“I am not my past!”
It’s a strange thing to not remember your childhood. To literally have less than a handful of memories from before your early teens. But that’s how it is for Alicia. Her mother was in the army and would sometimes have to travel so she and her siblings would stay with family. On one of those occasions, when she was five years old, she was molested. Unfortunately, the memory of that awful incident has stayed with her even though that’s when her memories ceased for years.
“I don’t have too many memories of my childhood. I don’t know the school I went to or anything. I don’t know if it’s blocked out. I just know there’s nothing there. I’m pretty sure this is the moment my life went in the direction it’s gone. The years of pain, chaos, drugs, bad relationships, jail, rehabs, even prostitution. On top of being molested as a child, I was raped one night as I was walking home after dark. I was 15 at the time. I began to suffer from severe depression and other issues that even led to a few hospitalizations.”
“I don’t fault my mom I had a good family and great home as a teen I just didn’t know how to tell her what had happened, so I just left home, and things really spiraled out of control.”
While living in California Alicia faced jail terms several times, however, the law there allows you to go to rehab instead of going to jail for certain offenses, so that’s what she chose. “They really did nothing for me. I was just there so I didn’t have to go to jail. It was never about getting help for my problems.”
Alicia hit rock bottom when she found herself living in a trailer with no electricity or running water and facing federal charges with a potential prison sentence. That’s when she decided, “okay, I want to fix the problem, I need help and I’m ready to get it.” That led her to the Rescue Mission.
“I hate I never found this place before because you feel nothing but love as soon as you drive up. I know I probably wasn’t really ready to change before but I am now. I have four beautiful children that I haven’t had custody of for five years. I’ve been dealing with addiction for over 20 years and was also estranged from my mom. Everything is so different since coming to the Mission. I’ve found love, acceptance, community, and best of all a relationship with Jesus, all of which are helping me to heal.”
“I was so broken and desperate when I came to the Mission. Now I’m so encouraged, I am not my past, I am committed to completing this program, and you only keep what you have if you give it away. So, I am definitely gonna figure out how I can be of service to other women who have been through the things I have. I want to help them avoid some of the hardships I’ve had and to find help, to find Jesus. I would love to do that!”
The changes Alicia has experienced since coming to the Mission have given her a hope she’s never had before. “Even though I still have my legal issues to deal with, I know God has a plan for me, and for my kids who I now get to talk to everyday on the phone. I have even reconnected with my mom since I’ve been here. I don’t worry as much as I used to because I now trust Him and know He knows what is best for me. I have honestly declared to the Lord, ‘I am done with the past, and I’m gonna move forward with You.’ It feels so good!