Trapped in a marriage with an overbearing, controlling husband, Sarah ultimately turned to alcohol and opioids to cope. While the abuse never became physical, Sarah’s husband would not allow her to work, nor have friendships with anyone “on the outside,” and led her to believe that she could not survive without him and his financial support. After 10 years together and three years of marriage, she gathered up the courage to flee with her two children, Victor (now 5) and Troy (now 14). After sobering up for a month in a hotel, she found Saint John’s.
“I knew I needed more support to set a solid foundation,” reflects Sarah. “Saint John’s provided exactly what I needed – a second chance. I felt immediately free – it was like a breath of fresh air. He was messing with my head and I didn’t know how to deal with it. Now I know how to recognize the signs of an unhealthy relationship, and I have the tools to be more patient and understanding. Working at Plates gave me the confidence to know that I can do it on my own.”
Sarah just completed her AA degree in Social Sciences in December to add to her AA in Administration of Justice. She will start at Sacramento State in the fall to earn her degree in Social Work. She is currently working in the bookstore at American River College, and lives with her children in their own apartment.
By Sue Cawdrey
Grants and Communication Manager
Saint John’s Program for Real Change