Kenia is ‘Breaking a Lot of Chains’

Kenia came to Parisi House in August 2019 after giving birth to her baby girl. She was scared at first, but also relieved to get the help she needed to break free from her addiction. She says she learned a lot about herself at Parisi House and how to parent her four kids – ages 15, 11, 9 and 2. Today she’s working hard to provide a good home for them and launching her own business selling cosmetics. 

“The program actually gave back something I thought I wasn’t going to have – a life with my daughter,” she says. “I didn’t really realize how addicted I was until Child Protective Services got involved in my life. They gave me the opportunity to go to Parisi House, and I was grateful.”

When Kenia found out she was pregnant with her daughter, she was working two jobs to support her kids and using drugs to “self-medicate.” She says she had taken drugs on and off since her teen years and it escalated when she got into a toxic relationship soon after her 10-year marriage ended. “When they told me I could lose my daughter, it was a big eye opener. My kids are the most important thing in my life.”

The one-on-one counseling Kenia received at Parisi House helped her understand how her childhood impacted her life. “Being able to talk about my problems was important,” she says. “I was raised around an alcoholic in a domestic violence environment. My mom was extremely passive. All my life I tried to be different than my mom and dad, and I ended up just like them – but I’m breaking a lot of chains. I realized that a lot of things happen to me because I allow it. I learned how to stand up for myself.”

She adds, “Sometimes the counselor would tell me, ‘Good job, I’m proud of you.’ It felt nice and motivated me to keep going. I didn’t get that growing up. I got the opposite. I was never good enough no matter how hard I tried.”

Kenia says the staff at Parisi House helped her understand what kids need for healthy growth and development. She set aside time to read to her baby girl and participated in weekly mommy-and-me activities. 

“It was the first time I bonded with my baby for so long,” Kenia says. With her other children, she was busy working and didn’t spend as much time focused on creating that bond. “With this baby I learned how important it is and I got a chance to do it. It was really fun doing the bonding activities. I still have some of the posters we did. Every time I feel depressed, I look at those drawings and I remember that feeling of being at peace.”

Now Kenia is working hard to make sure her kids are “better prepared to be an adult than I was. I want them to be happy and do what makes them happy without drugs. I don’t want to look back and say I wish I would have done something better for them. I want to know I did everything I could.”

She adds, “I’m really grateful for everything that was offered to me at Parisi House. I think it all helped – the counseling, the structure, the classes. I learned a lot. It feels good to be on a path.”

Kenia is ‘Breaking a Lot of Chains’

Kenia came to Parisi House in August 2019 after giving birth to her baby girl. She was scared at first, but also relieved to get the help she needed to break free from her addiction. She says she learned a lot about herself at Parisi House and how to parent her four kids – ages 15, 11, 9 and 2. Today she’s working hard to provide a good home for them and launching her own business selling cosmetics. 

“The program actually gave back something I thought I wasn’t going to have – a life with my daughter,” she says. “I didn’t really realize how addicted I was until Child Protective Services got involved in my life. They gave me the opportunity to go to Parisi House, and I was grateful.”

When Kenia found out she was pregnant with her daughter, she was working two jobs to support her kids and using drugs to “self-medicate.” She says she had taken drugs on and off since her teen years and it escalated when she got into a toxic relationship soon after her 10-year marriage ended. “When they told me I could lose my daughter, it was a big eye opener. My kids are the most important thing in my life.”

The one-on-one counseling Kenia received at Parisi House helped her understand how her childhood impacted her life. “Being able to talk about my problems was important,” she says. “I was raised around an alcoholic in a domestic violence environment. My mom was extremely passive. All my life I tried to be different than my mom and dad, and I ended up just like them – but I’m breaking a lot of chains. I realized that a lot of things happen to me because I allow it. I learned how to stand up for myself.”

She adds, “Sometimes the counselor would tell me, ‘Good job, I’m proud of you.’ It felt nice and motivated me to keep going. I didn’t get that growing up. I got the opposite. I was never good enough no matter how hard I tried.”

Kenia says the staff at Parisi House helped her understand what kids need for healthy growth and development. She set aside time to read to her baby girl and participated in weekly mommy-and-me activities. 

“It was the first time I bonded with my baby for so long,” Kenia says. With her other children, she was busy working and didn’t spend as much time focused on creating that bond. “With this baby I learned how important it is and I got a chance to do it. It was really fun doing the bonding activities. I still have some of the posters we did. Every time I feel depressed, I look at those drawings and I remember that feeling of being at peace.”

Now Kenia is working hard to make sure her kids are “better prepared to be an adult than I was. I want them to be happy and do what makes them happy without drugs. I don’t want to look back and say I wish I would have done something better for them. I want to know I did everything I could.”

She adds, “I’m really grateful for everything that was offered to me at Parisi House. I think it all helped – the counseling, the structure, the classes. I learned a lot. It feels good to be on a path.”