A few years ago Cara Brookins and her four children felt trapped and defined by a serious domestic abuse situation. Prisoners inside their own homes walls.
Brookins was married to a man who “descended into full-blown paranoid schizophrenia.” And even after the two were divorced, he continued to come around and frighten her family.
Her children were 17, 15, 11 and 2 at the time of the abuse and Brookins realized that she was never going to fix the abusive situation. Getting herself and her children out were the only option.
After Brookins moved out of the abusive situation she rented a small cabin for herself and her children. One day while driving to the cabin, Brookins drove through a town ravished by a tornado. Seeing all the 2×4’s strewn about, she had an epiphany. She knew she could put one of those houses back together herself if she really put her mind to it.
So, with enough money to buy an acre of land and building supplies, Brookins and her children went to work building their own home…from scratch.
Brookins didn’t have enough money to pay builders, so she turned to an unlikely outlet for help…Youtube.
So, over the course of the next nine months, Brookins, a 110-pound computer analyst, and her four kids built their dream home from the ground up. They did everything from hand-mixing the mortar for the foundation to running gas lines and framing walls. And while it wasn’t easy, they persevered.
Now, on the other side of a situation that once seemed hopeless, she has a message for other women who feel powerless and paralyzed by domestic violence.
“Forget everything you’ve been told about taking baby steps. Everybody says, ‘If you just take a small step every day, it will get better.’ In my experience, though, it doesn’t. You have to make a big leap. It has to be this huge, enormous act. For us, it was building a house. For somebody else, it could be something totally different. But you need to do something big that changes your perception of yourself.”
Now that is determination with a side of love!
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