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Dark thoughts

By January 24, 2024February 20th, 2024House of Opportunity, Stories
The darkness had so nearly crowded out the light…

Lucija* spent so much time at the Dept. of Psychology, as a patient, that it became like a second home to her during her teen years. It was better than having to spend time with her uncle, and all the beatings he gave her. Lucija’s dad had never been able to look after her and her autistic sister, and they were adopted by their uncle. Her mother hadn’t been able to cope either – she left the family when Lucija was two months old.

Life with her uncle was steady until Lucija turned 12. Her dad developed cancer and died in a few short months. Her mother had turned her back on them, and now her dad was dead. Lucija felt an overwhelming sense of rejection, the black thoughts came, and she endured the abuse her uncle dished out. Between visits to the hospital, Lucija tried to find acceptance through a string of boyfriends. I was becoming more and more miserable,” Lucija shares, “I even fell in love with one boy, but he left me. That hurt.”

The darkness in Lucija’s mind was now threatening to swallow every last vestige of light. But at her lowest point, with suicidal thoughts clouding her mind, Lucija found out about the House of Opportunity in Varaždin. She needed something to hope for. Thankfully, there was a space for her in the House.

Lucija was made welcome, and almost immediately she began to benefit from the new friends that she made and the daily routine at the House. Lucija clearly remembers the acceptance she received from the other residents and the staff there, “The people around me cared and I am very grateful.” She picked up some new skills. She started to attend church. She also started to benefit from the work with her psychologist. Things really are looking up. Lucija has a new boyfriend, with a good family. They are considering marriage. The dark thoughts have gone, and Lucija is now looking forward to her future with real hope.

As a response to the number of young people needing this type of support in the area, our partner organisation in Croatia, Hocu Život, is considering opening a second House of Opportunity in the Varaždin region. If you, your business or church would like to partner with us in helping to launch a new House of Opportunity before the end of this year, please do get in touch with us.

*Name changed