Sisters get help breaking free from abuse

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Sal Dimiceli | October 21, 2013

Dear W.C.,

My sister and I grew up in an abusive family. Both my mother and father drank heavily. When they were drinking we would do our best to not be seen or heard. If we were then we would most likely get a slap, punch, kick and constant verbal abuse. I never knew there were people that could help us and even began to think this cruelty would never end. When I was 17, I met a friend that eventually helped me out of my abusive household. They invited me over to their house for the weekend. I finally got to see what a normal family relationship should be. I never realized parents could actually be nice and sober. I told my friend about what my life was like at home. A few weeks later they took me in. This forever changed my life. With their help I was able to finish school, get a job and slowly begin to recover.

Unfortunately my sister did not receive the same guidance. She actually ran away from home when I was 15, she is three years older than me. She got married and ended up in a bad abusive relationship. She became pregnant with her first child when I was 18. She would tell me how her husband started drinking and would beat her. I tried many times to talk to her and tell her how life did not have to be like that. I went to visit once and she had bruises on her arms. She quickly tried to hide them. I asked her if everything was alright and if the baby was safe in that house. Her alcoholic husband heard me, even though I had whispered, and threw me out of their house, telling me I was no longer welcome to visit my sister or niece.

I did not know what to do so I called the police. They questioned my sister but out of fear she would not admit to the abuse, our parents had taught her how to lie so well. The police did not see anything else out of order so there was nothing else they could do.

It is now five years later and my sister, along with her two children, have come to me for help. She finally broke away four months ago from the man that was abusing her. She has cleaned up her life. She has been struggling to start living life how God meant life to be, not living in the constant fear of abuse. I wish I had the money to help her, but I do not. She had to leave everything behind when she left. My sister said the final straw was when he turned on the children with his drunken rage. She finally snapped out of her stupor and decided she would not allow her children to be terrorized one moment more. That lifestyle was not how she wanted her children to be raised. She has been living with me in my apartment, but my landlord has noticed I have four people living in my one bedroom apartment. We are very crowded. Is there any way The Time Is Now to Help can help us?

Sincere Sister

Dear Readers,

It was a big relief knowing the woman and children were at least safe for now. Knowing she had the strength to break away from the cycle of abuse was a major first step in her healing process. It seemed like she had many years of abuse to recover from. When I arrived at the sisters' apartment it was crowded. The apartment was very small with a tiny kitchen, one small bathroom and one small bedroom.

After introducing myself to the two sisters, and a quick tour of the small space, we sat at the kitchen table to talk. I asked about the ex-husband. The older sister said he had stopped trying to contact her and disappeared when she told him she was filing for child support. She felt he was gone for good. With nowhere else to turn she said she got in touch with her sister, who did not hesitate to take her in. She said she was so humiliated by how she and the children were living in constant fear, and how a visit to a local church had changed everything for her. She began to see that she did not have to live like that or allow her children to be raised in that hostile environment.

She said she had never known what it felt like to live in a home where there was no fear or oppression. The last few months with her sister, even with the severe lack of space and funds, was one of the happiest of her life. She said they had cooked together, prayed together, gone to church together and talked about everything in their lives. With that both sisters were hugging and crying. The children stared at them and also began to cry. I could see the children were confused so I immediately calmed the mother and aunt, reminding them to be aware of the children's feelings. The women both hugged the two children, smiling and telling them they were happy to be together.

After we finished the emotional conversation we went on to talk about their financial situation. The younger sister was just getting by, paying student loans and rent, as she began her career fresh out of school with a good job. The older sister was only working part-time. She would need to find a full-time job to support herself going forward. I asked the women if they had considered living together, in a larger apartment. They said they would love that but the younger sister still had three months left on her lease and they did not have the funds to pay first month's rent and security deposit on a larger apartment. I asked the younger sister what her rent cost was on the present one bedroom. While it was reasonable I knew of a larger apartment available for a fair increase in rent. I asked the older sister about her job abilities. I gave her some direction to seek a good job. We set up a budget to accommodate a three-bedroom apartment. I was able to call on a job contact I had for the older sister. She was able to talk on the phone and a miracle happened. She was to start the following Monday. When she finished the call she put her hands over her face and began to cry, again saying, "I'm sorry kids, I'm so happy because I have a job, a real job."

I offered to call the landlord to see about releasing them from the lease early. The landlord agreed and graciously gave back the security deposit as well. He honestly admitted to having another renter waiting for a one-bedroom apartment anyway. With our assistance with rent and security deposit, the sisters and two young children were able to move into the larger three bedroom apartment. An extra bonus was the apartment was closer to both of their jobs and had extra security with locked entrances. This gave them a savings in gas each month and a feeling of security.
At our last visit we provided some donated furniture and household necessities. We also filled their cabinets and refrigerator with good food for the women and children. We helped provide the older sister with work-appropriate clothing and clothing for the children. The women could not believe all the help we provided so fast to change their lives. I explained how all of "You" make our good works possible. They listened intently about how we work together doing God's work removing the pains of poverty. They were so grateful they asked if we could pray together offering thanks to God for all their new found blessings from all of "You". The prayer the women shared with me had me holding back my tears this time, hearing their gratitude for The Time Is Now to Help/"All of You." The sisters prayed, thanking God for all of "Your" help, removing the years of abuse, giving them a new life of love and happiness. They cried tears of gratitude and happiness through their prayers. My voice was very grateful as we held hands and said, "Amen."

God Bless all of "You" for making our mission so life changing, with great compassion for our fellow creations.  Together we will continue our good works of compassion. While some say the economy is improving there is still a long recovery for our fellow Americans. Together we will continue to remove the pains and suffering of poverty for the many turning to us for help.
Health & Happiness, God Bless Everyone, W.C./Sal

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