My name is Twanna Clay.
I came to Ruth’s Cottage on May 20, 2020. I ran from an abusive relationship that I depended on emotionally, financially and mentally. I made this man my life (as he wanted it to be). I was in a relationship where I wasn’t allowed to do anything without asking first. I was told o eat excessive amounts of food. After eating these large amounts of food, I was berated about my weight and how obese I was. Which brought my self-esteem extremely low. I was to the point where I didn’t know what I liked, or who I was anymore. I felt lost. I also felt like I was in a damaging cycle. Everyday turned as predictable as the next. I could wake up and expect to be called names, rushed to cook, then made to eat at least to plates of food, and more name calling. He would go to work and I would try to get all my chores (he assigned me) done before he came home. In short, a good day for me would end with me ONLY have one plate of food.
I made the choice to come to Ruth’s Cottage on a whim. He had left for work an I honestly wanted to commit suicide, but instead, I got on Google and researched shelters. I called a shelter and they referred me to PADV. Which in turn put me in touch with Ruth’s Cottage, who bought me a greyhound ticket for the next day. I thought about changing my mind and not going to Ruth’s Cottage. Thank God I decided to come to Tifton. When I got to Ruth’s Cottage, I was scared and had a lot of anxiety. Miss Maria reassured me I was fine and helped me understand what was expected of me while in Ruth’s Cottage. The staff gave me a room to adjust the first few days. The staff also gave me so so so much support. To the point where I felt comfortable enough during the first week to go job searching and that same week, I obtained a job.
I have to stress how SAFE I felt. I felt so comfortable and safe, I started exploring my OWN likes and dislikes. I found out that I LIKE to exercise. Not only that, but when I felt like giving up, EVERY SINGLE staff member encouraged me. They gave me so much love and support. I found out that I actually don’t like to eat two or three plates of food, and that I like to work. Ruth’s Cottage helped me gain some sense of the woman I was before I met the man who locked who I was away. I’ve found out so much about myself. Not just positive things, but my negative traits that I need to work on. I wish I could give them just a drop of the joy that they have brought into my life.
I can never repay any of you for what you have done for me. But, I can make this promise. I promise I will never go back to the petrified woman I was. I am no longer broken, I am healed. I still have a long way to go. Leaving Ruth’s Cottage is a very emotional thing for me. A big part of me wants the positive staff around me all the time, but I know there is a woman out there who desperately wants to find herself too. With that thought, I would gladly give up my bed to that woman. So that she can come to Ruth’s Cottage and have a chance to experience the awesome staff… All the positivity and also have a chance at finding herself also. Whish is the most important. I honestly will NEVER EVER be able to thank Ruth’s Cottage enough, never. But I can say it again, THANK YOU, every single one of you for: the kind words. the encouraging words, the smiles in the hall, the words of wisdom on my way to work, the straight forward talk about standing up for myself and being able to say no. Thank you for being here when I desperately needed someone.
To everyone at Ruth’s Cottage, you saved a life.
Thank you, to ALL of you (I can’t say it enough),