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Alesia

From Lost to Leader

Our first story comes from Alesia Cabrera, a long-term resident of Cleveland, TN. Alesia is proud to say that she was loyal to the jobs she had and didn’t bounce around a whole lot. She was a Surgical Nurse and then worked at M&M Mars. She married her highschool sweetheart that she had known since she was very young. Alesia was widowed after several years of happy marriage. She shared with me, “When my granddaughter came, she saved my life, because my husband had just died, and he was my world.” Shortly after the death of her husband, Alesia was diagnosed with several chronic health issues, which resulted in her being unable to maintain her job. While she awaited the processing of her disability compensation, she lost everything, including her house. She had nowhere to turn to. She had to slowly regain her footing by reaching out to local organizations like The Caring Place to help rebuild her life. 

Today we pick back up in the middle of Alesia’s story. On Tuesday we learned that Alesia had two great jobs, lost her husband, and then was diagnosed with health conditions that caused her to be put on disability, resulting in the loss of her home and possessions. By the grace of God Alesia didn’t give up after that! She persevered, and turned to organizations like The Caring Place to get the help she never thought she’d need. She gathered her resources, and eventually was able to move into a home that she recently inherited. She continues to stay busy by spending time with her 3 “grandbabies”. Recently Alesia was a part of our 5th Getting Ahead Cohort. She told me, “The getting ahead program has allowed me to have a savings account, that was one of my goals. And through all the resources and different things, I have learned a lot of stuff. Got my credit cards paid off. I have continued, even if its only $5 I put it in savings. I don’t get into it unless I absolutely need it.” She still is dealing with the medical issues that ail her daily but she told me, “I mean [they’re] bothering me right now, but I just push through. If there’s something I have to do, I’ll go through it.” This is exactly what Alesia has been doing. Alesia was such an integral part of the Getting Ahead program and wanted to find another way to help others learn the skills she had gained. Alesia is now currently training to be our next Getting Ahead Group Facilitator, where she will organize the group and lead constructive conversation within the group. God has used her past experiences and is now using her to bless others, and we cannot wait to see the good that will flow out of Alesia in her new role.

Misty

From Abused to Advocate

Our story today comes from Misty, a native Tennessean, who also spent time in Florida for several years following her education. Misty grew up here in Cleveland and things were off to an unconventional start. She had her first child at 16 with an abusive partner. She married again to the father of her 2nd child but his infidelity led to another divorce. With two young children Misty decided she was going to have to succeed on her own, and packed up to move to Florida. She went to school at Florida Metropolitan University and graduated with honors with a Paralegal degree. She bought a house. Things were good, until she met another man who appeared to be a knight in shining armor who seemed like he was “going to take care of the world.” After the newness wore off, Misty said this 12-year relationship was worse than any other she’d been in, full of abuse and manipulation. She “lost [her] house in 2010 and went from rental house to rental house” due to the financial abuse of her partner. Finally, after discovering some things about her ex-husband she decided enough was enough, and demanded he leave. Now alone with her now 4 children Misty had to start over once again. Yet, this time she found the resources that would help her to better understand the complex personality disorders she encountered. Later this week we will learn how she’s used this knowledge to build her future story.

Today we dive back into the middle of  Misty’s story. She has been through several trials so far, but with her 4 children she finally made the decision to say enough is enough in her abusive marriage. The beginning of change for Misty was her decision to read a book recommended by a friend called “Psychopath Free” by Jackson Mackenzie to try and find out why she was treated the way she was. She said she finally had some vocabulary to use to describe exactly what had happened to her. Through these discoveries she joined a community of survivors and researched all she could about Narcissistic Abuse. She said she then “got in touch with . […] Angie Atkinson who runs her own youtube and has her own website to help survivors. And since [Misty has] a paralegal background, [she] was trying to file for [her] own divorce and when [Angie] found out about that, she invited [Misty] to come to her set and help people do the same thing, and coach people for divorce.” So Misty decided to take a course from Angie and Misty became a certified life coach!. With these new advances in Misty’s careers and passions, she was off to a better start, but she was still in Florida. Misty said that as soon as she found had she had full custody of her children on a Monday, she decided where she was going to go on a Wednesday and left to come home to Cleveland on a Saturday for a fresh start. She is a recent graduate of the Getting-Ahead program which has helped her to better understand all the resources available to her in Cleveland and also helped to set her up with a group of friends and people who are all rooting for her and her girls. Since she has been in Cleveland she has been gathering her resources and saving up, and now has enough for a down payment on a house! She is in the process of house hunting now. Misty has withstood an unfair amount of trauma in her life, but she makes sure to not allow that to hold her back. She said “it’s a choice, it’s always a choice” of how to let it affect her. She has been making great strides towards a beautiful future for her and her family, and we are so proud of her!

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