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Program gives Delphina time to heal from years of abuse

Delphina experienced abuse in relationships, just as her mom had.

Delphina experienced abuse in relationships, just as her mom had.

She’s recognizing generational trauma and patterns

“It’s kind of a long story,” Delphina says when asked about her upbringing. She explains her mother was “really into drugs and partying” and often cheated on her partner. Delphina and her sisters were the products of these affairs.

“We all had his last name, but he never treated us like his kids. I think he was jealous we weren’t really his,” Delphina said. The couple eventually separated.

Her mother married and Delphina had a very close relationship with her stepdad before he passed away from cancer. “I was a total ‘Daddy’s Girl’,” she said. “We were best friends.

I could tell him anything. He may not be my biological dad, but he was my dad. I always knew he loved me.”

As a teen Delphina rarely went to high school, often staying home to care for her nieces and nephews as her sister was battling her own addictions and Delphina’s mother was sick. Her mother passed away from cirrhosis of the liver when Delphina was 18 years old.

Delphina had two children, a girl and then a boy. She shared that her relationships have always consisted of abuse and cheating. “Every man hit and beat me. They were all mean and hurtful … And I would cheat because that’s what my mom did. That’s what I thought was normal in relationships,” Delphina said.

Much of the abuse Delphina experienced happened in front of her daughter. “I always tried to hide it from her. I didn’t want her to see… but sometimes, I couldn’t stop him,” Delphina recalled. It’s one of the reasons her daughter Hannah, 21, stopped speaking with her. “She didn’t like how he treated me. She didn’t like him. That wasn’t her biological father… but she didn’t know at the time that her father also beat me.”

After the removal of her young son by Child Protective Services, Delphina left her abusive partner. She bounced between family members but was unable to stay in one place for long.

Then, Delphina found the Lighthouse. When she first arrived, Delphina admitted she was “scared and nervous” as she “didn’t know what was going to happen.” Now, “it feels really good,” she said. “I want to better my life and be a better person so when my kids come looking for me, I’ll be ready.”

Delphina helps in the kitchen at the Lighthouse, and said she enjoys attending Celebrate Recovery classes, church, and therapy, which has been very beneficial. Delphina was diagnosed with PTSD and depression due to the years of abuse she endured.

In December 2023, Delphina was baptized. “It feels good to be heathy all-around… It’s an amazing feeling to feel renewed and refreshed in my faith,” Delphina said. “I’m no longer a victim. I’m standing up for myself now. I could never do that before.”

Delphina graduates in April and plans to enter the women’s Transitional Living Program. She wants to complete her GED and go to culinary school. Delphina has begun making amends and has resumed communication with her daughter – she’s excited for a reconciliation.

“The program is definitely worth it,” she said. “It’s made my life so much better.”

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