There was an eight years old girl, who started noticing the difference between love and hurt. Her parents were not married but separated when she was very young and her sisters were six and four years old. Her sisters went to stay with their aunt and she moved in with her mom and his new boyfriend. It was in the cold and wind- weather of August when her mom made her hot chocolate in bed and that triggered anger from her stepdad. He busted and swearing at her
mother that she was spoiling her and that she must move out of his place. She couldn’t believe it as he started throwing her clothes out in the streets. Some of the clothes were taken away by the strong wind. The neighbors came and helped them to take what they were able to take. Her mom’s furniture was thrown outside and broken. She felt that she was just used as a reason for chasing her mom out of the house. She was called names like, “ugly and skinny child” that hurt a lot. She then moved with her mom’s uncle, in a four-roomed house. She had to sleep in the dining room because there was not enough space. She had never seen her mom hurting like that in her life. She cried uncontrollably. She vowed never to forget that day. She could not cry more because at that age she did not understand what was really happening in her family. She still remembers that she could go to the toilet every morning to pray that her mom would find a place for them and that she can grow and be educated so that she can be able to help her mother. The only thing that she could ask from God was strength and intelligence when she grows up. In the middle of 2006, her mother got a house. It was a two bedroomed house which they moved in. It was her, her mother, and her sisters. She thought everything was fine and that they have their own place. The pain and suffering were gone but she was wrong to think so. It was the beginning of the second stage of suffering for them. When their stepdad came back to stay with them, she was not a favorite to him. She mentioned that besides all the things that happened to her, she still regards her mother as a strong and hardworking woman. She never gave up on them no matter how difficult her life was. She earned Rs 100 per week for doing domestic work. She had to buy groceries, clothes, pay rent, electricity, and other household’s requirements. Her biological father was not in the picture at all, not even financial support. He had nothing to do with them. He had his new family, two kids and they took over their home. She could explain what her mother was going through in those years. She was very young to understand, but she could only say that she was hurting a lot. At some point, she thought this was the way they were supposed to live. As she mentioned earlier that she wasn’t a favorite to her stepdad, he would shout at her or slap her even if it was not her fault. If her sisters did not do their chores she would get punished instead of them. She had to make sure that everything in the house was in order. If someone had eaten her step dad’s cold meat in the fridge, she would answer for it. Every afternoon, he would want her to soak his feet in warm water and massage them while he enjoys whisky with friends. The only weapon she used to fight the stress and depression was through studies and prayers.

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Minerva Roy

Writer and Reader user