June 25, 2003

Dear Penny,

I don't even really know how to begin to tell you how very sorry I am for letting you down. I know that that is not what you want to hear. I let you down, the boys, myself, your home and most of all your family. I am very ashamed of myself and I am hurting very bad for it. Most of all I am hurting cause I see that I have made you hurt and made you feel betrayed. I know that there is nothing that can take the pain for you that I have caused you. There are not enough words to heal the pain. I know that you don' t want to hear words or see tears from me. I feel that you want to see action from me, actions speak louder than words. I am going to show you actions which will speak louder than words I can ever say to you.

I have made a promise to myself and to you to completely turn my life over to you as a volunteer for your wonderful Second Chance Foundation, in your hands so you can help make me a wonderful, loving, caring, RESPONSIBLE, unselfish person that I know is hidden behind all these walls, if you are not so disappointed in me that you don't want to, or maybe I have already destroyed your faith in me. I pray to God not.

Penny, the time here I have spent with you is priceless. There are a lot of deep problems I had when I got here that I don't even think you were told about.

YOU, making me feel like I am someone and showing me a new way of life, just by giving me hope and kindness has already changed my life, I at least feel like I deserve to be alive and deserve to have people like you and have myself in my life. Before I came here I just existed, now I feel like I have a life. Penny, I have along way to go I know, and I have made some very bad decisions, let you down, and acted very inappropriate around your other volunteers and friends. I know that you have stood up for me all the way from the start and I can't take back what I have done to hurt you or your surroundings. If I could turn back time I would, but I can't. All I can do is move forward and show you, the boys, Colleen, Connie and everyone around us that I can be trusted and responsible. I know that is something that I have broken with all of you and it is going to have to be earned back. I will show all of you and one day hope do have your trust back again.

Everyday I read something new and learn something new. You think that I am going through the books you bought me and reading cause that's what you want. Well I've got news for you Penny, I'm not doing it for you, I am doing it for me. I want to get better. You are a big part of my recovery, because you are teaching me to use the tools and the books and I know you don't believe this but I am starting to really understand myself and why I do the things I do. I need to learn to stand up for myself and express myself instead of RUNNING AWAY from things. I am not making excuses for my actions.

I need to learn to deal with them in a different away. I promise I will pick the phone up when something sets me off or scares me that makes me want to run. PROMISE.

I also wanted to let you know that I have stood in your mother's room at the lake house today, the beautiful room you gave me so that I could have some of my own things around me, and in Jonathan's room and asked for forgiveness for my selfish actions that I have showed.

And that I am sorry for disrespecting your home for my own selfish needs. I also did the same thing for the lake house. Like you said and like I know this is a very special place to be. This place is making me believe in myself, its just taking time.

Without you and your wonderful hope and all your help, caring and encouragement, God only knows where I would be today.

Pen, I know my actions haven't showed you a lot but in the future they will. I love you Penny, and you are teaching me to love myself and to give back to others.

Thank you also for helping my sister with her problems and my bi-polar nephew, Wesley, who broke down your front door in one of his rages. Thank you for giving me and my father money when we needed it, and especially helping me to fill out the difficult paperwork to get my disability for my illness.

I know I am a better person for knowing you and I want to try to give back to others in need through the foundation, and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th chances you have given me.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Love Always,

Paula Radcliff