We asked one of our adult residents to share her story with you. It’s a true account that’s, quite frankly, incredibly hard to hear. Unbelievably so.
But please stick around for the ending. We promise you’re going to like it. In fact, you helped write it.
“Victoria” is an extremely intelligent lady. She is a former federal investigator, responsible for apprehending criminals. She also launched and published an internationally recognized education-centered magazine for nearly a decade. She is a mother of three children, whom she homeschooled for more than 14 years. The Washington Post invited her to be a guest journalist. She was the “financial cornerstone” of her family. In short, she is a woman of very impressive accomplishments.
And for 27 years, she was married to an abusive monster.
Victoria has had in her words “abusive atrocities” inflicted upon her. Her ex-husband succeeded in illegally gaining custody of their children and her thriving business, driving it into ruins. He refused to pay taxes and forced her home into foreclosure. He was even involved with a pedophilia trafficking ring that included 20,000 photos of her daughter, then a teenage lifeguard. On the day he took both her children and her livelihood he turned to her and said, “You don’t know what I just did to you, do you?”
Financially suffocated and thrust into homelessness in the midst of a national economic crisis, Victoria picked up the pieces and tried to move forward. She couch surfed from home to home of friends, straining relationships along the way.
Eventually, she met a new man. Surely things were beginning to turn around.
But her hopes were shattered when all too familiar manipulative and controlling behaviors surfaced. After a day of “episodic raging” she hid in the basement, fearing for her life. Through desperate text messages, she was able to find someone to rescue her. Two days later she escaped.
Imagine the horror she endured. Many of us simply cannot. But here’s where you come in and make all the difference.
Victoria fled to find emergency shelter at the Julian Center. There she was referred to Coburn Place. Eleven weeks later, she received the key to her Coburn Place home and finally, peace of mind.
We’ll let Victoria tell you in her own words what your support means to her.
“It took me weeks to merely be able to sleep through the night, not sleeping ‘with one eye open’ in a self-protective on guard alert mode. Finally, I was able to realize my housing was in fact, safe and secure. One of the greatest blessings I was given upon my arrival, was a loving directive from my advocate to simply live and begin to heal.
I live in what I describe as a loft in Coburn Place; an apartment that is mine with the most glorious huge windows – five that stretch across the expanse of my living space. I arrived to a furnished apartment, complete with decorative touches lovingly thought through and placed – linens on a bed, cupboards filled with food, and welcome baskets filled with personal necessities.
Each day I pass plaques on the wall posted outside apartment doors, of companies who have dedicated funding to Coburn Place. I am continually offering thanksgiving for the gift to live here; the gift of my housing and the gift of those who live in Coburn Place with me. I have also been gifted with food, clothing and accessories. In my phraseology: ‘loved on.’
While I have always practiced living one day at a time, I do have a far off in the future view of my life. At the end of my two years in Coburn Place, I am wholly confident I will have received the fulfillment of a blessing – a gift beyond definition – the ability to have lived safe, secure, loved, and able to heal.
Although strong, resilient, and tenacious, I have been battered, shattered, and beaten down constantly for years. Coburn Place is providing me with the pathway to survive and to heal. My gratitude is endless to those who have given their support.”
Victoria is not only surviving but thriving because of your support. She is a wonderful member of the Coburn Place community. Because she is healing, she is able to offer her support to others. She makes it a point to compliment mothers when their children are well-behaved. She praises her neighbor’s first homemade pumpkin pie after being offered a slice. She has heart-to-heart conversations with children, using positive reinforcement to stop their negative behaviors.
Victoria realizes that it takes everyone in the community working together to create positive, lasting change. She’s doing her part. And you are, too. Thank you for your support and for being a member of the Coburn Place community.