“I’ve been through hell and back,” shared Mikquana. “I know some women have experienced domestic violence, and they are not here today. They lost their lives. For me to be able to get out and be able to share my story … I thank God for that.”
Mikquana, a single mom of four, three of which are under the age of eight, was faced with a decision no mom should ever have to make—fleeing for her life and the safety and well-being of her children.
“Things [in the relationship] were good at first,” shared Mikquana. “But something changed. He changed. He became controlling and possessive. Then the abuse started, and it escalated quickly.”
LIVING IN FEAR
While he never hurt her children, Mikquana worried he would hurt her, leaving her kids to find her dead. She was right to be concerned as the situation became unsafe when she tried to end the relationship.
“I told him, ‘I don’t want to upset you, but I don’t think we should be together. It’s just not working out.’ He was outraged. That’s when he jumped up and started choking me and hitting me in the head,” recalled Mikquana.
She managed to escape, taking her children with her. But she was in a desperate situation. Her abuser’s behavior got her evicted from her place and fired from her job. She wasn’t sure where to turn.
“I’m going to do whatever I have to, to take care of my kids.”
“My mother and father are both deceased,” said Mikquana. “I don’t have a support system. My oldest lives with his dad, but my three youngest are with me. I’m a good mother. I’m going to do whatever I have to, to take care of my kids.”
Mikquana had nowhere to go … no one to turn to for help … until she discovered Nashville Rescue Mission. At the Mission, she knew they would have safe shelter and nutritious meals. She wouldn’t have to worry about meeting their most basic needs. She could then focus on how to move forward.
A PLAN AND A PANDEMIC
“I had a plan,” said Mikquana. “I was going to work while my kids were in school. I got my name on a waiting list for two different apartments. I was prepared to do whatever I needed to do to get back on my feet.”
But a global pandemic turned derailed Mikquana’s plans. When schools moved to a virtual environment, Mikquana’s goal of working while her children were at school was no longer viable. She would now have to supervise her children during their online schooling.
“The virtual schooling threw me for a loop,” shared Mikquana. “It slowed down my progress, but it’s not going to stop me. I’m a hard worker. I’m not afraid to work. I’m just going to have to wait a little while longer for things to fall into place.”
Despite being unable to work while her kids are attending school remotely, Mikquana has enjoyed the extra time she’s been able to spend with her children. She also has a great appreciation for the case managers who are helping her during this difficult time.
“I respect Holly, the Mission s case manager, to the fullest,” shared Mikquana. “She works hard to do whatever she can for us. She makes sure everything is straight with the mothers and kids, and I really commend her for that.”
While Mikquana is grateful for all the things the Mission has done to help her and her children, she readily admits it’s been challenging. “I’m not gonna lie; this has been a struggle. It isn t easy being a single mom with three little kids and even harder when you re trying to do it in a pandemic while staying in a shelter.”
Many nights, Mikquana finds herself softly crying after her children have gone to sleep. “It hurts so bad, and I’m trying so hard. I don’t want to be here forever. This is only temporary. But I’m grateful, nonetheless.”
Because of you, Mikquana and other moms just like her have a lifeline to help and hope when their situation turns dire. The food, clothing, and shelter you provide make it possible for a struggling single mom to catch her breath and think about a better future. Thank you for helping Mikquana and other moms who are struggling this Mother’s Day. You are making a difference.