Alana* thought that her mother was supposed to be her best friend. But because she was born with a type of illness that caused seizures, her mom treated her poorly – constantly telling her she was irritating and would never amount to anything.
This made Alana wonder, “Am I good enough?”
As is common with trauma survivors, the self-destructive behaviors continued and she got involved with gangs, started drinking and doing drugs. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t numb the pain. In an attempt to escape the pain, she engaged in self-harm by cutting her wrists and also attempted suicide twice. Because she wasn’t able to finish school and lacked job opportunities, she started working in the cantinas, where she got involved in prostitution. The cantinas would pay Alana to drink with customers and the more she drank, the more she got paid. The alcohol also helped her get through the nights. Nights were spent either sleeping in cars or hotels with clients. After a year in “the life”, she fell into a deep depression and ended up at the hospital for attempting suicide.
While in recovery, she felt God calling her, asking her to trust in Him, but she kept pushing Him away. But she clearly heard God saying that everything she went through was for a purpose.
She now knows that she is loved for who she is and not what she does for people.
Graduating from community college and both The Landing’s Empowerment Program and the Ending the Game class taught her how to break the bonds of attachment to “the life” and abuse. Because of her leadership, she graduated from the Survivor Internship Program, which is a component of The Landing’s Cultivate Internship Program, from which 19 interns have graduated. In this program, she spent a year employed at The Landing, gaining employment skills in a victim service agency – greeting clients or providing an empathetic ear, leading support groups and learning administration skills. Her calm nature and listening skills were seen and appreciated by both the survivors and the staff. Professionally, she learned the importance of timeliness and how to focus on completing tasks. One of her biggest successes was teaching the ETG class, where she was able to share about her own experiences with other clients, who loved seeing where she’s been and where she is now. It gave them hope. The skills she learned over the past two years have been able to help her get full-time employment where she will continue her work in victim services while working towards her degree in social work.
Before coming to The Landing, Alana wasn’t used to being taken care of. She wasn’t used to receiving love with no expectations of giving something in return. But she’s learned about what God’s love truly is – unconditional.
She is so thankful for all He’s done in her life and wants to give Him the glory. Her favorite verse is Jeremiah 30:17 – “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord, because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.” She has seen the Lord sending a community of his servants to surround her and love her to health and believes that everything she’s gone through is for a purpose to help others.