Yvonne Rivadeneyra: A Former Hooker Comes Home
By Sheryl Fountain
The 700 Club
“How do you become a prostitute? How does that happen? Well, let me say that nobody wakes up in the morning and says, ‘That’s what I’m going to do.’ Nobody does, absolutely nobody.”
Yvonne Rivadeneyra never planned on becoming a prostitute but a cycle of abuse forced her down a path of self destruction. As a child, she was molested by her grandfather.
“It happened to my mom and her sister, then me and my sister, both paternal grandfathers,” Yvonne tells The 700 Club.
At age 11, she was assaulted by a neighborhood friend.
“I had a pair of brown corduroy overalls on, and he had ripped my buttons off. I had a zipper up the back that was coming off.”
As a teenager, she numbed the pain with alcohol.
“We’d just go to the party, we’d throw our brains out, we’d throw up and we’d party,” she recalls. “I didn’t want to feel afraid. I didn’t want to feel that there was not place safe.”
Soon Yvonne was out of control. She dropped out of high school and spent her days smoking pot and drinking until she blacked out. Eventually she got pregnant and married her boyfriend, Greg. They had another child, but even having a family couldn’t heal the pain of her childhood. Then, Yvonne’s next door neighbor introduced her to speed.
“I was up for days instead. It was more horrific, but for me I wasn’t blacking out anymore.”
She began selling the drugs to support her habit.
“I do everything in abundance. It was no different when I was using. I was a grand user. I thought, if we sell it, then I could do more for free. Speed is really what pushed me over the edge.”
Consuming more than she could sell, Yvonne used their rent money for drugs.
“We ended up homeless with the two children. I could not support my habit and afford to pay rent.”
They began living at a local campground. Here the cycle of abuse haunted her once again.
“My children were sexually abuse. I didn’t watch my children. I didn’t watch myself.”
Her husband decided to provide a better life for his family, so he joined the military. While he was away, Yvonne rented a room for her and the kids. Here she was introduced to cocaine. Eventually she was arrested for possession. She knew she couldn’t care for her children any longer, so she took them to her mother.
“I gave the kids to my mom and I walked away. That was the point where I tried to destroy myself.”
A few weeks later, Greg returned from boot camp and regained custody of the children. Yvonne completed drug rehab and returned to her family. She was sober for awhile but soon returned to her addictive lifestyle. One morning, after dropping her children off at school, she was solicited for sex. She needed money for drugs, so she got in the car and the man drove to her home.
“It’s a very quick situation, gave me the money and he left. That was the beginning of prostituting while I lived in the same house with my husband and the children. It’s what I did during the day.”
Soon she was arrested again, this time for solicitation. Her husband finally gave her an ultimatum: the family or the drugs. She chose the drugs, and he took the kids and left. The next few years she lived and worked on the streets. Soon she fell in love, and for a while she was happy.
She says, “He was an out-to-save-the-world type of guy who was doing drugs himself. He really was an advocate for me, and he helped me like myself again.”
But her boyfriend’s cocaine addiction left him bankrupt, and Yvonne was back on the street alone again.
Homeless, pregnant and diagnosed with Hepatitis C Yvonne had lost all hope. One afternoon as she was sitting on a street corner, she had an encounter with God.
“I knew something was happening as I was sitting there. All of a sudden, I had a fear of the Lord. I thought, I had ruined so many people’s lives that I was not worthy. I was like, ‘Oh my God, what have I done? What am I? I’ve been so many bad things. Help me.”
Yvonne dedicated her life to the Lord and was instantly delivered from drugs and alcohol. She entered a Christian crisis pregnancy home and began studying the Bible. Yvonne’s mother saw the change in her daughter and invited her to a family Christmas party. There she saw her children for the first time in four years.
“I was afraid, because I didn’t want to ruin everything for them. I knew the chance I was taking coming home. All of a sudden I have an understanding of what I could do wrong.”
Greg had also become a Christian and had been praying for her.
“My mom would tell him, ‘She’s gone, Greg. She’s not coming back.’ He would say, ‘You don’t know the God that I serve. She’s coming back. God’s going to bring her back.’ He prayed for me for four years. He waited for me. He didn’t date or anything. He waited for me.”
She was reunited with her family and was drug free, but Yvonne’s battles were far from over.
“I had felonies. I had jumped bail. I had aliases. I was in trouble.”
She decided to face the consequences and turn herself in. On the day of her hearing, Yvonne confessed all her crimes to the court. The judge was sympathetic, because her brother was also a recovering addict.
“She says, ‘I want you to go and be free and start over,’ and she dropped every charge.”
Since then, Yvonne and Greg have moved to Maryland. They added one more child to their family.
“God is the only one that can fit in that part in us that was created by Him for Him. When I found the right piece to my life’s puzzle, it’s perfect.”
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