Shlomit's story

Shlomit, 27-years old from northern Israel, was an A student throughout high school. She was determined to continue her higher education in a prestigious institution. In order to do so, she had to leave home and live in a dorm. Her grades continued to be excellent and the professional staff raved about her, but all was not rosy; she found it very hard to adjust socially and felt cut off from home. It was also challenging for her to attend classes regularly. Her longing for home and feelings of loneliness only increased with time.
In addition to her personal struggles, Shlomit suffered ongoing trauma from one of the dorm counselors which she did not share with anyone. While her friends spent their free time chatting and having the kind of fun that teenagers enjoy, Shlomit would spend sleepless nights crying into her pillow. She didn’t dare breathe a word about her angst to her fellow students; her tear-soaked pillow was her only consolation.
Her state of mind deteriorated, and along with it, her academic success. This, combined with her spotty attendance record had a very detrimental affected on Shlomit; she suffered cruelly. Her grandmother was the first to notice Shlomit’s troubled state. At the doctor’s suggestion, Shlomit began taking medication that stabilized her condition somewhat. Shlomit’s grandmother even helped her through the bureaucratic process of establishing mental health disability benefits; she filled out the forms and submitted the request to Israel’s Ministry of Health. When the request was approved a few months later, the road to a more secure future was paved…
Shlomit tried a large number of vocational rehab frameworks, and in each of them, she was not able to overcome her difficulty of regular attendance, just as she hadn’t showed up for classes. She bounced around from a sheltered workshop to supported employment in the mainstream workplace, to more intensive support on the job… She simply was not capable of holding down a job, despite her superior intelligence and talents. After nearly 10 years of instability, dissatisfaction and repeated failure, Shlomit joined Bayit Cham’s “Reishit” program where she worked shifts at a variety of jobs. She also participated in the support group meetings which improved her social skills and boosted her emotional strength. For the first time in her life, she managed to persevere. Shlomit received countless job offers in the mainstream workplace, but she declined: “Right now I need to focus on strengthening my inner resilience – I need this time to invest in my personal growth,” Shlomit insisted. Her vocational coach encouraged her to consider taking a part-time job, but she firmly refused. During this time Shlomit underwent a rehabilitation process that apparently had not been possible in previous frameworks. With the help of Bayit Cham’s professional staff, she succeeded in overcoming her lack of perseverance and at least, succeed at integrating optimally but in her studies and on the job. A few months later, Shlomit achieved overcame another barrier: she was hired as a medical secretary at one of the largest HMOs and is doing fantastically. She shows up on time, doesn’t leave early, and does her job well. Her employer is pleased with her and she is beyond pleased with herself!

Shlomit’s message to the world: You must never give in to despair! Even if you fall, you can rise again and keep growing. My brother is also facing emotional challenges for nearly 4 years; I was motivated to prove to him that it is possible to grow and achieve great heights without looking back!

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