Michelle faced a long road of addiction to be in recovery. She dealt with abuse as a child and the loss of her own child as an adult. She has made many positive changes since receiving help at the Lovelady Center.
My name is Michelle. I am a 30 year oldmother that had a 15 year off and on addiction. I grew up in nice brick homes, going to church and having a life that looked wonderful and great if you were on the outside looking in.
To start off, I was molested by the man that I thought was my father from the time I was 3 until I was 8. I realized then that what he was doing was not normal; I told my mother and we moved out of that home immediately. She bought a nice home in the neighboring town, she was always trying to buy my forgiveness so she would work two or three jobs not realizing I needed a mother at home. She allowed a man to rent out the large garage we had in our backyard; not knowing that he was a drug dealer and he was operating a “chop shop”. He eventually forced me to use the drugs that he sold and then he would rape me repeatedly. He even “bragged” that he forced the drug use so that if I told others about the things he was doing he could say that I was “crazy and using drugs”. When I was 12 ½ years old, I found out I was pregnant. He was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for numerous charges (22 of those were charges brought against him for his actions toward me alone).
Due to my mother’s overwhelming guilt from the abuse that I had to endure she began abusing drugs as well. Within no time we began abusing drugs together. When I was only 13, I met this guy who became my world we began dating and he moved in with me at my mom’s house. We dated for a long time and he became very jealous, to the point he was chasing me with a gun and trying to kill me.I finally decided that I could no longer deal with the mental abuse, so I went to my mother’s room and got her gun. He walked intothe room and took the gun away from me and held it to his head. He said “this how you do it.” and shot himself. I blamed myself for his death and my drug addiction increased.
I continued to live a dual life. I lived a life of heavy drug use at night and during the day went to school making all A’s and going to church each Sunday.My drug addiction got so bad I was using everything imaginable. Then God blessed with me with my son, I quit using drugs, started back to college and to church. I became a youth minister and director.I also became pregnant with my daughter (she was beautiful). Again, my heart was devastated with the loss of my daughter when she was 6 weeks old due to SIDS.
Again, I sought comfort in my addiction the only comfort I ever knew. My addiction this time was worse than all the times before now. I began to shoot any drug that I could draw up in the syringe. Shortly after, I became pregnant with my third child. I knew this time the evil of my addiction was far greater than anything that I could ever overcome without outside help. I checked into a rehabilitation facility in Georgia. I stayed sober and in recovery until my son was born. My fear of losing another child to SID’s was so overwhelming that my doctor prescribed me a high dosage of Xanax’s. They made me sleep so I needed something that would help me stay alert (or at least functioning) to care for my children so I began using Methamphetamines. I was once again in full blown addiction trying to fill the void in my heart over the loss of my daughter and the other issues that had brought me to this point in my life.
One night I decided I had finally reached a point that I was tired of the life of addiction that had gained so much control over my life. I bent down on my knees and begged God to take the addiction from drugs away from me. The very next day I was taken into custody by the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Department and placed in jail. This was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. On Wednesday nights, I began leading a Bible study with the other women that was housed in the jail with me. I could feel myself growing very close to God. After nine months, I was told I would be released from jail only if I entered a rehab in Birmingham, Al.
I arrived at the Lovelady Center and within 2 weeks I was working with the children that lived at the center and attended the Kids Camp. Although, this job was very challenging it was also very rewarding. This position was only for the summer so at the end of the summer Ms. Brenda (founder of the Lovelady Center) offered me a job homeschooling her son and her grandchildren at her home. I was very excited and honored about the opportunity that she was giving me. I knew finally that my life was changed forever!!!!!!!
Ms. Brenda and Ms. Melinda mentored me and helped mold me into the person that I had always wanted to be and the one that I believed would never exist. They taught me to be a “stand-out” Christian. The Lovelady Center has helped me grow in so many areas of my life. Finally, I have left my past behind me. This has enabled me to become the mother that I know God wants me to be. I was married in August for the first time to an amazing Man of God. I have regained custody of both of my sons. My recent marriage brought me a beautiful daughter. I am blessed with more love than I ever believed possible through my husband, our children and the enormous amount of family I gained at the Lovelady Center.
Today, I can say that God has truly BLESSED me with his grace and mercy and I am so thankful for all that he has allowed me to become. Now I am honored to be working beside Mrs. Melinda as her assistance. Being able to help others by telling what God is doing in my life and giving praise to God on what he has delivered me from.
Michelle received help at Lovelady Center. To learn more about this program, please visit their page on our resource directory.