Mom and My Messed-Up Life

Read the inspiring story of a former Open Arms resident.
by Maria

Maria CabreraEver since I was a little girl, I loved school. I remember winning spelling bees and earning As and Bs, and I was so happy. I dreamed of graduating, getting my diploma, and escaping the fields of Florida, where my family worked as farm laborers.

But when I was 13, my mom had other plans. I was her oldest daughter, and Mom expected me to leave school to help raise my younger siblings. I never did graduate.

It seemed like my mom never loved me or supported me. I don’t know why. She always insulted me. She would tell me that I wasn’t her daughter, when I knew I was. She never trusted me, and she treated me differently than my brothers and sisters. All I wanted was for her to love me.

Instead, she hurt me. And for a long time, I hated her. I started drinking and doing drugs. I didn’t want to have anything to do with my mom. Even when she became a Christian and tried to change, I was too angry.

My boyfriend and I came to Indiana in 2007. By that time, I wanted to get away from drugs, but my boyfriend continued to deal cocaine. In 2008, we both got arrested and went to prison.

Starting Over

That’s when I took a hard look at my life. I realized I not only hated my mom, I hated myself. I asked God to help me, and I finally forgave my mom. We made peace and I started to cry. Then I learned to love myself more.

When I got out of prison, I came straight to Open Arms, because I had nowhere else to go. The people here have already shown me so much love and care. They’re teaching me how to live God’s way, and it’s working. I already found a new job and I’m planning to finally go back to school and graduate!

I called my mom this week — and she said she’s proud of me. I felt like a little girl again, but this time I was so happy.

To read more success stories from KRM, please visit our Newsletter Page.