#GivingTuesday: What Your Gift Means for Survivors Like Me
You Gave Us the Gift of Hope.
Two years ago, there wasn’t any room in my life to hope for a better future. My baby son Joseph and I spent the first few months of his life on the run, sleeping in friends’ living rooms as I tried to stay one step ahead of my violently abusive husband.
I’d left my husband when Joseph was born to protect him from the abuse, but no matter where we went, my husband found out and threatened the friends that helped us.
It felt like we weren’t safe anywhere. We left New York for Boston, but we could only find a temporary place to stay with a family friend.
Back then I couldn’t speak very much English, but out of desperation, I went to a local service organization for help, and they referred me to Casa Myrna.
Casa Myrna changed everything for us, and they did it with compassion and patience. Though we were finally safe, for the first month, my baby and I were traumatized to sleep. Thoughts of my husband finding us haunted me every night.
But slowly, the shelter advocates and other families in the shelter helped us to feel safe. Counseling for me and my son helped both of us to heal from our trauma and fear. I began to escape the past and return to the present.
By supporting Casa Myrna, you’ve helped me to live again.
When I was trapped by abuse, I gave up on my dreams and goals. Only a year and half later, I have already achieved my goal of learning to speak English thanks to classes covered by Casa Myrna, and now I’m following my dream of becoming a federal law enforcement agent to help protect the rights of others.
Most importantly, I can tuck Joseph in at night without looking over my shoulder in fear. I’m happy, I feel beautiful and confident, and I know that my son and I have a great life ahead of us.
That’s the gift you gave us: hope. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
P.S. Today is Giving Tuesday, a special day dedicated to giving back in our community. If you would like to give more survivors like me the gift of hope, please click here or the button below.
You can read a longer version of Ariel’s story here.