by Marlene Goley
Our “No wrong door” approach sometimes just means hanging in there with a woman at Cridge Transition House for Women.
Recently, we had a woman and her two children staying with us – I’ll call her Ramona. Ramona’s husband and the father of her children, was frightening and dangerous. Ramona had endured years of his abuse and it had left her very reluctant to trust anyone. It was a hard 30 days for her. Several times she announced she just couldn’t stay at the house and had to leave. Each time, staff talked to her and helped her trust us a little more, and to trust her decision to leave.
Ramona hung in there, often seemingly reluctantly. Staff hung in there with her – reassuring her, encouraging her, and letting her know that the roller coaster of feelings she was experiencing was normal. Ramona found a new place and when she left CTHW she left us a letter. We had no idea of the impact we had on Ramona and her children. She told us that they were all so frightened to walk through our metal gate to what they saw as an uncertain future. Then she went on to say how her children relaxed and got to be kids again with the encouragement of loving staff and “lots and lots of toys”! She told us it meant so much to be able to cry her tears and learn that she wasn’t alone. She said we changed their lives.
Ramona and every woman and child that comes to CTHW change our lives, too. We learn over and over how important it is for women and children to have a safe place, how healing acceptance and understanding can be, and how important it is too just hang in there even when we think we are not making a difference.