Hello, friends! Just a quick reminder that I begin teaching the 9:30AM P90X class. I’m very excited to meet some new P90Xers!
This week I have handed over my blog to a very special lady. She is a regular in my classes and always makes me laugh. Whether it is the faces that she gives me because she is working to her limit or her contagious smile, I look forward to seeing her (and frown inside when she isn’t there). Last week she shared something with me and she has allowed me to share with all of you:
“Growing up, I always had more than what I needed, I was very fortunate in that aspect. If I needed a new backpack for school, if I wanted a game for my birthday, if I wanted to buy new clothes for the new school year; I would get it. I was lucky. I remember friends would always point out that I had the coolest things. ‘If only they knew the price I had to pay to have these things,’ I’d always think….
“My name is Monica Garza, I am 21 years old and I am a survivor of domestic violence. It has now been 2 years since I left my abuser’s home, and I am ready to tell my story.
“During the first 19 years of my life my father abused my mother, sister, and I. He abused us emotionally, psychologically, and physically. He controlled our every move. If we did not do what he’d say, he would ‘punish us’ by putting us in a house lock down and take away all forms of communication with the outside world (phone, internet, car keys). We would be ‘punished’ if his dinner got cold, or if he’d see us talking to the neighbor. I felt like a puppet.
“I left my father when I was 19, and I had nothing. I had to start from zero. I worked at Starbucks at the time and at the end of each day, we get rid of all the expiring food. Although instead of throwing the left over food out, I would take them home and eat the sandwiches and pastries during the week; I could not afford to buy groceries…. Leaving my abuser was an extremely difficult process. I had bills to pay from school, that I could not pay. I had no car, and I did not have a cellphone to communicate with. I worked 30+ hours while going to school full-time. It was exhausting, and still is. Thankfully, I will be graduating with an undergraduate degree in marketing in Spring 2017, and will be able to start working full time.
“It has been very difficult for me to get to where I am. I am currently on medication for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and PTSD and was at a point where I was going to therapy three times a week. I wish everyday I could have had the strength to leave the toxic environment sooner, maybe it could have made a difference in my life. But I was so scared to speak up because my abuser would tell me horrible lies about what would happen to me if I said anything.
“Right now I am at a much better place than where I was 2 years ago, I honestly could not have done it without the support I got from my boyfriend and my mother. Being where I am today, I am ready to give back to my community. I understand that there are so many similar cases out there, and I want to make sure that domestic violence does not stop a child from going to college. I want to educate people that domestic violence is not acceptable and that there is a way out. I want to make a difference in my community, and would love your support.
I am happy to say that Monica has reached her START UP goal for her foundation! This will help her to get the foundation up and running. She has started on the paperwork for the state and hopes by the end of the year to have the website fully up and running. The money that she raises now will be used for funds for scholarships. Her goal is to have scholarship applications available for freshmen and continuing students in college in Spring 2017. PLEASE VISIT THE LINK ABOVE TO DONATE!
All it takes for someone to make a change in this world is for someone to care enough to do something about it. Thank you everyone that has donated so far; thank you Monica for not just saying “this isn’t fair” but for doing something about it!