One of the most incredible things we get to do is watch women flourish through our housing program. Sometimes interactions as simple as making the proper referral can be life-changing. Whether big or small, we understand that every encounter is a chance to plant a seed. Often, we don’t know how quickly those seeds grow, but in this case, we have seen a rapid transformation! Stellena Morelock was referred to us by a local organization after she found herself at imminent risk of becoming homeless. When a woman is at risk of becoming homeless, she may begin to make decisions out of a survival instinct which puts them at a higher risk of being trafficked.
Stellena’s story is a beautiful example of what it looks like when local organizations are equipped with the correct information, the right processes, and the right people to guide and support women in making healthy decisions. During our intake process with Stellena, we uncovered some deeper issues and helped her identify those areas as issues for herself. When presented with a list of resources that could help her recover, Stellena took a brave step towards a healthier future. She has agreed to share her story with us… Please meet Stellena Morelock.
“I found myself separating from my husband, whom I had been with for over 20 years. He was an alcoholic when I married him, and his addiction became a lot worse over the years. I chose to deal with his addiction by getting into my own addiction. I was a 54-year-old stay-at-home wife and a mom of a 19-year-old college student that was addicted to meth. I was the last person you’d ever expect to do such a horrible drug. I hid it, and I hid it well. It was a coping mechanism for tolerating a verbally and emotionally abusive alcoholic. My husband always made it easy for me not to work and stay at home. So when I decided to leave, I found myself not only addicted but without a way to support myself financially.
My name wasn’t on the bank account (for a good reason because of my addiction, I would drain it every chance I got), and I didn’t own a car. The house that we lived in was rented, so I basically had nothing. For three months I stayed with a friend. I decided to quit using while I was staying with her. I was so happy that I could put the meth down, but was left with a broken heart. Shortly after I moved in with her, my friend decided that she needed to move in with her boyfriend. With nowhere else to go, I went with her. The boyfriend she had ended up being an abusive alcoholic as well. The entire time I was going through this, I had a broken foot, making things much more difficult. I found myself trying to leave an abusive situation and ended up living with a friend, watching her go through the same thing I had left. So, going back to old habits, I bought some meth. It wasn’t long after that when my friend told me that I had a few days to move out. I made a few calls to the state looking for help and found myself at dead ends.
I was SO close to sleeping on a park bench because I was running out of options. I thought to myself… ‘A middle-aged woman that had been financially taken care of living in a middle-class neighborhood was about to find herself sleeping on a bench with nowhere else to go.’ I was mentally exhausted, and I couldn’t take care of myself anymore at this point. I had tried keeping it together for so many years and made sure I always took care of EVERYONE else. I had nothing but what I was carrying and the clothes on my back. The state worker assigned to me was finally able to get connected with Worthy Women Ministries, Diasozo House.
It was late when he dropped me and my belongings off at the Diasozo House doorstep as Shelley and Mikhael welcomed me. As they were doing my intake, I initially tried to manipulate them about my drug use. I told them my story, making myself a complete victim and taking no responsibility for any of my personal decisions as I conveniently left out the part of using meth. I was asked to take an oral drug screen during the intake process. I honestly thought I would pass because it had been four days since my last use. Well, guess what!!?? LOL, it wasn’t! I tried to convince them that it was a false positive; I wasn’t going to admit to such an awful drug! I was so ashamed… I was so lost and the furthest away from a spiritual relationship with my Maker as I had ever been.
If I had admitted to my drug use, I wouldn’t be able to stay at this beautiful home. I continued to try and get out of telling them the truth to no avail. I finally broke down and told Shelley and Mikhael that I was using meth, and the test was accurate. I was BROKEN! I mean, I was B-R-O-K-E-N!! I was done! I was so lost and had no idea what I would do with my life. Mikhael agreed to let me stay one night since it was so late and Shelley informed me that she would gather some resources overnight of places that could help me with my addiction and mental health. I was very emotional as I was walking by my few belongings and happened to look down. I saw something I didn’t own, and it was purple, so it caught my eye. I went to get it out of my bag to take a look. As I pulled this purple item out of my bag, Shelley was watching as her hands cupped her mouth like she was a kid on Christmas morning! Lol, She wanted to witness this miracle! The purple thing was a purple bible but read in the front, “Stellena, we believe in you. Follow this path, for it will light your way!” Well now… What was this!?
I was given a room for the night, and it was beautiful. I was fed and housed by these complete strangers who were the first steps and a massive part of my recovery and life today. They made arrangements for me to go to a 90-day rehab. I was not the biggest fan, but I was in no place not to go. I looked up to Shelley, often referring to her as “My Angel.” When I found my recovery process difficult, I would keep my eyes on the prize, which was nothing less than success. I didn’t want my husband ever to see me without or not living my best life. I didn’t want to live up to the horrible things he would often refer to me as. Today, I have a job, and I am a productive member of society! I have my own car and my own place to live where I pay my own rent. I don’t believe in luck; I believe in destiny. I believe in God. I believe in others. I believe in miracles because I am one! I believe I am loved by total strangers. I thank everyone who is involved with Worthy Women Ministries. You did more for me than you will ever know.”
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