with good people. If while you were hurt, you mentally thought of this past pain, witch if you were hurt with physical contact, you will nevertheless have physical anxiety and with this, your heart could possibly be beating faster than usual, but don’t worry. The reason why you have to confront this is because usually, it’s abuse with physical actions, so when you confront this person you’re in the spot of control and spilling it out to that person, can be very healing. That’s why it’s different from emotional because emotional anxiety is all in your head. Things will get better.

Emotional anxiety causes a lot of pain too. Emotional anxiety comes from either someone or something saying something offensive, or it’s caused so Much stress, that you feel overwhelmed, But there’s always gonna be a cause for anxiety if it comes out of nowhere, then your just embarrassed, and you shouldn’t be embarrassed. There’s always gonna be a mental thought that causes emotional anxiety and mentally you’re gonna think of this person and what he said, how he did this or that. What you could do is you can get a piece of paper and write something down. Write all of your feelings down. I got that advice from my therapist and she’s really nice and caring and she’s very expressive. I like to talk and express myself too. When you are feeling anxiety, write something down and you can crumble and throw it out and express yourself with new people too. When you’re expressing yourself, you’re taking all of your feelings out of your head and destroying it and then making new positive feelings.

So lastly there’s mental pain if you have chronic anxiety and it keeps popping up then do something fun. For instance, like for your dream job, try to do that, but with toys. For me, I want to be a mechanic at nasa. It’s a pretty big job, but instead of moping around, I’m taking the time to play with legos and build all the different contraptions with new and exciting ideas. If you’re young, usually you’re so young that you’re still processing all these different types of things, so if you say you have anxiety and are too young to know what your dream job is then, you may not know what your dream job is, and you may still need time to figure that out for yourself. So if you’re feeling entirely, do anything creative. You can draw, you can play games, you can talk about your feelings. Do anything, but sitting with your anxiety will give your anxiety power over you and this is why if kids can do something instead of sitting around doing nothing, then this is a reason why they should stop moping to go outside or play with toys and be creative so you can overcome your anxiety. If you don’t have the time to, try to think about ways to be positive , like go on a walk or go to someone and talk about it. if you do have a lot of toys, then donate so other kids can have fun and grow up to do a fun job, donating your toys can make you feel good too. Being good is important, if everyone does their best to be good, then we can have a happy society and people around us and defeat that sadness that’s within us and find the courage to grow up in a civilized happy nation. You just have to think really hard and try and take a look at yourself. You can start with I’m cool, and I’m ok. I’m living my best life. Who wants to join me?

Alright to end it off, my main point is that a lot of people have these different types of anxiety, that comes from past trauma. There’s different solutions to different problems. I know that domestic violence is hard to describe, the feeling is like a million cars coming towards you, you’re trapped in a box and when the cars come, it smashes you into a million pieces. My hope is that someone reads this and can get the help they need and to never give up because you never know what good is right around the corner.

Children’s Home Society of Florida counselors are available 24/7 via  the Family Support Warm Line offering free, immediate access to confidential telehealth counseling to help individuals and families navigate these difficult times.