National Tell-A-Story Day: “Kelly”

The narrative below was part of an activity at Providence House for National Tell-A-Story Day.

The intention was to get the residents as a whole to participate in not just telling a story, but writing a story from beginning to end and working together to meet a specific goal.

Everyone who participated put part of themselves in this story. The ending is particularly touching because it shows they have hope.

In some ways, we are all “Kelly.” We may have not been through what she’s been through but we’ve felt the same thing she’s felt.


Kelly’s Story

At the age of 38, Kelly stood in the mirror and saw a reflection of a woman in her mid-50s. She had only become a ghost of the “Kelly” she once knew. The drugs, the losses, the grief, and the loneliness had taken a physical, mental, and spiritual toll on her.

Her face was painted with heavily applied make-up, which she tried to use to cover the deep lines and wrinkles which bombarded her once youthful and vibrant skin. The make-up could not cover the scar on Kelly’s face that was made by a straight razor. Kelly couldn’t even remember how the scar got there. She just knew that it looked like a winding creek, flowing across her face.

Her hair had become brittle and stringy. The pale blue eye-shadow, her overly brushed lashes, and that horrible rose-colored blush made her look like an outdated hooker.

Kelly’s beauty had faded way too soon.

Although Kelly’s beauty had faded, men would still stare, men would approach her and wanted to know her. She could not find her confidence or the courage to get involved with a man. Her substance abuse and her daughter’s father’s alcoholism had disappointed her time after time. Their addiction and toxic relationship were poetic of the reason she cannot find herself.

Somehow, someway “I will make myself pretty again,” she spoke to the woman in the mirror.

She figured a trip to the mall could do her some justice. Kelly loved people-watching. Once Kelly got to the mall she figured since Sara was away for the summer she could splurge on herself by getting a make-over. Nothing changed.

Church had crossed her mind. She grew up in the church and remembered the peace she once felt. She missed it.

There is a reason she only attracts spiritual vampires. “No thank you, I have a boyfriend.” She would continue to lie to every man that approached her. It was the same men. Always. The same type. The same trap that’s always sat before her. There was no mistaking it. This was about her soul. Who was she meant to be? How could she pull herself back up from the dark despair she’s found herself in? It was time for a change and she knew exactly what she needed to do.

Kelly started back praying and soon found herself back in church and at the altar repenting and accepting Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.

She no longer craved the taste of alcohol or drugs and by now she had made a decision to go to rehab.

She completed her treatment and graduated the program. Kelly remained in church and finally started to see her beauty again. Her beauty was in her worth and she was worth more than any man could give her.

She was not the same woman she was when she walked through Happiness Treatment Center.

Kelly now has a place of her own to live, a healthy mental state, and a blossoming relationship with her daughter.

She often speaks at group homes, 12 Steps Meetings, and homeless shelters for women.

Kelly has a testimony. If she can make it so can YOU!