Meet Debbie, 2020 Thistle Farms Residential Graduate
Like all of the women of Thistle Farms before and after me, I love that no one here has ever asked me what I did to get to my lowest point. The question we ask is “what happened to you?”
A lot happened to me. My upbringing was a reflection of the upbringing my parents received, and history sure can repeat itself. I left school at a very early age and no one noticed. No one came looking for me. No one called. I felt like if my absence from school could go unnoticed, it was because I didn’t matter.
I was in rehab when I first heard about Thistle Farms. We got to attend a Magdalene (Thistle Farms Residential) graduation ceremony, and shortly after I got there, I had to sit down. Otherwise I would have fallen down! I was physically and emotionally overwhelmed by unfamiliar feelings of acceptance and love. I cried and cried as I realized that my whole life’s story had brought me here.
Today I am a graduate of this program that’s been my safe place. I am a member of the Thistle Farms Customer Service team where I get to use my talents to help our customers. Where there was once a girl who believed that she was “less than” everyone, today I am counted on to be an expert in my field - and I am!
One of the greatest gifts of healing is that it has a tendency to spread. My own wellness has brought restoration to my family. Together with graduates, residents, employees and friends, we light the way for the next woman and each other. Sometimes that light makes its way into places that didn’t even know they were dark until the light showed up.
If I ever feel down or lose sight of what’s important, our Wednesday morning community circle fills me back up. It’s my best day ever, every week. I wish everyone could experience this time together and know the feeling of being accepted and loved for who they are.