May 1st, 2021 Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

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