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

Squooshed together

The other day I had to go to the Service Ontario office to pay for a new sticker for the license plate. Of course, I forgot to write down the mileage and had to make the trek back out to the car to write it down. I had to laugh to myself when, after I had come back in, I watched two or three more people sit down and then sigh with frustration and go out and do the same thing.Squooshed together

Sitting in that office for the thirty minutes or so until my number was called, I felt like I had become part of a community of sorts. I had a chance to 'people watch' and I found it interesting indeed. There was the man bringing his very ancient looking Grandmother in (I decided) to renew her health card....heaven help us all if it was to have her license renewed!  There was the elderly East Indian gentleman who was deep in discussion with the young red haired construction worker sitting next to him. There were people who suddenly realised that they knew each other (the friend from high school, the waitress at a restaurant they used to attend when they were in University)... The interplay of human dynamics was fascinating.  Through it all we sat and waited for our individual numbers to be called so that we could get up and attend to our individual business -  in the meantime we were part of the community of those waiting. Bound by our common situation, squooshed together in an overcrowded waiting room, sitting next to strangers -  I watched as people smiled and chatted, gave up their seats for the elderly, voluntarily relocated so that couples could sit together..I watched as people acknowledged our common situation.

What am I getting at you are wondering?

It is very easy to feel alone in a crowd. You can sit in a full waiting room and think that you are the only one going through what you are going through... and you may be... but you are also sharing the common experience of the situation you are in. Riding on a bus and feeling alone? Look around you... you are riding with others, there is a community of sorts even for the brief time you are together. Life is like that, it has to do with your perspective. Reading this blog and feeling isolated and alone? Well you may be, certainly if you are physically on your own and dealing with overwhelming issues... you may be alone in that sense of the word but you are part of this community. As you read these words, you can know that someone else might be reading them as well... we are a community of people who understand  common experiences and this binds us together. You are never alone, your experiences are so often my experiences and vice versa. Your support is important to me, it helps me to move forward and I hope that you feel the same way too.

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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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