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Sunday, May 20, 2012

"West Side Story"


I entered the doctor's office with my mother, blood test results in hand. I had no idea what the doctor's assessment would be, but I recall how hard I had prayed for it to be something serious, a life threatening disease. It all started with a full year of joint pain, fever and general fatigue. I gave him the test results, my heart was racing. His face wasn't as serious as I wanted it to be, but he said : 
"You, Little Miss, are going to skip classes for 10 days. We'll have to remove your tonsils. How about booking a hospital room for next Monday?" 

I could hardly mask my joy!! what good news!! Of course it would have been much better had he said I was suffering from cancer, but it was still OK since I would be spending a few days in hospital and my mother would have to stay with me.

The night prior to the surgery, I packed my little bag, and left home for my happy adventure. I was so excited, smiling and loving the idea of having her next to my bed, holding my hand just as I had seen in all those movies on TV. The thought of it was enough to give me goosebumps and fill me with a happiness I hadn't known before.

The surgery went well. I remember her big smile when they brought me back to my room. I remember my dad arriving with a lovely bouquet of red roses, and kissing me on the forehead. I remember her sitting on the armchair doing crosswords. I was staring at her hoping she would read my mind and come closer to ease my pain. I also remember what she said to the nurse who asked her if she needed an extra bed for the night: 

"Of course not! She's a big girl and in good hands".

She left me alone in my hospital room, alone with my tears.

The days after didn't go as well as expected, and my stay in hospital was extended. I only went back home on Friday afternoon, 5 days later. The BEST surprise was that I was allowed to occupy my mother's bed for few days. It wasn't a good idea to receive visitors while sleeping on the mattress on the balcony floor which was my usual bedroom.
I wasn't able to speak. I couldn't eat or drink. The wound was not healing properly. My little sister gave me paper and a pen so that I could write down what I needed, but no one was even passing by the room to check whether I had written anything.


On Saturday morning, he arrived. He came especially for me. He came to see me and stay with me. He sat on the bed next to me. He held my hand, talking to me, encouraging me to eat or sleep. He tried to feed me watermelon. I couldn't swallow it. I remember him going to put it in a blender so that I could at least drink the juice. He made me a cup of tea and gave it all to me using a teaspoon like you would feed a baby.
My mother came to the bedroom and said: 

I'm taking your sisters and your cousin to the movies. They are showing a great movie which I love, "West Side Story". Don't take that sad look!! You'll watch it when you get better!" 

I will never forget the movie's name and I never watched it.
They all went to the movies and I stayed in bed with a big smile. He showed me love. He cared and took care of me. He is aunt H's son, that same cousin who had been sexually abusing me since I was 6.

Whenever I talk to someone who has been through the same experiences, and I compare myself and wonder how come I don't hate my abusers, I know that the answer is just that I made the choice so long ago to look at the good in everyone. People are all good, and when they do bad things, it's just that they don't know how to do better.

I will never forget what that particular cousin did to me. I can't forget, but when I think of my cousin, I think of that Saturday afternoon, when he held my hand and made me a cup of tea.

He is living in peace with his wife and 3 boys. Remembering his abuse will not affect him in any way, but it would upset me. He won't even know about it. It won't bother him nor make him feel guilty. It will only make me sick. There is no positive outcome of remembering the abuse and getting upset.

I can still smile when I remember that cup of tea.

50 comments:

  1. Nikky....I am just so sorry. It was wrong of your mother to leave you like that. I can't even imagine some one so small and dependent having to go through something so major. And then having to depend on the person who abused you instead.
    But thank you for writing this and giving us a window into your life. I hope that our hands are reaching in there far enough to pull you out.
    Xoxo

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    1. Thank you very much Kimberly! Your support is a great help, honestly :)
      Much love <3

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  2. Patricia EastwoodMay 20, 2012 at 7:30 AM

    Nikky ... This post is upbeat and brings a smile to my face ...
    NOT because you didn't get those cuddles and hugs and 'I love you's' which you so desperately needed from your Mother ...
    Nor because you have ONE good memory of one of your abusers to cling to.
    No ...
    I smile because YOU, dear soul-sister, are a TRULY spiritual person. Thank you for sharing this memory with us, and for teaching an important spiritual lesson.
    With love and a Welsh (((cudge))) from Pat.

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    1. I smile too Pat. I smile although I didn't get the hugs and cuddles and "i love yous", because i think that if I did have all those, I would maybe be a different person, better or worse I don't know and I don't really care as it doesn't matter now.
      I also smile because welsh "cudge" from Pat are tickling me!!!

