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Ide commits to recovery and restoration with her daughters
Ide’s parents were well respected leaders in Piru, where the family lived, so when they split, it was a surprise to many. “I was 8 when my mom left,” Ide said. “It was humiliating. She took off to the San Fernando Valley. There were long periods of time where I didn’t see her at all.”
Ide barely finished middle school and over the next couple years, she spent time with her aunt in Texas, and her mom in Los Angeles. At 16, Ide found out she was pregnant with twins. “My family told me I wasn’t welcome to stay with them. I was a big embarrassment.” Ide found a place to stay in Redlands that was run by nuns until she went into labor at 26 weeks. She had two micropreemie babies, each just 1 ½ pounds. The babies were taken to a hospital at UCLA, and Ide, just 17 years old, would take the bus to be with them and stay for days at a time.
After months of treatment, the babies were released. But just two months after she brought her second daughter home, Ide woke up to find that she had passed from SIDS. “After that happened, I don’t think anyone knew I might need some kind of therapy,” said Ide, who also learned her daughters’ father was having affairs. “I felt such betrayal. I remember feeling so depressed. I remember I drank a whole bottle of tequila, just wanting to end my life. I just had my one little baby. I didn’t deal with my daughter’s death and just started to look for attention.”
At 20, Ide had another baby, but the relationship didn’t work out. “I had these two beautiful girls and they were good kids,” she said. “I just thought there was some other happiness that existed that was just out of my reach. I had a third daughter, and I was by myself.” When Ide met her fourth daughter’s dad, she knew he had been to prison, but they made a life together. He had a job, she took their kids to school. “I commuted from Fillmore to Castaic to a good charter school for them,” she said. “I was involved in their school, their sports. They got into raising animals and would compete with them at the fair. My girls did really well. I found a lot of joy in raising my kids. I found some happiness when it was us together.”
But when her girls’ father-figure ended up back in jail, things took a turn. “It was ugly what I put the girls through at the end,” she said. “I could only take two in at a time to visit, so I’d leave the other two outside, at a federal prison. I was drinking, driving the kids around drunk, and I started experimenting with meth.”
Ide got sober for almost five years after attending church, therapy, and AA, but relapsed after she stopped going. “I stopped reaching out to people. I started living life on my own strength.” Ide found herself “drowning in her addiction,” and used for the next three years. She started hanging around drug traffickers. She was evicted from her home and got in trouble with the law. She missed her daughter’s high school graduation and wasn’t around when her daughter got pregnant. “I tried suicide,” Ide said. “Never had I felt so alone. I was on the run and on the streets until I collapsed and was hospitalized.”
Ide called the Lighthouse, and entered the program in January 2020. “My dad brought me my youngest daughter. We held each other and that’s when I started to feel real hope. I thanked God I was alive.” Ide’s third daughter, now 15, first declined her mom’s invitation to come visit on Mother’s Day, but showed up in the end. “I hadn’t hugged her in three years,” she said. “And my daughter from college came and surprised me. It’s really nice.”
Ide helps out with the children at the Lighthouse. “I have a lot of experience being a mom,” she said. “It’s my calling. We are all coming over our own hurdles. Sometimes it’s hard, and you know someone is hurting. I enjoy caring for their kids or giving advice.”
Ide will graduate this month. “You just have to surrender,” she said. “I did it, but it wasn’t easy. I don’t want to go back to what I was doing. I don’t want to put my family through that. My mental, spiritual—even physical—health is so much better. I want to live like they tell us to here.”
Ide plans to take the lessons she’s learned at the Lighthouse with her. “I’ve learned to not take my life or my family for granted, and to appreciate people,” she said. “There is no happiness without peace within, and that’s through the Lord. You’re still going to struggle. But with the tools they teach you, with trust in the Lord, and with fellowship and church—he will help you get through the trials. You can really come to this place of peace and acceptance in life.
“It’s something for a place to provide somewhere for you to come to, and to go above and beyond to make us happy. I told them my dad used to take me camping as a kid. Then they took us— twice. I will always have so many good, fun moments from here.”
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