Without context, young adults from hard places can seem like strangers to fear instead of people who have suffered. Potential volunteers fear opening themselves up to relationship with a young man or woman who is, on the surface, so different. Take a moment to hear from Ali and then ask yourself, “If this was your story, how would your life be different?”
There was a lot of times that we either didn’t have power or not enough food in the cupboards. I remember one month, we lived on crackers for a whole month because somebody had donated a huge thing to the salvation Army… and my mother was like, ‘I will take whatever you have.’
ALI WAS PLACED IN DHS CUSTODY WHEN SHE WAS 8 YEARS OLD.
My ex-stepfather ended up coming back into the picture. Him and my mother had been married when I was three and then they had gone their separate ways when he had become abusive towards her.
All I could think about was, for the first time ever, I would have a father. And so I moved there and things were great for about the first year. He worked a lot. I actually lived with him and his parents.
I had a history of cutting and self harm because I had been abused by a teacher from a private Christian school for going on 6, 7 months where he actually had gotten me pregnant and I miscarried and nobody knew.
And then my ex-stepfather moved out and into a house with a 25-year-old pregnant lady who was not carrying his baby. And whenever she started trying to be my mother, I lost it. I snapped. Because she was not and I was jealous and hurt because all of the sudden I wasn’t my dad’s focus.
I got so depressed that I ended up trying to take my life. I swallowed over a hundred pills. I cut so bad that I still have the scars to this day.
After that I ended up getting put in a hospital. And she told him to choose her or me. And he chose her. So I went back into DHS custody after a guardianship of almost 6 years and I had to live with the realization that family isn’t forever.
Learn more about Life Launch
Stand in the Gap’s small group mentorship program for young adults like Ali.