One Girl's Experience in Early Recovery

A female student was referred to a school counseling center two days after witnessing her best friend, with whom she was walking home after school, being shot in the chest in gang-related crossfire. For several weeks following the incident, the student often appeared once or twice a day at the school counseling center, where whe tearfully described being barraged with questions by fellow students who "keep on asking me to tell them about what happened." In a trauma-focused therapy group for students exposed to community violence, the student described with an apparent mixture of anger and sadness the brakup of her relationship with her best friend:

"We used to spend a lot of time together and would talk about everything. But after it happened, she told me that my being around makes her think about when she got shot, and she's mean to me now and says she doesn't want to be around me. I told her that I was sorry about what happened but that it wasn't my fault. But she said it didn't matter. So I told her "Whatever!" So she's not my friend anymore. We just ignore each other now."