September 8, 2019
Where Are They Now? Aly’s Story
I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Turn-About Ranch.
In 2015, I was struggling with severe depression, anxiety, and anger after the unexpected loss of my father. Not knowing how to cope due to dishonesty with counselors, not being willing to change because I was blaming everyone else for my actions, and struggling through managing severe anger towards everyone around me were just a few of the “highlights”. At some point, I sat down and decided that:
- My life wasn’t worth anything so I might as well end it if I can’t fix it.
- I needed to at least try and change for my Momma so she doesn’t have to lose her daughter and her husband.
I remember when my mom picked me up from school that day. When I sat down, I started crying. I told her I was sorry, that I knew I needed to do something different but that I didn’t have a plan. Little did I know she had already set up a plan for me, a beautiful plan that was such a huge sacrifice to her. I’m not sure she will ever understand how thankful I am.
I was sent to TAR in the early hours of the morning on April 29th 2015. Two strangers my mom had hired to transport me woke me up, took me out to their car, and off I went to the airport. I had no idea what was going on, I was scared, and I of course had a new burst of anger. How could my mom do this after everything I’d been through? How could my mom send me away after my honesty?
After staying at the Turn About Ranch program from April to July of 2015, I understood how and why. I was able to go home a new person. I valued myself, my relationships, and understood what it really meant to grieve. Of course I had rebelled and pushed against the staff the whole time, claiming I didn’t need their help and that my mom was crazy for sending me out to the middle of Utah. But the relationships with the staff members eventually formed and I got attached to the land, the people, the animals we were in charge of caring for. I finally felt at peace. I finally was able to forgive myself.
Today, I am many things: A fiancé, an owner of various farm animals (including piggies!), a dog mom, and most recently a mother of two beautiful twin girls who I love with my whole heart. I am a vet tech, a person with value, and I am forever a member of the Turn About Ranch family. I have visited only once since leaving, but plan to take my family and our sweet pups to Escalante someday to show them the place that saved my life. I love Turn-About Ranch and share pieces of my store any chance I get. It is truly my second home, and arguably that tiny stop-light-less town is my favorite place in the world. Thank you to all the staff, and of course to the animals, at TAR for pulling me out of the intense darkness I was in.