"Although I am new to the program and I haven’t had much experience with you and the group or even my own success(es) for that matter, I can already tell you that I have much to be thankful for. You offered me a hope I did not have even just a few months ago. I thought I was lost for good. You [counselor], and THS, have welcomed me with open arms without hesitation and without recrimination. This is not something that I ever expected, hoped for, or even felt I deserved…
“I come from a good family. My parents were always loving towards each other and their children. We were a middle class family and I had all the security in the world. But, unfortunately to my peers, I was not so blessed. I was an outsider… I was always singled out and tormented. I still recall, with a very vivid clarity, all the cruel words that were thrown at me and all of the evil acts that were done to me. Then, a miracle happened. I came across a group of kids that didn’t [care] what I looked like. Their lives were plagued by abuse and neglect.”
This group led Mary down a path of drug abuse and addiction and, at the age of fifteen, life on the streets. “Here I was introduced to abuse- physical, mental, sexual, and emotional. Here a new person was conceived. She’s a person I never could have imagined would be me.”
It was not until Mary found THS and entered into drug/alcohol treatment that she regained a sense of hope and self-worth. “So maybe you can understand when I say that when I first came to you, I didn’t hold much hope for myself. I thought I didn’t deserve to be treated decently, as I had done little to show I was worth it. I didn’t think I deserved help… However, despite how I feel about myself, you think I’m worth your time and effort. You think I am worth taking a chance on. Not many people have done that for me. It has caused me to reevaluate how I feel about myself… It gives me hope that one day I can help someone in return for the help I received.”
This story has been shared with Mary's permission. Names have been changed to protect privacy.