How Blessed Are You?

How Blessed Are You?

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit Katia, a brave woman who suffered psychological abuse for many years at the hands of her ex-husband. I was there to better serve our clients through her testimony. That day, however, I was very tired from my Los Angeles to Denver trip and felt overwhelmed from all the household tasks my husband wasn’t going to be able to do without me. In the back of my mind, I always feel as if I have to do everything! But that day, I learned so much from Katia.

Katia cried for the majority of the interview. I offered to stop, but she wanted to continue. “The greatest part of having JAMLAC in my life is that someone can finally listen to me. I feel free when I tell my story,” said Katia. “It helps me recover from the many times I had to sleep outside of our home, with my dogs, because [my husband] told me that nothing in the house was mine. When you guys listen to me, it frees me from the times where I begged him for money to buy what I needed to eat; it frees me from the times where he called me the most degrading names a woman can hear; it frees me from the times he called me stupid; it frees me from all of the times that he made me feel I was useless as a woman. So, even though it hurts, I’ll keep going.”

In many cases, physical abuse is clear and easy to identify. However, psychological abuse is hidden for years in those wounds that mark a person’s thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. In fact, according to Carol A. Lambert, MSW, a psychotherapist and domestic violence expert, “psychological abuse can impact one’s psyche and sense of well-being to the same extent as physical violence.”

Luckily, Katia’s sister brought her to JAMLAC. Family Law Attorney, Jose Escobar, took her case and vividly remembers that the only thing she wanted was her dogs and to feel like a person again. Just as he does for all his clients, Jose was ready to fight for her rights. He helped her get a divorce and ensured she received everything that was rightfully owed to her by the law for the many years of sacrifice and abuse she endured.

I knew I wanted to learn more about situations like Katia’s in order to better understand the cycle of abuse, but I left with much more than that. I concluded that truly getting involved can help us see our own lives differently and can help minimize our daily struggles. JAMLAC doesn’t only offer transformation to its clients, it also offers the beautiful opportunity to value what we have and the chance to change the vision many donors, employees, and volunteers have of their own life.

There are many ways to get involved at JAMLAC. We invite you to change someone’s life and join us! You will be surprised how your own life will change, too. Come see us to celebrate love, to hug your friends or significant others, and to remember that even though the road gets tough, we should always count our blessings! 

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