Kayla’s Testimony

CityBeat   -  
We received this testimony at the beginning of 2020 from someone
who used to attend our Bread of Life Soup Kitchen. 
~ Kayla’s Testimony ~“When I was 5 years old, the most important person in my life (my nana) died from a heroin overdose. When she died, my mom met a man who was very physically and emotionally abusive. But he only beat me. He never touched my mother. Beating with belts and extension cords, cigarette burns, hair pulling, all of that. This continued from the age of 5 until I was 14 when she finally decided to leave him. So it wasn’t long before she met another guy. She was talking to this new guy for about 3 months and one night in the middle of the night while I was sleeping, she packed her bags and went to be with him. I was a freshman in high school at this time. So I ended up moving in with my aunt and that’s where I lived until I graduated high school at 18. I got good grades, had good friends, and did all the things. Junior and senior prom, all the trips, all the homecoming dances, and football games. I did the whole nine yards. But I also started drinking and smoking pot and lost my virginity to a 22-year-old man when I was 15. I became very promiscuous after that too. And when I graduated, I had a lot of voids in my heart. I was longing for love and of course, I looked to the world for that love.
I left my aunt’s house and took my life into my own hands. When I was 19 years old, I met a man who was 44 years old and became pregnant. 6 months into my pregnancy I found out he had a secret addiction to crack cocaine and was spending all of our money on it. I told him he had to choose between the crack or me and his son and he chose the crack. So naturally, as a newly single mom, I started suffering from postpartum depression and I started looking for more things in the world to fill my voids once again. I went searching for a relationship with my mother. I asked her for help, but when I started getting involved with her again, I discovered that she had become a heroin addict. The man she met and left me for introduced her to heroin. In turn, she was the first person to introduce me to heroin to help relieve my stress as a single mom. It wasn’t long before she introduced me to prostitution and selling drugs as well as a means to get by and support myself and my son.
Me and my mom used together for about a year and a half. On Christmas Day of 2015, we were using together and I actually gave my mother a shot of heroin and she overdosed and died in my arms. The paramedics brought her back and she went into a come for 3 days until she was pronounced brain dead and was taken off life support. Once that happened, I totally lost myself. I started using very carelessly and I ended up having to give up custody of my son when he was 18 months old to some family in Tennessee. I ran HARD for another 3 years after that. Prostituting all day and all night, staying up for days at a time, living in abandoned buildings, being raped time and time again, being robbed at gunpoint, robbing other people at gunpoint myself with my dealer boyfriends. I was just doing reckless things and putting myself in dangerous situations hoping that I would just die. For a long time I wanted to die I just didn’t have the courage to take my own life. So I just hoped someone else would kill me. I got to a point where I had accepted myself as a junkie prostitute and I accepted that that’s what I was going to die as. So I just started waiting for that day. But a different day came.
On June 2nd, 2018, I was riding with one of my regular guys that I would see for money. It ended up that the car he had me in was stolen and he had 8 warrants for armed robbery. The cops tried pulling us over but he refused to stop for them so we ended up being chased by the police and I just kept screaming begging him to let me out of the car. He finally slowed down enough for me to jump out while the car was still moving and when I did I didn’t have any shoes or a shirt on and I had blood up and down my arms because I had just been shooting up in the car prior to that. The cops started questioning me and I just came clean to them about EVERYTHING. I told them about the lifestyle I was living and that I had 3 warrants for like 4 years and I was tired of running. I just couldn’t do it anymore. They took me to jail that day.
While I was locked up I heard about Teen Challenge. There was a pastor of a church in Baltimore that I had built a friendship with while going to their soup kitchen to eat when I was on the streets and he showed up at the jail to visit me after he realized I had stopped coming to the soup kitchen for like a month! He told me that he found out I was locked up and that he was heading to Rhode Island and there was a program called Teen Challenge that he could help me get into if I got released and wanted to get my life together. He told me he was going to be heading there that week and that if I was serious about getting my life straight, that he would send someone to my court date to take me to Rhode Island if I got released.
I agreed and that’s EXACTLY what happened. I went to court on July 10 and the state prosecutor brought the wrong file to court for me so all of my charges got dropped and the judge gave me one more chance to get myself together. So I was released and there were two people there to take me straight to Rhode Island that day. I walked through the doors of Teen Challenge on July 11, 2018, and my life has never been the same since! On October 12, 2019, after going FOUR years without seeing or holding my baby boy, I finally got to fly out to Tennessee and see him and it was so perfect! He ran right up to me like no time had ever been lost. Then I graduated a week later and now I’m staying on as an apprentice at Vermont and I still can’t believe that this is my life today. 20 months clean and a lifetime to go!”
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