With Help, Life Can Be Good Again

In 2002, I was at a party at a good friend’s house and met a man. We both liked each other and quickly started spending lots of time together. Shortly after we met he moved in with me. He was using drugs and I started using drugs as well. I didn’t know at the time that he had a criminal record and a history of domestic abuse.

Shortly after he moved in, he became very violent with me. He left me with bruises and broken bones on many occasions. He mentally and emotionally abused me. He often locked me in the house. Many times I called the police and told them I was suicidal so I would be taken to the hospital. It was sometimes the only way I could get away from him. I felt like I was a prisoner in my own house.

Even though he was so horrible to me, I had a hard time saying no to him and we lived together on and off for 11 years. One night in October 2013, he came home high. He pulled me out of bed by my hair, accused me of cheating on him and forced me to give him the $40 I had made that day from selling papers. He stole my phone and left to go buy drugs. As soon as he left, I ran to a neighbor’s house and called the police. When he returned  to the house, the police arrested him and took him to jail. The next month, he was charged and found guilty of second degree assault. He was sentenced to six months in prison but was released after three.

After that night in October, I knew I needed help. I called the House of Ruth and started seeing a counselor. I saw that counselor every week for four months and we worked on many of my mental health issues. I am so grateful for the help they gave me. They also provided legal services and helped me obtain a protective order. Not only was I receiving therapy and legal help, but I was able to live at the House of Ruth for seven months. I kicked my drug addiction. I learned to become independent and I also learned to love myself.

I now know that the abuse I suffered was not my fault. I also know that even though I walked away from God, God was still there and still loves me. There are many services like this out there and even though life isn’t always a bed of roses, if you do the work and take advantage of the services available, life can be good again.

Issues |Health, Physical

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.