The almost 60 tattoos were to hide the scars

Self-mutilation, anxiety, depression and suicide attempts were part of the story of Ana Carolina de Souza, who now has a different life

Ana Carolina Silva de Souza, 27 years old, arrived at Universal about 2 years ago. She says she had many personal convictions that only made her suffer. “I was always a young woman who wanted to attract attention and live at the center of my will, it didn’t matter if, to do so, I had to step over someone.”

Since she was a child, Ana Carolina suffered from her father’s absence: “Furthermore, my mother worked too much to support us and, while she was away, I started to get involved in bad friendships. I had homosexual experiences at a very young age, because I wanted to fit into that group. There I was also introduced to drinks and drugs: I used marijuana and other synthetic drugs. I started drinking when I was 12.”

Because of the drinking, Ana Carolina reports that she had late-night outbreaks and financial problems as she tried to sustain a life of partying and drinking. “My relationship with my mother became difficult. We didn’t get along and I didn’t have the slightest respect for her. In fact, I blamed her for everything I was going through. If I made a friend, I considered it ‘my world’. I’ve always been starved for attention,” she claims. To meet this need, Ana Carolina looked for satisfaction in people, but in vain. “So, I started saying that I would be empowered and that no one would make me suffer,” she says.

Some time later, she met a boy and went to live with him. “We were together for eight years, but I cheated on him with other girls and he accepted it.”

FRUSTRATED ATTEMPTS

Despite her attempts to overcome her suffering, Ana Carolina says that she continued to be an “empty person who looked for a little love in everything and everyone”. She says what happened next: “I started looking for some relief from self-harm. When I managed to stop cutting myself, I started hurting myself in another way: I pulled out my hair and became an aggressive person. I punched myself in the face and hit myself a lot, but I left marks where no one could see. If I used to cut myself, I started tattooing my body to cover and hide the scars. In total, there were almost 60 tattoos. Because of my friendships and because I was a young woman who attracted attention with her clothes and tattoos, I started prostituting myself and becoming a VIP in clubs,” she says. She maintained a life of appearances. “I stayed with whoever I wanted, slept with whoever I wanted. At the club, in my crazy life, I was one thing, I maintained a fake life even on social media, but at home, I was someone else.” She highlights that she also tried to commit suicide more than once.

TRANSFORMATION

While Ana Carolina hit rock bottom, her mother started attending Universal. “I hated the Universal Church, I said that there were only thieves there and that a pastor would never put his hands on my head. I was angry with the programming and even wanted to break the TV. Still, after a difficult morning, my mother took me to church. Everything was messy inside me, but I felt such peace that the mess in my head turned into silence.”

After that experience, Ana Carolina renounced the lie and gave her life to God. “I asked Him for the chance to be different. I received the Holy Spirit and, since then, everything has changed. Before, I didn’t see the point in living and now I have peace, joy and I want to show people that they can get out of this situation”, she concludes, that now she has a good relationship with her family.