A story from a WCA Client Advocate
*Trigger warning: abuse, substances, cancer
Countless women have come through our doors that leave us in awe of their strength and resilience, but one in particular stands out to me personally. She was mid to late 40s and presented as a very quiet woman who didn’t speak much and smiled very little. She was always so kind, but in her eyes, you could see years of trauma. I always find it incredible when clients continue to be so kind after being so battered and hurt.
She left a very toxic relationship and reached out to the WCA for a safe place to heal. Although she could find a safe space from her abuser, she was also facing another toxic relationship with alcoholism. She began to participate in programming and shared with me her appreciation for the groups and meetings. She slowly began to lift her head more (she walked with her head down often).
At one point, there was a conflict between this client and another resident in the program. This client shared with me that the lessons she learned at the WCA helped her use effective communication. She felt confident advocating, setting boundaries for and representing herself in a healthy way. She felt a sense of empowerment.
As if this client didn’t have enough going on in her life, she was also diagnosed with breast cancer. During her stay, she had a mastectomy and still showed so much strength and determination. Staff continued to support her and check in on her to see if she had any needs we could help with. She seemed to be okay for a few days but then began to endure some significant discomfort. Soon after, it was determined that the client had obtained an infection from the incision and was hospitalized again due to its severity.
Although her body had endured a lot, her spirit was stronger than ever. She was focused on healing from trauma, healing from breast cancer and standing firmly in her sobriety. She smiled and made eye contact more frequently. She was radiant.
She continued to complete her program at Serena’s House and was offered space at Laura’s Home, which she proudly accepted. During that time and our conversations, she revealed that she had a past career in graphic design. Not just any career, but large budget projects for national brands. She showed me some of her work, and I was blown away. I shared some information with her about online platforms that she could sign up on to do independent contracting through and discussed some professional development. In all honesty, she knew far more than me!
She eventually found a place and transitioned out of Laura’s Home. She always showed so much gratitude for our program and the support of our team members. I don’t know if she will ever realize how much gratitude we all had for her. She inspired so many of us. She was truly the example of a rising phoenix.
Join us from April 29 – May 6 as we participate in Idaho Gives!
We use this time to enable our community to learn more about the WCA and our vital nonprofit partners. You can find out more via our Idaho Gives Page or by following our social media posts.
By sharing our information with friends and family, you provide vital outreach opportunities, enabling more people to learn about the services we provide and our mission of safety, healing and freedom from domestic abuse and sexual assault.
Thank you for supporting the WCA and sharing our message!
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