Not until working with A Window Between Worlds was the emotional chain of violence finally broken for this survivor. Maura shares how the Take a Walk in My Shoes project allowed her to say, “Enough! This is it! Art was the key to breaking past my frustration and finally being able to express what I was feeling.”
Abuse had been a part of my life since childhood. There was no place in which I could express myself, no person to whom I could reveal what was happening. My family told me that what happens at home stays at home.
At 21 I met my husband, a policeman, and I finally felt safe. It wasn’t long before he became abusive. When I found out I was pregnant I hoped the violence would stop, but it only got worse. He began sleeping with his gun. I could feel it pressed against me as I slept. His violence against our son was the final straw.
After I left him I joined various counseling groups and was introduced to A Window Between Worlds. One project in particular, Take a Walk in My Shoes, really resonated with me. The shoe in this project is a piece of my real story. My husband used to control every part of my life. He would take these shoes away from me when I was “bad.” It was this art project that finally broke the cycle of violence in my life. It represented letting go of the past and creating a new future; what my life could be, and the steps I needed to take towards a new beginning.
Using art has empowered me and improved my self-esteem. I now believe in expressing my emotions, in speaking my mind. I feel every art project brings me closer to my positive future. The pain and hurt of the past is finally coming to an end for me and my son. My life is bright and violence free, just like my art.