Still, Mary has never forgotten the projects in Yonkers, New York, where she grew up. With Oprah Show cameras in tow, Mary returned to her childhood home, where she confronted many painful memories. "I could have been dead because of this environment," she says. "But because of this environment, I'm alive too."
Watch Mary's emotional trip home.
To escape the screams of abused women, Mary says she often sought refuge at a nearby pier. "I remember one day being here. I was sitting there, and it was a cloudy day. I started praying. I was really depressed that day, and I was crying and I was, like, 'Father, if there's a way out, please show me,'" she says. "As I was asking him that, the sky ... opened up and the sun came down. And I knew at that moment I was going to get out."