My name is Amanda. I was born in Kentucky and raised up any where from Dayton, Ohio, Morehead, Kentucky, Dalton Georgia and settled here in Cleveland, Tennessee. But I didn’t find “Home” until Women of Hope welcomed me in. You see, where I came from, but not who I am now was not only a physical struggle but a mental battlefield of not only voices but urges of violence.
I came from a “normal” lifestyle but I was not your average kid. I was hostile and a burden. I was not normal at all – in my eyes. My family feared me. I was placed in mental institutions on numerous occasions not knowing then but knowing now it wasn’t because my parents didn’t care it was in hope to find help for their little girl.
At age 13 I thought I found a way to fix myself. That fix was a small town gang which led to drugs, alcohol and violence. To me it was acceptance just the way I was. It also led to alcohol poison, incarceration and of all things having my virginity taken from me.
At age 17 I was married and the violence continued. My husband and I were expecting a child but the beatings were so brutal that I planned for divorce before I conceived my beautiful dark haired, 8 pound 5 ounce little girl. Four months after I found myself a highschool drop out and single mother with no idea what to do. I was stressed, I was bored, I was confined, I was angry and I didn’t like it! It was then I was introduced to Methamphetamine. I loved it. I could stay awake to feed my baby as many times as she needed. I could play til she wore herself out. I was the perfect mother. The drug gave me so much energy and filled my insecurities, gave me hope in my despair – so I thought. I had given myself to so many men, encountered lesbian relationships found myself in places I should have never been – resulting in rape and shame.
One day I woke up and was all alone. Years had passed by. I no longer had custody of my child and hadn’t seen her in months. I wasn’t allowed at my parents home, my brothers had nothing to do with me. I was living in an abandoned shed with no running water or electricity with a the bright idea to get in good with the dope man. So, I did and it didn’t take long. I had money and cars, drugs in my pocket on an ego trip out of this world. I decided I wasn’t going to be hurt anymore. So the violence just got worse.
Nothing anyone said or did mattered to me. I was the center of attention and there wasn’t anything you could do to stop me.
In reality, I became my own Hell and I lived in nothing but darkness. I became so mean that I lost any true identity I ever had and violence is what I had become – left alone – ALONE! It was only when my child said she wasn’t ever coming back home that I made up my mind to change. When an innocent child who loves you unconditionally has rejected you it tears down your walls of darkness and pierces a ray of light into my being.
I thought to myself, “I want to know how to love also.” So I sought help – it’s all I knew to do. The only one who was willing was my daughter. She found a place for four months but I was rejected from there also. I wanted to love this little girl so I continued to look as she interceded on my behalf. We found my safe haven.
By no means am I healed. But through my spiritual parents I am learning forgiveness and acceptance. Once that darkness was pierced and stretched open I was able to receive and was filled abundantly with compassion and grace from our Heavenly Father through his blood and sacrifice. Now I can start the healing process which brings new life! After all, it is through our battles we seek Jesus and through Jesus we find victory.
Today I look forward to my ever day gift from God; one more day sober, one more day without violence and one more day forgiven. I AM WORTHY of His love! I thank you Perry and Pam Stone for Women of Hope where I have experienced love and felt compassion, where I have learned obedience. This place I call “home” is where my new story begins!