Our Story – Part 2

by Sandra Ferrell, Executive Director

The second part of the story about why we do what we do the way we do it …… Art is meaningful to us based on our experiences. We can appreciate any beautiful art that we see. Then if we resonate with it, it takes on new meaning. This piece of art is also by Chere Labbe Doiron and is called Tattered Dreams. You remember we wondered what Mary’s dreams might have been. I asked what your dreams were.

How many of you have lived into your dreams? As a young child, I couldn’t have dreamed what I do today. It was a long and hard journey to get here but it was so important to entertain those dreams in order to grow.

Some of the women we serve had dreams as children. For some, life was so hard they couldn’t even form their dreams. Tattered Dreams is also mixed media and appears to be a bride ready for her wedding. She has flowers in her hand and around her head. She has a lace dress that is full and is quite beautiful. But, again, Chere Labbe Doiron asks us to imagine her feelings because her face doesn’t give anything away. The colors are all muted. There almost appears to be a wash over the piece. Was she jilted at the altar? In time of war, we might imagine that her groom never came home. Why are her dreams tattered?

Wonder if dreams being shattered day after day after day is why the women we serve seek a less painful way of life. Have they had all the disappointment they can handle and given in to the pain? Some of us were lucky to have adults in our lives that cared and we were able to grow through our tattered dreams. Some have had caring professionals who helped us process our pain. Some just shut down. Some medicate the pain. Especially if we can no longer see the dreams.

This is why we meet the women on the street right where they are. We don’t require them to change. If they do not have dreams because of the trauma they have endured, how can they imagine a life without drugs to numb them or without each other who have like experiences? We plant the seed so they can begin to dream.

Once we become someone they can trust, they begin to ask for help to take steps forward. Can you hear me without telling me I should be different? Can you help me get my birth certificate so I can get an ID? Can you help me get my ID? Can you help me get a phone? Can you help me get food stamps so I can eat? Can you help me find a job? Can you help me find a place to live?

Who do you trust to tell your pain to? I’ve heard it said that you need at least 3 people who know who you really are and who you can be yourself with. Who hears you without judgment? Who helps you take the next step in your life?

Note: Originally posted on Facebook

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