Stories of Resilience: Nathanya Jones


“Even on your darkest day, you’ve got to know that one day, whether it’s 1 year or 10 years from that moment, you’re going to look back and be thankful you held on.”

I am a child of the foster care system. I’ve overcome child abuse, child neglect, child molestation and child rape. I was bounced from home to home from ages 8 to18 until I aged out of foster care. I have survived on my own since then. 

I was first raped by a cousin at age 5 and I was traumatized. When I did speak out about it I got in trouble. I then went to live with my father where I experienced many different forms of child abuse: physically beaten, starved and neglected. I was 7 years old and continuously molested and raped by uncles, cousins and a grandfather. I started self-harming and smoking weed for the first time. I suffered until I found the courage to talk to my teacher. 

I was removed from the home and placed in a group home where I was then groomed by an older boy who was 17. He would have sex with me on a nightly basis; I was 9. That didn’t stop until I ran away and was placed in my first psychiatric hospital. I remember having long conversations with my social worker and one thing that stood out to her was that I could recount times and dates like it was yesterday.

I was removed from yet another home when my foster dad and brother were having sex with me. That’s when I was placed in a home off the reservation. This was my first real, stable home. They eventually wanted to adopt me but I was sure my biological mom would get upset so I started to act out. I ended up being placed in a long term psychiatric hospital until they found me my next home and when they weren’t able to do that, I was placed in two respite homes and these homes were wonderful. One of them was a big family and I remember being scared; wondering who was going to abuse me. When were they going to throw me away? So, I’d act out. I’d self harm. I’d over-sexualize myself.

I was eventually placed in a long term mental health facility across the country. When they flew me out all I remember was being so amazed because I had never been on a plane before. I thought that was only in the movies. But there I was, flying away to the next facility that was meant to fix me. At that point (age 14) I was sure I was way too damaged to be fixed. What’s the point if everyone’s gonna keep throwing me away? I can’t be loved, I thought.

I ended up spending 18 months in a mental health facility and I learned so much and met so many different people with similar issues. I started to have faith that one day I’d find someone who would love me regardless of how broken I was. I was too scared to die but too weak to live but I knew one day I’d be an adult and I’d help others. I knew I wanted to make others better and I wanted to protect kids.

Even on your darkest day, you’ve got to know that one day, whether it’s one year or ten years from that moment, you’re going to look back and be thankful you held on.

Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE.