LANTANA, Fla. - Pain is relative for Naomi Breton, she's been trying to ignore it for the past year. Scars on her arms and stomach reveal what were once third degree burns.
Roosevelt Mondesir attacked Naomi in June of last year at a suburban Boynton Beach gas station. Mondesir was her ex-boyfriend, and father of her youngest son.
Mondesir doused her with gas and lit her on fire. Somehow she found a way to forgive him.
"The only reason I forgive is because otherwise you have hatred in your heart and I don't want that. I don't want to teach my kids to be those kinds of children," says Breton.
The 35-year-old mom hasn't been back to the gas station on Hypoluxo Road and Lawrence Road where it all happened last June.
But Breton had to relive the trauma last week. She took the stand at Mondesir's trial, where he was convicted of attempted murder. He now faces life in prison and will be sentenced August 23rd.
In the year since the attack she's focused on her three kids, Xavier, 14, Giovanni, 12 and Nathaniel, 5. They youngest has suffered the most from the trauma.
"My little one, he gets mad and then aggressive," says Breton.
That aggression has turned violent. Nathaniel has fought with kids at school and even threw a chair at a teacher.
A psychologist says it's common for children to reflect the symptoms their parents suffer, even without witnessing the attack.
"They can't make sense of the awful thing that happened. They want to hear that it will be okay and that it doesn't mean that's who they will become," says Dr. Roslyn Malmaud.
All three of Breton's kids are in counseling, Nathaniel goes twice per week. She is open with them about what happened, hoping honesty will help heal.
"I tell him he can't take his anger out on others. I say no one else has to suffer over dad's mistake," says Breton.
Breton says her children have been the key to her recovery and she is dedicated to being theirs.
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