It is because of our community who supports our work that we are able to be there for those like Arlene who have nowhere else to turn.
“I always wanted to be a mom. I wanted what so many young girls dream of: a handsome husband who loved me, a home with a yard, and beautiful children. Then life happened. It’s hard to say what happened during the period of time I envisioned my white picket dream life and how I found Shield Bearer after my second suicide attempt. It was just a time of life that seemed out of my control and once it started spiraling, I didn’t know what to do.
Later I found out it all fell apart when I was abused as a child. But I didn’t make that connection when I found myself a single mother of 4 and laid-off after our company downsized. After spending time in a psychiatric facility, I realized I needed ongoing help or I’d end up in the same state of desperation. I spent nine months hopping from one counselor to another. I didn’t have insurance so I was left with government agencies or well-meaning church volunteers. None of them were what I needed, but I couldn’t afford anything else. Until a kind pastor in the Woodlands referred me to Shield Bearer.
I was reluctant at first because I had not had good experiences with my therapists. I gave her yes and no answers even though I was flooded with emotions. She persisted and I finally came around. She worked with me as I wrestled with my low self-esteem, deep sadness and feelings of hopelessness. When I look back, I hardly recognize the person who once sat straight as a board and rigid in that arm chair. It didn’t take too long for me to make some significant headway. I came to trust the process of healing and trust the hard work that comes with it. I never realised that recovery is hard work. There’s actually things I can do to change my life. I thought I was a victim of my life, but I learned that I can do something about it. Imagine how freeing that realization is! I have a job now and I’m outside every day. I live, I never really lived before. ” – Arlene