By Cassandra, Fontebella Mom
May 5, 2020
My daughter Hannah and myself are blessed to be residents at the Fontebella Maternity Home. Getting to where I am now has been quite the journey and I have struggled quite a bit to get to where I am now. My life has been dramatically impacted by living at Fontebella and I have gained so much. I have been able to grow as a mom, but more importantly, I have grown as a functioning member of society and for the first time, in a long time, I can see a future for myself and my daughter.
Growing up, I was a driven girl and I excelled in sports and school. We did not have much, but my parents did the best they could with what they were given. My mother was a strong independent woman that put herself through nursing school, and I was very proud of her. However, when I was sixteen, she passed away, which was a pivotal moment in my life that affects me to this day. Additionally, my father battled mental health issues and addiction for as long as I can remember, and he passed away a little over three years ago as well.
I used my mother’s death as an excuse to run from everything I knew and rebel against everyone that cared about me. Almost immediately after her death, I ran away with a guy who manufactured and distributed hard drugs. That was the beginning of a cycle that took 15 years of my life to recover from, but now I am blessed to say that I am a survivor. Years of physical, sexual and mental abuse institutionalized me in hospitals, jails and rehab treatment centers. I tried so many times and so many ways to get well, but no one and nothing could help me until I was ready to help myself. Once I surrendered to my disease, and with the guidance of a 12-step program, God opened doors for me and I am forever grateful.
I’ll never forget the day I was interviewed to come live at Fontebella. I was in a 28-day treatment facility and we met in a little room. I prayed all day for His Will, not mine and I believe that’s one of the main reasons I was accepted. I also firmly believe that the strides I’ve made since being accepted are because I adhere to the principals of the 12-step program and from listening to the suggestions from my case manager and mentors at the Fontebella Maternity Home. I also take advantage of consistent therapy, counseling, and self-help groups that help me build a stable platform for myself in which to grow.
I now have consistent employment. With a steady income, I am learning to budget, and I was able to pay off many debts such as probation fees, schooling fees and even get my driver’s license back. This new independence has allowedme to learn about codependency and how it has affected my life. I am constantly using the guidance and knowledge given to me by the staff at Fontebella to become a more productive member of society.
I am looking forward to the plans I am making for Hannah and me! I am working towards returning to school to further my education so I can establish a career for Hannah to have the best future possible. I am hoping the career assessment through a program offered at Fontebella will help me determine the best career path for me. I also plan on continuing my 12-step recovery program by carrying the message to fellow addicts to help them recover. I get to give back what was so freely given to me, and that’s the beauty of the program.
I pray that by sharing my experience, struggles and hopes, it can help someone in a similar situation who may be reading this. I sincerely hope people understand just how much stability and strength Fontebella has given me and many other mothers in their time of need. I honestly could not have imagined a more hopeful future without the support Fontebella has given me. I am so thankful for this opportunity, and may God bless you and yours in this beautiful journey of life.