Abigail’s childhood was filled with many disappointments. Since both parents were drug addicts, at birth Abigail was adopted by her great aunt. She was raised alongside her adopted siblings and her great-aunt’s boyfriend, who molested her from 14 to 17 years old.
School was Abigail’s “safe place and escape,” she said. “My house was very hectic and school was my only place to get away.” With little support from her family, Abigail graduated high school and quickly moved in with another family member.
She met and started dating a man and they had her first son. Abigail experienced postpartum depression. “I lost myself for a while after I had the baby,” she said, “and my boyfriend started using crystal meth. I had no support and I felt like his family was against me.”
During this time Abigail and her boyfriend were living with his family. “His family blamed me for his drug use and said I was making things up.” Abigail isolated herself in their bedroom to avoid arguments and accusations. Finally, after two years of living this way, she moved out, went to school, and became a medical assistant. After a while, Abigail’s boyfriend stopped doing drugs, and the couple got married.
"I am looking forward to getting my own place again and am hopeful for the future.”
They had another son, but unfortunately, Abigail’s husband started using again. She took their sons and moved into an apartment. “This was when it went off the rails,” said Abigail of her husband. “He was in a completely different world. He was living with his mom and had started hallucinating.” Abigail continued to work in the medical field to provide an apartment for her and her sons.
Abigail’s husband found Renewed Hope and entered the Life Recovery Program. While she was happy he was getting help, Abigail started to feel the weight of paying the bills, working in the hospital, and getting her sons to daycare and school. “I was working and had to deal with so much and I was so drained,” she said.
In addition to carrying the burden of her family, the apartment where Abigail and her sons lived had many problems that the complex would not repair. “I fought with the apartment (management staff) and was scared I would get locked out and I didn’t want my kids to see that.” They stayed at hotels for a short while.
Abigail’s husband continued to recover from his addiction at Renewed Hope and encouraged Abigail to call the Mission’s family shelter, Home Again. She was apprehensive because she “thought it would be dirty and just for homeless people.” But with no other place to go, Abigail decided to give it a chance.
Abigail’s thoughts about what the shelter would be like quickly changed when she walked in, she said. “It is a beautiful place and I thank God for this place.” She and her boys have adjusted to living at the shelter and are enjoying their own room.
The friendships Abigail is making at Home Again have helped heal her soul from years of being hurt by those she loved. “The people that I thought loved me have ended up hurting me, so my guard is up, but I am slowly making friends and finding connections here.”
While at the shelter Abigail has gone to school to be a phlebotomist and is now working on being licensed. She says she loves the staff and appreciates their help with budgeting and saving for her future home. “I am looking forward to getting my own place again and am hopeful for the future.”