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Maurice Jennings AV1677

First and foremost, thank you! For all of you who contribute your time, efforts, and resources toward truly securing a better world through compassion, acceptance, restoration, and equality (C.A.R.E.). As your efforts and empathy work in tandem with our earnest desire for redemption; together we facilitate healing. Within the fractured past of individuals like myself, healing has often seemed elusive. But, like a gaping wound, caused by traumatic injury, it often requires two sides to be stitched together in order to effectively heal. True healing and restoration requires the essential elements of community; coming together to address the root causes of destructive behavior and identifying it with patience, understanding, forgiveness, and support. Together we can bring about healing one stitch at a time; stand, together, inside, trauma, cruelty, harm. It’s with this hope in mind that I share my story...

My name is Maurice Jennings

I was born April 17, 1979 to a 14 year old. My mother is a survivor of sexual assault, child abuse, neglect, and incest. As a result of the trauma my mother endured, she resorted to self-medicating to cope with the pressures of her young life. So, by the time I was capable of my first memory, my mother suffered from an intense addiction to crack cocaine.My first memory is of my mother being abused within one of her many abusive relationships. To this day, I am reminded of my mom being punched and then bitten on her left arm as I observed from the backseat of a car. I remember the pain I’ve felt inside as I sat helpless as a small child as my mother screamed. That memory replayed in my mind every time I would see that scar on my mom's arm. A scar that remains there till this day.

Scars have a way of reminding us of traumatic episodes in our life, as they are visual reminders of past injuries; but it’s the scars in our hearts, those inward scars that manifest themselves once triggered by impulsive and erratic behavior, that are harder to see. These scars require the most attention as they tend to fester due to lack of exposure. When untreated, these scars have the potential to infect significant portions of our lives and the lives of those closest to us. You see, watching my mom come home with both eyes swollen shut and black and blue gradually shattered my innocence. As I was hurt, watching the shame exude from her person, I became angry and bitter.

As a child, my mom was my only source of love, and her reserve was depleted. I would often do what I could to help out, by keeping my younger siblings quiet, and I would sweep the carpet (due to the lack of a vacuum). I wanted my mom to feel special, like a queen, even if the world didn't make her feel as such. Nevertheless, the addiction endured and as a result, we were often evicted from our home as the welfare money was used for cocaine. We are routinely homeless, living in shelters, motels, or other relatives homes. It was always temporary because me being the oldest of five children, I learned we quickly became a burden. Unfortunately, due to my mother's drug addic