I grew up with a lot of trauma and abandonment issues from the age of 2 on. Drugs, alcohol and unhealthy relationships began at 13. As I got older I continued using, trying to hide all my feelings, and getting into one bad relationship after another. At 23 I got into a relationship with my trafficker and soon after signed over custody of my kids to family. I endured a lot of violent abuse and trauma during that time including exploitation. I became so sad, lost and hopeless that I tried taking my own life. After my trafficker was arrested, I had the opportunity to get away but it took several months of continued use of drugs.
I brought myself into treatment, where I was told about Engedi. As I was told about all the rules and classes, I doubted the program. I put my doubt to the side and came to Engedi. My first class was on Overcoming Fear, which ended up being my favorite class. In the classes I don't just learn about the subject, but I get to dig deep through all the emotions and feelings that are within myself. I've learned what healthy relationships are supposed to look like and how to establish healthy boundaries within the healthy relationships. Working through all the past trauma, hurt and hopelessness is hard, but I get to work through all of these in a safe place with safe people. My relationships with my family and my kids have grown so much and I finally have hope again.
This is the one time in my life I've been able to work on me, gain tools, and really learn to love myself. My past doesn't define me and I am worthy.
This story is authored by a woman who completed the Engedi Refuge program of safe housing, restoration, and education for the future. If you would like to learn more about Engedi Refuge, visit their website at www.engedirefuge.com.