Their Stories: Diana Barrera

I was introduced to MSH by my friend, Claudia, who was a graduate of SFI.  I saw so many changes in her and was amazed at how happy she was. I wanted that for myself and found the courage to go check out the SFI program.

At the time I was very depressed, in a toxic relationship, and feeling really bad about myself. I had been in an abusive relationship for 23 years. It was so destructive in so many ways. I knew I needed to get out of it and set a better example for my daughters, but I just didn’t know how. I was so aggressive and used to just lash out. I was also having problems with my mother. I’m her only daughter and she is very critical and demanding. I couldn’t do anything right and she was happy to regularly point that out!

From the very first day I was told I was capable and that MSH would be supportive of me. I began to realize my worth but with the people around me so critical, I lost sight of that. I had spent so much time second-guessing myself and I was just plain afraid. Right away I met people who cared about me and were encouraging and supportive. My self-esteem started improving and I started to love myself again. I came to believe that I am valuable. I learned how to be assertive and to use skills to solve problems. I started following my dreams. I had been living for everyone else and had forgotten my own dreams. All the support helped me keep moving forward. I realized that I was loved, that I wasn’t alone, and that so many people wanted the best for me. Most of all, I learned that I am capable, I really am!

What mattered most was getting a whole new perspective. Before MSH I always thought about God as “The Punisher.” I just knew He was looking for all the things I did wrong. I was so relieved to find a different way of thinking. He loves me and wants what is best for me. I know that whether I’m right or wrong, I’m not alone and my relationship to God is important. I have strong, healthy friendships. My children have really noticed the change and our whole family is so much happier.

I want to study for my AA degree. I’d really like to open my own business someday. Wouldn’t that be something? For the first time in my life, I really believe I can do it! Thank you MSH for believing in me!