When I was a child, I had many a dream just like all children do. But I also had nightmares. Not the nightmares of monsters who – for some shady reason – live under my bed or in my closet. No, actually under my bed and in my closet were the two safest places for me in the world. My life started off in a not-so-fun way, with my birth mother and father meeting in a police station after they both served years for robbery. You get the idea of what happened that night.
The next thing I know is my father abused my mother. He beat her, tried to kill her while pregnant. She fled, she married another man and did the stupidest possible thing in the world, which was to move back to her village. And here comes the last thing I know. My father appeared at night and took me, I was found the next day in a ditch.
This was unfortunate enough but it was nothing. Something that could happen to anyone, and something after which you still can lead a normal life. I was taken to the orphanage. Then I was adopted by a single, elderly woman (yes they could do that in 1989). She was desperate and angry. Her family life as a child consisted of nothing but beating. Her first husband went as he hung himself on a doorknob (I always wondered how) and the second one ended up in a loony bin. Life can write unbelievable stories.
Nobody knows what happened when I was a child. Everyone thinks I had the perfect adoption I should be grateful for. But I was beaten with heavy old keys until I found blood running down the back of my head, my hair was sticky with it, and wooden sandals, and I was hurled a kitchen knife at. I was strangled in my bed, until I could see the darkness I was sinking into, one that I started craving for, but then the hands let go. Sometimes I would find that my adoptive mother locked the door on herself and stayed in her room for days leaving no food for me. Also I could have a bath once a week. (Then she beat me for my stinky clothes!). When my menstruation started she did not buy me pads. She said we were too poor and she cut up old clothes (she’s collects second hand clothes) for me to use. There is no imagining the shame I felt because of this. She also had a garden where I worked quite a lot, but sometimes she would go there, and leave me to come home from school and stay on the street until she would come home late night. I was in a phone booth, and soon I saw a man holding his penis and watching me. As I stared back blankly he hopped on his bike and left. I had a cat, and something went wrong with his little lungs. My adoptive mother did not pay for the doctor to put him to sleep. No she put me out of the door with the cat at night (I was young) and said if I come back and not kill him, he will suffer and I am a terrible satanic monster. I had to taint my hands, and I can never forgive myself. Also I never had a bed. I slept on boxes filled up with clothes. This is the world I lived in.
At the age of 12 I was standing on a windowsill, believing suicide was the only way for me. And I prayed. I told God (yes I believe in God) that I gave him a week. To show me something. So I went to this camp where I learned English (greatest gift in my life) and there I became a believer. I went to church and I felt every bit of a new life in me. I met a woman in church I will never forget. Of whom I secretly kept wishing was my mother. To whom I could never ever tell what it was like for me at home. If it was not for all her love I would not even be here.
As part of the church I participated in a mission towards orphans. It was so bittersweet how everyone around me was telling me how bad it is for them and how I will never come close to understanding what it was like. And inside I was screaming that “I KNOW! I know alright, get off me!” I don’t know why I never actually did it, it could have saved me! It could have saved me if I told people my story. But I could not. My adoptive mother was at the church and she was everyone’s favourite angel… the sweetest kindest lady ever. No one would have believed me. No one knew that she has a Bible full of names she wrote next to passages about God’s wrath.
I screamed in a way though. I was in a constant suicidal struggle and I eased the pain by cutting my arms. Don’t ask me why it was good it just was. Then suddenly I was called demonized but that was all. Nobody ever really cared to dig deeper than that.
At 19 I left. Left the church, left my adoptive mother (with the help of her kicking me out and then wanting me back) and I burned all the bridges.
Now I am 26. I enrolled for the university, I met my dearest Adam : ) and I struggled and struggled with the strangling compulsive desire to kill myself. We earned/earn money with translations, but the wheel of poverty kept turning us back no matter how many times I went to school in the morning after a night worked through. I told someone this week that I was so pissed because some people called me lazy for still being so poor. Some people thought I am not a useful member of society without knowing my works. It hurt me. Because I knew the truth how I struggled but I also blamed myself, because I used to think that if you make efforts they will bring fruit, and she told me that it is not always true. I know right.
All I ever longed for is a small one room little house at the edge of the town where I can translate in peace and heal among some pets. A house I would fix up with my bear hands and where all my friends would be welcome in times of trouble. And I know it is not likely to ever happen no matter how I work. I know that I need one kick forward and I could reach a lot, but I could not find that kick yet. Does not mean I am giving up or backing down. Not so easily. As I battle the daily pictures of suicide in my head this does not mean anything.
I still believe in God. Many believe I don’t but it is not truth. Just because I am battling a mental disorder it does not mean I left God behind. And it does not mean He left me behind.
I still believe in people.
I just wish they still believed in me. I wish they saw me before they make judgements. I wish they understood I do not contact my “mother” not out of anger, just because I do not want to get more hurt. I wish they knew how much I work and how I think of the world. How I think people are precious, and how I think every child like me deserved to be heard. I wish they saw my efforts. How I wish to reconnect with old church members but cannot pass through all the memories.
I know that my current state left old and still beloved friends from church in sorrow and a longing for the times when they knew nothing just saw me smiling. So I need to come to the light. I forgive everything to everyone, and ask for them to forgive me for any wrongdoings attributed to me. And I ask you all that if you ever see a hint of a child living in an abusive home, do not turn away. Do not avert your eyes. You know better than that! Help is a phone call away. You can all be a hero for someone.