As a survivor of domestic violence and stalking, I arrived at Jubilee exhausted and traumatized. Through the nurturing care of the Jubilee staff, I have had an opportunity to slowly heal and take the time to reassemble a life left in tatters.
The ongoing stress that is a prominent feature of domestic violence and certainly of stalking, finally took its toll, not only on my health and finances but primarily on my psyche. After years of trying to evade my abuser, I found myself alone in a new city (Seattle), with dwindling finances and a mass of fear.
By trade, I had been a professor, but I had long ago abandoned the classroom or any place where I could be easily found. I wanted to establish myself in a new town and was desperate for a fresh start, but it was apparent after only a few short months in Seattle that he had followed me here. Out of overwhelming fear, I embarked upon a journey that saw me at one moment standing my ground, and at another running. Some days driving around the state aimlessly, wondering where to go and what to do next. I was emotionally spent and had already carved an enormous hole in my savings.
In a last-ditch attempt to get away, and before the money ran out entirely, I thought I’d return to Europe, a place where I had lived years before. Perhaps a fresh start awaited me there?
Unfortunately, after such prolonged stress and so many attempts to evade, I fell ill, really ill. I was sick in a friendly country, but a country that was still not my own. While in the hospital, one of the women in charge of my care said to me, ‘if I let fear rule my life, I would be running forever’. She was right. So when I was well enough, I returned to Seattle.
At the end of 2014, I got word that my abuser had died. I no longer had to hide.
Above and beyond a safe place to call home–which is no small thing–Jubilee has supported me in the continuation of my dreams, rescuing them from a place where they had been suddenly and violently cut off, and returning them to the realm of the possible.
Since arriving, I have graduated from FareStart culinary training program, quit smoking, lost a significant amount of weight, and taken the first steps to start my own business.
For all that has been provided to me, I am eternally grateful.