As a child, Deidre Haight both watched the abuse her mother suffered and suffered abuse herself.
She is the daughter of Katarina MacLeod, a survivor of sexual & physical abuse, drug addiction, forcible confinement, and 15 years of commercial sexual exploitation.
Katarina became pregnant with Deidre when she was just 14 years old and delivered her when she was just 15.
"I grew up feeling lonely, I grew up feeling like a burden and like I didn't belong anywhere because of what my mom was going through with the sexual exploitation and the addiction that came along with that," Haight explains. "She wasn't able to be there for me emotionally."
Because her mom was never physically abusive with her, and there was always had food on the table and a place to live, Haight thought her upbringing was normal.
It wasn't until she was in university taking a minor in child development and psychology that she realized that neglect and emotional neglect can affect children significantly.
"I didn't know how much that affected me, but as I grew up I came to realize that there were wounds in my heart from that," says Deidre.
In the midst of all of this, when Deidre was around 12 or 13, she came to learn that there was a God that loved her and wanted a personal relationship with her.
"That was exciting for me. I felt super alone and like I didn't belong, so I was like, there's this God that loves me? I surrendered my life to him and came to know Jesus as my saviour, and from then on, I clung to him. He was my saving grace. He's what brought any peace in my life and hope," Deidre explains.
Throughout all of this trauma and pain, Deidre used her faith and her trust in God to help her mother get out of commercial sexual exploitation. She would post scripture on her mother's door and remind her that there is a God.
"I would pray constantly for my mom, for my family, and I would also pray that God would help me know how to love them because it was a challenge sometimes staying loving and staying gentle in that environment because there was a lot of pain."
Eventually her prayers were answered and her mother was set free. It didn't happen overnight and they are still working things out, but both Deidre and her mother, Katarina are on a road to recovery.
Deidre found music and singing to be restorative throughout her life. She now teaches private music lessons in voice through her business Courageously Creative. She also helps her mother with her organization, Rising Angels.
Today on Connections, Deidre shares the impact her mother's choices had on her life and how she was able to use God to help her mom get out of commercial sexual exploitation.