When she walks through the door of Safe Harbor for the first time, she is scared. She is broken and bruised, both figuratively and literally. She is exhausted, weary from walking on eggshells and accepting the blame. She is hopeless and not even sure how to search for hope – in her world, hope is at best a distant memory or perhaps something that has never existed at all. She is stuck in the cycle of abuse, the pattern of being controlled and degraded and harmed by the one person who vowed to love her unconditionally. As she holds her baby in her arms, she is not sure what the future will hold. She wonders if she has made the right decision. She doesn’t really believe that she has what it takes to pick up the pieces, to make it on her own. She is unaware of her own beauty, her own strength. She is a shell of who she once was, of who she could be. She is insecure. She is terrified. She is a victim.
When she walks out of the door of Safe Harbor for the final time, she is starting a new journey. She is healing, one day at a time. She may not have every problem solved or every question answered. But, she is aware of the steps that she has already taken and the steps that she has yet to take. She is liberated from the oppressive power that used to control her every move. Now, she is in control of her own choices, her own decisions. She is becoming aware of the talents and skills that she has to offer in this world. She is learning how to be a parent, and her baby now sleeps soundly through the night. She is able to look in the mirror and smile at the woman who looks back at her. She holds her head up proudly as she walks into her new apartment for the first time. She is still not sure what the future will hold, but she is hopeful with each new day. She is free. She is strong. She is a survivor.