I've been lucky enough to find such a refuge, full of over 300 kindred spirits. When I was pregnant with my son I found a group of women on Facebook all due in the same month that I was, we shared our pregnancies, birth stories, and even postpartum depression together. We fight and celebrate and commiserate with one another daily, creating some amazing friendships and have become our own sisterhood.
This week one of the mothers brought her abusive relationship to our attention. The father of her children had become increasingly abusive, particularly emotionally so, calling the children "bastard devils" and telling these sweet little boys, only 3 and 1 year old, that they were hated and had ruined his life. This mother was desperate, isolated, and crying out for help. Within 20 minutes we had a plan, raised money for train tickets, and were well on our way to helping her escape that life.
Within the last 3 days we have come together, forgetting differences and putting aside our own problems for the time being, they seemed so insignificant by comparison, and have helped this woman start her long journey towards healing and hope. We've sat on pins and needles while she tried quickly updating us when she was getting ready to sneak herself and the children out, and I don't think any of us exhaled during the time that she had to make a quick dash back for special prescription formula for her 1 year old....I'm sure there was one collective sigh of relief when she updated us that they had made it out safely.
This mother, (without specifics being mentioned for her safety), is going to a place where she now has full winter wardrobes awaiting her, carseats, toys, books, and new teddy bears for her babies to snuggle with on their first night in their new, temporary, home. There's already been contact with a local womens aid shelter for legal help to ensure their continued safety. Most importantly, there's a safe place for her to go where she and her children will know nothing but love.
Could she have done this on her own? Absolutely, she's an incredibly strong person. But she shouldn't, and didn't, have to. She knew that she had the support of 300 women cheering her on, praying for her, donating money and whatever else they could...even if it was just positive thoughts and words of encouragement. None of us have any doubt that she's going to do amazing things, and maybe it was made just a little easier with the help of the Sept2011Mommies.