Pilar Fontenla sat in her Glendale home where her son’s train toys occupied the bookshelf, coffee table and floor. There were plastic tracks, locomotives and a smiling “Thomas the Train” puzzle with all the pieces in place.
As Fontenla relayed her life’s current preoccupations — her 4-year-old son, school and work —she looked as excited about life as she has ever been. In the last several years, Fontenla has pulled herself out of a depression that muddled her spirit, leaving her unrecognizable to family and friends.
An abusive and controlling relationship left Fontenla ashamed and hopeless for her own future until she left it, which spurred a deep depression. She considered taking her own life.
“I didn’t want to leave the house,” she said. “I was afraid and ashamed of even going outside. I didn’t want anybody to ask me questions. I didn’t want people to look at me.”
As Fontenla retreated from life she still clung to her parents and close friends. Feeling grateful for what she had, her faith slowly renewed. She began to date, and through a friend, met her son’s father.