Lyn is an enthusiastic and delightful, career- minded woman and a devoted young mother. She works at Talitha Koum helping woman with similar backgrounds to change their lives for the better. Her aspirations today include returning to school and studying to be a psychologist. It wasn’t always so.Lyn’s parents were heavy drinkers, smoked pot frequently and partied constantly. Because she grew up in this environment Lyn thought that all parents drank booze, smoked dope and partied all the time. Her Dad was never home because he was in and out of prison, constantly. Consequently she was brought up in a single parent family. One might say that this young woman raised herself because although her Mom lived with her, more often than not, she was left on her own to fend for herself. Lyn preferred to be left alone because she felt safer. She felt safer when left alone because she was sexually abused by friends of the family and the babysitters who were supposed to be taking care of her. As a child she remembers feeling lonely but the truth of the matter was that she was happier to be by herself. As a little girl she thought she was a nuisance and believed the old idiom, “Children should be seen but not heard.”
When Lyn was just 12 years old and attending Grade 7 she started running away from home and getting into trouble. She started shoplifting because she had no money to buy clothes and the few things she needed. She was caught shoplifting, put on probation and given a nightly curfew of 9pm. However, she refused to sign in with her probation officer or keep curfew. Her original 9pm curfew kept being moved to an earlier time, first 8pm, then 7pm and finally 6pm. The tighter they set her curfew, the more she rebelled, which landed her in bigger trouble so she ran away more often.
At the age of 16 years she was sent to a Youth Detention Center and it is here that she met the love of her life. This man showered her with love, affection and attention. He also showered her with mental and physical abuse. She was in love with a psychopath who introduced her to a life of drugs and guns, threatened her family and friends and kidnapped her whenever she tried to escape. Today this man is serving two consecutive sentences for second degree murder, with no parole, for killing his previous girlfriend and her roommate.
Lyn was hooked on Crystal Meth, on and off for a period of ten years. Highly addicted is putting it mildly as she resorted to selling drugs, property crime and prostitution to find money for drugs. She has completed two federal sentences, serving time for “break & enter” and “mail theft.” Lyn says that she hated the person she had become because she hurt the people she loved, the most.
At the young age of 18 years she found out that she was pregnant. When her child was born she moved in with her Mom and quit drugs. She landed a job working at the University of British Columbia and was doing well until her ex tried to contact her. He made several attempts to reach her. The day he tried to reach her through her daughter’s Facebook page, something snapped. Lyn suffered from severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Even though the love of her life was in prison Lyn was fearful for her life, and her child’s life. Unable to deal with the stress she returned to her old life, a life of drugs and crime. It was not too, long before she was sentenced to jail.
While serving time at the Fraser Valley Institution, a women’s federal prison, the Recreation Therapist, Lyn was working with recommended Talitha Koum. Lyn called Starr the founder of the Society of Talitha Koum from prison every Monday and Starr attended all of her hearings. The therapist that she was working with knew that Lyn could get clean but could never manage to stay clean so she also recommended an Aboriginal Residential Treatment Center where Lyn completed two programs, “Drugs & Alcohol” and “Survivors of Trauma & Abuse.” Upon her release from the Aboriginal Treatment Center, she checked into Talitha Koum.
Lyn wanted a new life and she found it at Talitha Koum. During her stay she was introduced to the 12 Step Program. She declares that working through the steps helped her to change her character for the better. Attending all the meetings helped her to learn new ways to cope. Furthermore, at Talitha Koum she was held accountable for her behavior.
Starr, and Kimmie Jensen, the Executive Director held her hand throughout the program. She says that being given a safe environment to recuperate gave her the will to live up to her true potential. She describes the women and staff of Talitha Koum as a sisterhood which provided her the family life she never had. Talitha Koum spoke to her heart.
Lyn says that because of her addiction she was unable to provide the loving, stable, safe and nurturing environment her daughter deserved. Now that she is clean she is able to be a good Mother and role model. Her relationship with her daughter is stronger and they grow closer every day. Lyn is joyful that her daughter feels safe with her and that she knows that if Mom is out and about taking care of errands, with friends or working, she knows that Mom is coming home, for sure. Until most recently Mom might be in prison, or in another world, doing drugs.
Last of all, Lyn says that she is getting to know herself, and most importantly, she has learned to love herself. She declares with 100% certainty that could not have done it on her own.