Janine, a U.S. Navy veteran, had endured many of life’s hardships at a young age. Never fully dealing with her past traumas, she struggled to cope. But because of your generous support, Catholic Charities Women Veteran Services was able to get Janine the help she needed to get her life back on track.
Keeping the pain inside
When Janine Scott was 18, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy to escape an abusive home. She worked hard to become an electrical engineer, but six months into her service, she experienced military sexual trauma. She kept the pain inside and kept working.
When she was just 23, she experienced many of life’s milestones. She completed her enlistment, married an active duty sailor, finished her bachelor’s degree in psychology and gave birth to her son, Prince. Together they travelled the world, but the frequent duty transfers were a struggle.
Burying the pain
A few years later, doctors discovered a blood clot in Janine’s brain that was caused by a genetic disease. Despite the health challenges, she completed her master’s degree, but unfortunately, she also developed an addiction to prescription pain meds.
Janine kept her pill addiction a secret, but with God’s help, she kicked the habit cold turkey – after enduring two weeks of agony. She finished her second bachelor’s degree in health science, but then her life got rocky.
Her marriage ended, and to bury the pain of trauma she never dealt with, she began abusing alcohol and marijuana. It was hard for her to keep a job, and she became severely depressed.
When her son, now a teenager, went to live with his dad, Janine’s mental health challenges began to spiral out of control. She became psychotic, losing all touch with reality, and was hospitalized for three weeks. When she was released, she was homeless and forced to sleep in her car.
Providing real help, thanks to you
In Fall of 2017, Janine attended a veterans outreach event where she met a staff member in Catholic Charities’ Women Veteran Services program. She found someone who really listened to her and provided real help. Your support of Catholic Charities ensured Janine had a safe place to stay at the Villa while she gets back on her feet, including providing case management services.
Because of you, for the first time in 18 years, Janine is finally getting counseling for the military sexual trauma she experienced.
With your help, Janine will continue counseling services so she can heal and grow stronger. She says she wants to be a positive, stable influence in her son’s life. She plans to return to school to earn her Ph.D. in psychology so she can help other women veterans like herself with their mental health challenges.
Thousands of women veterans live in Houston, and many struggle with very real and challenging mental health issues – from their military service and past traumas in their lives.
You can help other women veterans like Janine. Learn more about Catholic Charities’ Women Veteran Services program.