by Brittny Speed, Safe Harbor supporter & guest blogger
Twenty three years ago, I took a taxi ride I will never forget. This taxi drive changed my family’s life. My mom had packed a couple of items for me (6 years old), my sister, Kayla (4 years old), and herself, but this was no vacation.
I remember the taxi horn blowing to let us know he was ready. As we left, my mom left a letter on top of the television. This letter was to inform my father that after several years of mental, verbal and physical abuse, we were leaving.
I remember the taxi ride so vividly. It seemed very long, but I guess any ride is long when you don’t know where you are going. Along the way, we passed buildings, people walking and other cars, but what stood out the most to me was this very large grave yard. Later in life, this grave yard came to symbolize the death of our past and the start of a new life.
For three months we lived at the Greenville Safe Harbor domestic violence shelter. During our short time at the house, we met several really nice people, staff as well as other families. We are still friends with several of the families to this day.
My parents were legally divorced July 1, 1991, after which we transitioned into our own home. We arrived at the shelter abused and broken, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. We emerged as renewed butterflies. The process to recovery was a long journey – a journey that I grew to appreciate.
So where are we now?
My mother works for Greenville Hospital System as a billing coder. She lives in a home in Piedmont, SC that she owns. She sent both my sister and I to college at USC Upstate where we graduated (myself with a Bachelors of Art in Nonprofit Leadership and Kayla with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology).
To Safe Harbor, thank you for helping us on our journey to a NEW LIFE!
My 6 year old self