“No one ever expects that they will become homeless in their life. No one plans on food insecurity, abusive relationships, money troubles due to building medical problems, and the ebbs and flows of feeling hopeless in an ever changing and demanding world. No one plans on loss. Loss of love. Loss of health. Loss of security. No one plans for disaster. Not even me.
My name is Krystina. I grew up hopeful, full of dreams, and ambitions. I joined the Army out of high school, and planned to do big things with my life. I wanted to help others. I never could have anticipated the direction my life would take. I met someone, got married, and planned on starting a family. Then, I lost my first child unexpectedly due to complications near the end of my pregnancy. My life took a drastic turn in not only the days, but years following.
My husband and I had 3 more children, and each year he grew more controlling and abusive towards us. I was struggling emotionally, because I never gave myself the time or emotional space to grieve the loss of my first son. I worked full time, but money was always out of my control. I was trapped, emotionally, financially, and what felt like physically. I wanted to leave, but I didn't know how. I didn't know where I could go, who would help me. I had nothing.
After years of living in fear I finally found enough strength and courage to go. I spent time at CAPSA, seeking help to find balance and stability. It was hard to work and be a mother full time, with little support from the outside. The family I have helped where they could, but had more than enough of their fair share of struggles. I have always felt like I was living right in the middle of barely surviving and sinking. And everywhere I ran, he followed. Always leaving threats, I never felt safe enough to be comfortable.
I began to develop health issues that left me nearly debilitated. Between good days and bad, there were times I couldn't even get myself out of bed. I lost my job and was unable to keep up on the bills that continued to pile in. My kids and I became homeless, and I never felt like more of a failure. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. And felt like I had nowhere to turn. We slept between hotels and the car more times than I even want to admit. I feel blessed that it wasn't during the winter, because I don't even know what we would have done. It was the most hopeless I have ever felt. And I want to do what I can, to assure that people don't end up where I was. I want to give people hope.” - Krystina James