I was stumbling down a path of bad influences
Before I arrived at Shelterwood, I did a lot of “soul-searching” and not in the right ways. I turned to drugs, alcohol, and bad influences to fill me up as a person. I thought that I was discovering myself and substances made me feel invincible, the person I thought I really wanted to be. I started to get into other things like sneaking out, ditching school, and not getting along with my parents. My parents started to catch on to my behavior.
The summer before I arrived at Shelterwood, I left my house because the tension between my parents and me was just too much for me to handle. I left my phone at home and packed my bags. I stayed with one of my friends for the entire summer and couch surfed with nothing on which to survive. My parents contacted me and we made a plan to meet up.
I thought I was going to be able to move back in for the school year but next thing I know, I am saying goodbye to my little sister and driving all the way out to Missouri. I thought my world was crashing down all in one day. I didn’t think my life would go this way and thinking about how out of control I was, it was really scaring me.
There are so many things that I could say impacted me at Shelterwood. The one I most value is learning how to relate to people and just getting to know them on a personal level before I make a judgment. I really benefited from just learning who I was as a person. I set goals for myself and I really figured out what I wanted to do with my future and how I was going to get there.
I left Shelterwood feeling the most confident, happy, and healthy person I really have ever been. My parents and I had some rough patches after I left Shelterwood. But we are starting to learn who we are as people, how we work, and to love beyond the things we can’t change about each other.
I am a strong person now, and I know what I want and how to achieve it. I am so thankful for everything they did for me at Shelterwood. It was a great time to get away and just spend some time to discover who I was. I am so grateful that I got this opportunity.