Molly is the mother to 3 kids under 9 and is not only facing eviction during the holidays but her family is working through the trauma that they experienced from domestic violence. See below to find out more.
I just want to send out a big giant thank you to everyone who contributed to this stressful time in need. It made a big impact on the family. We are all so grateful. Thank you.
I greatly appreciate your reading this because it has been very difficult to write. I have three beautiful children, aged 9, 6, and 4. They have experienced great trauma in the three years since we moved to southern California so that my oldest could attend school.
A month after we moved, my abusive husband left our home and family. I became a single-income parent to three children under six years of age, suffering from post-partum depression and attempting to re-start a career. The following year was filled with terrible arguments with my husband that often turned physical. Thanks to the generosity of friends who loaned me funds, I retained an attorney to file a restraining order against my husband, who had biweekly weekend visitation rights but who did not provide child support.
When I sat before the judge in our case 18 months ago, I was told to have faith that the children would be protected when they were with their father. He then began paying child support--$900 per month. Right after the judgment, a serious car accident totaled my car but allowed me to survive. I later learned from a physical therapist that the body will act under duress to ensure that its spirit survives. In this year of everything falling apart, my body still wants to be here! I have faith that God wanted me to live to take care of my sweet children.
My loving, 80- year-old mother lives with us in our two-bedroom apartment. She has one room, the three children have another, and I sleep in the living room. I have worked as much as I have been able, but some job opportunities have simply slowed down or dried up altogether. I have sold off all the things of value that I once possessed.
My children have had to bear witness to the abuse from my husband, and it has taken a severe toll on them--particularly on my youngest child, who has acted out his internal pain in disturbing, aggressive attacks on both a classmate and on one of his sisters, requiring me to engage specialists and therapists to treat him. They are working with me to show me how to reclaim my agency as a mother and move forward in protecting all three of my children from their father's abusive behavior.
At Children’s Hospital, we connected with a brilliant doctor whose specialty is childhood adversity and trauma and who has taken the children under his care. There are ten markers of adversity called the Aces, and the children have experienced eight out of the ten; I have experienced all ten. These markers indicate how disease and behavior can manifest in the brain and body after encounters with such trauma. The brilliant cure for turning this around: a parent’s love.
As I turned my attention to this and pouring love into my children, I took my eyes off of work. The therapy was costly, and I had no assistance in covering it from their father. Pretty soon we got behind on rent, the electricity was turned off, and there was $5 left to cover a week’s worth of groceries with food stamps. Some photography work picked up for me toward the holidays, and I was able to put the odd $500 toward the rent, but now the figure, nearly $10,000, is too large a sum for me to cover without a miracle. Last week we received an eviction notice, and our kind building managers said there was nothing they could do to push it off any longer.
I do believe in miracles, and I believe our family’s story doesn’t end here. It is my deepest hope that at least this chapter in our life becomes a testimony to God’s power and people’s kindness, which I have experienced over and over and over. A friend sat with me yesterday to help me put the pieces together. I asked her if maybe I am meant to be homeless--maybe I deserve it? She told me firmly that all we have is what is in front of us. If I am meant to be homeless, we will deal with it then, but today, she said, let’s work with what we have, which is a chance not to be. I said I was afraid to share my story. I was ashamed. There are so many awful details that I haven't included here. She replied that it is hard now, but it will be so much harder if I and my kids actually become homeless.
If you have questions or advice, please feel free to get in touch.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.
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