Grace’s story starts when she was very young. It was around the age of 12 that she started to struggle with mental health, specifically anxiety and depression. Grace’s mom was a single mom of 2. Grace didn't know how to deal with what was going on inside of her and started skipping school while her mom was at work. Her mom sent Grace to live with her dad, as she wasn’t sure how to handle Grace.
The situation with Grace’s dad wasn't good either, as he would often accuse her of being on drugs and being sexually active. She felt like an outcast. The things her family would say about her made her feel worse and soon Grace fell in with the wrong crowd. The next few years of Grace’s life were full of drug overdoses, sexual/emotional abuse and self harm.
At 16 years old Grace moved out on her own and lived with various friends, all the while struggling to finish school and working to pay for herself. Shortly after moving out, she met a boy whom she thought was nice and within 2 months she found herself pregnant.
Grace was referred to Stepping Stones by her doctor, and Stepping Stones set her up with a mentor who helped connect her to school and was an emotional outlet. Stepping Stones assisted Grace in getting doctors appointments, and helped create a plan for her future. Finally She had the support she felt she needed, however the man she was living with wasn’t a nice guy. She wanted the picture-perfect family and had low self esteem going into the relationship. In her relationship Grace suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
It was her mentor with Stepping Stones that helped her realize that she needed a better path for herself and her daughter. Shortly after her boyfriend was sent to jail for domestic violence. Stepping Stones helped Grace find a stable income as well as a program to help women fleeing domestic violence. Grace continued on in life with her daughter and soon started a relationship with a friend. She didn’t know what a healthy relationship looked like and soon the relationship began to slip. Stepping Stones again stepped in and helped find counselling for Grace and her partner. They worked through their issues and are together still, now with a 6 month old daughter. Grace is now in school to become a postpartum doula, she is working on her mental health and striving to be the best person and mom that she can be. Grace is also transitioning into a volunteer role with Stepping Stones to be able to give back to other moms.
Grace had this to say; “Stepping Stones never failed to be there when I needed it. They helped me get back on my feet so I could continue my journey to be the mother I needed to be for my kids”.