Stories from the Street: Something in the Silence
Sasha is a very quiet young woman, someone who has seen a lot of the darker parts of life. It is evident in her silence, and her eyes, that she is struggling with hurt. It would be unfair to her to go into the details of it, and honestly it is a hard story to hear. To say the least, it is remarkable to see a young woman so wrapped up in tragedy, struggling with loss, abuse, self-loathing and addiction. Yet, Sasha is such a wonderful example that we are each given endless opportunities to change. Coming from a broken family life and coping by retreating deep into herself there was a possibility Sasha may not be able to find s balance in her life. She was not taught many of the necessary skills children need to survive in this often harsh world. Yet, she learned on her own and with support from caring individuals around her.
Sasha is now on the government regulated methadone program, and is considered ‘clean’ (she no longer uses illegal drugs). She has a partner with whom she is raising a beautiful child, and though it is hard you can see glimmers of contentment within her. She expresses pride, bashfulness, joy, and peace, allowing others to see into her life even if it is just for a moment.
These are the monuments of OIM’s success. Though seeing individuals seeking change and making steps towards health and wholeness it is this healing of the heart that is most meaningful. What bring us to these moments? What formulaic process do we use? There is none, just as God works within us as broken individuals in need of care and comfort, so we are called to treat our brothers and sisters with kindness and gentleness, recognizing their importance in our father’s eyes.
Sasha has a long way to go towards completely healing from her past, but she has taken some of the greatest steps already. You can see it in her silence, which is less and less a silence of isolation and fear but of comfort. She has begun to trust the community around her, and even more importantly, she has begun to believe that she truly is an important part of it.