MY LIFE: DANIELLE WOLTER
My name is Danielle Wolter and I have been through some traumatic events that no person deserves to go through despite what they have done. I want to be able to tell you about myself, who I was before Trinity, my journey through Trinity, and my life right now. I am now 16 years old and I live with my mom, dad, brother, and dog. When people looked at me, they always gave me the look that your parents are so rich and you must have a perfect life but in reality that wasn’t true whatsoever. My life was a whole mess, I felt like I was living in hell. My mom’s mom died when I was young and my mom’s dad died before I was born. I am left with my dad’s parents. My grandma is a psychitzophrenic and my grandpa is her follower.
To this day, I still do not have a relationship with them. They pretty much shunned me since the day I was born just because I was Jewish. However, I didn’t know that until later in life. For the longest time, I thought they loved me so much because they would send me money and chocolate a lot. I thought something was off, I didn’t understand how when I was at the age of 13 I had only seen them around 5 times in my life. I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t come to my Bat Mitzvah.
At home my parents were constantly fighting, and being the oldest child I was right in the middle of it. It was horrible. There were times when I wish my parents would just get a divorce so the endless nights of yelling would stop. My brother would be crying in his room, and I had to tell him that everything would be okay even when I knew that it wouldn’t. My mother and I didn’t really have a relationship until I came to Trinity to be honest. My mom was never around and I felt neglected from her a lot. She took me to therapy once with her and I was furious that she thought things could just change.
My problems started in 7th grade when I was 12 years old. I was dating a neighbor who ended up sexually assaulting me with his friend. I didn’t tell anyone about this for 2 whole years. The next year I was fine, well at least I thought I was okay. Life was great, I had friends (who later ended up hitting me in school), I had an amazing boyfriend(my first true love) who broke my heart, and an amazing family who I took advantage of. Once my boyfriend, Adam and I broke up I went out with a guy who was 2 years older than me and on probation due to weed. It was freshman year and I had class with one of the boys who sexually assaulted me. He was being nice to me, he sat next to me, he tried to talk to me, and he opened the door for me. This was just an amazing game for him. However, I knew that it was okay because my boyfriend was a year older than him and he could take him any day. What I didn’t realize was that relationships don’t last forever and I needed to know how to take care of myself. My boyfriend and I broke up and I lost it. We didn’t break up by choice though, my mom found some texts that we were sending to each other that were inappropriate and then she told me that whatever my boyfriend and I had was over. I depended on him and thought he was my world even though he was just some guy.
I headed to the kitchen and grabbed the knife and fortunately my mom stopped me from doing something that I would regret. She drove me to Marillac, a mental hospital, and I stayed there for 5 days. Everyone there definitely manipulated their way out. It all depended on a packet and the sooner you finish the packet the sooner you got to go. The minute I was let out I had all my privileges back into my hands and all I had to do was put on a show. I kept in touch with my boyfriend’s best friend and I thought he was a brother to me. I had a group of friends but it ended up just being this one girl and I in the end. I thought she was going to be my best friend forever. We did everything together and soon she started to date my boyfriend’s best friend so my boyfriend and I ended up seeing each other again. My best friend and I would sneak out and take her mother’s car when she fell asleep. Then, we would meet up the boys and smoke, drink, and spend time with them behind closed doors. I found out a girl who was supposedly my friend was talking to my boyfriend behind my back. I was furious so I decided to jump her and expose her on social media which only hurt me in the end. Shortly after that, all the people who I thought had my back vanished.
I felt very lonely and I didn’t know what to do. I decided to take 50 pills of Melatonin hoping that it would make me go to sleep and never wake up. Except I woke up in the morning and I wasn’t tired whatsoever. I told a friend and she told me that if I didn’t tell anyone she would so I told the counselor and in a matter of time I was in the hospital. My parents didn’t understand why I was making these types of decisions. At the beginning, they thought that I did these things to get revenge on my parents. it took a while for them to show the support that I needed during times like these. When my dad walked into the hospital, he was very angry. He told me that he could barely even look at me. In that moment, the only people I needed and depended on, weren’t there for me. I went back to Marillac but only stayed there for a week.
Convincing myself that I was fine and that everything was okay was a frequent lie that I told myself. It ended up ruining me instead of helping me. It wasn’t too late until I would put myself in positions that could cause me hard and I did. On August 2014, I snuck out to go to a party and ended up getting drugged and gang raped. I woke up the next morning with no clothes on and in a bed which wasn’t mine. When my mother woke up she realized that I had gone missing. One guy dropped me off at HY-VEE and I went to the manager to call my mother. It had been a few hours since I had been declared missing so when I was talking to my mom she was furious with me. The police and my mother showed up at HY-VEE and took me to the hospital.
When my mom found out that I was raped, I saw her break down into tears. I didn’t know what to do at that point. In my mind all I could think of was: THIS IS ALL MY FAULT. I stayed at the hospital all day resting, getting checked, getting a rape kit done, and answering questions for the police. I returned to school the next week but I knew that I wasn’t going to be staying there for that much longer.
I emailed my Aunt Mary and told her what had happened because she was always there for me. A couple days later I needed to work on the computer for a school project and my mother’s email was open. It was saying something about how our family hopes that someone is better in heaven. I was so confused so I confronted my mother and asked her to tell me what was going on. She informed me that Aunt Mary had hung herself; however, I didn’t get it. She emailed me the night that she killed herself. It should have been me, I thought for the longest time.
As anyone would be I was so not excited when I arrived to Trinity. I started out as a defiant child until I realized that this was not home anymore. I realized it was all up to me and I couldn’t be living the life I had been for the last few years. It took a while to get used to being away from my parents but it was an amazing gift. I dug into touchy events and struggles that I thought I would never speak about. I got to work with animals and take care of the girls in a way. The challenges I received each taught me a lesson in the end. Attending church, helped me create a relationship with God that I was convinced was lost forever. I learned that the little things in matter and to not take advantage of anything no matter how big or small it is. I couldn’t ask for a more loving, welcoming, friendly, supportive, and safe environment. Trinity not only shaped me into the person that I am today but it saved my life.
It has been a little over half a year since I left Trinity. The tools that I learned at Trinity help me a lot in everyday tasks. Also, I have a reputation of not letting people pushing me around and being in an assertive person in a way which isn’t going over the line. I could have never imagined myself being here today, being happy. I have earned many privileges and will be going on a trip to Costa Rica as a program at the school for one week. Not being with my parents on the trip gives me another opportunity to show how much I have grown. Every day we grow as a person, big or small. Trinity helps you figure out who you truly are, who the real you is. Going to Trinity will really be hard at first, but in the long run it is worth it. You will be so shocked by the person that goes into Trinity from the person that comes out of Trinity. Trinity is my second home and I love each and every individual there. There is a bond that people make when coming to Trinity and it is an amazing feeling.