Friday, September 9, 2011

HOEF resident reflections

Dear Heaven on Earth Foundation
We were asked to write a letter about our feelings regarding the house that we are so very blessed to reside in.
The one thing that stands out here is hope. When we arrived, we were emotionally half-dead. Today, just a few short months later, we all have hope. Hope that we will no longer suffer at the hands of a man.
The house, and the many people keeping it afloat, allows us time to heal and move forward. The hope of a brighter future slowly starts to appear. Although things aren’t happening as quickly as I would like them to, I must remember that it took me 12 years to get here, and self-sufficiency does not happen overnight. One thing at a time. One day at a time. We are safe. And going to sleep at night knowing that we are not going to be hurt is a new, wonderful feeling.
The Resident Director, Beverly, is amazing. She is the glue that holds all this together. She watches as emotionally unstable women and their kids come through the door and is instrumental in helping us become healthier women and mothers, productive members of a family. I look up to her so much. If I can become half the woman she is, then I am doing pretty good. She has helped rebuild my girls’ self-esteem and worth. And taught me the fundamentals of being a good mother.
Dear Heaven on Earth Foundation:
I have been living at this house for less than two weeks, and yet it is the most wonderful experience of my life so far. I am a single, childless 35 year old survivor of extreme emotional child abuse at the hands of my father, mother, and maternal grandmother. I have been welcomed into this home with open arms by the resident director, Beverly, by Julia, Gissel, and Ibis, and by all the women and children living in this wonderful safe house.
The thing that stands out for me is the spirit of mutual support and cooperation that pervades this house. I have no car, and so my neighbor Cheryl takes me food shopping all the time, and today she will take me to the T mobile store to see what is wrong with my cell phone. I came here with no laundry detergent or shout, and so Cheryl let me use hers to do my laundry until I was able to buy my own. Also Marcela has joyfully shared with me her delicious tuna pasta, and I in turn bought some aluminum foil and shared it with the whole household here.
I am happy to be here every single day. I wake up every morning knowing that I am in a safe place, that my parents and grandmother can no longer call me names, put me down, or make me feel bad. I am feeling healthier and stronger every day in this house, and I am incredibly grateful and happy to be here.
Naturally no discussion about this house would be complete without a detailed mention of the wonderful work that the resident director, Beverly, and her daughter Kristin perform here every day. I have watched Beverly as she has taken care of Rachel’s four daughters, guiding them with love and discipline and support. She has been the guiding force behind the well-designed child care program in this house, and her 35 years of experience with children and her obvious love and compassion for kids come through every day.
One of the most healing aspects of this house for me is the opportunity to give the young girls in this house the love that my parents never gave me. I have the chance to let Serenity, 6, read to me each day - and also to be a mentor and friend to Tink, 5. I love watching these kids grow up in safety and freedom with their mother Rachel.


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