This piece by Mercy Survivor OA shares her story of finding hope after trauma at the hands of Mercy Ministries.
Many years ago I found a place that advertised unconditional love – I thought it was the cure I had been searching for.
I knew the process would be tough, but I thought it was for our protection – that’s what we were told.
It was supposedly to protect us from the ones who were not mean to be there.
But looking back now, it was more like they were weeding out the ones who would work them out pretty quickly.
It was a long wait but finally it was my turn – I arrived nervous and not knowing what to expect.
And so began an 11 month descent into a journey I called hell.
Everything was fine for the first week or so – I was given time to settle and feel like I fit right in.
And then slowly and subtly things began to change – the free-of-charge place was not free.
We either signed over our benefits or we left – so not only were we paying for ourselves but also we paid for those who had no benefits.
And as for the unconditional love they advertised – it wasn’t long before I found out that that too was full of conditions.
I came out of that place worse than when I went in and with even more negative beliefs about myself.
Those beliefs were even worse than the ones I first went in with – they left me with no hope.
I ended up hellbent on destroying myself – my anger was out of control.
I had tried so hard not to believe what they said about me – to do so would leave me with no hope.
But when you’re vulnerable and someone programs you, you find that no matter how hard you try not to, you end up believing what they say.
And so I believed that I was beyond help and I lived like there was no hope for me.
Something that took many years and a heck of a lot of hard work to overcome.
But I did overcome it, and I certainly proved them so very wrong – and then my eyes were opened to the truth.
A truth that allowed me to be angry in the right way.
Angry enough to take up a fight – a fight to get the truth out there.
One that I will fight to the end as the truth NEEDS to come out.
No matter what anyone says – the truth will always come out in the end.
And if it saves just one girl from further pain, heartache, torment, hopelessness and despair…
Then it has been so worth it.
I am now doing the very things they said I was incapable of doing – every single thing they said I couldn’t, I have done.
They tried to keep us isolated from others, even after we left – but we found each other.
And story after story echoes my own, and some are much worse.
But still we fight on, because we are survivors and we support each other on our journeys.
We stand united, despite our pain, because we know there are many more out there like us.
And even though we still suffer, we can still reach out to those who are still to come.
By reaching out to others, we begin to heal just that little bit more.
We are survivors – better than what they said we were!