WARNING: This post is very sad. I won't be offended if you skip it.
My heart breaks at least once a day at work. Yesterday, one of the women in the shelter had to endure serious humiliation and tragedy. She has four children. She is homeless and doesn't speak very much english. Her abuser made her black and blue, made her homeless, made her afraid, made her pregnant. Yesterday, she got an abortion. She really had no choice. She is doing everything she can to take care of the children she has. She cried. We all cried. I held and fed her children while she cried and slept. My heart cracked wide open. She has made a friend in the shelter. Another woman with four children. They made plans. To be roommates, to get jobs, to help each other survive. That woman disappeared for several hours today. She left with her 3 youngest for an appointment and her oldest came straight back to shelter after school like she does everyday. Her mama wasn't anywhere to be found. I let her play on the computer and color as many pictures as she wanted. My co-workers and I exchanged looks of fear. 7 hours after she disappeared, she reappeared. Her face was tear stained and red. He knows I'm here. He was waiting at the bus stop when I got off the bus. I don't know what to do. I'm so afraid. I sat with her children in another room and watched a movie while plans were made to keep her safe. They have to go to be safe. My heart cracked wide open again. These four and I have become so close. I call them my shelter babies. I threw a birthday party for 2 of them last week. My heart hurts. I cried all the way home today.