Carol’s Story – Finding Hope and Healing

I grew up in the D.C. area. My parents had good jobs with the government, and I attended a private Catholic school from kindergarten through my senior year. When I was sixteen, I met a boy at a concert. I got pregnant and had my first child at 19. We got married, and had five more kids.

But despite the joy of my children, I endured three decades of violent abuse from my husband until I couldn’t take it anymore. I finally got the courage to leave him in 2007 and never looked back.

I decided to go to school and got a degree in criminal justice. I went on to work for the TSA for 13 years, but had to leave after I injured my back on the job.

The TSA paid me a year of severance – which was a blessing at first. But I soon found myself with nothing to do, still in pain, and alone with the traumatic memories from my marriage. I started using drugs as a way to escape, but then I couldn’t stop.

My life spiraled faster than I could have imagined. I lost my apartment, then my car. My relationship with my family – who I had always been close with – started to really suffer. I began sleeping on whatever couch I could find until even my friends got tired of me. I don’t blame them – honestly, by that time, I was tired
of myself too.

I was hopeless, homeless, and I couldn’t ignore anymore that I truly needed help. I checked myself into treatment, and that’s when I found out about N Street Village.

Going into the Village’s Recovery Program, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was a sisterhood. As a survivor of domestic violence, it has been especially helpful to be surrounded by women who can understand what I’ve been through. These friendships keep me accountable as I learn about selfdiscipline,
self-compassion, and how to live a life without drugs.

I’ve also been able to work with the Village’s MARJ & MAK Vocational Center. They have helped me apply
for disability benefits, improve my credit score (so that I can get housing in the future!), and get a job as a pharmaceutical tech at a local drugstore.

I am excited for the future. It’s like I am starting new – my kids are grown, and I finally have what it takes to work on myself. My parents are proud of me and my children are proud of me.

And I know I’ll always have the support of my Village sisters too.