Caitlin Found the Love and Healing She Needed to Start Over
Seattle's Union Gospel Mission - March 17 2021
Mental Health, Homelessness
Caitlin knows firsthand what it’s like to suffer from mental illness and struggle with homelessness. Both nearly drove her to suicide.
She says, “I didn't know how to go on. I was on the brink of trying to take my own life and I had one of two choices—to either do that or find the alternative.”
Catlin’s trauma began at an early age. Abandoned by her mother, she was forced to grow up around her uncle who sexually abused her. By age ten she was dealing with serious mental health challenges, including severe anxiety, depression, self-harm, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“It was hard for me to get out of bed in the morning. I cried a lot and had emotional outbursts. I couldn’t hold down a job for very long and I turned into the person I swore I’d never be.”
Caitlin’s trust issues caused her to keep others at arm’s length. She was afraid anyone she let into her life would abuse her. To cope with her pain and isolation, she turned to alcohol and drugs.
“I was 23 when I discovered meth and it pretty much ruined my life from that moment forward.” A single mother of twins, she was coming out of an abusive relationship and her addiction just made everything worse.
“I lost my kids. I was homeless for almost five years. I was literally on my hands and knees pleading and begging God to just save me. I couldn't stand myself. My family didn't want anything to do with me.”
That’s when Caitlin learned about a friend who’d gone through the program at the Mission. “I saw her life and how it had changed. And I thought, ‘Wow. I want that for myself.”
At the Mission, Caitlin found the love and support she needed to make a lasting change.
“The Mission loved me until I could learn to love myself. I received intense trauma therapy and classes to heal my inner child. The Mission gave me a community of warriors who held me up and supported me when I couldn't stand. They also introduced me to the concept of forgiveness from my heavenly Father which allowed me let go of the resentments that consumed my life and held me captive for so long.”
Today, Caitlin is no longer clinically anxious or depressed. Her PTSD is under control and she’s active in weekly therapy. Best of all, she is able to enjoy a loving and stable relationship with her kids.
“I wake up in the morning and experience true happiness from within. I didn’t think I could ever reach this point in my life, but with God’s love and the Mission, here I am!”
You can help bring hope to people like Caitlin, who are struggling with mental illness, addiction and homelessness, by making a monthly gift to the Mission.