I used to walk down the street looking at people. People looked back at me. I wanted to talk to someone, but my mom told me not to talk to strangers. But I am a person that likes talking. And I needed to tell someone what was happening to me.
Carrying a Burden
My life changed when I was 9. I was hit by a car, and soon after I came home from the hospital, I was molested. For years, my mother’s boyfriend kept touching me.
These experiences made me feel like a target. As a little girl, I loved to talk about Jesus. But being molested made me feel unloved. I felt no support from church or my mom. I was angry, too. I never needed my life to be turned upside down.
Trying to Be Strong
My sister was my role model. She has a disease that makes her hair fall out. She was so confident despite her disease. She graduated high school. I wanted to do the same.
But as a teenager, I couldn’t seem to follow her path. I wanted marijuana, cigarettes, alcohol to take away my heartache.
One day when I was a teenager, I told my mom her boyfriend was always touching me. She said I was not the only one, and not to feel bad. But when I brought it up a few years later, she began to verbally abuse me.
After that, my depression became powerful. I felt homeless within myself.
Someone to Talk To
Finally, I admitted myself to the hospital. When I came out, eight years ago, I went into a substance abuse program. Eventually I also started therapy.
My therapist is beautiful. I told my therapist everything that happened in my past. My past made me feel unsafe. Being in therapy made me feel safe and loved.
Therapy also showed me the difference between real love and sex, and helped me believe I could make friends.
I always felt like a door was closed that I wanted open. The door was opened for others and not me. I felt jealous and angry, like I was becoming a monster. Going to therapy helped to make my mind positive.
In my 20s I became a mother but I couldn’t stop using drugs. At 24 my mom kicked me out. My daughter stayed with her. At 25 I had a son. I tried my hardest, but when he was 2 he was placed in foster care, and eventually he went to live with my mother.
With my therapist’s help, though, I did not give up. My oldest two children are 9 and 4 and they live with my mother. But I have a 9-month-old baby that lives with me.
We live in a shelter. Every shelter has a social worker. My social worker is just like my therapist—calm and always smiles. I also go to parenting and to my writing group. People tell me I am a good mother. All the smiles and good remarks make my life better.
I believe that everyone has a light. My light was blinking on and off when I was a child. I knew it could be fixed and now it is. A person can fall down. Sometimes it takes another person to let you know you can get up again.