12 Dec Helping Women and Children Heal Together this Holiday Season
When Doris Chatman walked through the doors of Hitchcock Center for Women 12 years ago, she was homeless, jobless, and in her words “penniless.” She did not walk in the doors alone, however. At her side was her two-year-old daughter, Terri. Doris knew that she and her daughter deserved better than the way they were living, and remembers her assessment with Hitchcock: “It was like a dark cloud had been lifted.”
Through her assessment, Doris began to openly share her experiences, and how she found herself in her current situation. She began 90 days of inpatient treatment that included Terri.
Doris and Terri, at Hitchcock in 2005
Working closely with her counselors, they helped her to continue to open up and talk honestly and openly about her issues. “Their doors were always open, I could always come to them when I had a problem and I knew I wasn’t being judged, I wasn’t alone, and I always felt safe.”
Following her inpatient treatment, she spent time in Hitchcock’s transitional housing, taking advantage of the ongoing counseling, groups, and classes. “I learned how to transition back to life again. I had always had a job, paid my bills, but I didn’t know how to handle the everyday things when problems in my life came up. It made me grow up, and learn that feelings do pass, and you don’t have to react to every situation that you are in.”
Doris and Terri today
Doris is now 12 years clean, and Terri is 15, an honor roll student and cheerleader. “She has been surrounded by recovery her entire life, that is all she knows. We learned how to talk openly about our feelings with each other while at Hitchcock, and even if I am unhappy with what she shares with me, she is always welcome to share her feelings with me,” Doris reflects. “She is now at the age of dealing with peer pressure, and our experience together helps her to make the decision to say no.”
After walking through the doors of Hitchcock 12 years ago, Doris and Terri share their gratitude for the staff and support provided there. “My life was a big storm before Hitchcock. They told me this is the place where healing begins, and that statement is so powerful to me. I found inside of me what was broken, and they helped me to see that what I had been looking for in drugs, alcohol, and men had been inside me all along. I just had to look for it. I got on the road to healing and 12 years later, I am grateful.”
With your gift today, you can help women and children like Doris and Terri find healing at Hitchcock, the place where healing begins. Donate here.