Hey there. Let me introduce myself, my name is Camelia Abigail Benavides, but most people call me Abby.
I like to think our mission in life is to find love within ourselves and to spread that love to others. The road to this discovery started a long time ago. I have been an anxious human for as long as I can remember.
Growing up in a Hispanic household I was always told to toughen up, to be brave, to stop bothering everyone and to stop being a burden.
My parents did the best they could as first-generation immigrants working and managing the stress of building a new life and family away from the comfort of their friends and family. Now that I have grown up they have shared how difficult it was on their mental and physical health. But as a child you don’t know why you feel the way you feel, you just feel it. When your parents don’t have the answers, you are left alone to find them on your own. I found comfort in trying to please others in order to build a safety net of support.
Growing up this way is not ideal because you never develop a sense of self, you are busy trying to stay busy in order to ignore all of the unanswered questions. I grew up and eventually I decided to break the cycle. I started the healing process.
My life is full of love and support from friends, family, acquaintances, my dog, but most importantly myself.
I am currently working with kids at a government funded mental health clinic as a Qualified Mental Health Professional - Community Services (QMHP-CS). I want to be able to give children the support they need in order to help them realize their own potential. The work can be emotionally demanding at times, but it is the most rewarding job I have ever had. I am about to start school to get my Master in Social Work (MSW). The goal is to get become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), in order to be able to do counseling. I don't know if I can see myself doing just that for the rest of my professional career but the beauty of having your MSW is the flexibility within itself.
I enjoy helping people and I want to keep doing that for as long as I can