Several years ago I spent six weeks in Michigan, receiving therapy at CARE (Consulting Advocacy Resources Education http://www.care1.org/), a non-profit organization empowering trauma survivors to THRIVE, moving from victim to victor. At CARE, I finally experienced — for the first time in my life —what ‘family’ and ‘home’ are supposed to be.

My earliest memories are of surviving hell on earth. My parents sold me into sexual bondage, before I was five. Every day, my parents handed me over to clients, who did unspeakable things, to the sexy little thing of their nightmarish fantasies.

My own fantasies featured not violent sex, but escape. Every day, I looked out the window, imagining the same scene: I’d be running desperately along the fence, searching for a hole large enough to slip through, to a family waiting on the other side — except there was never anyone there, and the fact that I never told anyone about the unspeakable things being done to me, meant no one could help me.

Through high school and university, I spent hours reading about how to heal, while mentoring foster-care children and at-risk youth. All the while, I kept my own pain carefully hidden, never allowing anyone — professional or peer — to get too close.

CARE changed all that. I believe that God used the CARE community (counselors and residents) to restore me to wholeness — in spirit, soul and mind. Having experienced first-hand what God can do through a community reflecting His love, I now dream of helping other trauma survivors in the same way that CARE helped me.

The first step was to obtain training. So, in December 2015, with the full support of CARE Directors Jo Getzinger and Cheri Knight, I applied to the Masters in Social Work program at a nearby university. I will finish my classes in August 2017.

 In His Amazing Grace,

A survivor in love with Him and loved by Him

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