Patty’s early years were shaped by financial challenges and a lack of support. Raised by her mother alone who faced difficulties stemming from violence, untreated mental illness, and trauma, which affected the way Patty and her siblings were treated. Patty’s maternal grandmother, who played a significant role in her life, struggled with her own experiences of abuse. Patty’s grandmother had been married multiple times, and her latest husband was an alcoholic and exhibited predatory behavior. 

Patty’s step-grandfather introduced her to alcohol at a young age, shaping her perception of it as a means of relaxation and an escape from the challenges she faced due to early-life abuse. After her grandparents’ divorce and her grandmother’s relocation to another state, Patty visited her grandfather more regularly. 

Patty’s grandfather’s drinking habits were not constant, neither was the abuse, and there were moments when he behaved like a typical grandparent, creating a complex dynamic. But Patty describes it as a “Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde situation,” where his drinking habits sometimes brought about predatory behavior. This pattern persisted until his passing when she was a freshman in high school. 

Despite being unable to control the actions imposed on her, Patty held the power to shape her response. She states that “those who inflicted pain upon me were not monsters, but rather individuals navigating their own broken paths. My goal is to transform my narrative into an empowering tale for women, devoid of any justification for my past actions.” 

Patty began untangling the truth and trauma of her upbringing on a long, winding road in addiction. 

Young and unsure of how to move forward, she found herself in unsafe foster homes. She eventually chose the freedom of independence, relying on alcohol to escape her harsh reality. 

Through another abusive relationship, Patty was introduced to methamphetamines. She spent the better part of the next seven years spiraling in the darkness of addiction. Patty was actually grateful for her arrest, because she wasn’t able to use in jail. She went to a rehab program in Charlotte, but upon returning to her hometown, she began using again.  

Patty went to prison in 2011. And that’s when she began to see the light of recovery. 

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) led her to begin seeking a higher power, beyond just escaping her current predicament through drugs and alcohol. 

“I remember listening to a teaching about what blocks us off from the supernatural power that we need to relieve us of the obsession to drink. I just heard a voice whisper,  ‘Unforgiveness.’ I went back to my room that night, and I prayed and I asked God to show me who I needed to forgive because I didn’t want to live the way that I was living anymore,” she shared.  

It was a revelation, leading her to face the painful memories of her past and the abuse she had endured. The darkness of addiction continued to threaten her well-being and Patty relapsed and was arrested again.  

“I got to prison and was very, very miserable. I started self-harming. I started having it out with God to the degree that I was just really mad that He hadn’t let me die,” she recalls.

Upon her release, Patty was drowned in shame. Despite her telling the case manager she didn’t have anyone she could call to release her, the case manager called Healing Transitions.  

Patty recalls the woman who checked her into detox at HT. “The woman that checked me into detox is actually my best friend now, almost 10 years later. She lives two doors down from me and is like a second mom to my kids.” 

Over the course of her time at Healing Transitions, she was able to work through all 12 steps with her sponsor. Patty believes this saved her life. For the first time, she was free from the obsession to drink and get high. Though she didn’t stay at Healing Transitions as long as she wishes, she knows it played a crucial part in her recovery journey. 

Patty has since gotten married, had two children, become a homeowner, and been reunited with a child she’d lost custody of. With this newfound life of stability and sobriety, Patty now lives her Recovery Life by working at Healing Transitions, the place the “saved her life.” 

“It doesn’t matter what you’ve got going on, you’ve always got a place you can lay your head there. And I’ve always wanted to be a part of that. The fact that people can get their lives together and it doesn’t cost them anything, that has been baffling to me,” she beams. 

Patty is on our Rapid Responder team to support and guide individuals who needed assistance after surviving an overdose without judgment. Outside of work, Patty is a proud T-ball mom in the suburbs. She jokes, “It’s boring and I freaking love it.” 

Patty’s story is a powerful reminder that the light of recovery is within reach, no matter how dark and dire the circumstances. Her journey from the depths of addiction and trauma to a life filled with love, support, and stability is a testament to her own resilience.