Laura, 44- Sacramento, CA

“I am here from years of drug abuse and domestic violence. It wasn’t just one domestic violence incident it’s been my whole life, every relationship I’ve been in.”

“I was 17 and the first boy I ever dated hit me. I thought that was normal after that. I thought that’s how you show love. I hated myself. So I got with these guys who would abuse me. I’ve been left for dead, I’ve had my jaw broken.

I started shooting dope at 14. When my dad would leave for months at a time, my mom would drink more so I would get away with more. The drug use made me look like I was 20 when I was 13. I had the mind of a little girl but suddenly I’m getting the attention of 20 year-olds. I would think ‘well someone’s paying attention to me!'”


laura4


“In the midst of abuse I had to learn to love myself, that was the biggest thing. A lot of therapy, a lot of time. I’m bipolar and have PTSD from the years of abuse. I’ve learned that I never have to live that way again. There’s nothing in this world that can happen that can make me go back to that lifestyle but me. I know that I deserve love and that I can love myself. I have power over my life. It’s hard to learn to love yourself. You need to be diligent and reflect on some things in your past you don’t want to look at.”


laura


“I’ve been clean 8 months now. I’m a work in progress, it’s a lifelong process. In one year I want to be a drug and alcohol counselor. I want to help people. Heroin is such a physical addiction- it takes part of your soul. I know what it’s like, I know the withdrawals and temptations. I know how to be around that. If you come back in two years, that’s where I’m going to be.”


 

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