A deeper look at amy's story
Throughout Amy’s life, she faced neglect, sex trafficking and drug abuse. Amy used drugs to help her cope with the trauma she experienced. As toxic as the drugs were, it felt like her only escape. Going through drug rehab enabled her to face her trauma in a healthy way. She began a new life.
Shortly after moving into Hope House, Amy was pulled back into her pain by the loss of her beloved grandmother. Growing up, her grandmother was her one stable influence. Losing her brought Amy back to a place that she was far too familiar with. She was in crisis mode again. How could she face this loss without returning to her old life? Facing it alone would have been nearly impossible. It took community for her to remain stable. Not running was one of the most challenging things for her to do. Being able to live at Hope House at such a vulnerable time in Amy’s life was critical for the breakthrough she needed. She was able to walk through this crisis and stand firm.
By giving financially to Community of Hope, you are helping to bring true community and a sense of hope to those who otherwise have none.
Being held as a baby, having the world revolve around you as your parents gaze on your face with wonder even when they are sleep deprived. Laughing as you play with family and friends. Crying and being comforted with kisses. Living in a secure and stable home. Having others encourage your growth and celebrate your achievements. Being loved enough to have someone correct you when you are heading in the wrong direction.
Amy grew up without those things. Neglected and ignored by a mother who was an addict. In and out of relatives’ homes from the age of 7. Starting to use drugs herself and seeking love from a succession of men who used and abused her and threw her away.
Studies show that children who experience Adverse Childhood Experiences, neglect, abuse, living with adults that are involved in domestic violence, drug addiction, incarceration, mental illness, homelessness, or a chaotic lifestyle are statistically more likely to have major health issues or repeat the cycle of trauma they grew up in.
But it does not have to happen that way. Amy is proof. After experiencing all those things and more, she is learning to trust others, meet her children’s needs, and work toward positive life goals even when the going is tough. Her children are recovering from her past mistakes and are well on the way to successful lives.
Amy, like many of her peers, did not identify as a victim of sex trafficking. It was just a way to survive. It is very difficult to leave “the lifestyle.” Some are threatened, injured or even killed by men who pay for their services. It is almost impossible to leave the abusive relationships of the pimps who manipulate them and imprison them with threats or telling them that they are worthless and have no way out. Amy escaped. The money was good, but it was not worth the trauma and degradation of the work.
With the death of Amys’ grandmother, Amy was brought back into her trauma. And within moments Amy’s thoughts traveled back to her old, familiar lifestyle. We were able to remind her of the truth that she was in a safe place.
Being at Community of Hope provided the support that Amy needed to not return to the lifestyle when things got rough, especially as she was overwhelmed with grief when she lost her grandmother.
Life is hard. In life we experience loneliness, trauma, despair and sometimes toxic relationships, all of which drive us to find some sense of relief. How we go about finding that relief can look different depending on us as individuals and our environment. Some of us go about finding “relief” in shopping or binge watching the latest program, working, exercise or overeating. Whatever it may be, all of us try to do something to avoid facing our pain. Some even turn to drugs and alcohol thinking that it is the “ easy” way out. Regardless of what we choose to find that relief, they all have consequences. Some of them end up being a lifelong consequences.
When Amy faced abuse she chose what was familiar, she chose drugs. At least while she was high the pain was numbed if even for a short time. But with this choice followed an overwhelming amount of consequences. Unhealthy relationship, loss of income, her children being taken away. After the loss of her children Amy decided to seek help. She started an inpatient drug treatment program at Project Network. She became stabilized in her sobriety, she came to Community of Hope. Without a place like Community of Hope, the cycle would more likely be continued.
Amy's Near relapse
Amy’s grandmother died. She had raised Amy. Full of grief, Amy wanted the comfort of her old, familiar lifestyle, earning money through prostitution so she could buy whatever she wanted and using drugs to deaden the pain. We were able to remind her of the truth that she was in a safe place where she could find the comfort she needed. She had the support of Community of Hope where she was loved and valued instead of being used and discarded.