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  3. I'm so sorry that your mother wasn't as there for you as you would have wanted...as any child would have yearned. Sometimes mothers miss out on the knowledge that kids really need their attention..and kids will be willing to through any lengths in getting that attention. Time and a little TLC are the greatest gifts a mother can give a child..so sorry your mother flopped in that department. No doubt her mother did as well and it was a learned behavior.

    I admire your maturity towards your cousin and I'm very sorry for what he did to you. I can't imagine. You have a grace that few possess. May it bear you the fruit of peace.

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    1. Thank you very much Jessica for your very nice comment. I can now understand my mother, and I can now feel her love and I know she did love me. She certainly had her reasons.

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  4. I echo Pat's words. Abuse and affection from the same person is confusing. But no one has just one story! You also, you have many stories!
    Love you,
    Jodi

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    1. That same cousin Jodi was treated badly by his father. I never saw his dad beating him, but I have heard him humiliating him, comparing him to his brother. He only called him stupid and useless. He wasn't a happy boy. He had his own troubles. It doesn't give him an excuse to hurt me but I was always feeling sorry for him. I was always defending him and trying to show him he was important.He really had good in him.
      Love you too <3 <3 <3

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  5. I'm not sure where you get the strength from, Nikky but you do and that amazes me.

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    1. I get it from the love of my friends!

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  6. Humans are so complex, and often not consistent. It's good that you can select an act of kindness to remember about a person who victimized you.

    I like that you are trying to remember some good things, within the bad ones. Nothing is ever totally dark, I suppose.

    I wonder if you've ever tried writing from the imagination of your happy future. It's a blank canvas in which you can create whatever you want, a dream to dream. It may be therapeutic, perhaps start you dwelling on possibilities rather than perpetuating the story of your abuse. Please don't misunderstand, I understand that may be very difficult. But maybe it's a good exercise in combating recurring memories of your past. Just a thought. Love ya.

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    1. Thank you very much Myrna.
      When I talk about the painful past, I mention it with a smile. I made peace with my past Myrna and it's not hurting in any way. If I mention it, it's only because that past is what made me the person I am. I'm just telling my story hoping it can help others. Love you <3

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  7. Nikky... This thing always makes me question - Why? Why are we humans like this... Why cannot we just love each one around us and be when they really need us. I feel so sad - for that child in you who had to go through all this and maybe grow up well beyond her age to understand the complex nature of humans around her. I admire your strength a lot..it needs guts to forgive someone who has done so much damage to one's life!

    TC

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    1. I ask myself those same questions.I always wonder why people chose hate over love? I have been through a lot, and suffered a big damage, But that was in the past and it stays there. I never mention the past feeling sorry for myself. I think that is what makes it easier to forgive.

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  8. Nikky, your ability to look for the good in everyone, even those who have hurt you so deeply, is, indeed, a gift from God. Your capacity for forgiveness both astounds and humbles me. Your kindness to others is inspiring.
    Would that all of us could love as you love.
    Blessings, my friend!

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    1. Thank you Martha. It is a gift from God, a Gift God has given to all of us, but with the freedom to use it or leave it. I chose to use it. Using God's gift is a gift I am giving to myself.
      Much love <3

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  9. As Myrna said, we are all so complex. The same person can show us kindness and then abuse us. How do we make sense of any of this. You write so eloquently about deep pain. What a gift to all of us.

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    1. Thank you Galen!!
      I always ask God to always help me not to hurt or abuse others. we're all human, and we might all hurt others one day although we're not bad people?

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  10. Nikky, You are full of grace and you share that with others. That you can see good in others, even those who victimized you, is a sign of that grace. I'm so sorry for that little girl you were who did not get the love or protection that she needed. You wrote beautifully about this.

    Tina

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    1. Thank you very much Tina. I guess that little girl was strong!! She didn't know it, but now I feel it and I'm proud of her!

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  11. You are a wonderful woman Nikky to think of that one positive thing about someone who has hurt you. Amazing!

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    1. Thank you Rimly! In fact its the easy solution I have chosen! Love is the easy way!

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  12. I'm nearly speechless again, Nikky. The feelings here are so deeply, thickly layered. I know there is never just ONE way people feel about their abusers. It is so complicated. There are always conflicting thoughts. It sounds like your mother made you feel so alone, that you were missing out on something you'd never get. He made you feel connected when you were lost. He should not have been allowed near you; they should have protected you from him--but at that moment, the thing he gave was what you needed. This is why it's often hard for victims to come forward and speak out. When the abuse stops, something else is often lost as well.
    The way you tell your stories is as captivating as the stories themselves are upsetting. You are a great writer.

