It was in lower Manhattan nearly 15 years ago that a young woman experiencing “houselessness,” as she described it, gave me a copy of the piece of art that is below. She used it to tell me about her experience and wanted me to share it with others. It describes her disconnection from the world, her isolation, pain, and tough demeanor (spikes) she needs to project to survive. It shows the thorny connection to her mother, who was addicted to crack, suicidal and sex trade-involved, and who sex trafficked her. It shows a connection to a father who she never knew. She was angry, depressed, and traumatized. She was also going to high school despite being homeless.
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Dr. Sean Kidd, Chief of Psychology
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, January 18, 2018