The Pursuit of Happyness

On July 4th, 2009, I started on my journey to freedom, in The Pursuit of Happyness.  Some details about that can be found here.

When I started my quest, I stayed in a shelter with my youngest daughter.  This was our choice for peace of mind.  When I tell people that I stayed in a shelter, I get a lot of “Oh my goodness!”, or “Really?  How awful”.  Although the shelter stay can be a bit harrowing (because it is not your permanent home), what is really awful is the reason that brought you there.

First of all, I will dispel some of the myths about shelters.

1.  They are not soup kitchens.  Soup kitchens meet the need for immediate food for the community.  Most soup kitchens do not provide a place to sleep.

2.  They are not a temporary overnight sleeping space.  Most people think that I stayed in a place similar to the one seen in the Pursuit of Happyness.  The shelters that are for people leaving abusive situations are not for single night stays.  Can you imagine how stressful it would be for someone who just left an abusive relationship, to look for a new sleeping location each night?  These places exist, but not for situtions such as mine.

3.  Shelters are not clean. That is not so.  You will find some people who were not taught proper hygiene or ettiquette, but those people exist throughout society.

4.  Shelters are only for the lower class.  Completely false!  More and more, professionals are finding their way to shelters when they are suddenly forced with the decision to leave an abusive relationship.  The problem is that the shelter’s amenities are usually below the “Tifffany Class” victim’s standards, and they go back to their abuser, citing that things were not that bad after all.  This happens quite frequently, unfortunately.

There are so many more myths and misconceptions.

The shelter was a very huge phase on my quest for The Pursuit of Happyness.  There, I was able to destress and let go of a lot of the sadness that I felt over a failed marriage.  The counsellors gave me the opportunity to grieve, for I had lost a big part of me.  I was was able to start the journey to getting back on my feet.  I now know that The Pursuit of Happyness begins with me!

If you, or someone  you love is in need of shelter services, I encourage you not to wait.  Help is available for you if you would only reach out for it.

May You Find Water For Your Journey,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

When you get into a tight place,And everything goes against you

Till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer;

Never give up then!

For that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

Harriet Beacher Stowe

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. emergingprincess
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 22:00:29

    Thank you Sophie. Please, spread the word! 🙂

    Reply

  2. tinkerbellproject
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 23:07:14

    When I found myself in an abusive relationship, I blamed myself….how could I be so foolish…and yet, had I done something wrong…why couldn’t I “fix” this person….was I the one who was “broken”…and on and on….and then one day, I decided to let myself off the hook….I realized that I “did” this because of my deep DEEP desire to help others and to give of the joy that I found within myself….there are many ways to try to heal the planet and some of us feel the pain of another individual and hope to dive in to “cure” that pain. It is humbling (and painful) to be met with anger and disdain from the individual that you had hoped to bring such joy to….and yet, the world beckons us on….we heal and we discover that our light perhaps shines more brightly because of the sorrow that we shared….in our human frailty perhaps lies our real ability to positively impact this world that we love so dearly… Thanks so much for sharing this.

    Reply

    • emergingprincess
      Feb 11, 2012 @ 00:57:28

      The guilty mental-ramblings: ‘Why can’t I fix this?” What crazy mind-games we went through. You are right, I think that a lot of people in abusive relationships are “helpers”. We love seeing people happy because it is a natural extension of who we are. However, abusers are leeches, and can (and usually do) suck the life right out of their victims. I’m glad I’m not the only one whose light now shines more brightly. I am happier (to the point of bliss), and I have encouraged so many more to embrace life and seize every beautiful day. Keep shining your light–that way, others may light their candles,too! 🙂

      Reply

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Water For The Journey

Book Release PartyOctober 25th, 2013
The long-awaited release of Water For The Journey: 156 Days To Freedom. All day givaways and book release party!
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