Opinion

COPE & The Guys & Gals from New York Avenue Saved My Life

This post expresses the views and opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily that of 2nd Life Media AlamogordoTownNews.com management or staff.

How a New York Avenue in Alamogordo saved my life!

It's Christmas and I wonder around New York Avenue and Alamogordo and think back to this last year, amazed I survived and of what I have accomplished.

In July, I had been beaten, by my husband for the very last time, to a point of bloody and needing to hospitalized. He is known and respected yet known one saw the pain in my face or heard the screams at night of the horror of what was happening in our household. I was embarrassed and for years blamed myself that I was a trigger and I just needed to learn how to make him happy. What I discovered after years of abuse I could never make him happy so I just came to expect a nightly beating and lost all confidence in myself. Honestly I lost myself. 

Finally that fateful day in July he beat me one last time and I up and left. I wondered the streets for a few days. Landed on the sofas of some friends. I ended up hungry, dirty and not knowing what I was going to do. I felt like giving up. Go home get beat or live on the streets and die. I only had my cell phone and a few dollars in my pocket. I came across the AlamogordoTownNews.com site and saw an ad for COPE. I really had no idea what it was or could they help but I made a phone call. A young lady from COPE answered and did provide me some resources and a comforting voice. She told me where to go and get a meal, she helped me get a shower and to talk through options.

With the support of COPE and a community of orginzations I found I could survive. But what really saved me was a business on New York Avenue. In my darkest days and there were many from July through October. I'd wonder around and think to much. One place I'd go to escape was to the window displays on New York Avenue mostly the ones at Roadrunner Emporium. They have a bench in the doorway. Sometimes I'd just sit in a chair or on the bench and just stare at the window displays and I'd be transformed to a different world, a world that was an escape from this one. To a scene of beauty. Sometimes I'd be in a desert scene with lots of animals, more recently I'd escape to a Christmas fantasy land but the displays let me escape. More importantly I could go inside and see all the pretty creations from the many artists and creative people and I'd smile. I always wished I could create things but felt I was talentless. I had a conversation with a very friendly guy at Roadrunner Emporium and he told me if I was creative to try to create something that made me happy and bring a few in and he'd try to sell them.

Well at this point I had gotten a job at a restaruant and was actually beginning to get back on my feet with a little money, so I said what the hell let me try to make some art. So, I did I made a few crafty items and a few photographs and brought them in to the guys at Roadrunner Emporium. They told me they'd hold them and try to sell a few for about 60 days. They said they like to help entrepeneurs start out in the arts community but that they could not guarantee anything.

Well they are right, they couldn't but they encouraged me. I didn't sell anything for about 6 weeks and then I sold a few pieces of art that I had created. I couldn't believe it somebody actually liked what I had created. So Chris, the guy in charge told me to bring a few more pieces in and he would extend the "trial" of selling my creations. 

I got to know a few of the other artisans at Roadrunner Emporium and they were nice and encouraged me. I would wonder around the store and see the pretty things and it would just give me hope. I saw these amazing women and men creating things and I was inspired. I met Rosa a lady that is 80 years old with endless energy and she sews and creates crafts and potholder and NFL aprons and all kinds of crazy things and they sell like crazy. At 80 she is always happy, and always a buzz and busy and I said wow what a strong lady and what an inspiration. I met another lady named Marty she is a bit eccentric but is so creative and she taught me to just do what I like and somebody else will come along and like it to. I met a lady that makes towels, a lady that weaves and saw so much talent in women. And what I found was hope. I found women that were strong, passionate and actually could create something. So, I learned several lessons. The most important lesson was self-confidence. The lesson to follow a passion. A lesson that I had self-worth and people actually valued me for me. A lesson that I was a strong woman and that I was better than beatings and I was worthy to live a life. I learned a lesson that I actually do matter and I learned I can do things even without education if I try.

Where am I now? I still sell things at Roadrunner Emporium and New York Avenue, but I've expanded and sell some things at sidewalk sales and on Facebook. I never could have done that had the guys Chris and Rene, at Roadrunner not given me a chance and taught me how to market and sell and believed in me enough to let me try.  I'm no longer getting beaten daily, I now have an apartment with a friend and am safe.  I learned through the guys at Roadrunner Emporium that there are good men out there that will support women and teach them to believe in themselves. I watched the one guy, Rene and how he would create things and he told me he was self-taught and from that I gained hope. He creates so many beautiful things and his window displays still inspire me and I still escape into the worlds he creates.

So this Christmas I'm still on a very tight budget, I can't give to COPE and can't give these guys or the ladies that inspired me on New York Avenue anything because money is still tight. But I can tell my story and give them these words - "thank you, thank you, thank you." You are busy in your daily routine and you don't know the impact of a smile, or of the beauty around you that you create, or the inspiration you provide to those around you. Thank you for helping me to realize I matter. Thank you for supporting COPE and other organizations that matter to those of us that are at risk and feel undervalued. Thank you for being on New York Avenue and bringing hope. I'm sorry this is bad grammar, and bad spelling and that I'm not the best at writing or telling a story but I wanted to just say thank you.

I'm not putting my real name because my husband is still not a nice man, but it's okay I now have the confidence to face the demon and move on. Some of you will read this and know me, some of you will know my story and know my husband. Please smile and let's help each other. Let's support each other. Let's teach other women they too can follow their dreams. Let's look in the windows of New York Avenue and escape and dream and know there is more then what we are if we dream we can do it. 

New York Avenue saved me, it saved me from beatings, it saved me from the streets by providing me an opportunity. With COPE and with New York Avenue I am alive and I am confident in a path forward and I am safe. 

New York Avenue taught me to believe again and that is my lesson of Christmas, to believe in myself and to believe in others. Merry Christmas may you also support New York Avenue and believe. 

Alamogordo Jill

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