No Longer Afraid
After a seven year relationship, one night my boyfriend started choking me. When he left for work the next day I packed some clothes, got in the car and drove from North Carolina to Chattanooga. I had no self-esteem when I arrived at CRITI. Thanks to group and individual counseling I will never make the same mistake about men again.
Before leaving North Carolina I never needed social services. Right away I got a fulltime job in Chattanooga so no food stamps, vouchers, or any other kind of public assistance. I wanted to support myself, but I was never good at budgeting and saving my money. CRITI taught me how to do that.
After I graduated from CRITI and moved into permanent housing I slept on the couch in the living room until my roommate moved in. I wanted to be able to hear if a car drove up and felt too isolated in the bedroom at the back of the house. That’s what fear does to you.
93% of homeless women have suffered abuse at some point in their lives. CRITI provides individual and group counseling as well as referrals to local therapists.
CRITI showed me that I am not just a homeless person, but a human being, and how amazing I am! I know that I can get different results by making different choices. Now I have a cozy home, a solid job, a decent car, and a good friend who understands my journey. Also, I adopted a stray cat and named him Boo. He likes to cuddle when he first wakes up.
I’m happier than I have ever been. Someday I would like to take a long motorcycle trip in the mountains, which I love. I’m not afraid anymore.