I dont think there is enough room in this little box for me to explain what a wonderful orginazation A Window Between Worlds is. This orginazation gave me "ME" back, if that makes any sense, they helped me in opening up about stuff i wanted to keep bottled up and hidden. Windows helpd open a door i had closed, i had never talked with my children about what we as a family had been through, i didnt know how to do it. Through an art project the door opened all on its own, i sat and talked with my oldst daughtrand that was the first step to our healing process. The healing isnt easy and what I love about AWBW is that they know that and they honor that, they take the time as other programs i had been involved with give you 12-18 classes and then you should be "healed" being a survivor is a life long process and AWBW is there for you!! The AMAZING women that work for windows are women who actually care about us. They are real with us and help us see the positive side of what feels like th emost negative issue. I love when they call or email just to say hi to check in. I go to the once a month Survivors Art Circle and the empowering feeling when i enter that room is amazing, I wish they could offer a circle evry weekend , I am such a happy woman when i levae there i feel so positive!! AWBW is the reason i am still safe the reason i am still alive and not felt the need to return to my batterer AWBW has given me hope back, it has instilled in me it wasnt/isnt my fault we went through the awful things we went through, they have helped me believe that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and that one day ill be ok!!!!
AWBW saved my life, and the life of my little boy. I was their client back in 2007 as I moved through their services, art made a huge difference in my life, it empowered me and help build my self-esteem. Eventually I graduated and as I was working towards becoming myself a DV counselor, they sponsored me to take their training workshop and now I am certify to do the Art as a Healing tool. This training has help me to open doors for internships and I intend to use this experience in my resume once I graduate from College God permitting it will be next year 2013. My field is Psychology, but I intend to use the training that AWBW provided for me in my field. AWBW has change the lives of so many women, children and teens in helping them take control of their lives through art. As many victims of domestic violence don't have much control of what is happening in their lives, Art through AWBW offers them a light of hope, satisfaction, returns to them self-esteem, hope and creates in them empowerment to take control of what they are able to control and that is their feelings, emotions and through the healing of art they are able to little by little realize how amazing they are and that their lives can change, their lives can be different and they eventually gain enough strength to leave, overcome domestic violence and obtain enough empowerment to help empower others through the healing of Art and thanks to A WINDOW BETWEEN WORLDS. I am a living proof of how amazing this organization is. As proof that this organization is so amazing, I am now are in a position where I am completely free from Domestic Violence, I am not only a survivor but a warrior and I now in a healthy relationship with an amazing husband and our marriage is build and founded in trust, mutual respect, true love, understanding, encouragement and a completely healthy relationship where my son now 7 has found stability, confidence and safety. My husband supports me and we are now expecting a new baby girl and I have the security and complete confidence that my little girl will not have to ever see or experience a bad scenario between my husband and my self. This organization help me enough to recognize a healthy relationship and be able to rebuild my life and make a complete and true change in my life and in the life of my son.
The following is an testimonial I wrote about how one particular AWBW project, Pearls of Wisdom, that enabled me to heal from a lifetime of sexual abuse. The Pearls of Wisdom workshop propelled me farther down my road toward healing more than any other therapeutic endeavor. The pearls workshop enabled me to modify my behavior and move forward more than all the work I diid in the past with countless counselors, friends and advocates. The workshop, just like my abuse, took me through a roller coaster of emotions. During the workshop I felt everything from anger, frustration, and sadness to feeling supported, enlightened, relaxed, adventurous, reinvigorated and finally, empowered.
Creating my pearl allowed me to clarify things and reaffirm that I am okay. Each aspect of the workshop revealed aspects of my long history of sexual abuse that I had become so adept to ignoring. During the writing portion, it was very telling that I couldn’t look at myself in the reflective paper. Writing my story on reflective paper helped me see how much I have detached myself from it, even though I had previously journaled about it on many occasions.
I also greatly benefitted from wrapping my pearl in bandages! Taking the strips and dipping them in water gave me a feeling of being in control and symbolically healing my own wounds. I felt very powerful and the bandages brought me out of the negative place the reflective writing portion took me. Each part of the workshop seamlessly fit together. The process not only allowed the terrible feelings that came from my abuse to surface, but also gave me the opportunity to process those feelings in a different way and symbolically heal my own wounds.
I always thought that the sexual abuse was my fault because I never fought off my abusers. From childhood to adulthood whenever sexual abuse took place I automatically detached my mind from my body and went numb. Each time I was molested reinforced my unconscious coping mechanism of lying quietly pretending to be asleep. Through the project I was able to reconnect parts of myself that I had shut off in order to survive the negative experiences. I was finally able to internalize the saying “sexual assault is never the victim’s fault” and truly recognized that none of what I experienced was my fault. Just because I never said no doesn't mean that I said yes.
Another aspect of the abuse that was hard to reconcile is that sometimes the bad touch felt good, which was confusing, especially when I was little. I have since learned that I couldn’t protect myself from sexual abuse when I was little, but I can now. My vagina is mine! I have power over my sexual activity.
This is the first time that I haven’t been sexually abused for over one year. The last time it happened was December of 2008 and it will never happen again. The day I made my pearl I found myself in danger of being sexually abused again. This time I spoke up and protected myself for the first time by saying “no”. I am a warrior who, not only protects others, but most importantly, protects myself and I have the Pearls of Wisdom project to thank for it.