Oklahoma Woman Graduates From 'Life-Changing' Program

Monday, June 29th 2020, 3:40 pm

Oklahoma has more women behind bars per capita compared to any other state in the nation.

A local program called ReMerge is designed to keep women out of prison.

Lindsey Castle, a mother of five, said the program changed her life forever.

"I’m a great mother, a good woman, and a good member of society,” Castle said.

Castle said before ReMerge, she was nearly ready to give up.

"I was up against 10 years and pregnant," she said. "I was looking at having to sign both of my children over to their godparents and have a baby in prison and give up that baby up right there."

Castle said ReMerges' classes, therapy, staff and overall program saved her life, and “they don't give up."

"We are a place of hope, and treatment and recovery and for many of our mom's we represent a support system they never had," ReMerge executive director Jenna Morey said.

"I was in a toxic relationship, I was dealing with drug abuse, I was abusing several different things. I didn’t know why I was doing what I was doing,” Castle said.

Castle said ReMerge helped her understand she was running from pain.

"I was molested when I was 4,” Castle said.

No one believed her, not even her mother, who committed suicide years later.

"I spent a lifetime of trauma, but I got it all got fixed in two and half years," Castle said.

Now sober, Castle said she can focus on being the mother she never had, and the mother she always wanted to be.

"At graduation, my 4-year-old came to me, and said, 'mommy, you do love yourself.' I have learned to love myself. Like, I have learned to love myself and focus on myself and I know if I don't love myself, I can't be the mother I need to be,” Castle said.

Castle is now a full-time employee with RestoreOKC, a cleaning company partnered with ReMerge.

Someday she hopes to work with kids and other women like herself.