By Shadi, Interval House Client
At Interval House, everyone eats together, but we each take turns cooking the evening meal. When it was my turn to prepare dinner for the first time, I was so nervous. What if no one liked the food I prepared?
I chose to prepare Persian rice, because I wanted to share some of my culture. Plus, this dish is often served at special occasions like weddings, because the sweet dried fruit in the dish symbolizes a sweet life. For me, my time at Interval House was a hopeful new beginning, a time to look forward to a better future—a future without the fear of constant abuse.
Much to my relief, everyone loved my rice and asked me to show them how to make it! I felt at home in the Interval House kitchen, making friends and building relationships. When I told the other women about how my boyfriend used to treat me like a slave and beat me when he got angry—they really understood what it was like.
My healing began in the Interval House kitchen. Whenever I needed support, I knew I could head to the kitchen and find someone to talk to.
Sitting around the kitchen table, sharing a meal that you’ve lovingly prepared, and talking to women who understand your pain… it’s such a healing thing to do. Through cooking, eating and connecting with other women at Interval House, I began to feel that I was actually worth something. Now I know there are people who love and support me. I understand that I truly matter.
The kitchen is truly the heart of our home. More than helping to feed our bodies, it helps to nourish our souls.