Jail, me in jail! I never thought I would end up in a place like that, not me. Growing up I was pretty much a straight forward honest person. Not that I was perfect but if you do something illegal I now believe it will come back to bite you. As I am walking away from three months of confinement, I do mean actually walking because there is no one to give me a ride. The only place I know to go is Women's Services shelter, The Greenhouse. I pray that they will take me in. Having lost everything including my family, I don’t even know how to begin a new life. I am much too angry at my family for abandoning me in my rough patch and yet I cannot blame them. Being abused led me into a place that trapped me, where I felt alone and agitated. It swept me into a life that I did something that I would have never done. I know it is not an excuse so I paid the price and now I will start to find who I am and who I will be.
After I made it to the shelter, there were so many days that things were going rough and I don’t think there wasn’t a day that didn’t go by that depression didn’t set in. No job, no home, no real friends and no means to support myself. Someone said maybe I should go on meds for my mental health, well excuse me I have no money, none, not a single dollar in my pocket to go to a doctor let alone get meds every month. One day, Rose found me in the dining room in front of the computer just playing a mindless game. At that point I did not think I could ever get out of the situation. I had made a few small steps forward but then there were many steps backward. It was a down and out day. Do you know how many days I felt down and out? I felt like if I gave up no one would care. Well the staff at Women's Services. They walked with me through those times day after day and night after night. Now here I am walking down the road towards a new life. It has not been easy for me, but here is the story of a new beginning for me.
If it weren’t for their listening ears and gentle nudging I am not quite sure where I would be right now. Many nights I sat up with them because I couldn’t process what I had been through years ago. It seemed to be haunting me and I kept rehashing reliving it and was just stuck in a rut. The people at Women's Services offered me help with this but I want my independence and that means I do not want to depend on anyone else, ever again. Counseling to me didn’t make any sense because it was the past and yet I lived with it every moment. I just kept thinking there are others that need that assistance more than me. I am a fighter and I will survive.
One long night, you know the dark ones that go on and on, I was talking with one of the staff and she was encouraging me to talk about my abuse and what I had been through. I said "you just don’t understand" and she said “try me.” She did understand because she had been though her own torturous abuse and had come to Women’s Services for help many years ago. It was a bright light that shone through the darkness and I could see the end of the tunnel. Everything began to change for me at that moment and I knew that I just didn’t want to survive but I want to live life to the fullest.
Today I have a job, new friends and my own home. Even after I saw the light at the end of the tunnel the trip was still a road with potholes, but now I was moving forward. Sometimes at 20 miles an hour, sometimes at 55 mph, once in awhile even in reverse. I am proud that I walked this journey and each day I go on with my journey. Without Women's Services, my journey may have taken an entirely different path and for their support and guidance I am forever grateful. Please help them help others like me.