“When I was nine years old, I was molested by my uncle. When I was fourteen my dad went from hitting my mom to hitting me. I got pregnant and had my first daughter at age sixteen. I stayed in school and graduated high school when I was seventeen years old. At age nineteen I got back together with my daughter’s dad and we had two more children by the time I was twenty-four. He was very abusive mentally and physically for the last nine years of our relationship. In July 2007, I left their dad and never went back.
I was now a single mom with three children living with my parents. Things started going better; I was a medical assistant and worked at the hospital.
The beginning of 2013, I met this guy who I thought was so amazing. He treated my children and I really well. In February of 2013, my mom left my dad and moved to Washington. Six months later my dad died. My boyfriend and I ended up moving in together. Toward the end of January 2014, I had gotten off work early because I was not feeling well. When I got home I heard a noise coming from the very back room so I ran back there to see what it was and found my ex beating my son. I grabbed the belt from his hands and the last thing I remember was him choking me unconscious and woke up to him raping me.
He went to jail and three days later my kids were taken from me for failure to protect my son. I felt as if I were in a nightmare and could not wake up. I was doing everything CPS told me to do on top of still working forty to sixty hours a week at the hospital for them to tell me they never intended to give me my children back and they planned to separate my kids and adopt them out. So, I signed guardianship over to my sister and her husband before CPS could do that. I took a leave of absence from the hospital knowing I would never return, and gave up my home and lived out of my car.
Then, I began using meth to numb my pain, I lived every day like it was my last. I didn’t want to live anymore. Then, in March of 2015, I was arrested for possession of meth and went to jail. I spent almost a year in jail to see what would become of it all.
I kept hearing about Teen Challenge in jail and I talked to my mom and she called and got someone to come to the jail and interview me. She said I was put on the waiting list. However when I went to court the following week my judge told me she was not giving me a program, she was sending me to prison. I had to wait three more weeks just for my sentencing. That is when I began praying and asked God to please help me. I did not want to go to prison. I knew I would die, in more than one way, and I would never see my kids again. On December 31, 2015, I went for my sentencing and noticed I had a different judge. That is when I found out my first judge had retired three days before, and I was released to Teen Challenge. God wanted me in the Teen Challenge program and on January 5, 2016, I came into the center.
In Teen Challenge God has taught me to rely on Him for my everything. For the first time in my life I have hope and a burning desire for Him. I am now home and have been reunited with my three beautiful children. I have been blessed with employment. I have not been given a second chance; I have been given a whole new life!”