Tuesday, August 30, 2011

the joys of helping others

Today I had a lot of joy, and it definitely came from helping others.  First of all, I gave R's younger daughters some loving attention which I and they greatly enjoyed.  R's youngest daughter T, who is 5 years old and autistic, has a very kind heart.  When she saw me wearing a brace on my ankle, she asked me if my foot was hurt.  When I wore a skirt one day, she asked me why I was wearing a skirt and then told me I looked good in it.  Today she hid under the covers and giggled when I said,"Is there someone hiding under the covers?"  She peaked out her head, and I said,"Hi T."  She then laughed with an infectiously joyous laugh.  I also sat with T and CC and watched cartoons with them briefly.  The healing balm of loving children in this house is wonderful for me.

Then I had more good news.  First of all, I had contacted two agencies in California which specialize in representing Iranian political refugees who are seeking political asylum in the West.  I did this on behalf of my dear friend Dr. Roya Araghi, who has fled prison and torture in Iran and is living in Malaysia as a political refugee.  I got good news today because one of the agencies responded to me and told me they will contact Roya directly to see if they can help her.

Finally I saw a moving posting from a woman who is seeking to leave her violently abusive husband.  She said she is afraid to leave as she has no money, no car, and no job, and she is also worried about taking care of her two teenage daughters.  I told her that I understand first hand just difficult it can be to leave your abuser for financial and emotional reasons.  I encouraged her to leave her abuser but I told her I would support her even if she decided to remain in her marriage.  I friended her on facebook and offered her some advice such as the fact that she can still receive support services even if she decides to remain in her marriage.  And another woman, an older survivor of DV who had to flee her abuser in the middle of the night with her 2 daughters at a time when there were little or no services for women, chimed in and said there are some church organizations that offer temporary housing for abuse victims.  I didn't know that - great for me to know.  So as two survivors who left their abusers, D and I tried to create a circle of support and hope for K that we both hope will help her find the courage to leave her abuser and take her teenage daughters with her to safety and freedom.

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