Marelin’s life has been filled with trauma and pain. The holidays can be a difficult reminder of her childhood, and the loss of her mother. As soon as Marelin began receiving services from Vinfen, things got better. Things are finally looking up.
As the youngest member of a family of 13, Marelin grew up in a home with an alcoholic father and a mother who struggled with depression. Marelin soon became depressed herself in elementary school. “I don’t remember much. I can’t remember much from when I was little,” she explained. With such a challenging environment, Mareline knew she needed to leave Brooklyn, New York. Once she hit her 20s, she moved to Massachusetts with one of her sisters.
This journey of hardship continued for Marelin. She was asked to leave her sister’s home, and felt like her family didn’t accept her. “They are not supportive or anything so when I go up there, I just visit. I don’t talk about anything about me or anything like that because they don’t want to hear that,” she expressed. With these visits, Marelin cannot be her full self. “It makes me feel awkward and bad because I want to be treated right. I don’t like the way they talk to me like if I was a kid of something, you know what I mean?” What does bring Marelin great joy is seeing her nieces and nephews. She tries to stay in touch with them and be a part of their lives as much as she can.
Marelin spends her holidays with her Vinfen family at Haverhill Clubhouse. “I really enjoy it,” she shared. Vinfen has truly impacted her life. “I haven’t been in a hospital for a long time. If I need help, they help me. They’re always there, so I appreciate that a whole lot. I can’t give any complaints,” she described. Vinfen is the family she never had. “It makes me feel good that there is somebody there to help me and make the holidays a little better.”
Because Marelin is receiving the support and services she needs, she sees a brighter future. Before Vinfen, she was in and out of group homes, had attempted suicide many times, and was hospitalized frequently. Hospitalizations became a normal part of her life starting at the young age of eight years old. “Sometimes I just feel like giving up, but I know I can’t. Its not an option I guess,” Marelin disclosed. Marelin especially feels immense guilt for not spending more time with her mother. “I miss my mom and keep thinking I wish I spent more time with her, and I didn’t because I was always in the hospital. I feel like I didn’t get to say goodbye and let her know that I loved her.”
This love for her mother transpires onto others as Marelin naturally wants to help people and support them. “That’s who I am, I like to help people,” she explained. “I just want people to be happy. Getting something is always good. Makes someone feel good. It makes you feel like someone cares – that someone is there to help you out. It’s just a good overall feeling,” she voiced.
You can bring comfort and joy to Marelin this season and support her as she continues to feel better and heal from her past. You can be another good memory for Marelin as she continues her journey of recovery.
Your gift of $25, $50, $100, or more will place a gift directly in the hands of those here at Vinfen who do not have the family or personal means to make the holidays special. Help Marelin and others by creating meaningful memories this season.
Make a donation today. Make someone smile.