“Once you see that red flag, you can’t change the color of it.”
He was in recovery and was already one year sober when I met him. We were doing great. Then he slipped up and that’s when I saw his worst demons.
When he put his hands on me the first time, and my children were standing there, I just couldn’t do it.
I watched my mom go through it with her second husband and I didn’t ever want my kids to have those memories of watching their mom be hurt by someone who supposedly loves them.
I went to my friend’s house and looked up shelters. That’s when I came across GreenHouse17. They immediately got a room for me. I was there for six months about five years ago.
At first it was really scary. I’m a single mom with two children. The women across the hall were open-armed and welcoming and so were the staff. It was nice because the transition was hard.
I started going to the groups as much as I could. I learned about self-care and how important that is. Meditation classes helped relieve so much anxiety. I learned about healthy relationships, how to set boundaries, and knowing what red flags look like. And understanding once you see that red flag, you can’t change the color of it. It’s never going to go away.
I utilized everything I could. I started a car savings account. I heard about transitional housing and asked how to apply. It took me some time because I didn’t have my birth certificate.
I finally got the news it was moving day. It was right before the big [shelter] remodel, so I asked if I could have the dresser from my room. I still have it in my new apartment.
They gave me a basket with household supplies and a gift card to ReStore where I found a couch. My church furnished the rest of my apartment.
It’s ok to ask for help because you never know where it’s going to get you. If I hadn’t asked for help, if I hadn’t reached out to GreenHouse17, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I can say they saved my life.
This is only part of Shelby’s story, in her own words, shared with her permission.