2017 – Natalie's Story
From Vulnerable to Vibrant
Natalie W. | Renaissance Treatment Center Alumnus
"I moved out here when I was 18, 19. Childhood was a little bit rough. My parents were not really around me a lot. I ended up being alone a lot, and that kind of hurt me a little bit. In some ways I was craving the attention from my family but I never really got it. When I moved out here and I had my daughter, I had a lot of issues with her dad. He was very controlling and physically too.
"I was still craving the attention I guess from my family, and I never had a dad. I have a dad in my life, but he has not once called me on my birthday. He doesn't even call his grandkids. I started drinking, and it went from one glass of wine to maybe two and then when that wasn't enough, it turned into a bottle or two, and it was really hard. I started turning into hard liquor, and that's when my whole life fell apart. I lost my job.
"I lost custody of my son. I had no place to live, and I just didn't what to do."
Renaissance Treatment Center
"I did find out about VOA, and it was the best decision I think I've made ever, and that's the honest truth because it has changed everything. Everybody there is fantastic. I was scared in the beginning. I was scared. I cried a lot, but everybody was there for me.
"I have hope now. Sometimes I lay in bed. Sometimes when I think about all those bad days, I think back to the times right before I went to VOA, and the times during and then after. Of course I have a job now. I've had other different, little jobs. I have a very good job right now, perfect position, and on top of that I just went to the courthouse yesterday, and I got my custody back for my son.
"It's meant the world to me, and I told my son about that, and he was happy because we're very close. I love him so deep. He's my life, and I think if I did this for anybody besides myself I did it for him.
"VOA, thank you for helping me and I'm hoping that anybody else that's going through this will make that same decision because it's the right thing to do."
From vulnerable to vibrant, your support transforms lives.
Volunteers of America Southwest