There was shouting and berating and an onslaught of verbal abuse.
Then my child and I were thrown out of our home. We lived in Hawaii in a remote jungle area a mile and a half up a four-wheel drive road. What used to be paradise was now a prison. I remember sprinting down a rocky path, my daughter crying in her child carrier on my back. I was scared and crying too. I stopped for a moment in the middle of a coffee plantation. When I could see that my X hadn’t followed us, I took my one year old out of the carrier, and hugged her to me.
I wondered where we would go now and who could help us. All of the people I knew were my X’s friends. All but two. That summer I had joined an outrigger canoe club and had paddled with a team of women. One of these women lived a few properties over from me with her partner. I headed to their house.
They took us into their arms and immediately nurtured us. They understood the trauma we’d been through and listened with no judgement. They gave us food to eat, a bed to sleep in, and emotional support.
The next day, when I went back home to retrieve some things for my daughter, and my X got violent, they didn’t chastise me for my naivete. Instead, they gave me safety. When my X showed up on their land, they used their bodies as a human shield to protect us from him. They were warriors.
They helped me call around to women’s shelters and lawyers, and when I couldn’t get help from those people, they found me a mediator. They even offered to fly us back to Canada.
They were on my side and always believed me. Their kindness is still with me today. Their love was a gift. It was the gift of sisterhood.
Always blessed even in the mess.
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