Sondra (not her real name) left the Krause Children’s Center in Katy on September 21, 2012. She is an awesome girl who has progressed and changed tremendously. She recently participated in Krause’s fashion show at Coldwater Creek, “Beautiful Inside & Out.” She wrote her story for us below. We are so proud of her!
I arrived on May 14, 2012. I came in shackles and cuffs in a Juvenile Detention van. I came here because on March 21, 2012, I aggravatedly assaulted my mother with a butcher knife. I was a cocaine fiend, a pot-head, and an alcoholic, going through withdrawal. I can remember when the cops came to pick me up, I thought everything was funny, so I continuously smart-talked the cops. Then the radio said “46” and they handcuffed me and took me in. When I got to JDC [Juvenile Detention Center] for weeks I bragged about what I had done. I also bragged about my drug habits, gang relations, and alcoholic habits. I thought I was cool and everything was funny.
Time went by and reality sunk in. My freedom was gone. I had no say in what I could or couldn’t do. I couldn’t see my family or friends. A lot of the other juveniles started to realize this as well, and they turned to God for forgiveness. I was a nonbeliever, so I didn’t.
On April 24, 2012, I was sentenced to Krause Children’s Center. My first thoughts were, “What will it be like?” When I arrived at Krause, everything was foreign and unfamiliar. I came with absolutely nothing, except the clothes on my back. Krause staff immediately got me the things I needed to make me comfortable. I started to meet new kids, but I didn’t talk much, I just isolated myself. When I started therapy, they made a plan to help me with anger management, family therapy, and substance abuse.
As weeks went by and I got to know the children here, we started to grow bonds. I always resented my parents and the people in my life for putting me through physical, mental, and emotional abuse. When I heard the stories of others here, I realized that compared to them, I had been through nothing. I was ungrateful and selfish. During that time was when I realized it was time for a change. I started really working my treatment. There was a lot of rough patches where I wanted to fight and get upset, but I had to stop and think about everything I would and could lose for a little mistake, that I would most likely regret the next day. I had to do my coping skills.
Since being in Krause, I learned to control my anger in positive ways. I also learned to have better respect and attitude towards my parents and peers. I also learned that just because you have problems in life, you don’t have to turn to drugs, because eventually drugs would be the problem you would have to get rid of. In Krause there was always something for me to do that kept me out of trouble. I attended spiritual and therapeutic groups that helped me reconnect to God and myself. They also had recreational activities and events that kept us busy and having fun.
As the time went by, I gained responsibility and trust, which enabled me to be able to do more things. I got to help out at Krause, and volunteered in the kitchen. On probation, I was supposed to be here six to nine months, but on good behavior, I was able to leave after four months and seven days, to reunite with my family.
Going to jail, then Krause, were the best things that ever happened to me. It was life-changing, and changed me inside and out, and helped open my eyes to better opportunities. I appreciate everything I was taught and everything I learned. I now know that I will never take anything else for granted again.
On departure day, Sondra slipped a note (shown below) under my office door. This is why we do what we do here at Krause!