I grew up in a poor family in rural America. My parents always showed love and affection for my sister and I, but it was no secret that our family had financial problems. Often, we did not know where our next meal would come from.
When I was 14, my sister and I were introduced to some “friends” of our parents who would take care of us until our folks could get back on their feet. We were sent with this young couple and forced into human trafficking.
I escaped, but not without severe mental health and physical problems. I was unable to complete high school, as I was almost 20 when I returned to my family. Physically, I cannot have children subsequent to the abuse I suffered. I used chemicals to cope and found recovery from substance abuse by the time I was 36. At 43 years old, I still struggle with PTSD, high anxiety and major depression.
My lack of education combined with my debilitating mental health issues have made it a challenge to find hope for a fulfilling life. I do not qualify for SoonerCare because I do not have children. I began working with a Case Manager through this program and I begin GED classes in the Fall. She has linked me to free job training programs so that I can finally complete my education and work in a field that I have always dreamed of.
I am looking forward to working with a counselor who can help me find healing from my past so that it does not have to define my future.
*Name of client has been changed