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My Path Here by Danika Guse

Have you ever felt like you’ve been at a standstill in life and you aren’t sure what to do or where to go? Two years ago, I found myself pregnant with my second child and in an extremely abusive relationship with the man I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with. He was abusive physically and mentally. I was stuck and had no way of leaving. I wasn’t able to talk to close friends, my family members or my coworkers. I wasn’t able to have social media nor leave the house without him coming with me. He would seclude me in our house and would leave me there for hours and hours without any communication on his end. I was kept in the dark about a lot, including him getting another girl pregnant. I was left in the hospital alone to give birth to our baby and again upon arriving home. He continued to go out and party and drink for two months straight. One night he came home around 3 AM and forced me to get out of bed and to make him food while calling me profane names. He ended up throwing shoes, his keys and his phone at me when I got back into bed. I was able to get him out of the room and locked myself in the bedroom. During this, I made multiple phone calls to people to see if they would be able to help me out of that situation. He was able to get inside the bedroom by kicking in the door and started being physically abusive. When he calmed down a bit, I started talking to him about his drinking issue and how it wasn’t fair to our children that he was doing this. He stood in the kitchen and threatened to take mine and my children’s lives and told me he wasn’t afraid of going to prison and spending time there. That night I was able to escape and take my children and a few belongings. I went to Noxon. My mother helped me with gas money and housing for a little while. She was also mentally abusive and had narcissistic traits. She ended up assaulting me and we left. I was able to find a police officer who helped us get into a women and children’s shelter in Thompson Falls. We stayed there for about 2 months and then my auntie got in touch with my biological father. He wanted to meet my children and I, so we went and had lunch with him and his family. From there we ended up living with my dad and his family. He helped me get a job and I was able to go back to college. Life was wonderful being around my 6 younger siblings and my father. I remember spending my mornings with my dad watching educational Youtube videos and just having long discussions. A couple months went by and the whole family caught Covid. My dad ended up in the hospital and wasn’t released for 3 weeks. My schooling was placed on hold for a while and the household duties and meal times were placed onto me. I wasn’t able to get back on my feet by taking care of everyone else. Soon my taxes came and my dad got super upset that some how I ended up getting more back on my taxes than they did. I just overlooked it at the time. I was finally able to buy a bed after spending a year and a half sleeping on the couch. I was also able to get some clothes for my children and a reliable vehicle. I finally felt like I was moving forward in life. I was doing really well in school and was starting to save a little bit of money from side jobs. I was looking for places but wasn’t able to find anything even remotely affordable. I felt stuck and started to pray for the Lord to open the right doors and to close the ones that needed to be closed. My father started working full time and I was back to managing the household that held my 6 siblings, my 2 children and the 3 adults. My father ended up growing cold towards me, as I was starting to get overwhelmed with everything piling up on me. He and his wife made it clear that they didn’t want me or my children there anymore. They refused to say two words to us and would blatantly ignore us like we weren’t even there. I confronted them about it and my father cornered the girls and I in our room. He yelled a lot at us and made my oldest daughter afraid. I also began to notice signs of him using again. I decided right then and there, we had to get out of that house. My children will always come first, especially when their safety is at risk. We loaded up our belongings in my vehicle and headed out. I made many phone calls that night trying to find a place to go. I finally ended up getting 2 nights at a hotel through the Abbie Shelter. I then spoke with Nikkia, here at A Ray of Hope and she asked me to come in and fill out an application. She said she would take steps to try to help us out. It was the very next day we were accepted into Peggy’s House. The Lord has opened doors for us and I couldn’t be more grateful to be in a house full of wonderful ladies. Learning about the Lord and growing in faith every day has been such a blessing and an eye-opener. Since being here, I have gotten a job, made friends, have become more confident, and have been on the right path of life. Even though life is full or sorrow and loss, life is also full of love and happiness.

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