Marilyn’s Story: Finding a Voice

December 17, 2018 |

When Marilyn was put into foster care as a baby, she lost her voice. 

She spoke up when she was abused in foster homes – which happened so frequently people stopped believing her. Instead of encouraging her to speak out, she was silenced and labeled a “liar” and a “problem child.”

Every night she lay awake, fearful of falling asleep and being abused. She decided that somehow, someday, she would change things. 

“I always wanted to be a voice for that lost child,” she says. “I was that kid, and I had no voice. I wanted to be their voice.”

School proved to be a struggle for Marilyn and she dropped out before finishing middle school. When she was 13, she met a man who showed her affection and she fell hard into another abusive situation. But by that time she was used to it. She thought that was how people showed love.

No Options.

Marilyn became pregnant. The leaders of the group foster home she was living in found out about the baby and kicked her out. She ended up going back to the baby’s father because she knew if she lived on the streets, her child would be taken away.

“The abuse continued. I didn’t have a say,” she remembers.

Marilyn left him but ended up marrying another man who abused her even more severely. Years of pain and abuse had taken its toll on her.

Just as she was about to take a bottle of pills, she got a text from a friend that read:

God put it on my heart to text you and tell you that I’m in your corner, you don’t have to fight alone

anymore.”

The Power of Words.

Those words gave Marilyn the strength she needed to find her voice and speak up for herself. She packed up her kids and left. They lived in their car for six months while Marilyn worked multiple jobs and went back to school.

First she got her GED, then her Associates Degree, and now is two quarters away from her Bachelor’s. While looking for ways to give back to her community, Marilyn found out about the Mission. She started out volunteering in Search and Rescue, and we even hired her to help in that program. Thanks to her time with the Mission, Marilyn taking that experience and exploring other ways to serve the poor and vulnerable in our community. We were blessed to have her as a member of our team and are excited to know she will continue to work alongside those experiencing homelessness in our community.

“I’m grateful to have worked at the Mission. What they want to do in society is what so many of us need to do. Let’s love on these people.” she says. 

Now that Marilyn has found her voice, she’s doing what she always felt called to do – being a voice for the voiceless.