Sexually assaulted at 8, incarcerated 4 times and lost the will to live — how this woman found her stars | CBC News

Jessica Compton was noteworthy eight years feeble rising up in North Bay, Ont., when a man broke into her house at 2 a.m., took her off the bed, introduced her to his automobile and sexually assaulted her. Now an education employee in Hamilton, she’s advance a protracted system.

Jessica Compton, who’s with the Hamilton-Wentworth District College Board, runs her grasp program encouraging psychological successfully being by storytelling, journal writing, are living music and meditation. She’s advance a protracted system from her shrinking childhood. (Submitted by Jessica Compton)

WARNING: This memoir contains facts some readers can also simply gain distressing.


Jessica Compton has overcome many challenges to gain to the assign she is at the contemporary time — an education employee in Hamilton who’s running her grasp program encouraging psychological successfully being by storytelling, journal writing, are living music and meditation.

Compton, 44, was noteworthy eight years feeble when a man broke into her family’s house at 2 a.m., took her off the bed, introduced her to his automobile and sexually assaulted her.

“From that point, I was mute. I wouldn’t focus on with any one. I was in shock,” Compton urged CBC Hamilton.

The trauma of the assault took a toll.

“I was running away. I was bullying kids in college, taking my nettle out on lots of of us,” she talked about.

“I did sight a therapist and they recognized me with ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder]. So, I grew to change into a bully and simply taking my stuff out on lots of of us, you know, spitting on kids, taking their lunches, kicking them, simply coming into into ache.”

Within the foster properties, I was sexually assaulted by one in every of the teenage girls. She was, I bid, 17 at the time and I was 11.​​​– Jessica Compton

Born and raised in North Bay, Ont., police stumbled on Compton and her sister  — who had been living with their mom at the time — malnourished, and they spent minimal time in college.

The Kid’s Relief Society took each and each kids from their mom, who had been ingesting and taking remedy. CAS later positioned them in the custody of their father.

Residing in the streets, sofa hopping

Compton talked about she ended up in lots of foster properties, and was assaulted twice whereas in the design.

“Within the foster properties, I was sexually assaulted by one in every of the teenage girls. She was, I bid, 17 at the time and I was 11,” she talked about.

“And then the foster father, you know, at a special location, he sexually assaulted me as successfully. Additionally to that, I would advance down to Hamilton for visits. There was a member of the family of mine who sexually assaulted me. 

“So, as you would also sight, simply in each location I went, there was … something happening with being a sufferer. Like I was so little, I didn’t realize, simply provocative spherical in all locations.”

A young Compton, centre, with cousins on this undated photo. (Submitted by Jessica Compton)

At age 12, Compton began smoking cigarettes, ingesting espresso and the utilization of marijuana.

When she was 15, she began a fireside, blowing up some telecommunications tools in North Bay. She was arrested and incarcerated — one in every of 4 times she was put in the help of bars.

Compton talked about she additionally assaulted a police officer, stole a automobile, did remedy and escaped custody.

“It was simply this ongoing behaviour of living on the streets, sofa hopping,” she talked about.

“Help in the day, the Salvation Military, they never historical to lock, and I would proceed in there and sleep on the apparel at 10 at night, and going into Tim Hortons rubbish containers. I would interrogate them, ‘Must you throw your doughnuts, are you able to simply no longer dump the ashtrays from the restaurant so I’m in a position to utilize the doughnuts?’ He would be wonderful about it and he would in actuality start the help door and no longer throw it in the rubbish anymore.”

A turning point

At one in every of her incarcerations, Compton talked about the court docket supplied her six months in jail or three months in rehab.

“I took the rehab and it was rather lots of cans of worms that had been start … I had to handle rather lots of stuff that I had form of put right into a room and simply form of kept my rubbish there.”

Compton says that as a early life, she assaulted a police officer, stole a automobile, did remedy and escaped police custody. (Submitted by Jessica Compton)

After finishing rehab, Compton carried out highschool when she was 21.

