“Resolana taught me that I can’t control everything, but there is a resolution to everything.”Tara Browning
“I never wanted to be a product of my environment,” says Tara Browning, a former participant in the Resolana trauma and addiction program run by Volunteers of America Texas at the Dallas County Jail. Tara is living her best, most stable life now. But a glance backward and she can clearly see the impact of her turbulent early life.
It was as a child in Hammond, La., that the turbulence began. It included a great deal of insecurity, including a period of molestation by a relative. She grew up in a two-parent home, but her father’s job often kept him from home. When she was 12, her mother gave her up for adoption to a co-worker, while telling her father a different story. Much time passed before he knew. Meanwhile, Tara and her new family moved to the Dallas area. “We had to learn to survive,” Tara said.
Tara’s first brush with the law came when she was 17. A high school graduate, with college scholarships in hand, she was involved in a fight to defend her stepsister. It ended with a charge of aggravated assault and two years in prison. One partial scholarship was left when she was released, so Tara moved forward anyway, earning two business degrees. She also worked up to vice presidency in a trucking company. The turbulence surrounding her life, however, wasn’t over. One night after partying, she was pulled over and a couple of old charges unexpectedly resurfaced.
This landed her in the Dallas County Jail. When a guard suggested she go to the Resolana pod, she took the advice, but went with an “attitude.” She now realizes she was hiding from others and herself. She told herself she didn’t have their problems. But there was one issue she did have. Tara was bi-polar and had been secretly dealing with it, refusing to use medication.
“Going to Resolana brought me down to reality,” Tara said. “It humbled me and taught me skills I would never have slowed down to learn.” Resolana programs chipped away at her defenses. She learned coping skills, affirmations, meditation. In short, she was becoming her real self. She also started taking the medication she needed. Tara sees God’s hand in the resurfaced charges, saying she wouldn’t be where she is if not for Resolana. “Resolana taught me that I can’t control everything, but there is a resolution to everything.”
Tara doesn’t hesitate to give high praise to program Director Lesley Mohney who, she says, knew just what to do with her. “She broke down those walls and made me look outside myself. She held me accountable; she didn’t BS me and didn’t allow me to BS her. She talked with me, not about me or below me or above me. It had been so long since I had that.”
Tara and her partner of 11 years, the love of her life, now own their own trucking company, a dispatching company and are about to open a freight brokerage site. This one-time-prisoner-turned-entrepreneur is getting into grant writing and government contracts as well. Plus, there are two children to raise and an upcoming adoption.