Anita’s Testimony

Before I came to Grace, I start doing drugs at 18. Before using drugs, I was selling drugs from the time I was 12. Coming up in life that’s all I knew. I’m from Pontiac, born and raised here. My mother and father were heavily into using and selling drugs when I was born. I had my first baby at 14 years old, then at 15 I had my second, at 18 I had my third, at 19 I had my fourth, and at 26 I had my fifth, then at 30 I had my sixth. I have two sons and four daughters. My one son died from brain cancer when I was 18 years old. I then started to spiral out of control by using drugs at 18. 

All my life, all I’ve spent time are on drugs and violence. This is all I knew. I’ve been in and out of the system since I was a juvenile. I suffered abuse from my parents. I didn’t know any better at the time. My father was kidnapped by the YBI (Young Boys Incorporated) so I and my brother were taken out of the house to the children’s village for protective custody. They found my dad half dead, in the back of a dumpster. After that, we were able to go home to my mom. For a long time, we were told not to talk to or trust anyone outside our family because things kept happening and we had to go back to Children’s Village often. 

Coming up, I was surrounded by violence and crime. I thought this was just a normal way of living, so I didn’t see anything wrong with it. People were who they were, or so I thought. I was a very ANGRY girl! I fought all the time and got kicked out of school. I didn’t pay attention in school because of things at home so I had no education. 

I began using drugs after my son was diagnosed with cancer. I was just a baby anyways. He was sent home for hospice and I didn’t know what to do, or how to care for him. I took to the streets and left him with my family to take care of him. When I started using drugs, I thought it would take away my pain, which it did for a minute. But then I was on the street with no guidance, and so young. I was raped countless times. I had to jump out of windows in Cars to get out of troubled situations. I almost died multiple times. 

I went to prison in 1996 I was 26 at the time. I was in there for two years, but I was young and I was scared so I fought all the time and ended up doing 10 years because of my behavior. While I was there, going in and out of segregation was miserable. I cried out to God I didn’t think he was listening to me. I was really sad and lonely, even though I had thousands of people around me. I started thinking that what was normal in my world, was not actually as normal as I thought. 

Something had to be wrong with me. At this point, I felt like nobody cared anyway, so I should just keep going until this was all over. I was released in 2004 and went right back to using drugs. This was an ongoing cycle. I ran from the police constantly. They would catch me and put me in rehab. I was always a ward of the state, but I was comforted by knowing they would eventually catch me and send me to another rehab or jail, where I would get the rest and food that I needed. 

I began selling drugs again. I also kept hearing about this place called Grace Centers of Hope. I asked questions about the place, and months later during one of my binges, I was picked up and let out early AM. I stayed at home with my daughter and my mother, I had nowhere else to go. I hadn’t picked up drugs after getting out of jail like I usually did. 

I told my mom, I wanted to go to Grace Centers of Hope. I called and was put on the waiting list. I had to call each week to see where I was on the waitlist. Still today, I believe it was God because I didn’t go out and pick up the drugs again that day. I waited in the house and waited for Grace Centers to let me in. I finally got the call, and I could go in that day! I was very scared, but I went in. By the time intake and stuff were done, I called my mom and said, “I think I want to come home”. She told me I could but I need to ask myself… “Why did I come here?” See, all my life I’ve been told that I would have to leave my family and leave Pontiac if I ever wanted to live without drugs. No matter how dysfunctional my family was, that was not an option for me they were still my family. 

So, as I got a taste of Grace yes I did leave a couple of times, but I did come back. This last time I was in such a dark place, I was begging God to stop me before I ended up in prison or dead. I couldn’t stop myself, I was too weak to do it myself. I got picked up by the Oakland County Sherriff and went to jail. I was so high, I didn’t know what was going on, but God did. He had sent my caseworker from Grace Centers of Hope to get me and I’ve been clean ever since. I go to school at GCH for tutoring to better my reading and I’m so thankful for that. I just received an ID card and I feel like I’m finally a part of society. I feel like I’m finally where God wants me to be, and where I want to be as well! I’m still learning, but I’m happy with what I’m Finding out about myself.