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Dorothy B. - The Cycle of Homelessness

Dorothy B. has overcome homelessness in Florida. She shared that her first 12 years of life were "hell on earth". Her biological father was an abusive military man and her earliest childhood memory is sexual abuse. Her father remarried during Dorothy's childhood, and when Dorothy said something rude to his new wife, she was kicked out of the family and had to live in a closet from 9-12.

During her time in the closet, Dorothy had to cook her own meals, was not allowed to leave unless it was for school, could only use the restroom 3 times a day, and had to use the bathtub for washing her clothes instead of the laundry room. Her father's sexual abuse continued and her stepmother began implementing torture tactics, such as having her stare at a wall for hours while being still and beating her if she moved. Dorothy's bathroom restrictions forced her to pee in her closet due to bladder pain.

Although Dorothy had already experienced some minor hallucinations, they became much worse and more vivid after about a month in the closet. She developed dissociative personality disorder, and would sit under her covers for hours in a "dream world".

At 12, Dorothy's father said that he could not handle her anymore and no longer loved her, so she moved back in with her biological mother. Although her new freedom was exciting, Dorothy shared: "I had been abused all of my life, so it was like second nature for me. There was that part of me wondering 'what did I do now'."

Dorothy was now safe with her mother, but she "totally went haywire". She began skipping school, shoplifting, smoking cigarettes, and drinking. She tried to commit suicide at 13 and went to the psychward. Dorothy switched through various mental health facilities, spending two years at a teen mental health home and returned at 16.

After 6 months back home, Dorothy quit taking her medications and started heavily drinking. She was in and out of psychiatric hospitals until she got pregnant at 24. Dorothy started abusing cocaine, meth, marijuana, and pills. She shared: "For the next 15 years, I did anything. I couldn't tell you half the stuff I did."

Dorothy had two boys after her daughter with the same man. She mentioned that she was "not the greatest mother in the world, especially to my daughter. I know now it was because I hated myself so much, and she was an extension of me, so I hated her. I loved her, but I hated her."

After her and her son's father split up, Dorothy enrolled into a 6 month christian-based program for alcoholics and drug addicts and had her second son there. Her two older children lived with the boys' father, but her younger son lived with her. Unfortunately, Dorothy was unable to pay child support and was arrested 6 times for this issue. She spent 45 days in jail, losing her home at Salvation Army and her job at the nearby courthouse.

Dorothy began abusing substances again and found a new boyfriend. They dated for a short while and then broke up. After their break up, Dorothy got her life back together. She worked at a job for 4.5 years and felt like she was thriving. However, her and her ex-boyfriend ended up getting back together, and he became abusive. This forced Dorothy into multiple shelters and programs.

While she was in transitional housing, Dorothy took her bike out on a ride to the local IHop, where she was hit by a car going 45 MPH. She shared that she still remembers seeing the tires of the car go over her head. While Dorothy was in shock, she didn't feel anything and thought that she was fine. However, as the days progressed, the pain got worse. She lost feeling on her left side and went to the hospital, where she got diagnosed with Conversion disorder.

Dorothy became homeless once again, started abusing substances, and the cycle continued. On October 31, 2018, Dorothy was able to find a home from the help of a woman she had met. She is now 2 years sober and has no interest in ever going back! Dorothy shared that she has been utilizing her counselors and support group to stay healthy.

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1 comentario

09 jul

Dorothy's stories of childhood abuse are absolutely shocking! It is VERY hard to overcome such abuse, and it often leads to substance abuse. It must have been very difficult to achieve sobriety, and I hope she stays sober so she can take care of herself and her kids in the future.

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