From desperation to independence
Ariana grew up in an intensely abusive environment. Her parents divorced, and her dad married a woman who was physical and mentally abusive for nine years. From age 7 untill 15, Ariana suffered, unseen and voiceless.
"Suicide was on the table," she said. "I wanted to die." She got kicked out of the house because one day her stepmother attempted to drown her in the bathtub and Ariana finally fought back. They shipped her to Slidell to live with a friend. Those people got tired of her being there and wanted her gone. She eventually moved in with a family who heard her story at a One Way Love Event and was moved to act.
Ariana's father died while he served overseas, and her stepmom did not tell her until he was buried. Her heart was ripped out again because deep down inside, she believed her dad loved her.
Through One Way Love, Ariana was placed in a mentoring relationship with Co-Founder Rosemary Manint. When Rosemary first met her, Ariana couldn't look at her and kept her head down, barely talking. Rosemary would take her out to eat and kept working with her until she began to trust her.
She opened up about her life, and her feelings were validated. One Way Love supported her need for life essentials and encouragement through gift cards and goodie bags for every holiday. She wasn't used to anyone giving her anything without expectation of something in return.
Ariana has now graduated from high school and attended Delta College, working hard and gaining a job as a medical assistant. Now, she giggles and finds it easy to connect with others. Ariana has a boyfriend and is engaged to be married. Her whole life has changed, and she credits One Way Love for showing her what unconditional love looks like. Now, she wants to give back and be there for others like we were there for her.