Kathi: Becoming a Warrior
“I’ve had some setbacks through past experiences from childhood moving forward,” Kathi says. She used to let her experiences define who she was. Not anymore. For years Kathi considered herself a victim. Kathi did not trust anyone. Then she moved on and thought of herself as a survivor. During the current pandemic Kathi moved into the conqueror stage. Kathi explains the conqueror stage as setting goals, believing in yourself, trusting yourself, not letting fear stop you, and self-determination. Now Kathi is in the warrior stage, which she explains as achieving goals, setting new goals, and being stable. Kathi states she needs to be that warrior to lead as an example for those who are hurt, wounded, brokenhearted, and need hope.
Kathi grew up in Sioux Falls, Worthington, and Iowa. As a child, she moved around a lot. Her parents divorced when she was three years old and Kathi grew up with a single mother. Kathi has five siblings living and one passed. When Kathi was a teenager, her mother bought a farm and Kathi and her siblings worked on the farm and went to school. While Kathi was in high school she lost her credits due to missing too much school. Back then, if your family was getting financial support from the county and you missed a lot of school, you would lose your credits. Kathi’s graduation was held in Chicago. Only six students were allowed to attend, and Kathi was chosen. You could hear the excitement in Kathi’s voice when she talked about this.
As an adult, Kathi stayed in the Worthington area. She relocated to our area to receive support from CADA. Kathi had just broken off a three-year engagement and left town to escape her ex-fiancé. Once she arrived, her ex-fiancé would not stop sending her text messages. One particularly frightening text message read, “It’s best we talk before I take action.” Soon after, Kathi’s car was on fire. After the incident her ex-fiancé texted her again asking if she was okay? Kathi ignored him but the messages continued. Kathi was able to block his number and block him on her social media. Later, Kathi learned that her ex-fiancé was in a gang from Chicago with people in Minneapolis that were affiliated.
2021 has been a hard year for Kathi. She survived a motorcycle accident and faced homelessness. With dedication to finding employment, Kathi was able to turn her situation around for the better. Kathi came to Life-Work Planning Center to gain self-sufficiency. She wanted help to learn and improve essential skills, work on her resume, and get a job.
Kathi participated in LWPC’s pre-employment Strength • Balance • Self-Respect workshop series. She enjoyed the workshops because they helped her meet other women that were in a similar situation to her own. This led her to develop empathy for others. While working with LWPC Kathi has received financial support for transportation, work shoes, a laptop, and a hotspot. Kathi wants other women to be brave enough to ask for help. “I used to cry in my living room because I did not want to ask anyone for help,” Kathi shares. Asking for help was hard, but Kathi admits she is very happy that she did because it has helped her move toward self-sufficiency.
Kathi is currently employed full-time. She loves her job and is enjoying her coworkers and her boss. Kathi is proud of herself for being able to make enough money to pay her bills and buy groceries, and still have money left over to save. Kathi has recently moved into her own apartment.
She says, “No matter what happens in life you are worth it. You matter. You have a purpose in life, and don’t give up.” She goes on to say, “You must believe in yourself. Just because you made a mistake, it doesn’t define who you are. Learn from your mistakes, get back up, and dust yourself off.”