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  • Amy Payne, CPS

From Then Till Now...A Recovery Story Alexias Fuller

The dictionary defines inspiration as: to be so successful, or to deal with a difficult situation so well, that other people admire you and want to be like you.

Have you ever met someone and thought, “Wow, that person is such an inspiration”? After interviewing The Gathering Place’s newest Recovery Coach, Alexias Fuller, that is exactly what I thought. Alexias’s story showed me that odds are made to be beaten and that there is no limit to success.

One morning, when I was still the Executive Director at The Gathering Place, I was in my office and the smell of bacon filled the air. I went to the kitchen and there was a woman whom I had never seen before. She told me that her name was Alexias. She said that she liked it here and just wanted to make breakfast for everyone. As I talked to her, there was something in her eyes that told me that she was suffering deep inside. Alexias lives each day with Bipolar 2 Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, Attention Deficit Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress disorder.

Her story starts when she was 2 and her parents separated. Alexias was sent back and forth between her parents and suffered severe trauma throughout her childhood having been abused emotionally, physically, and sexually. She was neglected and abandoned by the very people who were supposed to love and take care of her.

One summer, when she was 12, Alexias was sent to live with her mother in a very abusive environment. While there, she made friends who showed her acceptance as well as drugs and alcohol. She started using to help numb the pain of the trauma.

At the end of that summer, she had to go back to her dad’s house. On the way, a 30-year-old man took her to a hotel where he sexually assaulted her. Because she just wanted to be loved, she couldn’t understand that this was rape.

When Alexias arrived at her dad’s, she was expected to follow the same rules as before but it was too late. Alexias had already experienced a world where she felt accepted. She ran away and went to a teen shelter. After that, she was sent back to her mom’s. The abuse got so bad that her mom and step dad went to jail.

After Alexias’s mom was released from jail, she continued to neglect Alexias. Alexias needed a winter coat and when her mom wouldn’t get her one, she tried standing up for herself. The end result was that her mom kicked her out of the house in the dead of winter. Someone stopped and picked her up. Alexias ended up in the foster care system but was released to her mother again. Over the next several years, Alexias found herself homeless and experienced more sexual abuse and exploitation. One incidence was so severe that it ended up in the newspaper. Alexias was devastated when her classmates found out.

School was hard for Alexias because her mom moved her from town to town. This meant she had to attend different schools. Alexias just couldn’t catch up so she thought she was dumb. She wanted to graduate so she begged the principal to help her but he wouldn’t. She started skipping school and the principal kicked her out. Eventually, she was emancipated but she just didn’t have the life skills to liv

on her own. Alexias obtained her GED and went into the military. She was soon discharged for her mental health challenges caused by the childhood trauma.

Alexias was married at 19 to her first husband. She didn’t know how to have a healthy relationship due to the “role models” that she had had in her life sot the marriage did not last. Eventually she married again. This man was very manipulative and made her feel like she was “nothing”. The mother of five just wanted to die so she went into a mental health hospital.

Upon getting out, Alexias’s therapist told her about The Gathering Place. Alexias has been coming to The Gathering Place for over 1 ½ years and has found healing. She says, “The staff and members at The Gathering Place really care. There is always someone willing to support you. Having continuous support helped me stop believing that everything in my marriage was all my fault which led to having confidence in myself.” Alexias has since met an amazing man who has shown her what a beautiful person she really is and treats her very well. She finally feels love and support in healthy ways.

Alexias said that she, “had seen so many therapists and psychiatrists, went through different types of therapy and medications, she never thought that she would ever get so far in recovery that she could figure out what she wanted to do for work.” She didn’t even think about the possibility that she would be healthy enough to help others on their journey.

Her message to you is, “Life can become easier and more joyful when you start working on becoming your true self. All I had to do was make the choice to get help.”

Inspirational? I think so! If you ever want to meet with our newest Recovery Coach, please call and find out when Alexias is working.

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