Viola’s mom and dad met as teenagers in a group home. Viola’s mom was just 16 when Viola was born. Two months later, her mom left and never came back. Viola was left to be raised by her father, a raging alcoholic. “By the age of 5, I had taught myself how to block out my own emotions and I had to become fearless in order to survive. My dad’s temper was dangerously unpredictable, so getting hit or even knocked unconscious was something I became used to and even expected,” Viola says. “I drank my first beer and smoked marijuana for the first time when I was nine years old with my father. I remember that I didn’t really like the way it made me feel, but because it made my dad happy, I would do it. I tried meth when I was 11 years old, and shortly after that my father lost custody of me and I became a ward of the court.”
At 13, Viola had her first child. “Thus began my five-year journey through four group homes and two foster homes. My father refused to change his lifestyle, so I was stuck in the system until I was 17,” she says. At 18, she met another man and had two children with him, but that relationship was also toxic. “When I finally could not stand the abuse any longer, I did the only thing I knew how to do, which was to numb my pain by getting loaded and run away,” Viola says. “I clearly had a drug problem, but I had never been given the opportunity to go to treatment.” But as she stood in court one day, she was given that chance. The judge told her that she could either go to Bethel House or to jail. Viola chose Bethel House and changed her life forever!
“When I got to Bethel House, I was broken, lost, and full of doubt. I didn’t believe anything or anybody could help someone like me, and in the beginning I didn’t even want help or change.” But Viola did change. She took full advantage of the opportunities available to her and not only got sober for the first time since she was 11 years old, but also met Jesus in the process. “This program has opened my heart and my eyes so I can finally experience God’s love and his desire for me to finally exercise and fulfill my true potential.”
Viola has graduated from the program at Bethel House and is now working full time at a local restaurant. She is getting closer with her kids and has a three-year old grandson who she adores and is grateful to be part of his life. “I would like to thank the donors for making this life possible,” says Viola.