Sunday, August 29, 2010


Everyone feels crowded sometimes. Years ago, I started out writing in the kitchen with an old typewriter. Then it was one end of the dining room table for a few hours on Sunday. Now I have my own home office. It's 8X10, but it has a door I can shut and it's all mine. :)

The DV shelter where I volunteer is filled up. All useble space is being used--often for more than one purpose. Sometimes we compete for what space is available.Sometimes we accept and do the best we can under the circumstances.

The women and the kids in the shelter come from all kinds of living situations--apartments, condos, houses, shared space. Some were crowded, some were not, physically.

There are ways other than physical, however, that they were crowded before they arrived at the shelter. Their feelings were pushed aside, by them or the abuser. Their personal space was invaded by abusers who stood too close, yelled too loud, restricted their movement, their activities, and even their thoughts. Their assertiveness was demolished by physical and psychological pain. Ditto their self-esteem. Their motivation was crushed because it was not allowed.

Now that they live at a DV shelter, they still feel crowded, but they have options. They can move to a different couch, room, activity. They can ignore demands or insults. They can ask for help. They can join others to make changes at the shelter or in their lives.

There are many kinds of crowding. The worst kind has more to do with freedom than space.

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