I know my story is pretty raw, but it's a story of hope. I had years of abuse and addiction and was deeply traumatised and became suicidal. I had a lot to deal with as a teenager, and I had so much going on. I didn't have anyone who could walk alongside me. I turned to drugs at an early age. Between sexual abuse, self-harm and foster homes, I just went on a downward spiral.
But then I met a man and found love, and it helped me say goodbye to the lifestyle I had been living. I was engaged to be married. For the first time, I didn't fear the future. My beautiful fiance was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away very quickly. I gave birth to our baby alone, I was shocked and grieving. I tried to push away the grief; I wanted to be the best mother that I could be. I just tried to get on with my life. I was so alone; I didn't have support; I wanted to provide well for my son, I fell into drug use again and began working in the sex industry.
The spiral just got deeper and deeper. And I didn't have any desire to live anymore. I didn't want this life for my son, but I didn't know how to change my life by myself. I eventually moved to Queensland to try and get away. I knew I needed help, and I was ready. I rang every drug and alcohol rehab in Australia, and all of them said no they couldn't take me. I was a New Zealand resident with no access to Centrelink. I called Teen Challenge. I remember being told, 'Yes, we can work it out. Please come". A group of women, people I had never met, sponsored me to do the Teen Challenge (TC) program.
When I arrived at TC, I was met with so much love and acceptance. I didn't understand how these people could love me and accept me as I was, not wanting anything in return. It still blows my mind.
I had a lot of issues to deal with, many struggles and setbacks. But I got the support I needed.
With all of this support, I started to change from the inside out; my life was transformed. When I left TC, I dedicated the next four years to getting my son the help he needed to deal with all his childhood trauma.
The Teen Challenge crew helped me change from the inside out and truly transform my life.
My life is now so good. I never thought that life could be this good; I don't need to wake up and have any drugs to be happy, and I am just on this journey of being joyful.
I find pleasure in little day-to-day things like going to the supermarket and planning meals for my family. My life is so different now. I am married and am raising a beautiful family with my husband. I am working for TC, and I know God is using me to help the young woman in the program. I've been where they are, and I have experienced a second chance at life. My life now is the one I've always dreamed of having. I'm so grateful for the healing I have experienced and the opportunity to work through the trauma, and I'm no longer bound by it.