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Jasmin Looks For A Fresh Start At The Lighthouse
Jasmin grew up in the Oxnard neighborhood surrounding the Lighthouse. She started getting into some trouble at age 9, and after a traumatic childhood event, things got worse. “I was raped at 11, and after that happened, I just had this feeling that I wasn’t worth anything anymore. I turned to drugs and gangs. That’s been my life as long as I’ve known it.”
Jasmin got pregnant at 14, and went on to have seven children. The family lived with her mother until late last year. “My mom would always pick up the slack if I wasn’t doing right,
especially with my kids. I knew she’d always take care of us, and that has kind of been my downfall.” When Jasmin’s mother finally put her foot down, Jasmin leaned on her baby’s daddy, who pressured her to quit her job. “He felt like he was less than because I worked and he took care of the kids. He said, ‘You make me look like I’m not a man.’ So I quit so he could take care of us. That led us from motel to motel, and him finding ways to support us.”
He started robbing the houses of Thomas Fire victims while they were displaced. He was also physically abusive and would not come home at all some nights. “I was just so in denial. I was so disappointed in myself. I realized I needed to get us out, but I didn’t know how. I was broken.”
Then, their motel room was raided. “I knew it was over. CPS said the kids had been exposed to too much. They took them from me. My kids are my everything. … I just remember turning to God for answers. I started thinking, ‘Is this going to be my life?’” Jasmine said through tears. “Is this his plan for me?”
Jasmin was facing four years in prison for receiving stolen property, and other charges. “I started to give myself to God. Amazingly, they gave me 40 months, and I only ended up doing six. I came here the next day. I’ve been here ever since, fighting for my kids.”
Jasmin now has three of her six children, and she was recently approved for overnight visits for the other three (Jasmin’s oldest lives with her father). “This program, alongside God, has blessed me so abundantly,” she said. “They’ve set everything in place so there are no setbacks when it’s time for my other kids to come.”
The staff has been encouraging. “They tell me, ‘You aren’t alone here.’ They are helping me figure out who I am, and how to change, in a loving way. Here, they make me feel like I don’t have to take on the world by myself. Everything I did, I thought that’s who I was. It’s not. Like these tattoos—why did I get these? What was I hiding? I didn’t want to have feelings, I didn’t want to cry. I didn’t want to care.”
Jasmin doesn’t know what’s next for her. “I’m leaving it in God’s hands. Wherever he takes me or whatever he has planned for me, I’m alright with. If you allow Jesus to change things for you, doors will open.”
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