I had a pretty normal childhood. My grandmother raised me and gave me everything I needed and some of what I wanted. The one thing I really wanted was a mother. My mother left my sister and me when we were toddlers so I grew up with abandonment issues. I never felt wanted or loved. I searched many years for love and the need to belong.
I grew up in church and was involved with a solid youth group. We sang for the Lord although I never really let Jesus in my heart completely. I could talk to the talk but I never had a real relationship.
I graduated high school with honors and went off to college. I was fascinated by college. I began to experiment with marijuana and alcohol.
At the age of 19 I was violently raped. My whole world fell apart. I began to escape through alcohol and I dropped out of college my junior year. By this time, I was hurting so badly I would have tried anything to stop the pain. My flirting with casual drug use led to an out of control spiral. I went from marijuana and alcohol to pills and crack.
I met a wonderful man who loved me and we were married. Together we were blessed with a daughter. All of my life all I ever wanted was a family. After years of marriage, I threw it all away because I loved drugs more than my family. When my husband filed for divorce I kept spiraling.
Thank God for grace and mercy. Today I am at Teen Challenge. I am learning a new way of life, a life with a purpose and a plan. I opened my heart to Jesus and everyday I am learning to lean on Him. He has become my everything! Every day I thank Him for my deliverance.
Mattise's story is from Alabama Teen Challenge. Visit their profile to learn more.