Alicia – 2015 Graduate
I was diagnosed with ADHD, depression, anxiety, and operational defiant behavior in middle school. I tried to take my own life multiple times, but was never successful. In the second part of seventh grade, my parents sent me to live with my aunt in Georgia because they thought she could help me with my issues. I was even angrier when I lived with her and did the exact same things I did when I was home. My aunt sent me back home for eighth grade. When I started tenth grade, my struggles arose again, and I began hanging out with the “bad crowd.” They introduced me to drugs and drinking, and I lead a double life with sports and parties. I didn’t care about school, and I failed every single class that year. When I started eleventh grade, I tried so hard to get back on track. It worked into senior year, and I was able to graduate from high school. I started college with good grades and a strong Christian faith, but all of that changed one night when I was hanging out with a close guy friend. We went on a normal dinner date, but the night ended with him sexually assaulting me. After that happened, I couldn’t focus on school, and I didn’t even have motivation to leave my dorm. I pretended that everything was okay to my friends and parents, but inside I was anything but okay. It wasn’t until I was assaulted a second time by a different friend that I told my family what had happened. I filed sexual assault charges against these people, and they are now in jail. I decided, with help from my parents, to move home and go to a local college. It was good for a while, until I started dating a co-worker and fighting with my mom simultaneously, so I decided to move in with my co-worker. This relationship quickly became sexually and verbally abusive, and I knew I needed to move back home; however, I continued getting into trouble and eventually found out that I was pregnant. This is when I decided to apply to Mercy.
I found out about Mercy through my church when I was about two months along into my pregnancy. I figured this was my last chance to change my life for the better. When I arrived, I was four months pregnant with a little baby boy. I was scared, broken, ashamed, lost, and extremely far away from God.
A turning point for me while I was at Mercy was when I was wading through the consequences of breaking a house rule. During that time I grew closer to God and remembered that I came to Mercy by choice and to get help to be able to turn my life around. I realized that God never intended for bad things to happen to me and that He wanted me to forgive those who hurt me, just like He forgave me through everything.
God showed me that I could change my life as long as I wanted to and as long as I believed that He could be there with me. He showed me how to forgive those who had hurt me and that, though I never planned to be pregnant, it was actually a blessing in disguise.
Since graduating from Mercy, I decided to place my birth son for adoption because I realized God wanted me to bless a family. He now lives in Montana with two loving parents and huge family. I’ve been working to finish my business degree. I also work with the youth group at my church and try to be an inspiration to the young girls around me.
I want to thank all the Mercy donors for their continued support of Mercy Multiplied. This organization changed my life dramatically. Please continue to support this life changing program!