“And then I graduated from the correctional employee program from Niagara College. I had to back, I bid it was 11 years altogether for my Canadian pardon, so I worked with kids in a workforce house for 15 years.”

At the contemporary time, Compton is an education assistant with the Hamilton-Wentworth District College Board (HWDSB).

“I have been on the college board for 9 years and simply working, working with contributors that are battling the rest, in actuality, simply somebody that goes to hear to them and back recordsdata them to the particular of my abilities,” Compton talked about.

“I’ve additionally been working at the YMCA after college program at my college. So when the bell rings, I’m going and work with them as a supervisor. I have been there for two years.”

‘I didn’t have to be right here’

Four years ago, Compton underwent surgical treatment for a hernia.

She was speculated to be off work for 3 weeks, but had many lots of points and was laid up for five months.

“On this time, I was form of going by a rough length the assign I simply didn’t have to be right here anymore, you know, somewhat of suicidal ideation,” Compton talked about.

“I actually had to sit down with myself and I began studying these self-back books. And, you know, one in every of the self-back books from Louise Hay was, you know, ‘Slouch sight in the mirror and squawk, I in actuality equivalent to you and squawk your self that you care to your self.'”

Tree of Stars

Compton talked about she emerged from that low point in her existence with a unique vision and renewed aim.

She based Tree of Stars, to promote psychological successfully being awareness, and back in addiction recovery by music and wellness.

“I created this Hamilton café tour the assign I attain out to lots of of us which contain been by trauma which contain homelessness or suicidal ideation or recovery addictions,” Compton talked about.

“I began going to lots of cafés and these café owners had been so receptive … I would meet up with of us. Then I changed into it right into a journal session the assign of us would advance and sit down with me and I would urged of us what to jot down about.

“I bustle it every Wednesday on Zoom, and I in actuality contain a special musician from across the field that comes and performs a little little bit of instrumental, and then we raise out somewhat of meditation as successfully. Ahead of the pandemic, in most cases I would contain three of us mask up, in most cases 50 of us mask up.”

Compton says she based Tree of Stars to promote psychological successfully being awareness and back in addiction recovery by music and wellness. (Submitted by Jessica Compton)

Compton has additionally been smitten by lots of outreach initiatives by Tree of Stars.

‘A breath of contemporary air’

Compton’s contemporary and ragged colleagues squawk she has a irregular capacity to speak others.

Jennifer Beattie and Compton worked together at the HWDSB. 

“From the minute I met her, I knew my college room would be a a hit neighborhood of beginners with her there,” Beattie talked about about Compton. “She brings compassion, empathy, a wealth of recordsdata and expertise beyond no lots of.”

Cindy Muller, a instructor with the HWDSB and educator with the YMCA, talked about, “Jessica is an remarkable example of management, breeze, advocacy, compassion, creativity and exhausting work. Jessica is a threat taker but a stabilizer. She is a believer in seeing the simply in others and prompts them to utilize action.”

Starla Brason worked with Compton for several years in a residential-care house facility for early life boys.

She talked about Compton carried out a foremost feature in guaranteeing the boys would be sharp for living on their very grasp — assisting them in planning and making ready meals in the house, budgeting and lots of of frequent necessities that is doubtless to be priceless to those that would be living on their very grasp or with minimal help.

“She spent limitless hours mentoring every individual to be particular no longer noteworthy bodily needs had been met, but additionally the social emotional needs had been as successfully,” Brason urged CBC Files. 

“Having her as half of the workforce felt love a breath of contemporary air because she in actuality understood how the boys felt attributable to her grasp non-public memoir.”

Rebecca Kellner and Compton each and each grew to change into individuals of the HWDSB across the same time.

“She has this capacity to speak others how to reframe their pondering without asserting so,” Kellner talked about.

“She’s taught us how to capacity music and visible arts in a more savory system — reframing our pondering and provocative remote from, ‘This have to be perfect!’ ‘I’m in a position to no longer fragment,’ to ‘Breathe and revel in the second,’ ‘Quit pondering. Performed?’ Let’s contain an excellent time.”‘

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