This is a very short version of my testimony. I give God all the glory. It is only through Him and His saving grace that I am here to write and share anything. I hope this testimony can give hope to others.
I was given my first beer at age one, by age three; I was looking at crime scene photos of horrific killings, decapitations and accident photos. All of which came from my father. My mother had been and was a prescription pain pill addict. It was at this time that I first ran away, crossing major boulevards to get anywhere, I was 3. The police would find me and bring me home and because my father was a policeman, nothing was ever done to find out why I ran away. As I got older, my mother became more abusive both verbally and emotionally. Sometimes it would get physical. She had a Red Ball paddle and would slap me across my arms or my face, but most of the time she used her hands. She would continue to hit me, harder and harder until I would cry. My father was either not around, indifferent or badgered to stay out of it from my mother. There are years that I know my father was in the house, but I don’t remember him at all. Some things I do remember, but not much, I know that I was revolted every time he would reach over to kiss me and he would tell me jokes that were sexual in nature. He would also call me names that reflected parts of my body. I learned from my mother that I was worthless, unintelligent and in her words, “I can take you out of this world” as well as many other degrading things. I spent my early childhood in a fantasy land where I talked to people that were not real and they would answer me back. Of course it was just me, but it was my escape. Talking to myself like this lasted well into my adult life, in fact I wasn’t able to quit this behavior until 2006. My older brother became my care taker and my hero until he turned 18 and left the house for good. At that time I had just turned 12. I had already been in Junior High since turning 10. That was when I really began to drink. I would take my little brother into the grocery store and buy beer for me and my friends. I looked a lot older and I was never carded. When I turned 13, I lost my virginity to an older boy that I barely knew. I was searching for anyone to give me some kind of value and love. I was driving my mother’s car nightly in L.A. and would go drink and be with a boy until early morning. My mother only required a phone number from me, which I gave her and when I got home staggering in the morning, she was so out of it from her pills that she didn’t even care that I was sick from alcohol. When I was in High School, the drinking got worse and I started smoking pot. I really didn’t like the pot, but that allowed me to be in with the cool crowd. I did have some really good friends who would take me to church and I accepted Jesus when I was 13 even though I was a mess. But going to church didn’t last very long and then I was doing things worse than before. The one thing I think I did right during that time was carry a 4.0 GPA which got me accepted into Pepperdine. I didn’t get to go because my parents fled to Arizona so that my father could escape prosecution for sexual misconduct from the police department. It was here in Arizona that I met my children’s father. I got pregnant, lost that child and then ran with him back to California only to get pregnant again. He was just as verbally abusive as my mother had been and he drank, a lot. After my divorce, I continued on a self destruct mode with men, drinking and I found coke. My life was out of control not to mention my mental health. I kept picking men that physically abused me and to escape I would do anything to stop the pain. In my late 20’s I found meth and it seemed to me at the time that this was a cure all. It took the pain away for a while. But it wasn’t long before I was trapped and slowly killing myself. One day I looked into the eyes of my kids and decided to start living for them. I quit doing meth and drinking and slowly convinced my fourth husband to stop also. Things turned around for a few years until he went back to doing coke and had an affair. After the divorce, I went back to doing meth and drinking heavily again. Both my daughters left home. One was old enough to leave, the youngest ran away. That broke me. I lost everything, my house, my cars and my kids turned away from me. I became suicidal for the second time in my life. I was numb, hopeless and helpless. I lived in my car that I got for $200 and moved into a drug neighborhood. I moved from drug dealer’s house to another just to have a roof over my head. I did things that I regret and all the while my mental health deteriorated. I didn’t care what happened to me and I didn’t believe anyone else cared either. My mother passed away and father wanted to put a bullet to my head if I came near him. All I wanted was for him to say ‘I love you’. I continued to live in my car for several years. Then I even lost my car and when that happened all my belongings that I had been trying to hold on to were stolen. My son would take me in once in a while only to kick me out again. This lasted for five years. One of the places I lived in for a about three weeks, I was laying in the dark looking up at the ceiling and I asked God if I was strong enough to go through all the hardships I was going through and the most brilliant white light cross became visible on the ceiling. This gave me hope, but I still didn’t know how to turn my life around. The last time my son kicked me out I started to look for shelters.
The Gospel Rescue Mission was about the sixth one on my list. Something made me call them first and when I called they had a bed for me. If anyone knows about the Mission, it is very hard to get into, they are always full. But God orchestrated every move I made. His hands were on my life and just because I walked away from Him, He never left me. At first I didn’t care too much for being there because of the closed iron gate and having to follow the rules. I had a tough case manager that made me do things I didn’t want to do, like going to SAMHC (Southern Arizona Mental Health Corporation) and getting medications for my mental health issues. But slowly I began to have a relationship with God; I began to know who I was in Christ. My mental health became stabilized; I began working on my codependency issues. For the first time I was able to make friends with women, something that I was never able to do before. I forgave my parents and even blessed both of them. It was too late to do it in person with my mother, but just before my father passed away, I was able to witness to him. I completed the program at the Gospel Rescue Mission, moved into their transition house, went back to school to get a degree and began working. I found Faith Christian Fellowship which became my home church. God has restored all my family relationships, He has blessed me with a home, a car, a family and a life that is abundant. I give Him all the glory for without Him none of this would have been possible and looking back at my life; I know He was always with me.