Panic_Button Hamilton 24hr Crisis Lines:
• Inasmuch House 905-529-8600 • Fem-aide 1-877-336-2433
• Good Shepherd 905-523-6277
• SACHA 905-525-4162
• Native Women's Centre 1-888-308-6559
• COAST (mental health) 905-972-8338
• Hamilton Interval House 905-387-8881

Merry Christmas

Well this is Christmas Day, a day traditionally symbolic with family and love, warmth and good cheer.  I'm not sure actually what good cheer is supposed to mean but I know that some friends of mine are not feeling it, whatever it is.  My friends are feeling dread and sadness right about now, in fact I think they have been feeling that way for a while now, ever since Christmas started looming on the horizon.  Christmas is a wonderful holiday season for many but not for all.Merry Christmas

The monthly calendar is a huge and pivotal part of what we are doing here at 1 in Four.  Every month we try to be as accurate as we can, doing our best to display events that are happening in the city.  We do this because we know that it is difficult to know what is going on in a city this size if you don't have a good idea where to look.  It is also a way for survivors to connect with other survivors and get information that can help them to be less isolated.  December has been a big problem for us because there is this big absence of services available due to the holiday season.  Try as we might, we could not find things to put into the blank spots.  We know this is a hard time for so many people.

I wonder how many others are like me today - my family is far away and my children are now visiting with their father.  I'm writing this as I sit by myself in my home, the first Christmas that I can ever remember being alone. Its' a strange feeling, being alone on Christmas but I am fortunate that I have friends coming over later, friends who I have met since I left my abusive marriage.  I may be alone but I am better off than I was for all those years, that's for sure.

I know that some people are grieving for loved ones who have passed away.  How terrible to be going through that at any time of the year, let alone Christmas.  It is never easy to know how to comfort others in their sadness.  There is not much that you can say that will make a difference, sometimes all you can do is just sit with them and let them know that you are there.

That's what this post is about I guess.  I'm sitting here by myself but we are together in spirit.  I've been thinking, one by one of the the women that I have been privelaged to meet over the last two years, I've been thinking of each one and wishing them well, wishing good things for them.  I'm being thankful for the friends I have made who have helped me to get this far. I'm wishing you well too.   If you are alone this Christmas or are struggling with feelings that are pulling you down, please don't feel isolated.  There are wonderful people who want you to reach out and talk to them.  The phone numbers at the top of the page are all being staffed this holiday season and the people at the other ends know that this is a very hard time of year for many people.  They understand and can help.

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About cjw

A mother of three and a survivor of domestic violence, I am passionate about helping women who feel isolated and alone, women who may have children that are profoundly impacted by the trauma of domestic violence and women who need to understand where they can go to get help for themselves and their families. I am a registered nurse who has worked for the last 16 years in a critical care area only to have to flee to a women's shelter and have my whole life changed. I know fear, I know pain and I now know food banks...I'm in good company.

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