Kosumosu is My Family - Little Tokyo Service Center

Kosumosu is My Family

Trigger warning: This article discusses themes of domestic violence and abuse.

flower artwork by Kosumosu client

Mirasol and her daughter painted this to show Kosumosu staff her appreciation for all the support.

“Kosumosu’s therapist, Vivian, was very patient with me. I never felt comfortable talking about my past. I avoided it to protect myself from getting hurt. But Vivian allowed me to take time to face it. The more we talked about it, the easier I felt every time. I was finally getting the violence and mental abuse of my past out of me. Vivian helped me find who I truly am and what my values are.”

Mirasol was a housewife raising four small children. She was not allowed to work or go to school. She was only allowed to go to the grocery store, take care of children, and do housework. Her husband was responsible for their finances. Her world was getting smaller, and she was soon disconnected from society.

“When he was choking my neck threatening to kill me, all I was thinking was, ‘it was my fault. I must have done something wrong to make him act this way.’ Because I was so used to this violent environment, I didn’t even question it. This became my ‘normal’ life, until police officers took me to an emergency shelter.”

Mirasol was hesitant to go to the shelter. She didn’t know what to do because her life was still under the control of her husband. She had no job, no education, and didn’t speak English. Without him, she felt she lost all sense of direction.

She took some classes about domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse at the shelter. She slowly realized that it was not her fault. His drug and alcohol abuse made his violent choices worse. Through therapies and classes, she began to learn to care for herself and her children. She also went to school to become a medical assistant.

About a year later, she moved into Kosumosu, LTSC’s transitional housing. LTSC’s licensed clinical social workers provided therapies, financial literacy classes, and parenting classes to assist her to become independent. She learned how to love herself once again. “The parenting class was particularly helpful. I was a mother before, but didn’t do the right thing for my kids. I learned how to stand up and protect not only myself but my children.”

Mirasol calls Kosumosu a home. “The most memorable moments at Kosumosu were holidays. LTSC staff and volunteers made them so special for all of us, especially Christmas. It reminded me of my own childhood. When I was moving from one shelter to another, I never found a true home. But at Kosumosu, I finally felt safe.

LTSC’s social worker assisted her to find an apartment. She and her children graduated from Kosumosu and now they cherish their independence. She is thankful for everyone who was involved in her journey, from the neighbor who called the police, to the police officers who convinced her to go to the shelter, to social workers at the shelters who educated her about DV, and to everyone at Kosumosu who taught her what normal life meant.

Mirasol decided to share her journey hoping to help someone who may be in an abusive situation. “Every little thing all these people contributed made a lot of positive change to our lives. Thank you all for giving me an opportunity to have a normal peaceful life. I do not have any family members in the U.S., but Kosumosu is now my family.”

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