Margarita was born in Canada and for a while lived with her mom, step-dad, sister and brother. Her mom was a roller coaster — she was on top of the world and then terribly depressed. When Margarita was nine, her mother’s mood swings were diagnosed as bi-polar disorder.
Margarita had a good relationship with her step-dad, but her mom’s behaviour drove him away when she was 12-years old. Her mother spiralled downward and took her kids with her.
Soon, Margarita’s brother moved to his own place because he couldn’t take it.
“I started thinking negative thoughts and wanted to give up on life,” Margarita remembers. “My mother would tell me that l was so bad and lazy — she would constantly put me down.”
One day, Margarita’s mom told her “she wished she had aborted” Margarita.
“This was my breaking point and that day was the first time I slit my wrist, says Margarita.
She was hospitalized at Sunnybrook Hospital and diagnosed with depression and anxiety.
Margarita continues cutting herself
At Sunnybrook, Margarita tells the psychiatrist about her mother and her life at home. She was then referred to Sancta Maria House, but the self harm didn’t stop.
“I continued cutting myself and l was so depressed that I couldn‘t get up in the morning to go to school,” says Margarita. “Instead of yelling and screaming at me like my mother did, Sancta Maria House staff would talk with me about my life and how they could help me to cope.”
Margarita continued to see her psychiatrist at Sunnybrook and Sancta Maria House staff was invited to sit in on some of her sessions.
“This was really helpful,” says Margarita. “I started gradually getting up and going to school and attending my classes.”
Friendship formed for life
Margarita was able to get all her credits to graduate from high school. Sancta Maria House staff threw her a graduation party.
“One thing that I will never forget is the friendships I made with the other girls at
Sancta Maria House,” says Margarita. “We had lots of fun memories together and we will be friends for life.
During her time at Sancta Maria House, Margarita visited her mother often and their relationship got better over the years. When she turned 19, she decided to return home.
“I realized that my mother needed me and I felt that l could help her,” said Margarita.
Sancta Maria House continues to supportMargarita through the After Care program. The after care worker checks in with her once a month to see how things are going.
“I am so thankful to all the staff that helped me along the way and gave me all the words of encouragement and praise,” says Margarita “Without their help l would not be where I am today.”