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    1. Wow Lisa!!Me a great writer!! I love that!! what a nice compliment from a wonderful writer too!!
      "at that moment, the thing he gave was what you needed" This is true Lisa. It's what I needed at that time, and it's what i need now to keep my thoughts positive when thinking of him!

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  13. How amazing that you are able to chose to remember the positive experience! I wish I could cover up some of my sad memories with the good ones and it's hard even when my sad memories aren't as bad as yours. Great write.

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    1. I understand Rachel, I really do understand how hard it can seem to replace sad memories by good ones, but once you try, you will feel so much relief.
      The thing that helped me reach this point is that however i feel and whatever I do, the damage was done and we can't go back and undo it. There is no way we can remove the hurt, and nothing can compensate not even seeing the abuser punished for his acts.If I chose to stay upset and angry, i am hurting myself not my abuser, so i am losing twice instead of once, and that second loss is my decision.

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  14. Oh Nikky, I am sending you much love tonight.

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  15. Nikki
    -My heart breaks for you...

    but it also knows you are traveling forward on onward by writing this...

    Love Love Love.

    Kim. Xxx

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  16. Nikky, you have incredible strength for being able to see the good in everyone. That's a tough thing to do, especially with someone who has hurt you. I just hope you know how strong you truly are.

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    1. Thank you Kelly!!
      It can seem tough, but it is easier than anything else. That's the truth!

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  17. Aww Nikky, bless your big heart. It takes so much strength to be able to see the good in traumatic experiences such as those that you've been through. You have such admirable strength, Nikky. And you have a gentle, beautiful, and forgiving heart. It just shows that you as a person are so much bigger than all the bad things that happened in your past. God bless you always <3 :-)

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    1. Thank you very much Irene. Your words mean a lot to me. I guess you are right and I will try for now to start at least accepting the fact that i am strong.

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  18. Wow, this piece is heartbreaking Nikky and resonates deeply because it is written from the viewpoint of the child - the child who still lives within. I feel honoured to know someone who is brave enough to tell what happened with such dignity and simplicity. I think of the saying also: 'What a difference once kindness makes...'

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    1. Thank you very much Elizabeth for visiting and leaving this nice comment. I really appreciate it. You are absolutely right, one act of kindness, one love shared, makes a whole difference in one's life. Much love to you <3

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  19. Nikky, I applaud your courage. I really admire your ability to look beyond the incident and see the bigger picture. I also did not have it in me to hate my abusers. It's just not who I am because I beleive that it will be taken care of. I may not know the outcome but there will be consequences.
    Thanks so much for sharing...

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    1. Thank you Tracy. You are right, it's not our job to judge or punish. Our responsibility is to share love, understanding and to protect ourselves. Love you <3

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  20. Nikky - While this post was very sad, I applaud your ability to remember something good about someone who did such horrible things to you.

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    1. Thank you Sandy. He has hurt me badly in the past and for many years, but I can't let him hurt me now in the present. That story should be over. I didn't talk about it during 4 years of therapy. In fact I never mentioned anything about the sexual abuse. I don't really regret it because I think that wound is healing well <3

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  21. Nikky, you are an example of one who has risen above victimhood, and has become a living, breathing miracle. Yes, miracle, for it’s nothing less than phenomenal when one can forgive so freely that she sees the good in her abuser. Hats off to a rare jewel!

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    1. Thank you so much Debra, when I read late at night your comment, i was smiling and crying at the same time and I told my friend: I'm not used to hear people saying good things about me. It makes me want to hide. I have to learn to accept compliments, to believe them, to believe I'm worthy of those nice and kind words. Thank you so much Debra!!

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  22. Nikky, I can't think of anything to add that hasn't been said by all the wonderful commentors who arrived before I did. I think Debra said it best, you have risen above and are strength in the raw form. Keep shining and writing your way forward.

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    1. Thank you so much Brenda!!!
      Thank you so much for visiting my Blog and commenting!! Thank you for your very sweet words. Much love <3

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  23. Oh you are so loved Nikky. I have just started reading more of you through your blog. You have a very special spot in my heart. I truly believe that God puts people together for a reason... It'll take time to heal but always listen to that side of you that tells you how precious you are, that's why you are here!

    Lots of love to you :*

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    1. Thank you Melissa. Your kind words brought tears to my eyes. I am so Blessed to have found loving people like you and all my new family here on the blog. Since I have your support all, I feel so much better.It's like life is smiling back at me. Much love <3

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