Jennifer – Before
My name is Jennifer Weiner and I am 35 years old. My childhood, like everyone else’s, had its issues. I will say, I believe my parents did the best they could. Still, at the age of 4, I was sexually abused. This started a very warped pattern of thinking in my life and by the time my 13th birthday arrived, I had already had sex with 34 people. This behavior kinda became a game, a way to feel better and gain attention.
I don’t suppose it takes much to figure that pain and shame were rocking the core of who I was. Worthless, useless, and dirty—that was my self-image—making drugs a viable escape. At 11 years old I experienced my first mental institution. Not what I would call a safe or positive place and I don’t know that I can tell you how many of these type places I ended up in. Too many, that’s for sure.
After my parent’s divorce, which was an abrupt and unexplained event, my life became more and more erratic. After leaving home, I discovered the best way to quickly gain a place to live and someone to take care of me was to become a prostitute.
I could easily write a book of horror stories telling what I went through jumping from pimp to pimp, hotel rooms, back car seats, and alleyways. It was a degrading and disrespectful life, but at this point, it seemed I had no other option.
I’ve been beaten, smothered, choked, drugged, dragged, shot at, set on fire and on and on. I guess you can see how, not only the actions of my choosing but, the things that have been done to me severely damaged my self-worth.
Been on every drug you can think of, but I suppose crack cocaine was my favorite. Because illegal activity lands you in jail I’ve been incarcerated, often more than once, every year since I was 19 years old. I’ve been in 11 programs that I remember and at least 15 detox facilities. And mental institutions…like I said before, too many to count.
Jennifer – After
When I was in jail about two years ago I picked up the book, Deep in the Heart of Texas. There are so many things I can relate to in this book, but the biggest thing I remember about it is thinking, maybe I’m not too far gone. This was a huge relief to me because it helped me recognize that even though I’ve been a drug addict and prostitute, I can do what it takes to gain a new image.
I wanted a new life so bad that I actually read the book 3Xs.
Has my life been easy since then? Absolutely not. But I’m doing the work to make it different, and I won’t stop until I’m free. I’m committed to this. Texas Stready’s book did not change my life—I wish it were that easy. What reading this book gave to me was the encouragement to believe in new possibilities. If you don’t have that, how can you attempt something different?
It was very important for me to get to a place where I was willing to be without a man, and I took the time to do that. Now, I’m finally in a relationship with a man who genuinely cares about me and what’s best for my life. We’ve known each other for many years but have spent the last year in a committed relationship. It’s been amazing.
My life is consistent, structured, and I’m reliable. Huge changes.
Due to a small relapse, I only have 90 days clean, but this 90 days has been different—and that makes me able to appreciate even the relapse. That slip up brought me to a fabulous conclusion. This is my life and it can be whatever I want it to be, so I’m going to live and live well.
I’m telling you the details of my life not only because I’m very pleased with where I am, but so you will know that the ministry A Radical Difference has helped to make a radical difference in my life. Thank you Texas, for sharing your experience, strength, and hope!
A Radical Difference ministry is making a radical difference!
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